The Risks of Untreated Well Water

Quality of water is an important factor in a person’s well-being, as well as her health. According to local standards, water quality should be maintained at safe levels. Untreated well water can be contaminated by many things.

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This is a stale water source that has not been exposed to sunlight and therefore poses risks to the household. It is important to test and treat well water on a daily basis in order for it to be safe.


A well that emits an unpleasant odor can indicate a problem with its water quality. The odor of sulfur bacteria in well water can be similar to that of spoiled eggs. It is caused by decaying organic matter. Experts say the sulfur bacteria is responsible for the gas’s odor. However, the smell doesn’t affect well water sanitation. The odors in well water can also be caused from gas/oil storage tanks leakage, sewage contamination, or soil pollution.

Taste and color

Water discoloration is a sign of a problem. Iron and manganese are both known to alter water color and give it a bitter taste. Iron and manganese can build up in water wells, causing scale and salty tastes.

Metal Contamination

A low pH in water can cause metal contamination. This in turn can cause corrosion of pipes which will increase the levels of dissolved lead or iron. A pH imbalance or clay, mineral, or soil deposits can cause discoloration in water.

Microorganism Contamination

Water that has not been treated may become a breeding area for microorganisms responsible for gastrointestinal disease. Specialists say that waterborne microbiological contaminants are the most common to affect untreated well water quality. They include bacteria such as coliform bacteria, viruses like Hepatitis A, parasitic protozoa such cryptosporidium or giardia Lamblia, and parasitic parasitic worms such as helminths. This microorganism can make pets and humans sick.


Untreated well water is susceptible to arsenic poisoning. According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention arsenic is present in soils and rock. Because wells are underground, arsenic can seep in to their water. Because of the high levels arsenic in Maine, well water is often tested for arsenic. Arsenic contamination may cause health problems such as stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and problems in your nervous and circulatory system.

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