Is your well water well? The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is launching an awareness campaign to encourage private well owners to test their well water. About 12 percent of Florida’s residents receive their water from “limited-use” public water systems and private wells. While all public water systems in Florida are required to perform routine testing to ensure that they meet state drinking water standards, private well owners are responsible for ensuring that their own well water is safe to drink.
Because we live in Florida, we are lucky to have a plentiful source of ground water. Ground water fills the cracks and pores in sand, soil, and rocks that lie beneath the surface of the earth, much like water saturates a sponge. These saturated layers of earth are called aquifers, and they are the primary source of drinking water in Florida.
Due to its protected location underground, most ground water is naturally clean and free of contaminants. Unfortunately, Florida’s aquifers can become contaminated by chemicals and microbes that can cause illness. Bacteria and nitrate can reach the ground water and wells through poorly maintained septic systems, livestock areas, fertilizer application, or as a result of poorly constructed wells. Chemicals can enter the ground water from leaking gasoline storage tanks, pesticide applications, landfills, and improper disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes. As a private well owner, you should be aware of these potential risks to the ground water and your household water supply.
DOH is asking private well owners in Florida to test their well water. It’s simple and inexpensive. You can also find more information located on DOH’s Private Well Testing homepage: http://www.floridahealth.gov/Environmental-Health/private-well-testing/index.html