As an owner of your own water well, you are responsible for maintaining your own safe and sanitary water supply. While there are many contaminants that can sully the water quality, pesticides pose unique challenges and concerns for private well owners. But what exactly are pesticides, what dangers do they pose, what can be done to keep them out of your water well, and how do you properly conduct water treatment?
What Are Pesticides?
When speaking about pesticides, we are referring to various chemicals used to kill or control the population of pests like weeds, fungi, rodents, and insects. While pesticides have various positive uses for things like farming, they are toxic and if they make their way into your water well, you’ve got a problem. Well water contaminated by pesticides should never be used for drinking, bathing, or cooking.
Unfortunately, pesticides are more common than one would hope. In a 2006 study, the US Geological Survey found that a pesticide called atrazine was found in 90% of streams in areas where agriculture is grown and 70% of streams in urban areas. The four main types of pesticides are herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and nematicides which are used to kill weeds, fungi, insects and worms, respectively.
How Pesticides Enter A Water Well
When pesticides are used to treat farms, the surface water runoff carries them into reservoirs and lakes and they end up seeping into the groundwater. Rain showers and snow exacerbate this, allowing the pesticides to go deeper into the ground, making their way into your well.
The toxicity of pesticides is serious and should not be taken lightly. Depending on the amount of exposure, pesticides can cause short term effects like vomiting, gastrointestinal pain, headaches, dizziness and irritation of the eyes. Long term effects include liver and lung cancer, fetal deformity, and even genetic mutations. This is why it is so imperative that you carry out well water treatment at the first sight of pesticides in your water supply.
If You Use Pesticides On Your Property
If you commonly use pesticides on your own property – this information may be very troublesome. Fortunately, one of the best ways to prevent pesticides from entering your water supply is by handling them yourself. It is when other people improperly handle or dump pesticides that cause problems. In order to use pesticides properly, read the labels carefully and abide by all of their rules and suggestions. Select chemicals that are known to break down quickly when you can and make sure to avoid applying pesticides when it is raining or there is rain in the forecast. Do not spray pesticides on hardscapes, as they can easily wash off and enter the groundwater. Keep pesticides away from drainage areas and make sure you always dispose of them properly.
Treating Your Water Well
To ensure your well water is safe to use, you should have its quality tested regularly by a trained professional. If they find pesticides, there are options for water treatment. One of these is reverse osmosis, where the well water is pushed through a membrane that lets water pass through but blocks pesticides. There is also granulated activated carbon filters. These remove pesticides by having them stick to carbon, coal or charcoal as your water is filtered through them. Both types of filters must be maintained and replaced according to their manufacturers’ instructions.
Professional Well Drilling And Well Water Treatment
If you suspect your well is contaminated, you should stop using your water and call a professional as soon as possible. Getting your water treated on a regular basis is not only good for the health of you and your family, but it can end up saving you money on costly repairs in the future.
A1 Well Drilling & Pump Service can ensure that your water is safe to drink and will help your appliances run as efficiently as possible. We offer a variety of water treatment services to help with all of the different problems that may occur. If you would rather be safe than sorry, contact us today to set up an evaluation.