The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is reminding landowners with private water wells to check the water quality of their well water this fall. Along with changing the battery in your fire and carbon monoxide alarm, having your well water tested prior to winter is a great idea. In addition, it is recommended that your well water is tested three to four times per year, especially during the spring and fall. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit supply free testing kits and provide a venue to having water tested by provincial labs to any resident within Northumberland County, as does the Durham Regional Health Department for residents within the Regional Municipality of Durham.
“Having your well water tested annually is a good preventative measure to ensure that you and your family have safe water to drink”, explains Jessica Mueller, Hydrogeologist at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority. “Well water testing allows for early detection of water well issues that may be occurring.”
While doing yard work in preparation for winter, it is also a good idea to perform a visual inspection around the outside of your well. Remove any organic material such as flowers, shrubs, lawn clipping and leaf build-up, pet waste, or any other debris that may be around the well. Keeping the area around your well clear and clean is very important in the protection of drinking water and its source. In addition, water should not run towards your well, therefore any depressions around the well should be raised.
In addition to maintaining existing wells, it is even more important to decommission abandoned, unused wells. In the same way that active wells can provide a passage way to safe clean drinking water sources, abandoned wells, which may be left in a state of decay, can create a passage way for contaminants to reach your drinking water source. Therefore in order to protect sources of drinking water, and the environment, it is important to have abandoned or unused wells properly decommissioned by a licensed contractor.
For more information about how to protect your source of drinking water, please contact Jessica Mueller, Hydrogeologist at the GRCA, 905-885-8173 x 222. To inquire about funding for well upgrades or decommissions, please contact Pam Lancaster, Stewardship Technician at the GRCA at 905-885-8173 x 247.