As time passes, more and more people are becoming aware of the fact that their city water can be less than they want it to be. In communities across the nation, groundwater is becoming a primary option and many families are looking at the benefits of well water for health and wellness as they’re looking for ways to improve their overall family situation. If this looks like you, consider your options as your family investigates how many chemicals are in the water you drink and how healthy it is.
Why Well Water May Be Better for You Than City Water
City water is controlled. City monitoring has a tight tolerance for microorganisms, and it’s chemically treated to make sure that microbes like E. coli and the dreaded giardia don’t infect the water. This makes the water safe for anyone to drink. It can also harm the local microbiome. The chemicals used to treat city water are only present in minute quantities. But they are not present at all in your water well.
If you’re living on a property with clear access to the aquifer, you may be getting water through your well pipe that is more representative of the local microbiome than the water that you get through your city pipes. Natural water is a natural right, and people who drink well water for health tend to be healthier than the average person getting their water through a city pipe. Your water well company can help you find out if a water well is the right solution for your family.
How to Test Your Well Water for Nutrients
The United States Geological Survey confirms that in many cases, your well water may have more nutrients available in it than tap water from the city plant. This can more than outweigh the slight increase in risk represented by avoiding city purification chemicals. Your well water company can test your well water for the presence of nutrients that are not in city water. If the water company can’t test directly, you can usually send your water sample to county or state authorities for nutrient content confirmation.
After the laboratory analyzes your water sample, they will send you a report with the test results and any necessary actions in the case of nutrient deficiencies. Keep in mind the US government has affirmed that you have the legally protected right to use well water on your property. If your well pipe isn’t going outside your property lines, you’re free to use well water for health and any other purpose.
County records show what your property lines are. Sometimes you may need an easement to use certain parts of your property. This can happen if property lines were drawn so that your property has no direct access to a public road, so finding the original records is a good idea anyway.
What Are the Most Common Nutrients in Your Well Water?
Your well water will almost always contain minerals like calcium, sodium, and magnesium. All of these are micronutrients that your body needs. If you’re drinking well water for health, this is as good a reason to include in your well drilling plan as any of the others. Make sure you understand what’s in the water on your property because it’s the most important part of drinking well water for health.
There is a downside to this: These minerals are part of hard water. Hard water can reduce the lifespan of your appliances and clothes, by creating tiny crystals that abrade fibers and plastic and rubber parts alike. If you’re having problems like this, it may be helpful for you to install a water softener to tackle the water’s hardness. Of course, city water is also often hard straight from the tap, so this is only a potential difference, not a necessary one.
Sodium Content in Well Water vs City Water
Sodium in a city water system is considered a contaminant. Sodium chloride, table salt, is normally low in both city and well water. Water in the Midwest during the spring can have additional metallic contamination compared to other times of the year based on snow-melting chemicals. Asking your well drillers to clarify how much sodium is in your well water is a good idea.
Natural sources of water will have varying salinity on average over different areas. Natural fresh water in coastal areas can have sodium contents as high as 250 ppm. The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota had sodium with a minimum concentration during 2021 of 13.8 ppm and a maximum of 25.4 ppm. Home water softening can increase the level of sodium in your water, so if you’re in a coastal area, remember to use it sparingly. Testing your water regularly is crucial to maintain the purity of your well when you’re drinking well water for health.
Well Water for Skin Health
Water is the source of all life on the planet. Your body is 70% water. Coincidentally, over 2/3 of the Earth’s surface is also water. If your skin is dehydrated, you will look older as it begins to wrinkle and become more crepey and darker. This is sometimes called ashy skin, and it’s a common cause of premature aging. While there is no clear consensus or definitive answer to the health benefits of well water, there are some pointers that can tell us certain clues about it. Well water has gentler properties than the harsher water that you can get from your city.
City chemicals even at very low dilution can have major gastrointestinal issues and contain metals like lead and arsenic. Your well pump services company can help you find out what’s in your city water. They can also point to solutions including an on-site water well to avoid these problems. Hard well water can exacerbate some skin health issues, however, so be careful. Hard water’s calcium and magnesium content can result in skin irritation and worse issues with acne and other skin diseases.
