Protect Your Water Source
Well and Water System Maintenance
Safe drinking water from a private water source and private water system requires careful planning during construction as well as on-going maintenance and care during its use. Just as a city utility worker would inspect elements of the city water system and keep inspection and maintenance records, it is up to you to do this for your water system.
If you have a well, it is a good idea to create a well maintenance log and maintenance schedule. The Water Systems Council has a great factsheet here that explains how to do this.
Other things you can do to maintain your water system include:
- Clean debris from around the well head, and periodically check to make sure the well cap and seal are intact and water tight.
- Install water conservation devices.
- Pump your septic tank every 2-3 years.
- Avoid putting fats, paints, antibacterial products, etc, into your septic system, which could cause failure.
The land around your wellhead, yard, neighborhood and watershed can all influence the quality of the groundwater. Many contaminants start at the surface or near-surface and migrate down to the groundwater where wells access it for your home. Good land stewardship practices can reduce the chances of surface activities negatively affecting your well.
- Maintain low grass or ground cover around well.
- Keep animals and animal waste far from well.
- Dispose of oil, gasoline, antifreeze, paints and toxins at hazardous waste centers.
- Use alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
- Promote the use of green infrastructure to reduce surface runoff.
- Talk with your friends and neighbors about good land stewardship.
Protect the quantity of water that you can use by obtaining water rights for your property.
“Private Water System Management”- contains information on proper well construction and where to locate:
“Private Water Systems” (Downloadable software program) - a complete minicourse in design and construction of private drinking water systems (wells and piping). Includes water quantities required, water pumps, systems controls, design considerations and piping:
Protecting Wells with Sanitary Well Caps and Grouting: