Having your own well frees you from worrying about the contaminants present in the public water supply. However, well water can also be contaminated with various chemicals that are not great for your health. Here are three such compounds that are often present in well water.
PFOS and PFOA
PFOS and PFOA are two organic compounds that used to be discharged by industrial plants. If you live near any factories, these contaminants might be present in your well water. Even though plants should not still be releasing the compounds today, they linger in the soil for a long time. Regulatory organizations do moderate how much of these chemicals are permitted to be in municipal water supplies, but safe levels have not really been established, so you may want to assume that any amount of PFOA or PFOS is harmful. The chemicals have been linked to developmental delays, thyroid imbalances, and various cancers.
If you live near farms or in an agricultural area, you may have nitrate compounds in your well water. These come from fertilizer, which runs off into local streams and into the groundwater. Some nitrate compounds are rather harmless, but others may increase your risk of various diseases when you're exposed to them over the long term. Nitrates are particularly harmful to infants, which is why it's never recommended to give your baby unfiltered well water in an area where agriculture is common. Nitrates are tasteless and odorless, so you need to have your well water tested to see if it contains nitrates.
Lead used to be in residential plumbing until experts realized just how harmful it is. You may have lead in your well water if you live in an area where there is a lot of naturally occurring lead in the ground. Lead can cause acute symptoms like cramps, irritability, fatigue, and upset stomach. Over the long term, it can cause lead poisoning, which leads to neurological issues and memory problems. You can have your well water tested for lead to make sure it is safe. Lead has a slightly sweet taste, but most people cannot detect it in their well water by taste alone.
Make sure you have your well water tested for these and other contaminants. If your well water does contain any of these compounds, have a safe filtration system installed so you can drink the water without worry. For more information, contact a water well repair service.