Groundwater Awareness Week, March 10-16
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[March 09, 2013]
CHAMPAIGN -- In the spring, just
before peak water use season begins, is a good time to check that
your water well is working properly and that your water is safe to
drink, according to Walt Kelly, interim head of the Center for
Groundwater Science at the Illinois State Water Survey, University
March 10-16 has been designated as Groundwater Awareness Week to
remind well owners to check their water well annually. It's
important for problem-free service and quality water. The National
Ground Water Association has sponsored this observance for nearly 20
In Illinois, elevated concentrations of iron and manganese
are typical, causing color changes in clothing, bathtubs and sinks.
Illinois groundwater is also usually "hard," which can prevent soap
from lathering and cause mineral buildup in pipes and water heaters.
Recent increases in chloride are being seen in urban and suburban
areas, most likely due to road salt runoff from roads and highways,
The drought of 2012 made headaches for many well owners who
discovered that their shallow wells were not sufficient, especially
in the summer, during irrigation season in agricultural areas. For
these reasons, an annual checkup of the water well's condition can
save money later.
The National Ground Water Association provides these suggestions
for preventive maintenance.
chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides and motor oil,
far away from your well, and maintain a "clean" zone of at least
50 feet between your well and any kennels and livestock
separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, and
chemical storage areas.
the well cover or well cap on top of the casing to ensure it is
in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out
insects and rodents.
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Have your water checked annually for
coliform bacteria and nitrates and for anything else of local
concern. Other typical tests are for iron, manganese, water
hardness, sulfides and other water constituents that cause
problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance and odor.
For well water testing, contact the ISWS Public Service
Laboratory at 217-333-9321 to obtain a well water testing kit. A
complete mineral analysis will be provided at a cost of $35. For
bacteriological analyses, contact your local public health
Water well owners interested in learning how to maintain their
own wells can take the Private Well Class, a free, step-by-step
online education program to help well owners understand groundwater
basics, best practices for well care and how to find assistance. It
will also teach well owners how to sample their well, how to
interpret sample results and what they can do to protect their well
and source water from contamination. For more information, visit the
Private Well Class website,
http://www.privatewellclass.org/, or email
[Text from file received from
State Water Survey]