Understanding Your Well

The Anatomy of a Well:

  • Well Cap: Prevent insects, debris, and small animals from entering the well
  • Well Casing: hollow tube that encases the well and maintains structural integrity
  • Distribution Line: Water supply line to the dwelling
  • Bentonite Grout: Seals well in place. Prevents water intrusion
  • Drop Pipe: actual water supply to home
  • Pump: Draws water through filtering screen, up drop pipe, through Distribution line, into home
  • Well Screen: filters out fine material from groundwater
  • Gravel Pack: Provide large particle filtration before groundwater enters well screen
Well anatomy

Well Functions:

  • Well water is drawn directly from the immediate groundwater surrounding it
  • Groundwater is affected by all sources of contamination mentioned earlier
  • Well caps are susceptible to lightning strikes.
  • Septic systems recharge groundwater through normal use.
  • Malfunctioning septic systems can contaminate the immediate groundwater with untreated effluent.
Well functions

Understanding your water quality report

  • Visit the water contamination page to learn about contaminants over the MCL (maximum contamination limit)
  • If any of the tests are reported as over the MCL, you should come to the Health Department to inquire about next steps.

What does conductivity mean?

  • Conductivity is a measure of how well your water carries an electrical current.
  • Conductivity is not a "contaminant" and will not cause illness, though it can be indicative of minerals that can.
  • For example, if you have high salinity/sodium levels, you probably will also have high conductivity.

What does the pH mean?

  • pH is a measure of the hydrogen ions in solution.
  • Any pH less than 6.5 or greater than 8.5 is considered corrosive.
  • The primary concern is of lead and copper from pipes being dissolved in corrosive drinking water.
  • If your home was built before 1980, and your well water report shows that your water is corrosive, it is recommended that you look into re-plumbing your home.