Five Things You’ll Be Surprised to Find in Your Well Water

Serving South Jersey Since 1979

August 03, 2020

Homes usually draw their water from one of two sources: public supply lines and wells. The overwhelming majority of homes get their water from a public supply line—it’s more affordable, easy, and results in less water loss. Wells are generally only used in rare circumstances, such as in homes that were built before public water lines were commonplace, or in homes that are built so far away from a public supply line that connecting to one is impractical. However, those who do rely on a well for their water also face a number of additional challenges when it comes to water quality. Well water tends to contain elevated levels of a number of different substances that aren’t as commonly found in public water supplies.

This blog will take a look at five of these things and offer some helpful advice on how you can keep your water pure and in great condition, even if you rely on a well for water storage and supply.

Iron & Other Metals

As water trickles its way down from the surface into the groundwater basin, it collects a number of things along the way. Because the land above the groundwater basin is composed of a number of different materials, it’s not uncommon for water to pick up trace, dissolved amounts of certain substances. One of these substances could be different types of metals, most commonly iron. While iron is a key part of our diet, too much of it could have a negative impact on your health. Other metals are also not great to consume in larger quantities as well.

There are a few easy ways to figure out if you have this problem: if your water smells metallic, has a metallic taste to it, or has a reddish-brown tint to it, then this is a sign that you have elevated levels of metal dissolved in it.


Arsenic is a known carcinogen that causes all sorts of health issues when consumed in large quantities. Believe it or not, almost all of the water we rely on, both public and private wells, contains trace amounts of this substance. While the overwhelming majority of cases have quantities of this substance that are so small they are almost entirely negligible, private wells are more prone to having this substance in elevated quantities.


Just about all of us know what mercury is: that strange metallic substance that used to be used in thermometers, and is a metallic liquid at average room temperature. However, mercury is also known for being toxic, and mercury poisoning can be extremely detrimental to our health. Unfortunately, mercury is found in trace amounts in our water supplies all across the country. In some cases, mercury comes from groundwater, as it is picked up from rivers, streams, lakes, and other bodies of water that contain the substance. In other instances, it’s picked up as water trickles down into the groundwater table. However, the good news is that mercury can be removed by a water treatment and filtration system.


Nitrates are a common ingredient in modern pesticides, which are used to protect crops on farms across the nation. While many of these pesticides been nothing short of a miracle of modern science when it comes to increasing food supply and access for everyone, the nitrates in these pesticides can find their way into the groundwater table as the water used to grow crops slowly trickles down into the groundwater table. As a result, nitrates find their way into our well water, where they can slowly grow in concentration, reducing the overall quality of your water.

Bacteria Colonies

Bacteria colonies are far more common in well water than they are in public water supplies for one simple reason: wells can draw water from the groundwater basin, and the groundwater basin could be contaminated by a number of different things. For example, many homes that rely on well water also rely on a septic tank system because they also don’t have easy access to a public sewer. As a result, they have a leach field where treated water is released. However, water released into this field may not be as clean or pure as necessary if something has gone wrong with the sewer system. As a result, these bacteria might be present in the well, and it may be impossible to detect without detailed and frequent testing. This is why it’s important to both filter and treat your well water and kill off any bacteria that could be present.

How to Improve Water Quality

If you live on a property where you rely on well water, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to improve your water quality. The best way to do so is with a whole-home water filtration system that can target and remove these substances and many more. By installing one of these systems, you’ll enjoy cleaner, healthier water that tastes great, is crystal clear, and is free from many of the harmful toxins and chemicals that could find their way into your water supply. Interested in learning more about adding a whole-home water filtration and treatment system to your water supply line? Call EnviroSafe Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, Water Treatment today!