Did you know that over thirteen million Americans rely on drinking water from a private well source? While these water sources are invaluable for bringing water to people in remote places, they also come with a serious cost. All groundwater is prone to a variety of contaminants — both manmade and natural — that can pollute the water you use every day.
As such, regular groundwater monitoring is vital if you want to keep your family safe. But, exactly what is groundwater monitoring? And who performs it? In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about keeping your private water source clean and safe. Let’s get started!
What Is Groundwater?
Groundwater is defined as any type of water that lies below the land surface. Typically, this type of water fills in the absorbent spaces between soil and rocks. Most of the usable groundwater is toward the upper surface. When it gets low this water table is typically refilled rain and snowmelt that trickles down from the surface.
Groundwater can be used for a variety of purposes, including commercial, agriculture, and mining. However, one of its most important purposes is drinking and water for residential areas away from municipal water sources.
Why Is It Important to Monitor Your Groundwater?
It’s important to remember that nearly all surface water, whether it’s a stream or a lake, interacts with the groundwater. This interaction is the main reason why it’s important to monitor groundwater. When things like fertilizer, industrial waste, animal excrement, and garbage are put into the environment it’s easy for surface water to carry this into the groundwater.
If left unchecked, this can pollute the water you use every day. It doesn’t matter if you drink your groundwater, shower in it, or just use it on your plants — if it’s polluted, then it’s unsafe. So, one of the main goals of groundwater monitoring is to identify any potential contaminants. However, pollution isn’t the only reason why you should continually monitor your groundwater.
It’s also important to monitor the aquifer levels present in the groundwater. Events like droughts or overuse can rapidly deplete groundwater supplies. If these changes aren’t addressed, then they can get much more serious. In some cases, the groundwater supply can even dry up completely. This is happening all over the place, especially in the western part of the country.
What Are Popular Types of Contaminants Found in Groundwater?
The specific types of contaminants found in your groundwater depend heavily on the area where you live. For example, nitrite is often found in areas with large farmland.
In this section, we’ll go over some of the popular types of pollutants and how they can affect you if you consume them. If you want a full list of the different kinds of contaminants found in groundwater, then make sure to check out this guide here.
Hardness refers to metallic ions that are dissolved into the water. Typically, these metallic ions are concentrations of calcium carbonate. This material comes from both limestone and mining waste. There aren’t any health impacts, but water hardness can affect the performance of your dishwasher, washing machine, and water heater.
Iron can enter the water naturally, or through industrial/mining practices. If you notice your water has a brown color to it, then it’s likely iron. In addition to the color, iron can also give water a bitter taste.
Lead can enter the environment through a variety of different methods. However, the most popular way is through mining, plumbing, coal, gasoline, and even as an additive. Lead can affect both the development of children as the well as the red blood cell chemistry. It’s also a likely carcinogen.
Nitrates appear from a variety of natural sources when nitrogen interacts with oxygen. However, when manmade things like fertilizer and sewage come in contact with it, they can bloom considerably. The toxicity caused by nitrate can affect the ability of the blood to carry oxygen properly.
Salter water intrusion, as well as industrial/residential waste, can cause high levels of sulfates. When it comes into contact with heaters or boilers it can cause hard scales. High levels have also been known to cause a laxative effect in humans.
How Do You Monitor Groundwater?
In some cases, you might be able to monitor groundwater on your own. Steel tapes and sonic measuring devices allow you to get fairly accurate readings of the water level in the well. However, there are some drawbacks to monitoring groundwater on your own. For one thing, these devices only measure water level — not you need to be properly trained to use the instrument.
And, even when you are trained, the device isn’t always 100% accurate. As such, you’re better off going with a professional environmental compliance consultant. These types of companies have the technology and the training to identify both the water level and potential contaminants.
If your water is polluted, then they also have procedures for handling it. Because of this, we generally recommend going through one of these companies instead of trying to monitor the water yourself.
Want to Make Sure Your Water is Safe? Contact AAA Group R.E. Servicing Corp
We hope this article helped teach you the importance of groundwater monitoring. As you can see, there’s no shortage of ways your private water source can get polluted. As such, your best bet for safe water is to hire a professional that offers groundwater monitoring services. But exactly how do you find one?
If you live in the New York area, then look no further than AAA Group R.E. Servicing Corp. Here at AAA Group, we’re trained to not only identify polluted water but to clean it up as well. Whether you own a residential home or an industrial plant, we can help you. Contact us today so you can start enjoying the safe groundwater that you deserve.