August’s National Water Quality Month is a good time to discuss the care and maintenance of your mom’s well. Some homeowners don’t realize that the water in a well needs to be checked to ensure it’s safe. A house filter will help with the water quality, but she still should be aware of what’s in her water.
How Often Should It Be Tested?
Ideally, your mom should test her private well once a year. If she has a dug well, it needs to be tested more often than that. Wells that have water supplies closer to the ground surface may become contaminated by things like fertilizers more easily.
Why Test Well Water?
Even if the well tested fine when she moved in, they can develop bacteria, parasites, toxic substances, and viruses over time. The water may not smell or look different. If she hasn’t had it tested in a while, she can arrange to do a test by contacting her local health department.
She wants to have her water tested for chloride, coliform bacteria, fluoride, hardness, manganese, nitrates, pH, sodium, sulfates, and total dissolved solids. Chances are it’s still fine, but if it’s not, she can take steps to make her water safer.
What Happens if the Water is Unsafe?
If the water is unsafe, several steps may help. She may need to chlorinate her well water to kill bacteria and sulfur. She might need to hire a company to aerate the water or add a solution of hydrogen peroxide to neutralize issues. A whole house water filter may be recommended.
Someone should talk to the company that put in the well. If the pumping level has declined, it may change the water quality. If this is the case, rehabilitation to remove silt, built-up minerals, and other measures may be helpful.
Who helps your mom keep track of her appointments? If she’s struggling to stay organized, are you taking the time to arrange her medical appointments or home maintenance chores like the heating system and dryer vent cleanings? If she can’t do these things on her own, talk about senior care.
She can have caregivers to help remind her of upcoming appointments. Caregivers can be with her on appointment days by providing transportation or being in her home when a contractor is there. They can also cook meals, help with housework and laundry, and assist her with personal care. Call a senior care agency to learn more.