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Ways to Avoid Groundwater Contamination

If you’re drilling a well on your property, you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing your source of water is clean and free of any contaminants. But how can you ensure that that’s the case for your well water? If you want to keep your groundwater contaminant-free, there are a few things you need to do. Keep reading to learn the steps to drill a water well and keep it clean.

Location, Location, Location

The first–and arguably most important–step in keeping your groundwater free of contaminants is to choose the right location for your well. The best way to do this is to drill the well uphill and far from any potential contamination sources, including the following:

  • Septic systems
  • Landfills
  • Underground storage tanks
  • Nearby industrial plants
  • Manure piles

Septic systems are the most common source of contamination for groundwater, so it’s important to ensure your well is a good distance from your tank. Typically, you should aim to drill your well about 50 to 100 feet away from the septic system, as well as to be uphill from it. In fact, most states require that wells be at least 50 feet away from a septic system.

Surface Seals

When your well is drilled and installed, you should also ensure that the driller installs a surface seal on a fine-grained layer or non-fractured zone that is above the aquifer. Additionally, the ground around the well should slope away from the wellhead on all sides so that water does not collect near the casing.

Protective Features

Your well can (and should) have additional features installed that help to protect it from contamination. This includes the following:

  • Pump chamber casings
  • Filter packs
  • Well casings
  • Screens
  • Seals

Talk to your contractor about what features they’re adding to protect your well from contamination. They can ensure you select the proper ones for your well so that the water stays clean.

Avoid Chemicals and Fertilizer

Once your well is installed, it’s still important to take proper measures to help protect your groundwater. Primarily, this means reducing your use of chemicals and fertilizers, particularly in the areas near or uphill from your well. This may be a factor you want to keep in mind when drilling your well, as you’ll want it in a location that you don’t have to frequently treat with any kind of chemicals. All of those protective measures you put in place when building your well don’t mean much if you turn around and spray herbicide or dump fertilizer all around your water source.

Maintain Your Septic Tank

As already mentioned, septic systems are the most common cause of well contamination. So, make sure you’re properly maintaining your septic system and having the tank pumped at regular intervals to prevent tank overflow or other kinds of septic system failure. If your septic system never seeps sewage into the ground around it, then there’s no chance of it contaminating the groundwater.

If you’re hoping to build a well, the first step is always choosing the right location. Contact a groundwater locator here at Find Water First, Inc., and we’ll help you find a water source in a spot that will keep your water free of contaminants. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today!

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