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Talking About Preventative Plumbing Services

Hey there, my name is Russell Tyson. I am going to use this site to educate my readers about services offered by plumbing professionals. When I first started my company, I was unaware of all the necessary plumbing procedures needed to keep the toilets from backing up. My clients often failed to notify me when a toilet started to fail, likely due to embarrassment or a lack of time. Luckily, I was clued into the value of hiring plumbers to perform regular maintenance and repairs on the toilets to keep them in fine shape. I hope to detail those services on this site to inspire others to embrace preventative plumbing procedures.


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Talking About Preventative Plumbing Services

4 Things Homeowners Need To Know About Wells

by Charlie Clarke

About 13% of Canadian households get their water from private wells instead of a municipal water supply, mostly in rural areas and in the Maritime provinces. If your new house has a well, you need to pay more attention to your water than you did in your old house that received municipal water. Here's what you need to know about your new well. 

Why does your well water smell?

There are lots of things that can make your well water smell different than municipal water. Some of these smells are harmless, while others can indicate a serious problem with your water supply. If your well water smells like dirt or wood, this is usually caused by harmless organic matter, but you can get rid of the odor by having a filter installed. 

Other smells aren't so harmless. For example, if your well water smells like detergent, your septic tank could be seeping into your water supply. This is a major problem since your septic tank doesn't just contain the soaps and detergents you wash down the drains; it also contains sewage. Gasoline is another smell that is very bad. This is usually caused by gasoline seeping into the ground water, either on your own property or on someone else's. If you smell these odors, you need to stop using your well water and call a plumber right away. 

If your water smells good, is it safe?

If your well water smells just like the municipal water you're used to drinking, you may assume that it's safe to drink. This is a big mistake since there are lots of odorless, tasteless contaminants that can get into your well water. Dangerous contaminants like arsenic or lead can be present in your well water, and without getting your water tested, you'll never know it's there.

The current Health Canada recommendation is to have your well water tested two to three times a year. Most people with wells aren't doing this: only one-third of households that get their water from a well have ever had their water tested by a laboratory. 

Do wells require any maintenance?

You didn't need to do anything to maintain your water supply in your old house because the municipality was handling that for you, but now that you have a well, the maintenance is your responsibility. In addition to testing your well water, you should have the inside of your well inspected for problems like damaged seals or cracks in the casing at least once a year. 

Aside from scheduled maintenance like testing and inspections, there are some things that you should be doing to keep your well water safe. For example, store sources of contaminants, like fertilizer or salt, away from the well, preferably in a garage or shed where they can't contaminate the water supply. You should also make sure that the ground around the well slopes away from the well, so that surface water flows away from the well and not into it. Build up this area with clean dirt if necessary. 

How long do wells last?

Wells don't provide water indefinitely, but they can last for a long time. The life of your well can vary quite a bit depending on where you are and how deep the well is. Under ideal conditions, modern wells can provide water for many generations, but if one of your neighbours drills a new well nearby, you can lose your water without warning. The best way to find out how long your well is likely to last is to talk to your neighbours and local plumbers. 

Your new well can provide your family with safe water for a long time, as long as you get it tested and inspected regularly. If you haven't done any well maintenance since you moved in, you're overdue to have your well checked, and should call a local plumber from a company like Riverside Plumbing right away.