Two Signs That Your Well Water Has Become Contaminated

If you have a private well on your property, then you have the benefit of having your own water source to supply your home with fluid. While wells can provide water that is safe to drink, a well can become contaminated in a variety of ways. The well casing may form a crack or opening that allows ground water to flow into the well. This can also happen if the well cap is not tight enough. Flooding issues on your property can create a contamination issue too, and so can a leaking septic system. A contaminated well will need to be examined, repaired, and treated as soon as possible. There are several signs that you may notice if the water has been contaminated. Keep reading to learn about a few of these signs. 

Foaming Water

If you run a bath for yourself or place a large amount of water in a pot and notice suds or bubbles on the top of the water, then this is an indication that your well has been contaminated. Specifically, this means that wastes from your sewage or septic system have entered your well. These wastes typically contain soaps and detergents with foaming agents in them. The foaming agents produce the bubbles, and you may also notice that your water is slightly cloudy. 

This type of problem can occur in a few different ways. If you have a septic system, then the effluent waste may have entered the well through a crack or hole on the side of the well containment housing. In this case, the septic system is working properly, but the well is not contained properly. However, most homes do not have septic leach fields and water wells placed near one another. Make sure the leach field is located and inspected when your well is inspected. The field may need to be moved to reduce future well contamination issues.

If you have a town sewer system, then you will likely have a crack in your sewer pipe. If it has rained heavily, then the wastes may have traveled up to the surface of your property and leaked through the top well cap. You may also have a hole in the well casing. In this case, the sewer line and the well should be thoroughly investigated.

If you notice your water foaming, then you should not use your well water until it can be tested and treated. Disease causing coliform bacteria may have made their way into the well from the septic or sewage system. If this is the case, then a shock disinfection treatment will need to take place. This type of water treatment is best handled by a water treatment specialist when a serious contamination issue occurs. 

Milky Colored Water

In some areas of the country, deep wells need to be constructed so that an adequate aquifer can supply the well with plenty of fresh water. As the well is constructed, a drill may need to pass through several layers of rock. This drill may also pass through natural deposits of methane gas. As the solid concrete or brick well is formed, this gas is blocked from entering the well. However, the gas can work its way through small holes or cracks in the well casing. The methane can mix with the water, and this typically creates a milky appearance. 

If you notice milky water and know that there are natural gas reserves in the earth around your property, then the gas has likely entered your well. You can continue to drink your water and use it normally. The gas itself is not toxic. However, if a great deal of the gas enters your water, it can release quickly as fluid runs out of your faucets. This can cause an explosion risk. To prevent a serious injury or fire, make sure to speak with a water treatment or well specialist. The well should be examined for breaks in the casing and the water should be tested to see how much methane is contained in the fluid.