Never take a chance on water purity or the condition of your well in Colorado or any other state for that matter. Water is the primary source for all living things and clean water is essential for humans to remain in good health. In rural areas, we rely on our wells to produce clean and pure water and in Colorado, especially the mountainous areas, well water is what we use 99% of the time. PineBreeze Inspections will protect your family by making sure not only your water is safe, but the systems supporting your clean water are fully functional and efficient. When we are finished with your well and water inspection, you can hydrate with confidence!
Well System Inspection
A water well system inspection and well test should be performed not only when a property is being purchased but we recommend that you check on your entire well system (especially your water purity) at least once per year to ensure the overall health and efficiency of your water and well systems are functioning properly. PineBreeze inspections know exactly what to look for and test without huge expense to make sure all is well at your home. We will evaluate pump components, electrical systems, controls, and wiring, system infruastructure and the pressure tank for any signs of weakness or vulnerabilities.
In addition, during the well system inspection, we will evaluate all components of the system such as the well head for proper condition and location. It is important to run the pump system under normal operating conditions and monitor the motor current and stability for reliability and durability. A complete system inspection is wise to conduct to be sure the well and pump are in proper condition to run a full water well test.
The 4 major parts of any properly conducted well inspection checklist are:
- Well Location, Condition, and environment.
- Well Components.
- Water Testing.
- Well Yield/Flow.
Inspect before you purchase a home in Colorado!
A wise homebuyer would never consider purchasing a home without a thorough inspection of the structure and its water and well operating systems. Beyond the system, be sure to test the drinking waters quality. A water system can only be as good as the quality of the water it produces. Protect your family and your investment. Have the complete system tested. PineBreeze will never take shortcuts on our testing as we take water quality for families in Colorado very seriously.
If you have one, before the actual inspection, obtain your well’s log or record for information on the well’s history and the ground surrounding it. Home Improvement Contractors must file well logs in Colorado upon completion of all new well installations. Make sure to also own a copy and keep your own log in a safe place so that any emergency services that need to be performed in the future will be easily services by future water contractors.
Explaining to a homeowner about his private well water system.
Well Flow Testing for Anticipated Volumes
Not all wells need to produce the same volumes as water as every house and family is different. Every home’s water requirements are different. Anticipate (discuss with a professional) how much water your home will need based on the size family it will be serving. Not having enough water to supply actual needs within a household is very frustrating. A drawdown flow test will determine a well’s actual yield in gallons per minute (gpm). The test requires measuring water being pumped out of the well while monitoring the water level as it drops inside the well casing. When the amount of water entering into the well casing matches the amount being pumped out, the results are the true yield of the well. We will evaluate the rate at which the submersible pump works and test the pump performance over a length of time to see if all components are working optimally.
The vast majority of the time, if a well produces sediment or has a high mineral content, it becomes apparent during general testing. Simply by visually checking this during a well test, we can assess if there is a bigger issue that the homeowner needs to be concerned about.
The counties we serve are plenty in Colorado and we will travel to rural areas without any hesitation and we never charge travel fees. Do not hesitate to contact us but anywhere within 200 miles of Colorado Springs is our estimated coverage area.
Water level testing
The only way to know the water level in a well as it is pumped is with a water level sounder. However we can avoid this by closely monitoring and evaluating the water flow being pumped, system pressure. and motor current (amperage), we can gain an accurate picture of the well production . PineBreeze will give a detailed analysis of components and will provide a thorough report whether its integral parts are operating satisfactorily. Our assessment also includes the inspector checking the condition of the casing and well cap. We even check the above-ground well cap to ensure unwanted critters, contaminates, or debris can’t end up inside and possibly put the quality and purity of your well water at risk. We want to avoid common causes of compromised systems such as septic system seepage, road chemicals, and pet waste. PineBreeze will eliminate these potential problems so you can have complete confidence in your well water and its systems.
Well Pump Types
Pine Breeze is familiar with all pump types including:
- Submersible Pumps – Submersible pumps are centrifugal pumps. The submersible pump has a significant advantage over other centrifugal pumps because all stages of the pump end (wet end), and the motor are joined and submerged in the water. This means there is no need to re-circulate or generate drive water as with jet pumps, so most of its energy goes toward “pushing” the water rather than fighting gravity and atmospheric pressure to draw water. Submersible pumps are recommended for deep wells.
- Jet Pumps – Jet pumps are mounted above ground and lift the water out of the ground through a suction pipe. Prevalent in areas with higher water tables and warmer climates, your pump selection will vary according to water levels.
