The Unregulated Dangers of Private Wells and How to Detect Them

With all attention on the seemingly never-ending problems in Flint, Michigan, homeowners all over the United States are taking a harder look at their plumbing and water systems.

While the responsibility to provide safe, reliable drinking water to those in residential areas lies with the municipality and its water contractors, people who have chosen or are forced to provide their own water use private wells for supply. These private wells do not undergo the same testing and quality control standards present at water treatment facilities, leaving occupants exposed to more water-borne illnesses and contaminants than those on city water supplies.

Few states require mandatory testing of private water well supplies and the Environmental Protection Agency has no standards for private wells, but homeowners can certainly order testing and inspection of their wells to ensure safety.

Among the biggest risks for owners of private well systems is lead contamination due to groundwater contamination or corrosion in their pipes. Acidic water combining with galvanized steel pipes makes for a dangerous cocktail for homeowners. Yet before January 2014, a lead-free designation in plumbing materials allowed for 8% of the material to contain traces of lead, which means that any home built more than a few years ago is at risk for lead contamination in its drinking water.

The first step for any homeowner who suspects there are traces of lead in their home's water supply is to order a water treatment test. This can assess the quality of your drinking water and determine the potential causes of the problem. Water treatment systems for private wells exist, but aren't typically affordable. Otherwise, new high-strength, non-metallic PEX pipes may be the best solution to prevent corrosive pipes from contaminating your water supply. Learn more about these revolutionary new pipes and how to improve your home's plumbing system by contacting Pioneer Plumbing and Heating in Seattle today.

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