Hepatitis A and Drinking Water from a Private Well

Private well owners have many advantages, as they don’t need to worry about the same infrastructure that homes using municipal water do, their water hasn’t been harshly treated with chemicals that can lead to contaminants in their water, and they don’t need to pay a water bill every month. However, some of these advantages can turn into disadvantages when your water is contaminated. When you get your drinking water from a private well, you are the sole party responsible for its testing and treatment. One of the things that you might be surprised could be lurking in your water is Hepatitis A. Here’s what well owners need to know.

What Is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that impacts the liver, and you can catch it after coming into contact with the Hepatitis A virus. Depending on the situation, it could result in mild sickness for a few weeks or a serious illness lasting for months on end. It is typically spread when someone ingests microscopic amounts of fecal matter after touching or eating objects, food or drinks that were contaminated by the stool of someone who was already infected with Hepatitis A. While many people associate it with contaminated food, you can also contract it through drinking water from a private well.

How Does Hepatitis A Get Into Drinking Water from a Private Well?

Hepatitis A is found throughout the United States, so it can contaminate public or private water supplies. Any time that your well is contaminated with fecal matter from humans with Hepatitis A, the water can then be a carrier of the virus and spread it to other people. Fecal matter can contaminate private wells through a variety of methods, including sewage overflows, a sewage system that is not working correctly, polluted stormwater runoff and more. Wells are also at an increased risk of contamination after flooding from a storm or natural disaster.

How Can You Determine If There Is Hepatitis A in Your Drinking Water from a Private Well?

Contact Hague Quality Water of Maryland to learn more about your water testing options. Water testing is the best way to know exactly what is present in your well water. If you are concerned that Hepatitis A entered your water in the aftermath of a flood, it is particularly important to have testing performed, as there may be other contaminants and hazards present. The presence of E. Coli or total bacteria are indicators that your water problem may include Hepatitis A contamination. Water testing is the only way to know exactly what is in your water and know how to take care of it with help from our water quality professionals.

How Can You Remove Hepatitis A from Your Water?

Hepatitis A is a very small virus, so using a traditional point-of-use filter will not completely remove it from the water. To deactivate the virus for your consumption until you are able to have the water treated or your well disinfected, bring the water to a rolling boil for at least a full minute. After boiling, let the water cool, place it in a sanitized container that is covered and refrigerate it. One of the best ways to remove all of the Hepatitis A virus and other contaminants from your water is by disinfecting your well. You can work with a well contractor to have this done or do it yourself.

Once you finish the disinfection process, you should have your water tested again to ensure that the virus was completely removed from your water. Until you get the test results back, you should continue to not use the water, as it might still contain the infectious virus. After you get results back that are clear, you should continue to have your private well water tested at least once a year after disinfection to make sure that the problems present don’t reoccur. 

If you want to feel confident that the water you drink every day is completely safe and free from contaminants, work with the team at Hague Quality Water of Maryland to determine the right filtration methods for you. We work with private well owners throughout the area to design effective, compelling solutions. Reverse osmosis systems will also filter the virus but should be used in combination with other solutions. Water filtration systems that include UV filtration are good ways to prevent contamination.

Great Water From Hague Quality Water of Maryland

If you are concerned about the quality and contents of your water, from Hepatitis A to myriad other contaminants, we are here to help with your water treatment projects. Whether you need the Hague WaterMax® System or additional filtration beyond that, our team cares deeply about the health and safety of your family.  We offer a convenient mail-in water testing kit for conducting a complete water test at home. If you’d prefer to drop off samples, you can also do so easily. For additional assistance, call Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 757-2992.

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