It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting here thinking about you,…(really!) and I know this topic is the last thing on your mind right now,…that is your water and your well. I’m reminded of a story in the recent past where a family started noticing long black hairs appearing at their kitchen faucet. As time progressed this condition became more noticeable and the owner finally went to check it out. When he got to the location of the hand dug well, he noticed that the old plywood lid was caved in and that there was a very large dead bull moose in the well. Of course in the cold water and wintery conditions, it had taken a very long time for the carcass to decompose enough for the hair to slip from the hide and get sucked into the pump and into the house. Yes, you are right,…that is gross! Even though this type of failure and major contamination is not usual, it is common for hand dug wells AND drilled and properly capped wells to become contaminated at some point.
Maybe a good Christmas gift for next year would be to purchase a Private Well Test for a member of your family! We just don’t think about this topic enough! If a family can tolerate the taste of the water from a well with a dead bull moose, just think of what else could be contaminating your water! In the city you never even give it a thought, except maybe that you don’t drink the water because it tastes like chlorine, but in the country where you are connected to a well, you ought to have a schedule (maybe every couple of years) for periodic testing, whether the water tastes good or not. Contaminants common to our area are; coliform (this includes ecoli bacteria), nitrates, lead, arsenic, uranium, iron, manganese, etc. Most of the elements that can be harmful are also tasteless.
Anatek Labs, the premier water testing lab in our region, has a test called the Private Well Test that includes all of the elements listed above and many more, including a test for hardness and PH, all for about $150. (Did you know that researchers are connecting the presence of kidney stones with the hardness of water and cancer with uranium in wells?) Getting a test done is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that it offers!