Common Problems

with Well Water

Well water can be plagued with high levels of total suspended sediment due to water drilling, water runoff, or any other type of activity that disturbs the earth. These high sediment levels may indicate that there are oxidized metals, like iron and manganese, microbial life, or pollutants in the water.

We Can Fix Your Water

Typical issues with well water

Rain hits the ground as a weak acid H2CO3 (Carbonic Acid). Rainwater can encounter calcium and/or magnesium found in the ground during its journey to a drinking water well or reservoir. It will dissolve some of these minerals. Both minerals raise the pH of the water, which is beneficial, but they then contribute to the hardness of the water. 

Hardness is not considered a health threat, and therefore, it is not treated in public water supplies. Public water is, however, just as likely to contain calcium and magnesium and can be as hard as well water. 

  • Hard water will shorten the life and ruin the efficiency of any kind of water heater. 
  • Hard water will significantly shorten the life and ruin the appearance of faucets and plumbing fixtures. 
  • Hard water uses up soap products at a rate three to four times greater than soft water. 
  • Hard water leaves a film on fixtures, tubs, and showers, which can be quite difficult to clean. 

When it rains, the rainwater collects impurities, such as carbon dioxide, on its way to the ground. Water (H2O) plus Carbon Dioxide (CO2) yields Carbonic Acid (H2CO3). Rainwater, therefore, is usually acidic. If the water does not encounter a buffer, such as limestone, on the way to your well, it will be neutralized, and remains acidic when it enters your plumbing system. This water is a weak acid and is not a threat in and of itself, but if you have metal plumbing or appliances in your home, it may prove to be destructive. 

  • Acidic water will react with copper pipes, leaving green or bluish-green stains in sinks, tubs, and toilets. 
  • Acidic water will cause pin-hole leaks in copper pipes. 
  • Acidic water will leach the lead from solder found in pipes in homes built before 1986 and from faucets made from brass (brass can be composed of 10% lead).
    • Lead is a very serious health threat, especially to children.  
  •  Acidic water will damage any metal components found in appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. 

Iron is found in the groundwater in Southeastern Pennsylvania in several different forms. If you have iron in your water, it may be found in the following forms: ferrous iron, ferric iron, organically bound iron, and/or iron bacteria. Iron itself is not considered a health threat, but in quantities above half a part per million, iron will leave a pronounced sign of its presence in your water. 

  • Iron will leave an orange stain on fixtures which is difficult to clean.

Voltaile Organic Compounds, commonly referred to as VOCs are caused several sources: the dumping of industrial solvents, the spillage of petrol-chemicals from rusting underground storage such as gasoline or home heating oil after it has leaked into the ground, and chloring byproducts. VOCs cannot be seen, smelled, tasted, or felt; therefore, the water must be tested by a laboratory to determine if VOCs are present in the water. If VOCs are present in your well water, this a very serious health threat. 

  • Many VOCs are dangerous at levels of just a few parts per billion. 
  • Many VOCs are dangerous over long-term exposure. 
  • Many VOCs do not biodegrade naturally for hundreds of years. 
  • Since VOCs are only detectable by testing, don’t biodegrade easily, and can be carcinogenic at low levels, unfortunately, many VOCs have had years of being undetected and have been allowed to soak, unmitigated, into the aquifers we have tapped for our drinking water. 

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), a gas which smells like rotting eggs, travels underground. Should it find a crevice in your drinking water well, the smell is transported into your water and can be overwhelming when you turn on the tap. 

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) will cause a disagreeable taste and odor to the water, but if concentrated enough, may cause nausea and illness.

Clay silt in water is very common and widely mistaken for iron. If you have an orange film which builds up quickly in your toilet bowls, the part of the film which brushes away is clay silt. Clay silt can vary in particle size.

  • Clay silt will clog pipes.
  • Clay silt will settle at the bottom of a water heater.
  • Clay silt will bind with iron, causing staining, and will make it more difficult to remove iron from the water.

In well water, many types of bacteria may be present at any one time. Laboratory testing must be done to determine if bacteria is present in your well water.  Since there are thousands of types of bacteria, a laboratory will test for one family of bacterium.  If this bacterium is found to be present in the water, it indicates that other bacteria can live in the water as well. 

The standard water testing for bacteria in well water consists of testing for a single type of bacteria which will indicate if other bacteria can be present. Well water is tested for Coliform Bacteria, an indicator bacterium, which are part of a large family of bacteria. The most notorious of these coliform bacteria are the fecal coliforms such as E-coli aka Escherichia coli. Bacteria testing is quick and inexpensive but should be performed by a certified laboratory.  

If you have a failed bacteria test, aka bacteria are found to be present in your well water, this is a very serious health threat. It indicates there is a source of contamination which has access to your well. 

  • Water-borne bacteria will cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and are the cause of more serious health threats such as Typhoid Fever and Cholera.

Nitrates find their way into the groundwater supply through the overuse of fertilizers, un-scrubbed industrial exhaust, and the improper treatment of sewage waste. Nitrates have no taste in water and will need to be detected through laboratory testing.

  • Nitrates will cause “Blue Baby Syndrome”; this is a very serious health threat
    • Nitrates are most dangerous to infants and pregnant women. For babies, a particular digestive bacterium in an infant’s stomach converts nitrates into nitrites. Nitrites attach themselves to red blood cells and prevent them from carrying oxygen. This condition is called methemoglobinemia, which is also known as “Blue Baby Syndrome”.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, which comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground, which can then be dissolved into the underground drinking water supplies. Radon cannot be smelled or tasted. It must be analyzed at a laboratory to determine its presence in the drinking water; the unit of measure for Radon is picocuries per liter or pCi/L. Radon in water aerates very readily; when we are running faucets and showers in our homes, this vented Radon gets added to the air, and we are then breathing the Radon.

Radon will cause lung cancer and as such is a very serious health threat.

Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soil and will dissolve in groundwater. You cannot taste, see, or smell arsenic in your water. Arsenic levels can vary even within a small area. Arsenic will need to be detected through laboratory testing. Arsenic is a very serious health threat.

  • Arsenic, even at low levels, over a long time can cause diabetes, can increase your risk of cancer of the bladder, lungs, and liver.  
  • Arsenic can contribute to cardiovascular and respiratory disease, reduced intelligence in children, and skin problems such as lesions.

PFAS or Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of lab-created chemicals which include Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). These man-made chemicals were created for their non-stick, stain-repellant, and fire-resistant properties. You cannot taste, see, or smell PFAS in your water, therefore, testing is the only way to detect the presence of PFAS in your drinking water supply. PFAS are a very serious health threat.

  • PFAS will cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, developmental issues in unborn children, kidney and liver disease, thyroid issues.

60+ Years of Knowledge

This experience combined with our dedicated & highly-trained staff allows us to provide you the service you deserve!