Testing your well water
If your water supply is a private well, you are personally responsible for testing and treating the well water to avoid health risks. Your major concerns should be microbial pathogens (bacteria, virus and parasites) in the well water supply. This is especially important if your well water is near a septic tank, or an area subject to animal wastes or nitrates causing additional risks to your health,Vapor intrusion should be addressed at any time during the well water testing stage of your search for quality water treatment. In NJ RA data Inc. provides full service testing and treatment of the following contaminates and more. Test your well water annually. Water quality can change due to mother nature and human carelessness.
Top 5 causes of waterborne outbreaks in private well water (CDC)
- Hepatitis A
- Giardia intestinalis
- Shigella spp.
- E. coli 0157:H7
- Tied for 5th: Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella serotype Typhimurium
Contaminates of well water
Be sure to have your well water tested
The only way to identify its presence in well water is to have the water specifically tested for arsenic. Arsenic in well water is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) NJ DEPA has a set action level of 5 parts per billion to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic but private well water has to be tested by the owners. Arsenic is a toxic element that is known to increase the risk of adverse health effects in people who drink water containing it. Arsenic is a known human carcinogen that causes cancer of the skin, bladder, lung, kidney, and liver. It also causes increased risk of cardio-vascular disease, peripheral neuropathy, skin hyperpigmentation and keratoses, and diabetes. Observable symptoms of arsenic poisoning are: thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, symptoms may also include numbness in hands and feet, partial paralysis, and blindness. Non-cancer effects of arsenic can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea. vomiting, diarrhea, numbness in the hands and feet, partial paralysis, and blindness. Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lings, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver and prostrate. The major exposure pathway for arsenic in residential well water is drinking and cooking with the untreated water. There may also be exposure from other uses of water in the home through bathing, showering, and brushing teeth. Some arsenic can be absorbed into the body through the skin, but this is not considered a significant source of arsenic exposure by the CDC.
It is estimated that 1.5 million people are potentially exposed to nitrates from rural domestic wells. Nitrates in well water can come from fertilizer runoff, leaching from septic tanks, and even erosion of naturally occurring deposits. Testing your well water to be sure your nitrate levels are low and acceptable is a smart choice eliminating the risk with filtration is best. Higher levels indicate that the water has been contaminated. Common sources of nitrate contamination include fertilizers, animal wastes, septic tanks, municipal sewage treatment systems, and decaying plant debris. Infants who are fed water or formula made with water that is high in nitrate can develop a condition that doctors call methemoglobinemia. The condition is also called “blue baby syndrome” because the skin appears blue-gray or lavender in color. This color change is caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood. Get additional information on the treatment and removal of nitrates in your drinking well water.
Radioactivity (Uranium) (Radium) (Radon)
Geologically, high levels of uranium in drinking well water are most likely to be found in the Highlands Province and neighboring regions of North Jersey. It is also possible for radium and radon in water to be found in this area.The Highlands Province lies within the southeastern portions of Sussex and Warren Counties, as well as major portions of Hunterdon, Morris and Passaic and small parts of Bergen and Somerset. In Pennsylvania this region is called the Reading Prong while in New York, it is called the Hudson Highlands. Radioactivity in drinking water is not a new phenomenon, having been present to some extent for thousands of years. Nevertheless, exposure to radium over a long period of time is believed to increase one’s lifetime risk of developing certain types of cancer. Therefore, homeowners should be aware of the steps they might wish to take to test their private drinking water wells for radioactivity and to reduce their exposure. Toxic Effects In addition to the risk of cancer posed by uranium and all other radionuclides discussed below, uranium is associated with non-cancer effects. The organ of concern, the “target organ”, of uranium’s chemical toxicity is the kidney. Uranium interferes with reabsorption of proteins. Miners and millers who were exposed to high doses of uranium showed effects which were usually mild and reversible. The EPA set a Maximum Contaminant Level for uranium of 30 micrograms per liter based on the chemical toxicity of uranium. For additional information on radioactivity in the highlands and southern New Jersey visit NJ DEP
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Manganese is a rare metal that is brought into water by dissolving in acidic rain. Like iron, manganese oxidizes when exposed to air or heat. The oxidizing of manganese will cause black stains on any surface it touches at levels as low as 0.05 parts per million. To put this into perspective, it is not uncommon to find levels as high as 2 parts per million, 40 times higher than the level at which it starts staining. Though the US EPA considers manganese to be a secondary standard and currently only recognizes it as an aesthetically damaging contaminant, recent research has demonstrated likely health risks from manganese. EPA Standards: When testing water for the presence of manganese, RAdata looks for the number of ppm, or parts per million of iron in the water. Because manganese can stain clothes and appliances at .05 ppm, the EPA has set the regulatory standard at .05 ppm.
Copper & Lead:
ALTHOUGH WATER SUPPLIED FROM YOUR WATER TREATMENT PLANT MAY BE FREE FROM LEAD/COPPER, contamination from your piping system may cause lead/copper to dissolve (leach) into your water supply if you have a lead service line connecting your home to the water main in the street and or your home has lead water supply pipes; and/or You have lead containing soldered joints in your copper supply pipes (installed from 1983-86); and/or You have plumbing fixtures containing lead. In rare cases some lead leaching may take place from piping in the street if it is a low flow area, i.e.; dead end streets. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. However, new homes are also at risk: even legally “lead-free” plumbing may contain up to 8percent lead. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets andfixtures which can leach significant amounts of lead into the water, especially hot water.
RAdata utilizes state-of-the-art AdEdge treatment systems. These packaged residential systems, specifically designed for arsenic and other heavy
metal treatment are the culmination of years of experience. The systems utilize an advanced iron oxide adsorption media AD33, for reliable, simple, and cost-effective treatment. No other technology can compare to its simplicity and ease of use for the consumer. The media has a very high operating capacity and works over a wide range of water quality. Media replacement is typically 2-4 years depending on water chemistry and usage. The systems utilize no regeneration chemicals, salt or additives.
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Nitrates, Radioactivity, Hardness
Exchange Water Softener
A water softener uses the principle of ion-exchange – in this case, anions – to remove nitrates from raw water. The equipment contains a “bed” of softening material known as ‘resin’ through which the untreated water flows. This unit is very different from a standard water softener. As water passes through the resin, the nitrates in the water attach themselves to this material. This ion-exchange process occurs literally billions of times during the softening process.
If the problem is not due to the corrosion of pipes and solder in the home, it is often best to use a Cation Exchange Water Softener at the
point of entry, or when the water enters the home. If the pipes are, in fact, to corroding, it will often be necessary to install a point of use treatment system as well. These are both only used if the pH of the water is below 7. A water softener uses the principle of ion-exchange – in this case,
cations – to remove lead from raw water. The equipment contains a “bed” of softening material known as ‘resin’ through which the untreated water
flows. As water passes through the resin, the lead in the water attaches itself to this material. At the same time, sodium in the resin is released into the water. This ion-exchange process occurs literally billions of times during the softening process.
For more information on testing and treatment of your well water contact us today