Sunday, December 25, 2016

Rural Water Woes: Bacteria In Your Well


Living outside of the hustle and bustle of America's major cities certainly has its perks - no snarled traffic, less noise, less crime, clean air, clean water.


Most of the time these statements are true, but at an alarming rate rural homeowners are having trouble with their water supplies. More and more rural inhabitants are discovering that their once-pristine wells are now contaminated with bacteria. Interestingly, there has been no nation-wide assessment of the health of our rural water wells. But two smaller scale studies suggest that 20 - 40 percent of the private wells in any given area are contaminated with bacteria.

So what is a rural well owner to do? As it should be with any health related issue, the best thing you can do is educate yourself first, and take action second. So before you pour a gallon of Javex down your well, let's take a closer look at what bacterial contamination entails and what you can do to solve your problem.

Bacteria are everywhere. They carpet virtually all the surfaces we come into contact with and are found in every nook and cranny of the Earth. Most of them are harmless to humans, but a small percentage has the ability to cause disease.

The most common bacteria found in water supplies are coliform bacteria and e.coli. Coliform bacteria are a family of bacteria that are found in many places including soil. Coliform is not particularly concerning unless water supplies contain massive amounts. In any laboratory water test the presence of coliform bacteria is always investigated because its presence in a well indicates that there is a pathway through which bacteria can travel from the soil to your water. In a properly constructed and maintained well, there should be no such pathway. More about this later.

The presence of any e.coli bacteria in your water is a much more serious issue. E. coli has gained much notoriety because of several national outbreaks of the disease from contaminated ground beef. While most people are aware of the possibility of e.coli contamination in food, many people are not aware that it can turn up in a water test. E.coli contamination of water is common enough that all testing facilities will test for it's presence as part of their standard battery of tests.

E.coli normally resides in the guts of many mammals including humans and cattle. The presence of e.coli in your water indicates that fecal matter has made its way into your water supply. Consuming water that contains e.coli will usually result in cramping and diarrhea. However, there are some strains of e.coli that are much more aggressive. Consuming these dangerous strains of e.coli can result in liver damage and ultimately death.

The first line of defense in avoiding bacterial contamination of your well is to ensure that it was constructed properly, and that it has been maintained as required. The most critical part of well construction and maintenance is to strive to keep all surface water out of the well. Groundwater, except in rare cases, is free from bacteria. Virtually all bacterial contamination of a drilled well occurs when surface water is allowed enter the well. Note that surface water includes water that drains over the ground but also water that travels through the first few feet of soil.

When a well is constructed there are rules that well drillers must follow. These rules vary by jurisdiction but the themes are consistent. Ensuring these steps were followed will go a long way to ensuring you avoid a bacteria problem, or cure the one you've got.

First, figure out where your well is located. It sounds like an elementary step, but it's surprising how many rural homeowners can't tell you where their well is situated.

Second, it's critical that a well is not located close to a pollution source. Keep wells far away from septic tanks and weeping beds, or containers of manure. These are notorious sources of e.coli bacteria.

Third, ensure that the well is sealed. When a well is constructed, there is a space between the well casing and the hole into which this casing fits. This is known as the annular space. To ensure that no surface water is allowed to collect around the casing this space must be filled with watertight material to a certain depth. A visual inspecting will at least confirm that the top of the annular space has been filled and sealed.

Fourth, make sure the well casing extends above the level of the ground. It's important that the well casing is at least several inches higher than the surrounding ground to ensure that no surface water can run into the well.

Fifth, ensure that the top of your well is sealed with a vermin proof well cap. Some bacterial problems arise when animals climb into the well cap, fall into the well and die. The rotting material will cause bacterial levels to skyrocket.

Despite taking these measures, you may still find that a bacterial problem persists. At this point the well owner is faced with the expensive prospect of drilling another well. Fortunately, technology provides us with a very reliable and much less expensive solution: ultraviolet light water disinfection.

Ultraviolet light (UV for short) is able to render bacteria harmless. A UV system for water purification is simply a device that is plumbed on the main water line in the home. It consists of a steel chamber into which is inserted a high-output UV lamp. As bacteria move past the lamp they are zapped and eventually die. A UV system will take care of e.coli, coliform bacteria as well as most other bacteria, viruses and cysts that might be found in your water supply.

So take the time to know where your well is, and inspect it to make sure nothing is visibly wrong. Adding a UV system can solve a recurring problem or act as added peace of mind. Remember, whatever road you take, there is no substitute for frequent water testing to ensure your well water is safe to drink.

About the Author

C. Reid Thornley is a B.Sc. Biology and a former research associate for a world class water purification manufacturer. He has been a presenter for the US Water Quality Association and he now owns and operates aQuatell - Water Purification Made Easy!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Water Impurities - Top Tips on How to Clean-Up Your Home Water Supply

By Patrick Henry

While the quality of water supplied to our homes today has improved dramatically over the last few decades, there are still big advantages to installing a water filter to our domestic supplies. They are able to remove most types of chemical or mineral in the water which may be potentially dangerous or harmful. In some cases they have been able to save the user money in medical bills. Drinking unfiltered water is mainly associated with certain diseases, but with the use of water filtration systems, people are assured of constant high quality water supply.

