NGWA urges private well owners have systems inspected

May 8, 2023
The National Groundwater Association recommends a certified water well contractor inspect private water wells to ensure it is operating properly, detect possible water quality issues, and prolong the well’s life.

The National Groundwater Association (NGWA) is urging private water well owners to have their systems inspected by a certified water well contractor as they approach the spring and summer seasons.

NGA recommends an annual inspection of all private water systems. Routine inspection of a water well can help ensure it is operating properly, prolong its useful life and, most importantly, detect possible water quality issues that may lead to health risks.

Because winter storms and spring flooding can lead to contamination and damage to private water systems, early spring is an ideal time to perform the recommended annual inspection.

According to NGWA, the rise of emerging contaminants such as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) — including PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) — have made these inspections especially important.

According to NGWA, annual water well inspections should include:

  • A test of water for coliform bacteria, nitrates, PFAS/PFOA, and anything else of local concern. Other typical additional tests are those for iron, manganese, water hardness, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor.
  • A flow test to determine system output, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping, pump motor performance, and pressure tank and pressure switch contact.
  • An inspection of well equipment to assure that it is sanitary and meets local code requirements.
  • An overall inspection of the mechanics of the water well.
  • A concise, clear, written report should be delivered following the checkup that explains results and recommendations and includes all laboratory and other test results.

More information on private water wells, annual inspections, and how to find local contractors can be found at wellowner.org. The site is operated by NGWA with support from the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and the Environmental Protection Agency. Certified water well contractors can be found at wellowner.org/find-a-contractor/.

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