Bacteria in Your Water
As a private well owner, you are in a unique position: you control your own water supply. With this benefit come some responsibilities. You are responsible for protecting your valuable ground water as well as your family's health. Occasionally, based on a news report or the color or smell of your water, you may wonder about the safety of your water supply. What do you do? Testing your water for the most common well contaminants is the best course of action.
How common are water problems?
"Pure" water does not exist - all natural water contains some gases and minerals and is likely to contain some microbial organisms. Most water bacteria are harmless and many are actually beneficial.
What are coliform bacteria?
Coliform bacteria originate as organisms in soil or vegetation and in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals (fecal coli). The many sources of bacterial pollution include runoff from woodlands, pastures, feedlots; septic tanks and sewage plants; and animals (wild or domestic). For more information or for professional assistance with this issue, please contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company.
Will coliform bacteria make us sick?
Maybe, maybe not. Most coliforms are harmless residents of soil and will not make people sick. Some strains of E. coli, the most common fecal coliform bacterium, may be pathogens. Some found in food have been lethal. Their presence should be taken very seriously. For more information or for professional assistance with this issue, please contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company.
If my water is clear and smells ok, is it safe?
You cannot directly smell unsafe bacteria or protozoa. They can only be detected using tests designed for that purpose. You should check your water quality regularly. Some sources of odors are bacteria or septic, or the presence of chemicals. It is a good idea to take your nose seriously. Have the water tested. For more information or for professional assistance with this issue, please contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company.
What is the "iron bacteria" problem?
Better described as iron biofouling, the problem popularly know as "iron bacteria" is both complex and widespread. Iron and other biofouling consists of biofilms, which include living and dead bacteria, their sheaths, stalks, secretions and other leavings, and embedded metal hydroxide particles. "Iron bacteria" is one type of biofouling among several, including the characteristic white sulfur slime of sulfur springs. Manganese and even aluminum biofouling is also found in ground water systems. These biofilms are natural and usually harmless. Natural iron biofouling often as a preliminary iron filter in wells
How do you get bacteria in your well?
Many types of bacteria are native or adapted to saturated sediments and rock, and are present in significant numbers in most water supply aquifers, even deep formations. Given time and a route (soil and rock provide plenty of both), bacteria will migrate into and take up housekeeping in an aquifer. "Non-native" coliform bacteria or "protozoa" of potential health concern, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium, are most likely introduced from the surface. For more information or for professional assistance with this issue, please contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company.
What do we do about problems with our well?
Well maintenance is of utmost importance. Sometimes installing a new well and water inlet system away from the source of contamination is necessary. For professional assistance contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company or use our on-line form for a free estimate.
How do I maintain a good water supply?
You should have your water tested annually for arsenic, radon, bacteria and anything else of concern to you, even if you do not perceive a change in your water. Have your water tested by a qualified laboratory. They are listed in your phone book under "Water Testing" or "Laboratories".
The question of whether or not to have your water tested is a serious one that concerns the health of you and your family.
Where can I get more information?
For more information, contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company. You can also call the following:
ANTs in your water
Yes it's true! Ants can get in your water system! So what should you do? Check the well head and the casing. If they are broken or damaged, contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company.
If they are not damaged, ants are probably coming up through the conduit on the outside of the well.
Take the top off of your well. Put about one inch of silicone caulking in the conduit and around the pump cable. This will prevent more ants from entering the well. Let a garden hose run down the well for 5 minutes, then let the hose run in the yard for 20 minutes. This will flush most of the ants out of the system.
Repeat until no ants are noticed when run off.
You may still have some ants in the plumbing and aerators on the faucets but they will eventually flush out.
You may also want to hook a hose to the bottom of the hot water heater and let it run for 15 minutes if you are able to do so - this generally will not be necessary.
If you feel you would like to chlorinate your system, please be sure to read the section below on "chlorinating your own well" or contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company today!
Chlorinating Your Well
Shut off the hot water heater and make sure the breaker to the heater is off before chlorinating to avoid exposing its elements during the chlorination process.Take cap off well - be careful not to drop bolts or nuts down the well!
Run a garden hose from an outside faucet to the well.
Run the hose (wide open) down the big (4") pipe while slowly adding a gallon of Clorox bleach. Do not put anythig (water or bleach) down the 1" opening (center hole) in bridge.
Leave the hose running in the well while you go into the house and run each cold water faucet until you smell the chlorine. Then shut the faucet off.
