Well water has earned a lot of positive reviews all over the years and has made many households living in the United States want to have a well drilled in their property. This is mainly because wells are reliable and are thought to provide better tasting water compared to the water that is being provided by local water providers. Also, wells are seen to be more environmental-friendly, which is a very important thing people have to think about today’s issue with global warming and other ecological problems.
Wells help a household save money, and among other benefits, it can be hard to say no to this technological advancement that has even made it possible for well water to be transported directly in all the faucets of your home.
However, owning a well is no walk in the park, and as a well owner, the responsibility of keeping a well maintained can be difficult work. If you are not taking care of your well properly, the result will absolutely affect you and your family. Some of the consequences that come with an improperly maintained well are sickness and disease, such as vomiting, nausea, headaches, and other more serious ailments that would require major treatment.
Does drinking well water cause kidney stones?
One of the major concerns many people have is whether the regular drinking of well water and using it for preparing food cause people to have kidney stones. Kidney stones are crystals that hardened inside a person’s urinary tract or kidney. It was formed from the salt and minerals that came from your kidney and will travel into other parts of your urinary tract, specifically your bladder.
Having kidney stones can be very painful, and this can cause other ailments as well. There are many reasons why kidney stones form. This can be due to diet, genetics, and other causes such as obesity. On the other hand, there are several pieces of research that link water consumption as one of the causes of kidney stone formation, most importantly, drinking “hard” water.
When water is hard, this usually means that it contains high amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The reason why there are some controversies that connect well water with kidney stones is that there is always a higher possibility that well water is hard, as it is acquired from aquifers – the water-bearing layers of rocks that supply wells with water. Because of this, many well owners are afraid that drinking the water from their wells would make them have kidney stones in the future.
For the concern of whether well water causes kidney stones, the answer to this is maybe. This is because there is no conclusive evidence yet that surely means that drinking well water would cause kidney stones to form. Yes, drinking high amounts of calcium and magnesium can be a factor (among many) that can be linked to kidney stone formation, but this does not absolutely mean that well waters cause them to form. It is important to know that well water does not 100% mean hard water, and there is no evidence that directly blames hard water to cause problems with the human kidney.
In fact, the most effective way to combat the formation of kidney stones is to avoid dehydration, and that can be avoided by regularly drinking water, hard or soft.
How to know if you have kidney stones
If you are a well owner, you might be a little paranoid after drinking well water after many months and years. To alleviate your fears, we have listed some of the symptoms you might feel when you have them. Of course, once you are experiencing these symptoms, make sure that you schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
Signs of kidney stone
- Pain in the groin
- Some blood in the urine
- Increased frequency of urination
- Lowered amount of urine
- Smelly and darker colored urine
Can well water cause diseases?
When you have a well, it is always good to treat it with care and make sure that it is properly maintained regularly. Wells have a possibility to be contaminated with bacteria called coliform, which could be traced from waste materials such as animal and human excretion.
In the case where you drink well water that is contaminated with bacteria, you might feel the following symptoms and have a disease that is listed below.
Salmonellosis is caused by salmonella, which is a waterborne pathogen that often finds its way into a private well, resulting in the people who consumed the water being nauseous, have diarrheas, fevers, and headaches.
Norovirus is also caused by consuming water that is contaminated with human or animal waste and causes people who consumed it to have muscle aches, cramps, and fevers.
Shigellosis comes from polluted water and causes people to undergo severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration.
Does this mean that well water is extremely unsafe?
There are certain bacteria that may be found in your well water, but this would not mean that your well water is extremely unsafe. If you are a responsible well owner and are following all the guidelines and tips that are recommended by your local government to ensure fresh and clean well water, then you will not have any problems with bacteria and diseases.
Just picture it this way: if you take care of your well, it will also take care of you. As a well owner, your well is your own responsibility, and you will not have anyone else to blame for an improperly kept one.
Things to do to keep your well water safe
You can ensure better water quality by doing the following:
- Only have a trusted professional drill your well.
If you do not have a well yet and are still in the process of having one drilled, make sure to do your research first before contacting a well company. It would be best to ask your neighbors and see what company drilled their well. Look carefully at the contractor’s website and search for reviews. There are no remedies for a poorly constructed well aside from having it replaced, which can be very expensive and time-consuming.
- Avoid making any repairs by yourself.
When there are issues with your well, you may be tempted to try to fix it yourself. However, doing so is not worth the risk, as you are increasing the chances of having your well contaminated.
- Have your well inspected regularly.
Depending on your area, you may be required to have your well inspected regularly, especially if you are near a septic tank, farm, and other potential risks of contamination. Your well contractor would take a look and see if there are parts that need to be fixed and replaced before it causes bigger problems in the future.
- Have your well tested once a year.
Wells are ideally tested once a year for bacteria, minerals, and other contaminants which can be very harmful once consumed by humans and animals.