Testing Recommendations for Private Drinking Water Wells

While many private water systems provide water that is safe and of good quality, it is not uncommon to have one or more water quality problems. Some such as iron or hydrogen sulfide are quite noticeable. Others, particularly those that are health concerns such as nitrate and pesticides, often require testing to detect.

Unlike public water systems, private well owners in most states are not required to regularly test their wells or correct water quality problems. It is each individual …

Selecting a Home Water Treatment System

Contents

Home Water Treatment Devices

The table below outlines information on specific home water treatment approaches. Keep in mind that some water treatment can be for aesthetic as well as health factors. If drinking water poses a health risk, the consumer may also consider the cost of purchasing bottled water or tying into a public water system if available as an alternative to treatment.
If you need to contact a water treatment professional to install or repair a home treatment system or to assess a …

Drinking Water Treatment – Reverse Osmosis

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Inorganic contaminants such as: dissolved salts of sodium, dissolved (ferrous) iron, nitrate, lead, fluoride, sulfate, potassium, manganese, aluminum, silica, chloride, total dissolved solids, chromium, and orthophosphate. Also effective in removing some detergents, some taste, color and odor-producing chemicals, certain organic contaminants, and some pesticides.

NOT EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Dissolved gases, most volatile and semi-volatile organic contaminants including some pesticides and solvents. Alone, reverse osmosis units are not recommended for treatment of bacteria and other …

Drinking Water Contents

PRIVATE DRINKING WATER
PROTECTING DRINKING WATER
HUMAN HEALTH
MANAGING DRINKING WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS

Drinking Water Well Quality Basics

Groundwater, the source of water for private wells, is never simply a pure combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms (H20). It contains many impurities, reflecting the composition of the soils, sand, gravel, and rock through which it travels. Groundwater naturally contains:

  1. Dissolved minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, chloride, and sulfate
  2. Gases such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen
  3. Dissolved organic compounds

As a result of human activity, groundwater can also contain contaminants such as pesticides, nitrate, metals, …

Drinking Water Treatment – pH Adjustment

Contents


About pH

pH is an indicator of the acid or alkaline …

Drinking Water Treatment – Oxidizing Filters

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Oxidizing filters oxidize and filter iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide in one unit.

Contents


Uses

An oxidizing filter is an in-line, point-of-entry device (on the main incoming water line) that converts dissolved iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide to a solid form and then …

Drinking Water Treatment – Activated Alumina

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Fluoride, arsenic, selenium, and chromium.

Contents

Uses of activated alumina

Activated alumina can be used as a point-of-entry or point-of-use water treatment device. Activated alumina absorbs contaminants instead of filtering them. The effectiveness of activated alumina depends on the contaminant, characteristics of the …

Drinking Water and Human Health Effects

Health effects related to contaminants in drinking water can be divided into two categories: those that cause acute effects and those that cause chronic effects.

Acute health effects

Acute effects are usually seen within a short time after exposure to a substance. Acute effects may result from water containing pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, or they may result from a single large exposure to a chemical contaminant. Acute health effects are generally reversible as long as the contaminant of …