Dug well illuminated (C) 2007 2013 InspectApedia W GrummhausHow to Fix Well Water Contamination Immediately

  • FIX WATER WELL CONTAMINATION PROBLEMS - CONTENTS: How to fix contaminated wells: Sources of ground water pollution of drinking water & wells, Health concerns about water pollution, Levels of risk due to water contaminants, Steps to improve well water safety, Protecting ground water, How to correct ground water contamination
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Fix unsanitary or contaminated well water: this article gives advice for immediate steps you can take to correct unsanitary or contaminated private well water.

We have edited and expanded original advice on this topic provided by the U.S. EPA.

Our page top photo illustrates a dug well lined with stone set in cement; even with this lining a shallow hand dug well can be very difficult to keep in sanitary condition.

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How to Fix Well Water Contamination Problems Immediately

Well casing cap top air vent (C) Daniel FriedmanIf you find that your well water is polluted, fix the problem as soon as possible. You may need to disinfect your water have a new well drilled, re plumb or repair your system. Consider hooking into a nearby community water system (if one is available).

If you have a new well drilled or connect to a community water system, the old well must be closed properly. Consult "local experts" for help.

Procedures for Dealing with Well Contaminants

[See these (non-EPA) step by step guides to correcting problems with well water:

The EPA's "disinfect your water" refers not to simply temporary disinfection by "shocking" your well, but more likely to installing equipment to treat the water to assure that it is sanitary.

Dealing with a Persistent Well Contaminant Source

If there is a persistent source of well contamination which you are not able to eliminate (such as by repairing a groundwater leak into a well casing), then the choices are either drill a new well or treat the existing water supply to remove the contaminant. Also see

You might consider installing a water treatment device to remove impurities. Information about treatment devices can be obtained from the following sources:

There are many home water treatment devices. Different types remove different pollutants or impurities. No one device does it all. Also, you must carefully maintain your home treatment device so your water stays safe. For more information, get a copy of EPA's pamphlet, "Home Water Treatment Units" from the U.S. EPA Resource Center or call the Hotline at (800) 426-4791.

The water pollution and testing material in this article series describes types of activities in your area that can create threats to your water supply.

It also describes problems to look for and offers maintenance suggestions. Sources for more information and help are also listed. [Editing for clarity by DF are marked by brackets or italics] Initial Source: EPA 816-K-02-003 January 2002

Article series contents


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