The state of Florida boasts plentiful supplies of groundwater, which fills the pores and cracks in the rocks, soil and sand under the earth’s surface. Aquifers are Florida’s main drinking water source and, usually, they are clean and naturally free from any contaminants.
Unfortunately, in the whole of Florida, including Levy County, the aquifers may occasionally become contaminated with microbes and chemicals which may result in illnesses. If you are one of the citizens of Levy County who has a well, you may find that nitrates and bacteria may enter your water via fertilizer applications, poorly maintained septic tanks or livestock. Sometimes, they may even come from poor well construction. Chemicals may also enter the water from pesticide applications, incorrect disposal of hazardous and toxic waste, landfill sites and leaking gas tanks.
If you’re the owner of a private well in Levy County, you should therefore be very aware of all these potential risks which could impact on your home’s water supply.
What Could Be Contaminating My Well?
Although around 88% of people in the state of Florida get their water from public water systems, the remaining 12% get their home’s water supply from private wells.
Public water systems state-wide are tested routinely to ensure they meet the required standards , however if you have your own well, no such routine testing is carried out. That means that homeowners have to ensure their well water is actually safe for drinking.
Thousands of people in the USA become ill from drinking contaminated water every year. Some of the diseases are very unpleasant and may even be fatal. Nitrate and microbes are the two most common contaminants.
Lots of bacteria types may not be harmful in themselves, however if they’re present in your water supply, this could indicate that other viruses, parasites and bacteria could also be present. Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea are some commonly seen symptoms which occur after drinking contaminated water.
High nitrate levels in well water also poses a threat, especially to infants. Nitrates reacts with the haemoglobin in the bloodstream which can cause an anemic condition called “blue baby syndrome”.
Making sure your home water supply is safe and contaminant-free couldn’t be more important. For this reason, many Levy County citizens have installed water filters on their home faucets to remove contaminants and pollutants from their drinking water. Don’t forget the fridge either – if you have water piped direct to your fridge dispenser you should make sure to install a refrigerator filter too for extra safety.
Even with these precautions, however, testing your home water supply is still very important.
Why Should I Test For Contaminants In My Well Water?
Although most of Levy County’s private wells have been shown to be safe, there are some which are contaminated. While some of the contaminants can be detected by smell or taste, these are usually the ones that aren’t actually dangerous. Sulfur gas and iron are just two contaminants which are easily detected by homeowners but which aren’t harmful. Arsenic, nitrates and bacteria, however, are only able to be detected in laboratory testing with no obvious smell or taste. These contaminants are the ones which can make you sick. This is why Levy County’s well owners must test their well water every year.
How Do I Test My Well Water?
If you live in Levy County and have a well, there may be no law which says that you have to have your well water tested regularly, however for your own well-being it makes sense to do this at least once per year.
Sampling water and testing it for contaminants is actually surprisingly affordable and can guarantee your good health. The Levy County Health Department can offer all the essential instructions about how best to collect suitable water samples and where they can be tested. The cost is usually only around $30 per sample and in some circumstances, it may even be possible for a professional to come and collect water samples from your property, although this costs more.
Levy County also has private laboratories which have been state-certified and which can also carry out water testing. It’s vital to use state certified laboratories, otherwise, you can’t be sure the results will be valid and your health may be at risk.
What Do I Do If My Well Is Contaminated?
If the test results show that your well is contaminated, there’s no need to panic. The Levy County Health Department will be able to advise suitable measures to remedy the problem. The well may require disinfecting, the water system may need to be repaired or treatment equipment may need to be installed. Once the remedial measures have been carried out, you should then have the water tested again by the state certified lab to ensure that all is well.