It can be a little intimidating to move to the countryside and have to contend with new utility systems.
Follow these care instructions and rest easy knowing you are doing your best to look after your well and well water.
Step one begins before you even purchase the home. We always recommend you get the well inspected and the well water tested.
When a well is dug, the installer will submit a record to the Ministry of Environment. This record is kept on file by the Ministry. The current owners should also have a copy.
An inspector often starts his/her inspection by obtaining this well record which will give them details about the well. Details like:
- Well Location
- The Age of the well
- Well Dimensions (depth, diameter, etc)
- Water levels (during pumping & when static)
During the inspection, the inspector will confirm that the well location is correct and away from any source of contamination. He/She will also make sure there are no cracks in the well casings, the drainage is working correctly, the well pump is working, screens are not broken, and more!
If possible, the water quantity is also checked to ensure there is no risk of the well running dry.
To get more in-depth information on well inspections, you can read more here from Builders Ontario.
Part of your due diligence on buying a property with a well is to ensure the water safe to use and drink.
To test the quality of the water, samples are sent off for testing. Tests can be done for things like E.Coli, Nitrate levels, Sodium levels, Lead and more. Again you can read more about well inspections and water tests here. A sample of the water is conducted at your local county or municipal office.
Once you’re happy with the well inspection and you move forward with purchasing the home, it is your responsibility to look after your well.
Maintaining Your Well
Here are the things you need to do to maintain and care your well:
1. Regular Check-Ups & Inspections are essential. Every 1 – 2 years ideally. This inspection will involve someone coming in to check the condition of your well, well equipment and so on.
2. Getting regular water tests is ideal. You’ll want to test your water for E.Coli every year and if possible, it is a good idea to have the Ph levels tested every 3 years. You can send water off for testing yourself here.
3. Monitor your water taste and smell. If anything smells or tastes “off”, you’ll want to contact an inspector immediately.
4. Keep contaminants away from your well (at least 100 ft.)
Contaminants include animal waste, fuels, surface waters, any type of pesticide or fertilizer.
5. Take a walk around your well site to see if you can hear any abnormal sounds being made by the pump. The pump should not be continuously running for example.
6. If you have a spill near your well, do not hose it down. You should instead get in touch with the contacts below:
Contact the person who did your inspection or who does your regular maintenance inspections.
Ministry of Environment:
P. 1-888-396-9355 (WELL HELP)
P. 1-800-565-4923 (PUBLIC INFO)
For an in-depth understanding of your well and the best way to protect it, you can check out this great resource from Conservation Ontario here.
Preventing issues by keeping up with regular maintenance is a sure way to avoid big expenses down the road.