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Karen Ridings

Is your well water safe?

Did you know that the majority of the households in 60 of Virginia's 95 counties rely on well water and that homeowners are responsible for all aspects of their water system management?

Often people with wells do not regularly test their water supply to ensure its safety. Why test? Testing will protect your family's health.

Here are recommendations for testing:
- Annually test for coliform bacteria
- Every three years, test the pH levels and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
- Test your well if :
1) there is a new infant or pregnant woman in the household,
2) agricultural operations are nearby
3) a dump, landfill or factory are close by
4) your well is located near heavily salted roads
5) your water has an odor of gas or fuel or tastes unusual
6) you notice orange or black staining from your water
7) soap has no lather
8) family members have reoccurring gastrointestinal illnesses
9) services or repairs are done.

Virginia Cooperative Extension offers water testing through their Well Water Clinics. Well Water Clinics will be offered in Frederick and Clarke Counties during the month of March. Please contact these local offices for more information: Frederick County Cooperative Extension- (540)665-5699; Clarke County Cooperative Extension - (540) 955-5164.

Sources: Virginia Cooperative Extension, Biological Systems Engineering Department



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