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The original item was published from 10/4/2017 2:58:00 PM to 3/8/2018 12:00:00 AM.

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Public Health - News

Posted on: March 7, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Time to schedule your annual water well checkup!

Jefferson County, Colorado — Just as you check your furnace or smoke detector batteries seasonally, spring is a good season to have an annual water well checkup before the peak water use season begins, according to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

Why is it a good idea to have my water well checked annually?

An annual checkup by a qualified water well contractor is the best way to ensure problem-free service and quality water.

“Although water from your well is usually of high quality and safe to drink, without routine testing, you really don’t know what is in the water you are drinking,” said Roy Laws of the Jefferson County Public Health Environmental Services Division. “There are naturally occurring contaminants and human-caused contamination that can impact water quality and your health. To make sure that your water is - and remains - safe to drink, we recommend annual testing for the presence or absence of bacteria and nitrates. Depending on where you live, your routine water test should also screen for other contaminants such as uranium and fluoride.”

Also, preventative maintenance usually is less costly than emergency maintenance, and good well maintenance — like good car maintenance — can prolong the life of your well and related equipment. Jefferson County Public Health also recommends you test your water whenever there is a change in taste, odor or appearance, or when the system is serviced.
Schedule your annual water well checkup

Wells can provide high-quality drinking water, and about half the U.S. population receives its drinking water from wells. But with well ownership comes the responsibility of keeping the water well in good working order. A check of your well by a qualified water well contractor may include: 

  • A flow test to determine how much water the well is producing, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping (if possible), pump motor performance (check amp load, grounding, and line voltage), pressure tank and pressure switch contact, and general water quality (odor, cloudiness, etc.).
  • A well equipment inspection to assure it’s sanitary and meets local code.
  • A test of your water for coliform bacteria and nitrates, and anything else of local concern. Other typical additional tests are those for iron, manganese, water hardness, sulfides and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance and odor.

Jefferson County Public Health Environmental Health Division also recommends that well owners:

  • Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a "clean" zone of at least 50 feet between your well and any kennels and livestock operations.
  • Maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems and chemical storage areas.
  • Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out insects and rodents.
  • Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.

Jefferson County communities are already being proactive about ground water protections and community input!

  • INDIAN HILLS — The Indian Hills Water District is in the process of developing a Source Water Protection Plan. This plan identifies the activities that can have an impact on the quantity and quality of water that is available to the district, and identifies the actions that can be taken to protect the quantity and quality of surface and groundwater resources.
  • BUFFALO CREEK — The Buffalo Creek Water District has completed their Source Water Protection Plan and is beginning the process of implementing the actions recommended by the plan to protect the quality and quantity of their surface and groundwater resources.
  • COAL CREEK — The Coal Creek Canyon Watershed Partnership hosted a water well and septic system community awareness workshop in 2016 and plans are in the works to host another community workshop in March 2017. In addition to providing homeowners with useful information about caring for and maintaining water wells and septic systems, the Partnership provided a limited number of free well water tests for nitrate and bacteria contamination.

For more information on water well testing, please visit "our drinking water wells" web page or call our office at 303-271-5700.

You can also watch this video from the National Groundwater Association to learn more about the importance of ground water testing and water quality!

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