The ability to easily access pure water for drinking, cooking, and bathing through private drilled wells has made it possible for Americans to establish homes, farms, ranches, and businesses in locations where water was once difficult or impossible to obtain. However, private water wells do require careful planning to ensure the location will not create contamination risks.

If you are preparing to have a new private water well installed on your property, the following information will help you understand and avoid current and future risks associated with the location or use of your new water well. 

Wells and septic system distance requirements

Private water wells draw from large underground lakes, rivers, and aquifers and then pump the water through pipes to the surface. The water in these underground water sources originates from groundwater that is slowly purified as it seeps through many layers of rock and soil.

In order to limit risks of contamination in private well water, most areas of the country impose specific regulations to ensure that water wells and septic systems or other areas of possible contamination are located a sufficient distance apart to ensure that the water well will not be contaminated by seepage.

Although state or local regulations may differ, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that distances between the well and possible sources of contamination should be from 50 to 250 feet, depending on whether the source of contamination is a septic system, livestock holding area, a manure or petroleum storage area, or another source.

Areas prone to flooding

Another siting concern for a private water well is whether there a risk of flooding at the site. When a water well is subjected to floodwaters, the components that sit above or near the surface can be damaged by the force of the water or by being struck by debris carried by the floodwater. 

This can result in cracks to pipes or casings, as well as damage to pumps, pressure tanks, and electronic controls for the system. Floodwaters can also carry contaminants that can infect the well and make the water unsafe for consumption. To avoid this problem, property owners will want to strive to locate water wells away from areas where flooding is probable. 

Installing preventive features to protect water quality

When installing a new water well or upgrading an older one, home and business owners may choose to take proactive steps to ensure that water quality is consistently safe for drinking and other usage needs. Water well drilling services have a number of available options, including filtration systems, ultraviolet light, and reverse osmosis, that can be installed to purify well water so that property owners can feel confident it is safe for their use. 

Contact a local water well drilling service to learn more.