Appalachian Water, Air and Soil Analysis, Inc.
The United States
EPA now says "test your well at
least once a year for TDS & Coliforms"
If you test and follow our recommendations we can guarantee that your water will be safe to drink, and safer than any bottled water you can get!!!
If you have not had a water test before then your first water test should include ALL of the following:
Because of the geology of the region, if you live in North Georgia you should also have your drinking water tested for:
Arsenic (we have already found wells in use that have arsenic in excess of EPA guidelines)
The results of this series of tests may indicate that there is NO need for any treatment of your water. In that case the EPA recommends annual retesting for a more limited group of parameters, which are less expensive. Annual retesting is a must, because groundwater flow is constantly changing, especially with all the new building, well drilling, old wells being closed etc. So your water this year may be fine, but in a few weeks you may be getting very different water from your well. Annual testing gives you some assurance that your water is still safe. And it is affordable!!!
We recommend and offer an annual test for $98.00 that includes:
However, any certified laboratory can perform this testing, so choose the one you prefer. But make sure you get all of these parameters at the same time and a qualified water treatment specialist to review them to let you know what those results mean.
If you have the results from all these tests, we will be happy to review and analyze your results and make recommendations for a nominal fee of $45.00. This is very inexpensive to get a professional opinion from an unbiased water treatment specialist. We can also give you information on what purification devices, if any, are needed so you will know exactly what to shop for and why.
For more details please read on:
To date, of the parameters that we have tested for in water from wells in Northeast, Georgia Counties (including White, Habersham, Hall, Lumpkin, and others) we have found the following to be in excess (or outside) of allowable (safe) levels in several to many of the samples. Some were far in excess.
We have not tested routinely for organic compounds or radiological agents.
IF you follow these recommendations you can drink your tap water, rather than bottled water and according to consumer reports, you will save hundreds of dollars each year – even after testing, and more important you will have taken control over the quality of water you drink.
Many people drill or use wells in which the water has not been tested because they do not know that toxic substances such as arsenic, nitrate, mercury, and lead are tasteless, odorless, colorless, and clear. Yet these compounds are not uncommon in agricultural areas, or mining areas, or industrial areas depending on the type of industry. In addition, arsenic is a naturally occurring compound found in groundwater in North Georgia and surrounding states. Without testing there is no way of knowing how much is in the water coming from a given well.
Many people believe that because they have a deep well their water is coming from a safe place. A typical well is constructed with an impervious casing from about 1 1/2 - 2 feet above the surface to approximately 20 -30 feet below the surface. At that point the casing ends. From the point where the casing ends to the bottom of the well shaft, water and any other substances that moves through the ground, can enter the well from the surrounding soil or other substrates. Therefore, deep is not necessarily better. Deep means a greater length of shaft through which substances can enter the well. What a greater depth does give you, is a greater likelihood of having a continuous water supply even under drought conditions or if the water table levels drop.
There are no laws requiring anyone - the well driller, the home inspectors, the county government, the mortgage companies or others, to determine if your well water is safe to drink. (There are laws requiring testing of all water being used by the public, but private individuals are responsible for their own safety.) It is prudent to test a well at least once before consuming the water on a regular basis. And especially if there is a pregnancy in the home, if young children or infants, elderly or immunocompromised individuals are drinking the water.
The EPA recommends testing private water supplies once a year. We would add that any water supply in an area where there has been land disturbing activity be tested again because this is a most likely time for introduction of new contaminants.
Well water is NOT the same from one day to another. Consider the following: (Also see Today's News)
The USEPA suggests testing your private well once a year. There are many good reasons for doing so.
1. Water flows underground much as it does on the surface, although the flow is usually occurring more slowly. So the water you are drawing from the well at any given time may be different than the water you were drawing 3 weeks ago.
2. The direction of water flow to the well can change. When the well is first dug the flow may be from one direction (say from north of the well towards the well) and at some time later the well may be drawing water coming from south of the well.
3. The water levels (regardless of the depth of the well) are subject to change. If enough new wells are drilled in the vicinity of an existing well, and each is drawing water, flow underground can change and the well will begin receiving water from places it never had before.
4. If the amount of water drawn at one well in a group that are sharing the same aquifer increases dramatically (for example for irrigation), then water flow to all wells in the same aquifer can change in quantity, quality, chemical constitution, and contaminants.
