Did you know that approximately one-third of Marylanders rely on private wells for their drinking water? If you are one of those homeowners or business owners, the quality of the water that you are drinking is probably of major concern to you. Private wells that serve 25 or fewer people are not regulated by federal law or tested for contaminants (unless you complete the well testing on your own). As a Maryland resident, you need to understand the trends in private well water quality across the state so that you can take action.
Understanding Private Well Water Quality in Maryland
Because so many Maryland residents rely on private wells, the University of Maryland and other professionals have begun a well water education program designed to improve local private well water quality and ensure that homeowners understand what is going on with their water supplies. One large study looked at well water samples from homes that used private well water in Cecil, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, and Kent Counties and performed a variety of tests including measuring total coliform bacteria, fecal coliform bacteria, E. coli, Salmonella, and more.
The results have a lot to say about private well water quality in Maryland. There were fecal coliforms and total coliforms present in 25% and 15% of all samples respectively, and 75% of the well water was outside of the recommended pH range. While most of the samples that were tested fell below the maximum contaminant levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency, not all were at acceptable levels. It’s also important to note that meeting the EPA levels does not necessarily mean that your water is completely safe to drink. Many homeowners desire better private well water quality than the standards, and that is where Hague Quality Water of Maryland can help.
How Often Should You Have Your Private Well Tested?
Testing your well water annually should be the standard, and there are many different types of tests that should be performed based on where you are located. Beyond annual testing, there are specific circumstances in which you should have your private well water quality tested, including:
- If someone in your family is pregnant or nursing
- If you have small children or older adults living in your home
- If there are new or known problems with groundwater or drinking water in your area
- If conditions around your home changed in a notable way recently, like new construction, new industrial activity, natural disasters, flooding or other land disturbances
- If you repaired or replaced some of the well system
- If you notice a change in your water quality, like the taste, color or smell
If you are not sure which tests are appropriate to assess your private well water quality, our water quality specialists are happy to help. Depending on the changes that you have noticed, there might be specific tests that are more appropriate than others.
What Should You Test Your Water For?
As mentioned above, depending on the changes you have noticed in your water, there might be some tests that are more appropriate than others. For example:
- If radon was detected in your region, you should have radon testing performed
- If you have household plumbing fixtures that might contain lead, you should have your water tested for copper and lead
- If there are new coal mining or gas drilling operations nearby, you should have your water tested for corrosion, metals, chloride, barium, sodium and strontium
- If you have scaly residue or soap that won’t lather, you should have the hardness level of your water tested
- If you have experienced gastrointestinal illness or discomfort that doesn’t seem to have another cause, you should have coliform bacteria testing performed
- If you smell gas or fuel oil around your property or in your water, you should have it tested for volatile organic compounds
Because there are many different chemicals and contaminants that can impact your private well water quality, it’s important to work with the knowledgeable professionals at Hague Quality Water of Maryland. We can assess your water quality and ensure that your family is consuming water that is safe to drink and use around the house. How can we help you?
Test and Treat Your Water with Hague Quality Water of Maryland
If you are concerned about the quality and contents of your water, we are here to help with your water improvement 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.