Purifying Well Water

About 15% of Americans, primarily in rural areas, get their drinking water from private wells. Because there are no federal guidelines for testing private water sources, people that get their water from private wells run a greater risk of illness from all sorts of natural and man-made water contaminants. If you have a private well, experts recommend that you get your mechanical equipment tested for performance each spring, your water tested for pathogens once a year, and your water tested for chemical contaminants at least every two or three years.

Until the last few years, most folks seldom had their wells tested for anything unless a problem occurred. But increasingly, as they become more concerned about the quality of their drinking water, well-owners are buying water filters to ensure that their water is safe to drink. This article will provide an overview of the common contaminants found in well water and the types of water filters that do the best job of removing them.

Agricultural Chemicals

Each spring, farmers apply millions of pounds of pesticides, herbicides, and other man made organic water contaminants to their fields to reduce plants and insects that can affect crop yields. The problem is that rainfall washes some of these chemicals off the fields and into water supplies where they can create a variety of health problems. Carbon water filters are great for removing chemicals because the activated carbon is very efficient at absorbing all sorts of chemical contaminants, and the replacement cartridges are inexpensive and easy to replace.

Hard Water

Hard water is found in wells and public water systems all over the world and the hardness comes from naturally occurring minerals. These minerals seldom cause any health difficulties but they can build up and ruin pipes, water heaters, and plumbing fixtures. People have been choosing water softeners for years to take care of this problem, and they do a fine job. If you are looking for a more comprehensive solution to hard water and other impurities, reverse-osmosis systems not only eliminate hard water, but several other water contaminants as well.

Color and Odor

The water from private wells sometimes has a bit of color and odor that comes from decaying organic matter which is not harmful to our health but gives coffee and other beverages a funky taste. The �rotten egg� smell comes from hydrogen sulfide gas which our noses get used to and ignore but houseguests can smell right away. Carbon water filters work great for absorbing and removing these impurities entirely and reverse-osmosis water filters not only remove odd tastes and smells from water, but also many other types of contaminants.

Bacteria, Protozoa, and Viruses

These organic water contaminants are in water everywhere and can cause serious illnesses. Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Salmonella, and other pathogens cause flu-like symptoms, but they can be deadly in some cases, especially infants and senior citizens. To remove these from your water and keep it healthy to drink, use either an ultraviolet water filter or a reverse-osmosis system. Both of these filters are very effective solutions for this and cost little to operate and maintain.


If you get your water from a private well and are interested in getting your water tested, you can contact your county health department for a list of local laboratories that can screen your water for impurities for a very reasonable fee. Because rainfall and other factors can make a huge difference in water your water contains, they may ask you to bring in another sample in a month or so to provide more accurate test results.

There is a dizzying array of water filters to choose from when you�re looking to provide your own water filtration solutions, and it can be hard to separate the facts from the sales hype. This site has a wealth of helpful unbiased information to help inform your decisions, and you can bookmark this site for future reference as you conduct your own research on which water filters will be best for you.