From www.nwga.org website
Wells tapping groundwater resources can provide drinking water of the highest quality. Owning a private household-supply water well allows homeowners to control their own water supply. Ownership also comes with the responsibility of keeping the water well in good working order.
Why is a checkup important?NGWA recommends routine annual maintenance checks to ensure the proper operation of the well and prolong its years of service as well as to monitor water quality. NGWA also recommends that you test your water whenever there is a change in taste, odor, or appearance, or when the system is serviced.
What does a checkup involve?A licensed and/or certified water well contractor should conduct your routine well checkup. The checkup should include:
- A flow test to determine system output, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping (if possible), pump motor performance (check amp load, grounding, and line voltage), pressure tank and pressure switch contact, and general water quality (odor, cloudiness, etc.).
- An inspection of well equipment to assure it is sanitary and meets local code requirements.
- A test of water for coliform bacteria and nitrates, and anything else of local concern. Other typical additional tests are those for iron, manganese, water hardness, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor. Changes in these constituents also may indicate changes in your well or local groundwater,. Additional tests may be recommended if water appears cloudy or oily, if bacterial growth is visible on fixtures, or water treatment devices are not working as they should. Check with your water well contractor, state department of natural resources, or local health department for information on local water quality issues.
- A concise, clear, written report should be delivered to you following the checkup that explains results and recommendations, and includes all laboratory and other test results.
How do I arrange for a checkup?
A licensed and/or certified water well contractor should conduct your routine well checkup. To arrange for a checkup:
- Contact the Guernsey County Health Department. They have a list of contractors. 740-439-3577
- Check your phone book under "Well Drilling and Service." Check with other well owners or other knowledgeable people for good contractor referrals, and ask the contractor for a list of references.
Certification. NGWA operates a voluntary certification program that sets high standards for professional competency. To achieve NGWA certification, contractors must pass exams testing their technical knowledge, and they must have at least two years of full-time groundwater contracting experience. They maintain their certification through continuing education and other criteria. NGWA can give you the names of certified contractors in your area — call NGWA at 800 551.7379 (614 898.7791), or visit its consumer Web site, www.wellowner.org, and check out the "Finding a Contractor" section.
Licensing. In the United States, most states require licensing of water well contractors and, in most cases, this means that licensed contractors have passed tests and met certain professional requirements to obtain their license. Canadian provinces, Australian states, and New Zealand also use qualification-based licensing. To find out if a contractor is licensed, contact your state government (licensing is often handled by the Department of Natural Resources or Department of Health). For a list of state agencies in the United States that govern licensing and contractor registration, contact NGWA at 800 551.7379 (614 898.7791), or visit its consumer Web site,www.wellowner.org, and check out the "Finding a Contractor" section.
Other steps to maintain your water well
- Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a "clean" zone of at least 50 feet (15.24 meters) between your well and any kennels or livestock operations. Also, always maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, or chemical storage areas. Your professional water well contractor is familiar with the applicable local codes.
- Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out insects and rodents.
- Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, and annual water well system maintenance and water testing result