Not counting the electricity it takes to pump it into the house, well water is free. It's not chlorinated or fluoridated, and there are no monthly bills to deal with. Yet, well water may not be as pure as you think, and it may pose risks that could cause illness if not addressed.
Determining well water quality takes five factors into consideration: the type of well, the geology of the soil, where the well is located, its age and when the last water tests were done.
Maine Water Testing Labs report that disease-causing bacteria can enter your well water supply through damaged casings or through the walls of a dug or shallow well. Chemicals like arsenic and radon can also contaminate the water from the surrounding rocks, and old pipes can transfer lead into the water.
Take the time to monitor your well water carefully to make sure of consistent quality. Be sure the area around the well is clear and free of animal waste, pay attention to any changes in the taste, smell or color of the water, and get a water test, especially if a household member is pregnant, you've had work done on the well or the well went dry and replenished itself.
Rachel Lovejoy has been writing professionally since 1990 and currently writes a weekly column entitled "From the Urban Wilderness" for the Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine, as well as short novellas for Amazon Kindle. Lovejoy graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.