If you grew up in the city, you probably can’t even imagine someone in the 21st century getting their water for daily use from a well. But actually, a lot of families across the world rely on wells for their water needs, as their families have for generations before. But as we know more and more about the safety hazards of everything around us, we’re left questioning whether we can really use the same methods that have been around for thousands of years – especially with children. We all want to protect our children and make sure they are healthy, so should there be concerns about your well water?
The Structure of the Well
When talking about wells, a lot of them are DIY jobs that people do in their yard. However, the risk with this is not going deep enough. When you dig a well, the whole point is to reach the deep underground waters that are the biggest untapped source of freshwater on the planet. It’s clean because, on its path to the ground in a rain cycle, it goes through several layers of rock and soil that purify it, so when you pull it out it’s perfectly clean. But if your well doesn’t go deep enough to reach those waters, you might be getting water that isn’t nearly safe enough to drink. So even if you were making your well as a DIY project, you should have someone with you who is an expert and will make sure you’re digging deep enough.
A well isn’t something you can just make and use forever. The Earth is alive and anything that goes that deep into the ground will need maintenance. If you neglect the maintenance of your well, you risk some serious illnesses, bacteria, and toxins in your well. Make sure that you are getting your well checked and maintained regularly to minimize this risk.
It might sound scary, but nitrate is present everywhere around us. It’s on the ground and in the water. It’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless so you have no idea when it’s present. Unless you have something like this system for filtration, the presence of nitrate is probably quite high. It occurs if your well water is contaminated by sewage or fertilizer. And high levels of nitrate in your water can be a problem for children. As adults, our bodies can metabolize nitrate so it’s not harmful, but babies up to 6 months don’t have that ability, and high levels of nitrate in the water can lead to your child having “blue baby syndrome”. It is a condition that doesn’t allow the blood to carry oxygen properly, so the skin can get blue, especially around the eyes and mouth.
One of the biggest issues with well water will always be bacteria. Because of the way the water is sourced and because there are no chemical treatments it goes through, there are many bacteria present. Some bacteria are harmless, and if present in low amounts there’s nothing you should worry about – if you’re an adult. With a child in the home, and especially an infant, you’ll want to boil any water you give them to make sure it’s sterile. This will prevent any harmful bacteria from getting to their system and making them sick. You also need to perform a check four times per year, once per season. This is crucial and you must not skip this step, because if everyone drinks the same water that is loaded with bacteria, you might all get the same bug and get sick at once, which is never a good thing.
Since private wells are private property, the government can’t really regulate them. However, they do recommend getting your well checked and tested once per year at the least. If your child does keep getting sick from the well water, you might be facing bigger issues, but surely your priority is for your child not to get sick, and not the government getting involved. You should want to maintain your wells for the wellbeing of yourself and your family, as water is the one thing we simply cannot live without.
Having your own source of water is a blessing and you can rest assured you’ll never have a situation like a water outage or not having a steady flow of water. But there are extra steps that you need to take and precautions that you need to be aware of, especially with kids and infants in the house, to make sure that everyone stays healthy.