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How to Reduce the Risk of Well Water Contamination

view from the bottom of the well


Well water is vulnerable to numerous sources of contamination, some that occur naturally and some that are the result of human activity. Once a well is polluted, it can be difficult and expensive to clean, so prevention is the key to keeping your well water safe. Here are some things you can do to reduce the risks of well water contamination.

• Position your well at least 30 metres away from any septic system, barnyard and livestock feeding or watering station. Also, make sure your well is at least eight metres away from any river, stream, pond or lake. • Ensure the well is properly constructed with a concrete casing that’s at least 30 centimetres above the ground and made of approved materials. • Regularly inspect the well’s concrete pad for cracks and make necessary repairs as needed. The pad should force water to drain away from the wellhead. The concrete should extend at least 60 centimetres from the wellhead in every direction and be at least 10 centimetres thick. • Habitually check the sanitary seal over the well and make sure it isn’t cracked or loose, and that the well’s vent is facing downward and is protected with a screen. • Don’t use or mix hazardous or toxic materials such as fuel, paint, herbicide, pesticide or degreaser uphill from the well. • Don’t dispose or throw anything down an abandoned well. Properly seal abandoned or unused wells. • Pump, maintain and repair septic systems regularly. Never pour hazardous waste down your drains or in your toilets. • Keep a record of any well maintenance, such as disinfections and cleanings, that may require chemicals. • Stop using well water immediately if you notice a change in odour, appearance or taste. Get your well water tested for hazardous chemicals with an approved laboratory through the Ontario Ground Water Association. • Even if your water seems fine, it’s best to test it for harmful bacteria at least three times a year, ideally in the spring, summer and fall. You can get free coliform and E. coli bacteria testing kits from your local Ontario Public Health Unit. • Install a water purification unit. Ultraviolet and reverse osmosis systems remove contaminants, bacteria and viruses from your tap water and can give you peace of mind. Well services in the GTA At Black Forest Plumbing, our team of fully insured professionals provides effective well testing and cleaning services. We use safe chemical treatments to rid your well of contaminants, sediment and debris. Plus, we provide well restoration services, and can also properly seal any well that’s no longer used. To book an appointment or learn more, contact us today.


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