If you are among the hundreds of thousands of Arizonians who rely on a private well system for your water supply, then it is imperative you create a maintenance schedule and method for record keeping. Set a maintenance schedule to test your water in to inspect your well, water treatment, and septic systems.
CREATING A WELL MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
Set a maintenance schedule to inspect and test your well water, septic system, and water treatment. Private water supply systems require routine maintenance. These simple steps will help protect your well water system:
- Perform annual tests for a minimum of bacteria.
- Test your water anytime there is a change in taste, odor or appearance or someone is ill or pregnant.
- Keep hazardous chemicals, distinct, fertilizer, pesticides and motor oil, far away from your well.
- Periodically check your bill headed for damages in the well cap.
- Allow only grass to grow around your well. Other plants can have longer roots and can damage your well casing.
- Take care when working and mowing around your well. Damage to the casing can jeopardize the sanitary protection of your well. Don’t pile snow, leaves or other materials around your well.
- Keep the Always keep it up using the maintenance and water testing logs in a manual.
The safety and purity of drinking water and the efficient operation of your well system depends on a properly organized maintenance schedule. Protect your investment in quality water supply through regular inspection, testing and repair. Similar to maintenance and repair on your car.
Gather a comprehensive history on your well and water quality. If you don’t already have a well log or well record, it’s not too late to start.
Well Inspection Maintenance Schedule
Inspect the water well several times a year. Check the condition of the well covering, casing and well cap to make sure all are in good repair, leaving no cracks or another open points for potential debris and pollutants.
Have the well system, including the pump, storage tank, pipes and valves, and water flow inspected every five years by a licensed well contractor. However, if you have no inspection record and cannot determine the age of the well, have it inspected immediately by a licensed well contractor. A properly maintained well usually has a serviceable life of more than 20 years.
Water Testing Schedule
When should you have your water tested? Have you water tested when you purchase a property, annually, and when necessary.
To keep your well water clean and well operating at peak performance, regular water testing is a must. Private well owners are solely responsible for the quality of their drinking water. So, it is up to you, how and when to test your water.
1. Initial Water Testing
- When a new well is drilled.
- If there is no record of testing.
- You’re buying a home with a well.
2. Annual Water Testing
- At a minimum, well water should be tested every year.
3. Intermediate Testing of Well Water: The well water should be tested immediately if;
- You install a treatment system.
- There is a sudden change in taste, color, or odor.
- Someone in the home is pregnant or nursing.
- Failure of a septic system.
- After a flooding event.
- Someone in the home has a sudden, unexplained illness.
What Contaminants Should You be Testing For in Your Well Water? At a minimum, test for the following common contaminants:
- Bacteria-this is the most common contaminant found in well water.
- Nitrates- faulty septic systems and fertilizers.
- Lead- from household plumbing.
- Arsenic- occurs naturally and was once a common ingredient in pesticides.
- Additional contaminants- Other tests may be required depending on where you live and what is located near your water supply.
Who Can Test My Well Water? There are companies that have been accredited and certified to test well water. Search local laboratories by clicking HERE.
Schedule Physical Inspections of the Well
Regularly inspect your wellhead for damage to the casing or well cap. Repair any damage immediately to reduce the potential for contamination. Store all chemicals at least 100 feet from your well. Keep heavy equipment and vehicles off your lawn and away from your well to avoid damage to buried water lines. Other than grass, do not let plants grow near your well as plant roots can cause damage to your well casing.
The most visible portion of your drinking water system is the wellhead, the structure built over the well to protect its various parts. The wellhead is your first line of defense to prevent pollutants from entering your drinking water system. The wellhead protects the well casing, which is the lining of the well, and the well cap, which provides a tight-fitting seal at the top of the well. Inspect your wellhead regularly to make sure these elements are in good condition. By protecting your wellhead, you will help ensure the quality of your water supply.
Schedule Septic System Maintenance
Set a maintenance schedule to inspect and test your septic system. Keep records of maintenance, test results, and repairs to help your contractor with future repairs. To avoid well contamination, septic tanks should be pumped every three to five years based on use and family size. Inspect septic tank each year for capacity and leaks. Repair the tank or drain field system as needed to prevent leaks of bacteria and nutrients into groundwater. Faulty septic system poses a serious threat to the quality of your drinking water and can require expensive repairs.
At a minimum, your water should be tested every year for bacteria, the most common water quality problem.
What well water records should be kept? Keep records of maintenance, test results, and repairs to help your contractor with future repairs.
- What Well Records Should be Kept?
Copies of the well share agreements, electricity usage, bank account balances.
- How & Where Should the Well Records be Kept?
Ideally, the records will be kept in a safe location, where they can easily be updated and accessible by all parties to the well share agreement.
The real estate attorneys of the Dunaway Law Group can assist you with all of your professional well water services. Contact us by phone at: 480-702-1608 or email us at Clint@DunawayLG.com.