Test your water and stay wellThe Wisconsin Water Well Association urges every household well owner to check his or her well cap to make sure it is in good condition to protect the water supply from contamination during National Ground Water Awareness Week, March 7-13, 2010.
The Wisconsin Water Well Association urges every household well owner to check his or her well cap to make sure it is in good condition to protect the water supply from contamination during National Ground Water Awareness Week, March 7-13, 2010.
The National Ground Water Association sponsors the awareness week , has proclaimed Tuesday as “National Inspect-Your-Well-Cap Day” to spur private well owners make this simple but important inspection. If snow prevents you from inspecting your well cap, do so at the first opportunity.
A damaged or unsecured well cap can allow the entry of bacteria or other contaminants into the well. It is one of the easiest things to check, and a well owner can do it, according to the NGWA.
While well owners can spot a damaged or unsecured well cap, they should always use a qualified water well systems contractor who knows applicable well construction codes to fix or replace it. If the well cap is damaged or unsecured, the water well contractor may also need to test the water and disinfect the well.
The well cap is the cover on top of the well casing that sticks out of the ground. It is the first line of protection against non-point source pollution, which constitutes the majority of ground water contamination. Non-point source pollution includes runoff of pesticides and herbicides, soil erosion, and elements from the street.
Well caps also keep insects and rodents that can introduce bacteria out of the well.
Most caps, which are usually aluminum or a thermoplastic, include a vented screen so that the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the well casing may be equalized when water is pumped from the well. However, the cap’s main function is to keep contaminants out of the water supply.
Check the well cap from time to time. Make sure that it is sealed tightly, and look for cracks and evidence of tampering. If your well cap has a lock, check to make sure no one has tampered with it. Also, practice safe water habits. Do not landscape around the well cap. If you landscape your yard, make sure there is not a low area near the well where rainwater could collect. Rainwater can carry pollutants that can seep into a well. And when working with oil and gasoline, or mixing herbicides or pesticides, do so over concrete so spills can’t seep into the ground.
Having your well tested is the surest way to determine that the water is safe. Even if your well cap fits tightly on your well and your water tastes fine, the water well system should be given a checkup by a contractor every year.
To learn more, visit www.wisconsinwaterwell.com or www.wellowner.org. If you have questions, contact Cynthia Denman at the Wisconsin Water Well Association at 608-875-2062.