Coliform bacteria, cryptosporidium, giardia lamblia, E.coli, sounds like an alphabet soup of biological proportion and those of us that still have private wells should be aware that these organisms may be present in our drinking water. In an article published by the “Penn State Extension” a 2006 survey of 450 private wells found coliform bacteria in 35 percent of the wells and E. coli (fecal coliform) in 15 percent of those wells tested. Although there are hundreds of different E. coli strains (most of which are harmless), a few strains can produce a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness and even death. Penn State Extension recommends that all private water supplies be tested for total coliform bacteria every year. It is suggested that the well water be tested after a period of rainy weather during the warmer time of the year. Water can be tested through a local office of the DEP, or by a state certified water-testing facility.
No Need to Panic
Have your water tested, and if bacteria is present, don’t panic. Most of the time, there are simple solutions to eliminate the problem at hand. One of the easiest ways to eliminate contaminants is to shock the well by introducing high levels of chlorine for a short amount of time and then re-test within 10-14 days. This is an effective and efficient way to kill the bacteria; however this procedure has its drawbacks. The first drawback is the chlorine leaves your water tasting, well, like chlorine. Another drawback tends to hold more importance. Once the chlorine wears off, the bacteria can reintroduce itself and you’re back to square one.
Skip the Chemicals
At R.E. Sanders we have decades of experience in dealing with all types of well water issues. Our approach to dealing with contaminated water is to install an ultraviolet light. By using an ultraviolet light, you can be assured you’re consuming only the highest quality water since they work on a continual basis, and does not require chemical additives . The unit consists of a UV light bulb encased by a quartz glass sleeve. Water is irradiated with the UV light as it flows over the glass sleeve, thus, killing the bacteria. After the initial installation, the only requirement is to change the bulb once annually. The biggest benefit of UV light is that that it’s working on a continual basis, and as long as the bulb is replaced as recommended, you can be confident that you and your family have a safe water supply.
At R.E. Sanders, Inc., we can check your water for acid, iron, Ph and hard water at no cost to you. Bacteria testing must be done at a certified lab and fees do apply. For additional information on the cause and effect of water contamination, or, to have your water checked, call us today at (717)843-7894. Or, if you prefer, log onto www.resandersplumbing.com and leave us a message or click to chat. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our blog for the most recent and up to date trends in the heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical industry.