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There are three types of private drinking water wells: dug, driven, and
drilled. See the three links below for an explaination and graphic of
the types of wells.
Proper well construction and continued maintenance are keys to the safety
of your water supply. Your state water-well contractor licensing agency,
local health department, or local water system professional can provide
information on well construction.
The well should be located so rainwater flows away from it. Rainwater
can pick up harmful bacteria and chemicals on the land’s surface.
If this water pools near your well, it can seep into it, potentially causing
Water-well drillers and pump-well installers are listed in your local
phone directory. The contractor should be bonded and insured. Make certain
your ground water contractor is registered or licensed in your state,
if required. If your state does not have a licensing/registration program
contact the National Ground Water Association. They have a voluntary certification
program for contractors. (In fact, some states use the Association’s
exams as their test for licensing.) For a list of certified contractors
in your state contact the Association at (614) 898-7791 or (800) 551-7379.
There is no cost for mailing or faxing the list to you.
keep your well safe, you must be sure possible sources of contamination
are not close by. Experts suggest the following distances as a minimum
for protection — farther is better (see
graphic on the right):
- Septic Tanks, 50 feet
- Livestock yards, Silos, Septic Leach Fields, 50 feet
- Patroleum Tanks, Liquid-Tight Manure Storage and Fertilizer Storage
and Handling, 100 feet
- Manure Stacks, 250 feet
Many homeowners tend to forget the value of good maintenance until problems
reach crisis levels. That can be expensive. It’s better to maintain
your well, find problems early, and correct them to protect your well’s
performance. Keep up-to-date records of well installation and repairs
plus pumping and water tests. Such records can help spot changes and possible
problems with your water system. If you have problems, ask a local expert
to check your well construction and maintenance records. He or she can
see if your system is okay or needs work.
Protect your own well area. Be careful about storage and disposal of
household and lawn care chemicals and wastes. Good farmers and gardeners
minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Take steps to reduce erosion
and prevent surface water runoff. Regularly check underground storage
tanks that hold home heating oil, diesel, or gasoline. Make sure your
well is protected from the wastes of livestock, pets, and wildlife.
For additional information see:
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