Private wells and ponds are becoming increasingly common in many parts of the world. For some people, it might be because they live in rural areas where they cannot get access to public water systems. Others might have access to public water systems but due to their unreliability, they choose to drill their own wells to supplement the unreliable water supply. Whatever the case, it is important to know that private wells may contain numerous water contaminants that might be harmful to your health. Water supplied by the municipal councils is usually treated to get rid of most of the contaminants. However, this is not the case with private wells. Therefore, you need to know what contaminants are present in your well water and their potential health effects. This information will help you to know what kind of water filter you need to purchase. Below are some of the most common contaminants of well water.
These include parasites, viruses and bacteria. They could be from animal waste or human sewage, which can make its way into your well through surface run-off or even leakage from underground septic tanks. Your well water most likely contains some microorganisms and if you consume it without filtering them out, you could end up with gastrointestinal problems.
- Nitrite and nitrate
These are common ingredients of chemical fertilizers and that is how they can end up in your well water. They are also present in animal waste and human sewage. Consumption of water containing high level of nitrite or nitrate can lead to a condition known as methemoglobinemina. This is a serious condition, and it can even be fatal, especially if it affects an infant.
- Heavy metals
These can end up in your well water if you live near a petroleum refinery or any other operation that releases toxic waste products that include lead, arsenic, copper, antimony, chromium, cadmium and selenium, among others. They have serious health effects including chronic toxicity, which can lead to liver and kidney problems, cancer, anemia and damage of other internal organs.
Fluoride is also a common well water contaminant. While it helps to prevent tooth decay (hence its use in making toothpaste), excessive consumption can lead to skeletal fluorosis. This is a condition that affects the bones and joints. Additionally, excessive consumption of fluoride by children can lead to tooth discoloration.
Radionuclides can find their way into your well water through activities such as nuclear power production and mining. They are very harmful to humans as they can cause kidney problems, and they also increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
There are many other contaminants that may be present in well water. It is therefore important to invest in a good water filter to ensure that you are not exposing your family to any harm. Have your water tested and then get a filter that can eliminate the contaminants that are present in your water. Sites such as www.aquaoxfilters.com contain a lot of useful information on water filtration and can therefore help you make a good decision.