What Is a Water Treatment System for a Well?
A well has advantages to private landowners, including cost-savings for water. In some rural areas, a well may be your only option. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, wells supply drinking water for over 15 million American households. There are three basic types of wells: dug, driven and drilled. They differ based on the construction method and the depth. The type you use depends upon your area's geology. Shallower wells have a greater risk of water contamination, making a water treatment system essential.
There are two basic types of water treatment systems: point-of-entry and point-of-use devices. The type is determined by where it is installed on the well system. The contaminants or issues present with your well water will determine the type of system you choose. Before you use your well, your contractor will test your water to identify possible problems. Some systems are better able to treat certain conditions. For example, a point-of-entry device such as a water softener will treat hard water. Point-of-use devices such as faucet mounts treat small quantities of drinking water and remove organic chemicals.
Water treatment systems include several different technologies. Your choice will depend upon the type of issue, costs and the continued maintenance of the system. System types include filters, reverse osmosis and distillers. Chlorination-filtration systems will treat aesthetic issues such as color and excess minerals. You can install a reverse osmosis system if your water contains arsenic or excess sulphates. A distillation system will best handle issues with heavy metals or nitrates.
Your water treatment system may include more than one device in order to treat the water problem. Ozonators systems are often installed with the filtration device if you have issues with micro-organisms in your water. Ozonators kill bacteria by injecting ozone in your water. The water contaminants may also determine the placement of your water treatment system. For example, your reverse osmosis system will treat arsenic issues best if your water is softened by a point-of-entry device first.
Regular maintenance will help extend the life of your water treatment system. Some systems, such as activated carbon filtration, may require periodic replacement of cartridges. The manufacturer of your system can provide guidelines for the proper maintenance of your system.
There are measures that you can take to help ensure the quality of your well water in addition to your treatment system. Nearby land use such as pesticide or fertilizer application can cause contaminants to enter your well system. You should limit such activities near your well to prevent contamination. Like any device, water treatment systems can fail. Annual water testing is an essential part of well maintenance. Also, if you detect any unusual odors or colors in your water, have your water tested. Your agricultural extension office can provide assistance.
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