It’s estimated that more than 15 million households in the United States rely on private wells for drinking water. Minnesota accounts for 1.2 million of those (about 1 in every 5 households). If you own a water well and a septic system, it’s crucial that your drinking water isn’t contaminated. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t regulate or provide standards for individual wells, but it does offer a variety of educational resources. Ultimately, private owners are responsible for the safety of their water. Learn how to protect your well from septic system contamination, safeguarding your household from harmful substances in the drinking water.
Many rural homes have a private well rather than water that’s supplied and treated by a municipality. A water well is an excavation or structure that’s dug into the ground to access water in underground aquifers. Private wells typically require a water softener due to minerals found in the soil and rocks. Water wells run the risk of contamination from natural contaminates (e.g., radon, arsenic) as well as agricultural runoff and septic tanks. The EPA recommends testing wells at least once per year as the quality of well water can change so you can have peace of mind about your water’s safety.
How Septic Systems Can Affect Well Water
A properly installed and maintained septic system is crucial for protecting well water. A malfunction or faulty installation is a major risk to water quality. This is because the groundwater that runs underneath the ‘drain field’ (which filters the septic tanks wastewater) will capture any contaminants remaining in the effluent as it passes through the drain field. Contaminated water poses a particular health risk to vulnerable populations such as pregnant mothers, young children, and the elderly. Consider installing a reverse osmosis water system to significantly reduce trace elements, heavy metals, and bacteria.
It’s also important that the well is properly installed and maintained to protect the drinking water. For example, the well should be installed far enough away from the septic system. Additionally, some states and local governing agencies have minimum length requirements for the ‘casing,’ which keeps dirt and excess water out of the well.
Inspection And Maintenance
Safeguard your home’s drinking water by getting your well and septic system regularly inspected and serviced. If you’re moving into an older home, make sure that the water well and septic system meet current standards, so you don’t run the risk of water contamination. You should also regularly schedule septic tank pumping to prevent overloading your drain field. Lastly, test your water at least once per year for peace of mind that it’s safe to drink.
Septic maintenance is extremely important as replacing your entire septic system is extremely expensive and disruptive to your property. If you’re interested in learning more about our septic system cleaning/pumping services, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today. Dan’s Plumbing and Septic offers competitive pricing, and we always do our best to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible. Call (763) 434-6814 to schedule an inspection or septic pumping service, within the following Minnesota locations: Andover, Anoka, Bethel, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Cedar, Centerville, Champlin, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Dayton, East Bethel, Ham Lake, Lexington, Lino Lakes, North Oaks, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Ramsey, and Saint Francis.