ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Often You Should Test Your Well Water?

Updated on December 14, 2020
doodlebugs profile image

I worked for a short time as a water well driller's helper and during that time encountered water wells that were contaminated.

An old hand dug water well.
An old hand dug water well.

Reasons Should Test Your Well Water

How often should you test your well water? Many experts suggest once a year. You should test your well water even more often if you suspect contamination.

While working as a water well repairman's helper as a young man, my boss and I came across some horror stories of well contamination. Water wells are simply holes in the ground and what seeps into that hole can be sucked up by the submersible pump and be directed though pipes into your kitchen sink or bath. It's up to both mother nature and man what things seep into that hole in the ground, yet most of the contaminants that will kill you come from man made sources.

Fore example, while most states have rigid laws about how far a septic field can be from a water well, those rules are often broken. Even if the spacing is within legal parameters, channels or pathways can form over time in rock layers and soil that connect the two things that should never be connected, your sewer system and your drinking water well. Septic systems are the number one reason that you should test your well water on a regular basis.

Old well casing is usually made of steel pipe and it over time it rusts. When cracks occur above the area that is perforated (punctured with holes for water to flow into the pipe), cross contamination is possible.

One case we came across was that of a home that built close to where an old gas station had been located only ten years earlier. Although the station was long gone, and the underground tanks removed, the gasoline that had been leaking from unseen holes in the tanks and seeping into the soil from up above finally made it down to the water table and had contaminated every water well within a mile radius. At great expense, all the homes had to be put on a city water system, paid for by the owners since there was nobody around to sue for damage to their water wells. Gasoline from that time contained lead, benzine and other toxins.

Just Because Your Water Looks Clear...

At this time there could be any number of contaminants in your clear looking, odor free well water. It does not take a large number of fecal bacteria to make you sick. Likewise, pesticides can be odor free and benzine can cause cancer and other illness in very tiny quantities.

The best thing a homeowner can do if they rely on a water well is to have it tested at least once a year. Simply because the water ends up testing good one year, does not mean it will stay that way forever. Pollutants can travel at unpredictable speeds underground, depending on the velocity of the stream of underground water and porosity of the rock or sand layers. To identify new threats to your home water supply, inexpensive water testing kits should be regularly used. These can identify dozens of kinds of harmful chemicals as well as dangerous bacteria.

Your local health authority may even offer free or reduced cost well water testing. For confidential water quality screening you may want to consider a mail in test. When conducting one of these tests, make sure that you follow all of the instructions to the letter, such as letting your kitchen faucet run for the prescribed number of minutes. If you don't follow these instructions, the sample of water may contain more impurities than what is actually reflected in your well and give you a false reading of things such as iron and copper.

While your water may look nice and clean, just to be on the safe side you should test your well water at least once a year to ensure the health and safety of your family.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)