Many well owners purchase well water purification systems in an effort to provide their families with safe drinking water. If a well owner does not carefully monitor their water quality, there can be serious health risks both in the short and long term. For those who rely on a well water system, knowing how to properly purify their well is essential for consuming safe and clean water. We’ll explain what you need to know about well water and water distillation systems so you can make an informed decision about the best water purification system for your home.
Why Do We Even Need A Well Water Purification System?
At a basic level, a well-water purification system removes contaminants from your drinking water. Contaminants can include but are not limited to, microorganisms, nitrates and nitrites, fluoride, radionuclide, and heavy metals. However, a water purification system will only remove some of these contaminants. On the other hand, a water distillation system will remove 99.9% of contaminants! Learn about the differences between water purification and distillation.
This category can include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other microorganisms found in water. Shallow wells are the riskiest, as they are closest to the ground. Water that flows over land can carry microorganisms. Well-owners who drink water infected with bacteria or parasites could suffer the ill effects quickly and severely or slowly over a long period.
Related Article: Biological Contaminants: Bacteria in Water
Nitrates and Nitrites
Human activity is usually the cause of higher levels of nitrates and nitrites. However, it can still be found naturally in groundwater from the breakdown of nitrogen compounds in the soil. More emerging evidence from the Minnesota Department of Health indicates potential associations between nitrate/nitrite exposure and other health effects such as increased heart rate, nausea, headaches, and abdominal cramps. In addition, infants may be especially susceptible to nitrates and nitrites in their drinking water.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally and is released from rocks into the soil, water, and air. Almost all water contains some fluoride, but it is usually not enough to prevent health concerns. Some water systems add small amounts of fluoride to the drinking water supply as a public health measure to reduce cavities. However, fluoride can be found in higher levels depending on your specific location. It may cause teeth discoloration, dental fluorosis, teeth discoloration, or pitting of the teeth if consumed in excess.
Radionuclides may be present in underlying rock and groundwater. Some more common elements are radium and uranium, which, when broken down, will create radon. These elements can find their way into your drinking water system and may cause kidney issues or increase cancer risk.
Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, copper, iron, antimony, and selenium are heavy metals that occur naturally and make their way into drinking water. They can also find their way into drinking water from household plumbing and service lines, mining operations, or many different refineries or commercial plants. The Environmental Protection Agency states that people that consume high levels of heavy metals risk acute and chronic toxicity, liver, kidney, and intestinal damage, anemia, and cancer.
How Often Should I Test My Well Water?
“To be certain that there is nothing unhealthy in your well water, we recommend using a water distiller. “At a minimum, check your well every spring to make sure there are no mechanical problems; test it once each year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, you should test for those as well.” CDC.gov
Click here for State Certified Laboratories for Drinking Water to test your well water system.
Types of Well Water Purification Systems
Now that we’ve covered some of the health concerns that the contaminants may cause in well water systems, we can discuss the solutions! Several purification systems are available for homeowner’s water wells; the most common are distillation systems, reverse osmosis filtration systems, water softeners, and disinfection processes.
Distillation is when impure water is boiled, and the steam is collected and condensed in a separate container. This process leaves over 99% of contaminants behind and kills microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses from boiling the water. In addition, this process does not add any chemicals or additives. This process produces the cleanest and safest drinking water and mirrors the hydrologic cycle found in nature.
Reverse osmosis removes contaminants from unfiltered water when pressure forces it through a semipermeable membrane. As a result, water flows from the more concentrated side of the RO membrane to the less concentrated side with fewer contaminants to provide clean drinking water. Reverse osmosis can remove some pollutants but may not be able to remove all bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
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. Physical disinfectant processes include ultraviolet light, electronic radiation, and heat. Disinfection does not remove any heavy metal contaminants from your drinking water.
Well Water is Not Regulated Like Tap Water
Tap water comes from public systems that use water treatment processes to produce drinking water in large quantities, along with water quality monitoring. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established protective drinking water standards for more than 90 contaminants, including drinking water regulations issued since the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act that strengthen public health protection. Over 92 percent of the population supplied by community water systems receives drinking water that meets minimum standards. However, this does not apply if you are part of the 8 percent of people drinking water supplied by a well. The residents using a well water system are responsible for testing and maintaining the quality of their drinking water. This step is often overlooked and may lead to short or long-term health consequences.
The Best Well Water Purification System
A high-quality water distillation system is essential if you rely on a private well for drinking water. A Pure Water distiller will remove over 99% of all pollutants, which provides peace of mind to well owners. A high-quality distillation system can also improve your water’s taste and odor, as many impurities can cause unpleasant smells or tastes in your drinking water. Additionally, drinking distilled water reduces exposure to contaminants like lead, arsenic, uranium, and nitrates, all commonly found in wells.
Related: Water Distillers For Your Home
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- Private Well-Water Issues and the Solution
- Is Distilled Water Safe To Drink?
- What is the Difference Between Water Purification and Water Distillation?
- Is There Arsenic in Your Tap or Well Water?