Then go outside and slowly pour another gallon of Clorox bleach in the well (with the hose still running). Go in the house and run each hot water faucet until you smell the chlorine.
Now shut everything off including the hose and put the top back on the well.
Let is sit (USE NO WATER!) for 12 hours. Then start the outside hose running for several hours - then flush all faucets to clean out plumbing.
After flushing chlorine through system and pressure has returned to normal, you may turn the hot water heater back on.
NOTE: If you are doing this to get rid of odor - just run the hose (wide open) for three hours a day for four days.
If you are trying to get rid of bacteria, call the Health Department or a private lab and let the hose run for 3 days (wide open) or until they take a sample. DON'T TURN THE HOSE OFF UNTIL THEY TAKE A SAMPLE!
If you have a steel well, this procedure could loosen up flakes and rust particles that can plug up faucet aerators and filters. Be aware of this = the best procedure is to let the hose run until the rust, etc. is gone. If possible, use the faucet at the tank to run the water off - this will help keep the ruse, etc. out of your plumbing.
If you have any questions or if you would like professional assistance, contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company today!
How does geothermal work?
The phrase "closed-loop system" refers to a continuous loop of high density polyethylene or polybutylene pipe. These pipes are inert to chemicals naturally found in the soil and have good heat conducting properties. When properly installed, these pipes will last for many generations.
Geothermal systems work using the constant temperature of the earth. During the winter, the fluid circulating through the loop absorbs stored heat and carries it indoors, making your home warm. The indoor unit compresses the heat to a higher temperature and distributes it throughout the house.
During the summer, the reverse is true. The system pulls heat from the house and carries it through the loop where it is deposited in the cooler earth. Unlike conventional heating and cooling systems, geothermal systems do not burn fossil fuels to generate heat, They simply transfer the heat to and from the earth.
What is Geothermal Heating and cooling?
The earth naturally absorbs energy from the sun and stores it as heat. Geothermal loops take advantage of this by providing a mechanism to transfer the heat to your house.
How do geothermal HVAC systems work?
Underground pipes filled with water circulate the heat between a geothermal unit in your house and the deep heat reserves of the earth. During the summer, the water sent to your home extracts the heat from the air in your home and the heat is then expelled within the earth. In the winter, the geothermal unit extracts the heat from the water, filling your house with warm air and sending the cooler water back into the ground.
How are geothermal systems different from traditional systems?
Traditional systems utilize a heating coil and fan unit, blowing air over the coil, warming or cooling it, and then expelling it through the ducts to be distributed throughout the house while an outside compressor releases excess heat. Geothermal loops, however, use an exchange system between the earth and your home, offering a much more efficient method of temperature control. Geothermal systems also use less energy thereby saving you money!
What are the benefits of having geothermal loops?
The direct transfer of heat between the earth and your home can use 25-50% less energy when cooling and 25-30% when heating your house. Typically, they also run quieter, last longer and require less maintenance than traditional HVAC systems. While the initial cost is steeper than a traditional unit, the lower cost of operation and maintenance will pay for the geothermal system within the first few years.
If you have additional questions about how geothermal systems work or if you would like a free estimate, contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company today!
Do geothermal systems really save you money?
Geothermal loops can help you save 30-60% on your monthly energy bills. For every unit of electricity the system uses, it provides four units of heating energy which gives a geothermal system an average of a 400% efficiency rating. You can get your heating, central air conditioning and hot water all from the same compact unit.
If you have any additional questions or if you would like a free estimate, contact Shannahan Artesian Well Company today!
LITTLE SPACE & LOW MAINTENANCE
Vertical loops require little space in the yard. The depth of the loop varies depending on the heating and cooling load dominance, Btu (British thermal units) load, geographical location and climate.
The unit's fan, compressor and pump are housed indoors. They are usually installed in the garage, crawlspace, basement or electric room which means there will be no outdoor units! This indoor unit is therefore, also protected from harsh, outdoor weather conditions giving it a life span of 20 years or more. The only maintenance required is periodic checks and filter changes.
Are geothermal systems environmentally friendly?
Geothermal loops are environmentally friendly. These systems are safe and clean because they do not have flames, flues or odors. It does not emit carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to environmental air pollution, or greenhouse gases. Geothermal systems work with nature and minimize the threats of acid rain, air pollution and the global climate change.
Are there tax credits and programs for geothermal?
Use the following links to find information on federal and state tax credits and programs for geothermal energy systems.