Treatment of Well Water
There are many different treatment options for the treatment of well waters. No single treatment type will protect against all problems. Many well owners use a home water treatment unit to:
- Remove specific contaminants
- Take extra precautions because a household member has a compromised immune system
- Improve the taste of drinking water
Household water treatment systems are composed of two categories: point-of-use and point-of-entry. Point-of-entry systems are typically installed after the water meter and treat most of the water entering a residence. Point-of-use systems are systems that treat water in batches and deliver water to a tap, such as a kitchen or bathroom sink or an auxiliary faucet mounted next to a tap.
The most common types of household water treatment systems consist of:
- Filtration Systems
- A water filter is a device which removes impurities from water by means of a physical barrier, chemical, and/or biological process.
- Water Softeners
- A water softener is a device that reduces the hardness of the water. A water softener typically uses sodium or potassium ions to replace calcium and magnesium ions, the ions that create "hardness."
- Distillation Systems
- Distillation is a process in which impure water is boiled and the steam is collected and condensed in a separate container, leaving many of the solid contaminants behind.
- Disinfection is a physical or chemical process in which pathogenic microorganisms are deactivated or killed. Examples of chemical disinfectants are chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and ozone. Examples of physical disinfectants include ultraviolet light, electronic radiation, and heat.
In order to determine the best treatment option, contact a water well systems contractor.
For more information, visit one of the links below or contact your local health department or the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.
- Well Water Information Based on Where You Live (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
- State Certified Drinking Water Laboratories (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
For more information on personal household water treatment options, visit:
- Drinking Water Treatment for Household Use (CDC)
- Selecting a Household Water Treatment System (NSF International)
- Water & Health Series: Filtration Facts (Environmental Protection Agency) [PDF - 1.17 MB]
Preserving Wells for Future Use
Wells that are not currently being used, but might be used in the future, must be continuously maintained like a working well.
Wells that are no longer in use must be plugged in order to:
- Protect ground water from surface contamination
- Protect vertical movement of water between aquifers
- Eliminate a potential safety hazard for humans and wildlife
A water well systems contractor will be able to provide more information on plugging unused wells. To locate a contractor, visit one of the links below or contact your local health department or the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.
- State Certified Drinking Water Laboratories (Environmental Protection Agency)
- How to Find a Contractor (National Ground Water Association)
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