Heavy metals

In order to remove the particles from the raw water to be treated, certain chemicals are added to the water. These include aluminium or iron compounds that help to clean up the water and remove suspended matter. While nearly all of this is removed from the process before leaving the treatment works there will always be a small amount remaining that reaches customers taps.

Zinc and Lead

These can sometimes be found in water supplies through contact with the pipes but they are certainly not wanted in drinking water. Older water pipes used to be made from galvanised zinc, which is iron coated with zinc. These pipes can break down over many years, releasing rust or zinc into the water supply. Water authorities may say that the levels are so low they are not a problem, and are only really a problem in soft water areas because they can dissolve into the water. However, a filtration system would effectively remove these chemicals and ensure the water is purified to a higher level and reduces these chemicals to acceptable amounts.


Chlorine is often added to the water to disinfect it and kill the bacteria and harmful organisms. It is very effective at this and has been used for decades to ensure that our water is fit for consumption. However, there is always a small amount of chlorine that remains and some people are especially sensitive to the taste of chlorine and can be easily detected when levels are too high.


When the chlorine is added to water and combines with natural organic matter it forms trihalomethanes (THM's). These have directly associated with cancers and certain allergies.


When a water supply is taken from an upland source that contains peat it gives a orange/brown colour to the water. This is not a health issue in itself and not a hazard but does not make the water particularly appealing to drink!

Hard Water Minerals

Calcium and magnesium present in water are the minerals responsible for the stubborn hard water stains and limescale build-up found on faucets, sinks, shower doors, glass. As anyone who has hard water in their area knows, these stains can be a pain to remove, however, these are also easily removed by water filters.

Other contaminants

In some water sources, in particular river supplies, there can be organic solvents, pesticides and fertilizers from run-off from farmland. There have even been traces of hormones and the contraceptive pill present in some cases! These are often removed during the water treatment process but there are always residual amounts that can reach the customers taps causing potential health problems.

What Can You Do To Remove These Chemicals?

One of the easiest ways to increase the quality of your water supply is to consider installing a water filter. These days they are simple to install, are relatively cheap and have been proven to eliminate harmful organisms that could cause health problems. A top tip before deciding on what water filtration system to purchase for your home is to have your water tested for impurities in order to determine which type of filtration system to purchase. This will give you a good idea of the type of water filter required to improve the quality of the supply.

Depending on the impurities contained in the water, consumers have the option of buying an in-line reverse-osmosis system or a carbon filter. Carbon based filters are mainly used to filter water that contains organic chemicals, chlorine, pesticides and trihalomethanes. Reverse-osmosis filters on the other hand are best to filter water that has organic compounds such as sodium, nitrates, ferrous iron, lead.

So if you want to be certain that your water supply is free from potential contaminants that could cause potential health problems to you or your family it can be a good idea to consider the benefits of a water filter. This not only ensures you have access to a constant supply of wholesome water to your home, but also gives you the piece of mind that your water has a consistently high quality.

Warm Regards,

Patrick Henry

Hard Water Consultant

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Patrick Henry BEng (Hons), is a recognised industry expert in removing hard water stains and water treatment. With an honours degree in Chemical Engineering, he teaches people how to remove stubborn hard water stains and limescale using a step by step guide. He is author of the ebook "Hard Water Stain Removal Secrets Revealed". Complete information on his popular ebook is available from his web site. And while your there, don't forget to subscribe to his FREE report.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Water softeners: A process of clean the water softener unit


Water softener provides the soft and pure water by removing the impurities from the water. If your water softener is not working with proper way and it produces the dirty water, then you have to check your water softener injector because in this case your water softener injector is not working well. If you want that your water softener produces the good result, then you have to clean your water softener injector at least two times in a year. You can use the following steps to clean the water softener injector. First you have to put your water softener at the bypass mode. This is first and important steps of cleaning the water softener unit. If you perform this action, then water will not run through the water softener at the time of cleaning.

Now due to the safety issue, you have to switch off the main power supply. If you start cleaning process without switching off the main power supply, then you will face some electrical problem at the time of cleaning process. Now you have to remove the cap of water softener injector from its place. You can find this cap at the top of the water softener corner. When you remove the cap form water softener, then a screen will appear in front of you. You have to clean it very carefully. Make sure that you clear it very carefully. If you wash it by putting your pressure, then it will damage as well. You can use boil water to wash it.

Try to clean the injector through all sides. If you find any types of dust, paper or something other, then immediately remove it from injector. You can remove paper by using the clip from injector and dust can easily remove with help of the canned air. After completing the cleaning process of complete screen, you have to put the nozzle at the exact place. Never try to change the position of the screen otherwise you softener will not working exactly.

Now put the screen at the exact place of nozzle as well as the injector cap at its original place. You have to put the cap very slowly and carefully on the screen. You have to place it tightly on the screen. After set the water softener completely, taste the water softener by starting the power supply as well as water supply. Now you will definitely get the good quality of water from water softener.

About the Author

Author has been writing articles from last three years on various topics and with this post,he wants to share information on water softener systems