5. A drought causes a reduction in the amount of water delivered to an aquifer, thereby changing the underground flow of water supplying area wells
6. Water flowing to your well may become contaminated somewhere else that you don’t know about.
7. Wells age and change. Cracks and fissures can, and do, develop allowing leakage into the well that previously did not occur.
8. Microorganisms (including disease causing organisms) can start growing in the well that initially had clean water
9. Microorganisms (including disease-causing organisms) can grow in the distribution system, especially if it is not properly maintained or disinfected.
10. Wells can become contaminated through surface discharges without the owners knowledge
11. Well vents can become clogged and a vacuum can form inside the well drawing materials from the surrounding soil and bedrock that otherwise may not have been drawn in
12. Shocking a well to kill potential disease-causing organisms may not make the water safe for more than a few days.
(Sample Test Results) Typical results obtained from a North Georgia Well, Spring, Creek, and Pond
Georgia Code Wells Laws regarding well construction in Georgia
The 1995 Update of the 1985 Laws on well construction known as the “Well Water Standards Act of 1985”
These are excerpts from the Georgia Laws on Standards for Well Construction. I though this information might be useful to you. You can access the original documents on the web at the link below.
(E) No material shall be used in the well that will result in the delivered water being hazardous, toxic, or having objectionable taste or odor;
(L) The drilling contractor shall maintain in his office and shall furnish the owner a copy of the well construction data within 30 days of the well completion. The data shall include: total depth of well, borehole diameter, casing depth, size and type of casing material, grouting information, static water level, pumping water level and yield if test pumped, confirmation of well disinfection and description of method used for disinfection, dates of well construction, name of contractor, and water well contractor's license number;
The 1995 Update of the 1985 Laws on well construction known as the “Well Water Standards Act of 1985”
We have found some well drillers using galvanized pipe in wells. This has resulted in high levels of zinc (above secondary pollution standards) in the client's well water. We have also found that few well owners have all the information required by section L provided to them by the drillers. How about you? Do you have this information for your well?
DOES YOUR WATER HAVE A TASTE, COLOR, OR ODOR?
Most household water filters do not remove toxic organic/inorganic chemicals, minerals, or viruses that can harm your health. Any taste, color, or smell should be investigated.
DO YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE A WELL?
High mineral content or corrosives in water significantly reduce the life expectancy of appliances that use water; including, hot water heaters, dishwashers, filtration units, plumbing, and irrigation systems.
DOES YOUR CREEK, POND, OR LAKE CONTAIN HIGH NUMBERS OF BACTERIA OR COLIFORMS?
We can screen for such bacteria. AWSA has access to all environmental tests currently available in the USA, and we can help solve pollution problems if they exist.
The Benefits Of Regular Well Water Testing As A Community.
Imagine that a contaminant enters groundwater. Also imagine that an occasional resident in a 100 square mile area has their water tested annually for Coliforms and chemicals. If the contamination occurred shortly before the annual water test, it may be detected, and save that individual and family from becoming ill. If contamination were to occur just after the last annual test, someone would either become ill or it would not be detected for at least 52 more weeks. At that point appropriate measures could be taken to protect those drinking from that water source (the underground aquifer).
However, if 365 wells were tested each year, each on a different day, the contamination would be noticed almost immediately. Action to protect the individuals AND the public could be taken immediately.
While both of these represent “almost perfect” scenarios for failure or success, the principle is made clear by these examples. An area where regular testing of well water is encouraged, and many individuals are participating, stands a much better chance of discovering contamination almost immediately, than an area where testing is sporadic and performed by only a few well owners.
If we can get 100% sign up of well owners in the county, we could also offer free chemical tests that are not offered or conducted by government agencies. These tests would be performed on a random basis and provide additional protection that county residents currently do not have.
Note: The only testing done by the health department is testing for Coliforms. If this test comes back negative they deem the water safe to drink – you get a clean bill of health. But this does NOT mean your water is safe to drink. It has not been tested for any CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS and could therefore be very toxic even if there are no Coliforms. Other tests are needed to determine that your water is safe to drink.
This link is a must read, and won’t take more than about 10 minutes http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/lovecanal/chronology_menu.html
From the EPA:
Terms used and links to Underground Injection Control Program http://www.epa.gov/safewater/uic/cl5oper/glossary.html
National Primary Drinking Water Information and Regulations http://www.epa.gov/safewater/mcl.html
Cesspools (Yes, they are still being used!!): http://www.epa.gov/safewater/uic/cl5oper/cesspools.html
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