If you live in a rural area and have a private well, the well construction quality is important when considering the quality of your drinking water. Fortunately most newly commissioned wells have been found to be vast improvements over older wells and hence the chance of bacterial contamination in your drinking water is lower.
Nevertheless, bacterial contamination of well water is something that needs to be checked at least annually through third-party laboratory testing. We’re all familiar with the symptoms of the “24-Hour Flu Bug” or food poisoning but it is not unusual for people to make that assumption whereas the real reason is it was a case of “waterborne disease”.
According to EAI Analytical Laboratories improper well construction is still the most common source of bacteria in water samples. This can be from various causes some of which are:
- lack of mounded backfill around the outside of the well casing,
- insufficient casing height,
- inadequate or leaky well covers or unsealed joints in the upper portion of the well casing.
Even the replacement of a pump can introduce bacterial contamination to wells. And there are other causes as well that a serious reader should investigate.
If you could look at the inside of the well lining and water lines you might find “biofilm” Biofilm is a layer of bacteria living and growing along with nutrients to sustain it as its own little community. This biofilm can contain Coliform bacteria, the disease causing indicators. If the biofilm contains E.Coli this is indicative of fecal contamination from animal dropping or sometimes a home’s leaking septic system.
The Minnesota Department of Health has a comprehensive website for “Well Management and the Bacterial Safety of Well Water” You might ask how waterborne disease can be transmitted. Here is what the Minnesota Department of Health says on the topic...
“All major waterborne diseases are spread the same way - by drinking water that has become contaminated by infected human or animal fecal wastes. (The same diseases are also directly transmitted "hand to mouth" when good sanitary practices, like hand washing, are not followed.) It often takes only a small number of disease organisms to make someone sick. Contaminated drinking water can look, smell, and taste fine”.
Unfortunately, the presence of Coliform bacteria is not obvious to the naked eye. You could place two glasses of water, one of which has Coliform bacteria and the other with no Coliform bacteria, on the counter-top and not be able to detect any difference.
That is why a water distiller makes so much sense. A water distiller produces “bio-secure” water. That is water that has been boiled, the steam separated, condensed and collected as pure distilled water. This process completely removes the bacterial contaminants from the raw water. It is like an insurance policy. The best insurance you can get to protect the health of your loved ones.