In the United States, more than 13 million households rely on private wells for drinking water. If the source of the water that comes to your home is a well, you might be wondering what’s in it and do you require a well water filter system for your home or not. The next question that would come to your mind is what are the options that you have, and which is the best one. Don’t worry, as we’re here to answer all of these questions. Just read till the end, and your mind will be clear. Let’s dive right in.
How clean is well water?
Firstly, you need to understand that water from each well is unique. The characteristics of well water largely depend on the location of the well, the surrounding land, and its recharge area. So how will you determine how clean your well water is? You need to conduct a Well Water Test.
Well water testing
There are various well water testing kits available in the market. However, you want to find an ecologist who can interpret the test results for you. And sell you the right system or advise you against buying one.
Let’s discuss the kinds of testing kits available:
· The best well water testing kits include tests for heavy metals and minerals, coliform and E. coli bacteria, numerous physical characteristics, inorganic chemicals, and organic chemicals. These tests should be in accordance with the National Testing Laboratories and their guidelines for well water testing.
· Other testing kits include tests for various pesticides too. It costs a bit higher, but testing for pesticides is necessary when wells are located close to agricultural land.
· If you think your well water contains iron or rust, consider a testing kit with iron and tannin added to it.
· Other kinds of testing kits include tests for Radon, microorganisms, parasites, and semi-volatile organics.
· You can also contact us and tell us about your well water source, and receive a customized testing kit at your doorstep.
Well water contaminants
The contaminants in well water can be present due to human actions or by natural causes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here is a list of commonly found contaminants in private wells:
· Microorganisms that naturally exist under the ground.
· Nitrate and Nitrite from chemical fertilizers used for growing crops in farms or lawn fertilizer
· Pesticides from agricultural land or lawn maintenance.
· Heavy metals such as arsenic, antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, and selenium from industrial and commercial use.
· Organic chemicals from industries and household products.
· Radioactive elements from mining sources or nuclear power plants.
These contaminants fall under 5 main categories, i.e., natural, agricultural, commercial, industrial, and residential contaminants. Basically, when you drink well water you’re drinking rain that has been filtered by the ground and stored beneath you. Anything taking place on or near the land where the well is located will contaminate the well.
Types of well water filters
Now that you’ve learned the types of pollutants that well water contains, there shouldn’t be any doubt in your mind about installing a well water filter by https://cleanairpurewater.com/well_water.html in your home. However, the question still remains: which kind of filter should you install?
Some major types include:
Whole house water filter for well water
A whole house water filter is installed at the point of entry where the well water enters your home. This way, the output from the filter goes to all the taps in the house. Every machine that requires water also uses water from this source. This kind of one-stop-solution filter will reduce the need for multiple filtration systems.
Typical whole house water filters have multiple stages or layers to filter out various contaminants. These stages include:
· Physical or mechanical filtration
· Activated carbon filtration
· UV light for killing microorganisms
The contaminants that can be filtered out with this water filter include organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, heavy metals, fertilizer traces, nitrates, and many others.
Whole house water filters can also be equipped with water softeners. Water from wells is usually hard water packed with numerous minerals. Water softeners use an Ionic Exchange process to remove these harmful minerals.
Well water sediment filter
Well water mostly contains rocks, pebbles, and other materials from erosion of land. This is known as sediment. Usually, sediment filters are placed before other kinds of filters because sediment material can clog up the other filtration systems if it is not removed first. It can also clog valves and pipes and can cause damage to home appliances. Well water first needs to flow through filter strainers that remove sand and large sediment materials such as silt, dirt, and mud.
Some common types of sediment filters include spin-down filter strainers, cartridge filter systems, backwashing media filters, and Ultra-Filtration (UF) membrane systems. You can read more about these by searching online. Sediment filters usually contain mesh screens and cartridge filters of particular micron sizes.
Reverse osmosis systems for well water
These systems are very capable of filtering well water and remove almost all the contaminants specifies in the above lists. However, they require heavy maintenance as the filter membranes need to be replaced and the system needs extension pre and post-filtration, depending on water quality. The wastewater also needs to be taken care of. One sustainable suggestion is to recycle it and use it to water your plants.
The most common reason why people install these filters is that they are effective in removing dissolved solids, reducing sodium and fluoride concentrations, and radioactive materials.
Reverse Osmosis Systems work under a unique process. The technology is used to eliminate contaminants from the water by pushing water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. The water flows across the membrane from the side with more contaminants to the side with fewer contaminants to remove impurities. This is the reverse of the Osmosis process.
So, which one is the best?
In this article, you learned all about well water and well water filter systems. Now, it’s time to choose. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to the question, “which is the best well water filter?”. The answer depends on your well water report and your needs. Find an ecologist in the water business to interpret it for you and then provide a comprehensive solution to all your water-related problems. Remember that access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, and we care about your health!