Understanding EPA Well Regulations in Pierce County, WA

Written by Valley Pump on . Posted in Blog

When you decide to install a private well for your property, it is important to know what you can do to make it safer and cleaner for use. The EPA only regulates public and commercial wells, not private ones. So it is up to you to make sure that your well is up to the standards that it needs to be.

Sources of Contamination

Before you have a well installed, you need to understand what potential sources of contamination could be surrounding your well. If your leaching field, or the area where minerals seep into the soil, is near certain contaminants, you are putting your well in danger. Most well users live in more secluded rural areas, but there are still risk factors.

According to the EPA, sources of contamination include:

  • Septic tanks
  • Livestock
  • Petroleum tanks
  • Manure stacks

Additionally, fertilizers and pesticides contain harmful nitrates which can seep through the soil and into your well. To avoid these contaminants you should steer clear of using them and find better, more organic material to use instead.

Water Tests

It is recommended by the EPA that you have the water in your well tested at least once a year. This basic test will look for bacteria, metals, radon, detergents, and many other harmful substances that could have worked its way into your water.

While it is not necessary to do an extensive water test more than once a year, you should consider additional testing under the following circumstances:

  • Your water has a chance in taste or color.
  • Your neighbors have reported contamination in their own well.
  • You or a member of your household is pregnant or nursing.
  • You or a member of your household falls ill from drinking your water.

Flooded Wells

Flooded wells present a problem to any private well owner. When a well floods it is exposed to the runoff from surface water. Surface water is often not pure and contains many different contaminants.

If your well floods you should avoid drinking from it until it can be purified and tested for any remaining pathogens. To prevent flooding your well should be in a location where any runoff will go away from the well instead of towards it.

Although the EPA won’t strictly regulate your private well, you should still do all you can to take care of it. For water testing, water treatment, and help in maximizing your water volume, call us today to schedule a service.

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