How to Completely Purify Your Well Water
When you’re starting your well, you’ll need to disinfect the well equipment. This usually starts with a bleach solution to make your pump and pipes safe to use. Disinfecting bleach is a solution of 7.5% sodium hypochlorite, usually diluted in a 10:1 solution with water to make something safe. The safe water-bleach solution then quickly breaks down into water and a small number of chloride ions, making it safe to use on surfaces that will carry food or in this case water. Drinking well water for health won’t be affected by the use of bleach to sanitize well water surfaces, but in case you do worry about this, you can easily run your well water for several minutes once the pump is set up to clear any chlorine residue from the system.
Once your system is set up, purification steps are often included in the well mechanism, like a reverse osmosis filter that can be put in the pipeline. To the extent that there’s a disadvantage to a reverse osmosis system, the reverse osmosis well purification technology, though well-proven, is a very expensive option for most well owners. The filters don’t come cheap and a top-end filter can cost over 15,000 dollars US for a whole-house system, or between $600 to a few thousand dollars per faucet. Water purification systems are necessary to make sure that you have a healthy water system. Drinking well water for health doesn’t work very well for you if you’re drinking contaminants and microbes with it. Make sure that your purification system gets everything in the stream, and you’ll not only be healthier, but you’ll also feel more secure about your water stream.
Other Options for Water Purification
Reverse osmosis isn’t the only choice when it comes to well water for health. Other filtration systems work similarly but are much less expensive over the whole system. All water filtration systems that are based on proven technology are going to be relatively expensive. They must pass hundreds of gallons of water every day and purify all of it.
A whole-house ceramic membrane well filter can be a very cost-effective way to make sure that your house is getting only the healthiest and freshest well water, without the high expense of a reverse osmosis system. A typical drop-in cartridge for these systems will cost between $50 and $200. Fans of ceramic water filtration membrane technology will argue that the system, besides being less expensive than reverse osmosis, is also healthier for the user. Ceramic filter systems are popular because they leave more of the taste of local water behind, as opposed to a pure reverse osmosis system, which can leave a very neutral taste in the system.
If you want highly filtered water that still tastes like the water available in your area, a ceramic membrane filter may be the best choice for your family.
The Benefits of Simple Water Filters
A water filter installer can also install a traditional water filter system that uses activated charcoal sand to filter impurities out of your local water. This is technically a system that is already in use in a city water system. Most home water well users aren’t interested in hooking up to city water, so using the city system to gain this advantage isn’t that useful for them. Instead, the water filter system gets installed in your basement and gives you dozens or hundreds of gallons of purified water a day. The simple filter still gives you clean well water for health and maintains high-quality water for you for pennies a day.
Your simple water filtration system won’t get all the metals and other contaminants of the ceramic or reverse osmosis filters. What it will do is help you save money, with a cost of a fraction of what the newer systems will. A simple water filter is best for you if your home is in an area with high-quality water, to begin with, where you only have to filter for microorganisms and not high concentrations of heavy metals and other dangerous minerals. Talk to your water filter installer about which water system is right for you.
What to Do If Your Water Isn’t High-Quality
There will come a time in every water well’s life when problems come up. If the problem isn’t with your filter, it’s probably further upstream. This might be a hundred feet or more under your house, creating a real problem for you. You probably don’t have the skills to repair a well pump or diagnose problems at your wellhead. But you can tell when your water at the pump develops a silty color or an off-flavor that something’s wrong with the water you’re getting, and problems at the tap mean problems at the pump. Well repair services can help you find that dangerous problem deep under your house, and repair your well, getting fresh, clean water flowing again. Don’t delay in getting your water system fixed.
When to Call for Water Delivery Services
If your well repair service is busy, it might take them a few days to get to you, and this can be a real problem. You might have to plan to take showers at the local YMCA and drink as much water as possible when you’re out and about. During this time, a bulk water delivery service can be a real lifesaver. Bottled water is hardly a perfect solution to your problem.
When the choice is getting bottled water or drinking nothing at all, you might not have a real choice. Fortunately, the water delivery solution is only a temporary one. Your well will be repaired before you know it, and you’ll be back to the healthy, great-tasting water you bought your well to get.
There are lots of reasons to have a water well. The health and safety of your family’s water are the best ones. With some smarts and consumer savvy, you can be self-reliant on your water in just a matter of weeks. Call your local well services for a full appraisal of your property’s fitness for in-home water well, and start budgeting for installation today.