Home Inspections Real 101 Episodes

How to Maintain Private Water Wells and Your Water Quality

In this episode of Real 101: The Home Buying and Selling Show, Home Inspector Allan Spisak of ACISS Home Inspections and Jason Berry of ESSE Canada talk about what viewers need to know in order to maintain their water quality and private water wells.

What Types of Water Wells and Water Supply Can You Find on a Rural Property?

According to Jason, who is the manager of property services at ESSE Canada, there are two main types of water wells and water supplies he encounters on rural property – a well or a cistern.

Typically, you will encounter three types of water wells and water supply on a rural property:

  1. A drilled, 5-6 inches steel casing, well, which can be anywhere from 20-30 to 300-400 feet deep
  2. Bored, or dug well, which tend to be shallower, with larger diameters of 36 inches in diameter and no more than 50 feet deep
  3. A direct intake in the water source (lake or river)

How Can You Maintain Water Quality if You are Using a Direct Intake Water Source

Obviously, if you are using the third option and are directly taking your water from the local river or lake, you need to worry about bacteria from that water. There are several ways to treat that water and make it safe for usage.

  • Treat the water with chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide or chlorine, which requires a large storage tank in your basement or shed in order to allow the chemical to react with the water and treat it.
  • Ultraviolet light unit. This unit consists of an UV lamp housed inside a casing, which is preceded by a 5-micron sediment filter cartridge. This option requires less maintenance and doesn’t involve any chemicals.
  • Ozone treatment. This is a newer way of water treatment and uses electricity to create ozone, which made it expensive before but with the improvement of technology, it has become more affordable to private home owners.

How Often Should Home Owners Inspect Their Water Wells for Bacteria?

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recommends that private water wells owners test their supply at least three times every year. This ensures the bacterial safety of that water supply. Local units will often perform this analysis free of charge.

Why is this important? If your water supply has been tested positive for bacteria, it is good indication that the treatment system you are using is not functioning as it should. If this is the case, it will either need some maintenance, repair or replacement.

What if There is No Well on the Property?

Sometimes, homeowners on a rural property don’t have a reliable water source. This could be the case if the supply is low-yielding or if there isn’t one at all. In that case, a cistern is used instead of a water well.

You can fill your cistern or water storage tank in a number of ways:

  1. Fill the cistern using the water supply you have
  2. Collect the water using the downspouts from the roof and eave troughs
  3. Have the water delivered to fill the cistern

If you are using a cistern, make sure to also use some way of disinfection. This is because that water will stagnate while sitting in a tank and bacteria might reappear.

Watch this episode to learn more about maintaining water wells.

For more information on home inspections contact:

Allan Spisak

Website: http://www.aciss.ca/

Phone: 905.633.8219

For more information on water and water systems contact:

Jason Berry

Website: http://www.essecanada.com/

Phone: 1.866.356.3773

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