Common Reasons To Test Your Well For Volume And Quality

Almost 9 million Canadians rely on groundwater for drinking, cooking, washing and agriculture. Water wells are drilled to reach groundwater in aquifers. Aquifers can be found in various sizes underground and are, essentially, holding tanks for groundwater. The ground naturally filters groundwater before it reaches these aquifers. Groundwater, however, can become contaminated and may run out of water. Here's what you need to know if you depend on your water well. 

Reasons to Test Your Water Well 

Water well tests can reveal problems with water quality and well volume. A water well drilling company can perform tests to see how deep the well is, the amount of water in the well, the water pressure produced by the pump, and the quality of the water the well produces. Here are a few reasons to have your water well tested. 

  • Before you buy a new home. You can also get a copy of the well record from the Water Well Information System of the Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch, which is part of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. 
  • A new well is drilled nearby. Disruptions in the aquifer can cause sediment to accumulate in your well system. This can cause your filters to eventually become clogged, which can result in low water pressure in the future. 
  • Before and after an oil well is drilled nearby. Local property owners should receive a notice from an oil drilling company before they begin drilling. Test your well before and after to show any changes that may have been caused by the nearby oil drilling. 
  • Work is done on your existing well. Volume and quality should be tested before work is done, as well as after the work is completed, to show any changes that may have been made to the well volume and water quality. 
  • Your well has low water pressure. These tests can reveal the cause of the low water pressure, which may be due to a drastic reduction in volume or a faulty well pump. 
  • Stomach illnesses plaque your family. Water tests can reveal contaminants and bacteria that may be causing your family's stomach illnesses, such as coliforms, E. coli and nitrates. 
  • Recent surface water flooding. Tests can show if the flood water contaminated the groundwater supply. This is important if there are livestock or utilities such as gas lines nearby. 
  • Rupture or leak in a nearby septic tank. Contaminants from an overrun leech field of a septic tank can reach your well. 
  • Your water has an odor. Tests can reveal what type of contaminants are in your well that is causing the odor. 

Possible Solutions for Common Problems 

You may be able to increase the volume of your well, depending on how old it is and how it was built. A water well drilling company may be able to retrofit your existing well with a new pump or a new liner. Or, they may suggest drilling the well deeper or drilling a new well altogether. 

For problems involving contamination of bacteria, the well water should be chlorinated. If the well is contaminated with substances such as gasoline or pesticides, you may need to have a new well drilled if the water at your faucets shows these substances. However, dissolved gases in wells is common. Your water well drilling service can install a vent to prevent these gases from accumulating within your well. 

Water is essential to all living things. Many Canadians get their water from wells. However, wells can be affected by many things which can either contaminate the water or lower the volume of the well and make it unusable. Water well tests can reveal problems with volume and quality. It's a good idea to have your water well tested to ensure you have quality water and good volume.