Major pump components to analyze:
- Pressure Switch – The pressure switch turns the pump on and off. There should be a 20 psi differential for a typical house well pump. The settings usually are 30-50 or 40-60 psi.
- Drawdown and Recovery Drawdown – This refers to the amount of water that evacuates the tank before the pressure switch will activate the pump. Drawdown is affected by the pump, the tank’s size, and the pressure settings that govern your water system. Recovery refers to the time it takes for the tank to recover from switching.
- Other components and areas of well testing and analysis include: The well hole and casing, grout, the well cap, submersible pump or jet pump, electrical wiring, valves and pressure gauges, the control box, capacitors and the pressure tank
Water Quality Indicators and Contaminants
Several water quality indicators (WQIs) and contaminants that should be tested for in your water are listed below. A WQI test is a test that measures the presence and amount of certain germs in water. These are fairly easy to test for and their presence may indicate the presence of sewage and other disease-causing germs found in human and/or animal feces.
Colorado Water Quality Indicators:
- Total ColiformsColiform bacteria are microbes found in the digestive systems of warm-blooded animals, in soil, on plants, and in surface water. These microbes typically do not make you sick; however, because microbes that do cause disease are hard to test for in the water, “total coliforms” are tested instead. If the total coliform count is high, then it is very possible that harmful germs like viruses, bacteria, and parasites might also be found in the water.
- Fecal Coliforms / Escherichia coli (E. coli)Fecal coliform bacteria are a specific kind of total coliform. The feces (or stool) and digestive systems of humans and warm-blooded animals contain millions of fecal coliforms. E. coli is part of the fecal coliform group and may be tested for by itself. Fecal coliforms and E. coli are usually harmless. However, a positive test may mean that feces and harmful germs have found their way into your water system. These harmful germs can cause diarrhea, dysentery, and hepatitis. It is important not to confuse the test for the common and usually harmless WQI E. coli with a test for the more dangerous germ E. coli O157:H7.
- pHThe pH level tells you how acidic or basic your water is. The pH level of the water can change how your water looks and tastes. If the pH of your water is too low or too high, it could damage your pipes, cause heavy metals like lead to leak out of the pipes into the water, and eventually make you sick.
- NitrateNitrate is naturally found in many types of food. However, high levels of nitrate in drinking water can make people sick. Nitrate in your well water can come from animal waste, private septic systems, wastewater, flooded sewers, polluted storm water runoff, fertilizers, agricultural runoff, and decaying plants. The presence of nitrate in well water also depends on the geology of the land around your well. A nitrate test is recommended for all wells. If the nitrate level in your water is higher than the EPA standards, you should look for other sources of water or ways to treat your water.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)VOCs are industrial and fuel-related chemicals that may cause bad health effects at certain levels. Which VOCs to test for depends on where you live. Contact your local health or environmental department, or the EPA to find out if any VOCs are a problem in your region. Some VOCs to ask about testing for are benzene, carbon tetrachloride, toluene, trichloroethelene, and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).
Other germs or harmful chemicals that you should test for will depend on where your well is located on your property, which state you live in, and whether you live in an urban or rural area. These tests could include testing for lead, arsenic, mercury, radium, atrazine, and other pesticides. You should check with your local health or environmental department, or the EPA to find out if any of these contaminants are a problem in your region.
Please remember that if your test results say that there are germs or chemicals in your water, you should contact your local health or environmental department for guidance in interpreting the test.
When to have your well tested
At a minimum, check your well every year to make sure there are no mechanical problems. test for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels or any other contaminants you may suspect.
- There are any problems with well water in your area or with neighboring homes
- You have had problems recently in or around your well (i.e., flooding, land disturbances, and nearby waste disposal sites)
- You replace or repair any part of your well system
- You notice a change in the taste, color or cloudy water, or odor in your water
- You are experiencing loss of capacity or pressure in your water system.
- Your water filters seem to get filthy or dirty very fast
Who should test your well?
Make sure your well is tested by an authorized and certified water and well testing service. Also, check out online reviews and testimonials so that you are not the guinea pig. Your family and loved ones are just to valuable to take unnecessary risk with such an important factor in everyones health.
Explaining to a home owner with a cistern supply and a private well how the well water system works.
Conclusion: Your family is just to important to take chances. Do not simply put all the burden on the inspection service to keep you safe. Please be aware that water systems can fail and your senses (eyes, taste, smell) are very good detectors if you stay aware of this fact. Annual inspections help, but do not wait to contact us if you feel something isn’t right. Always follow the following guidelines:
- Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a “clean” zone of at least 50 feet (15.24 meters) between your well and any kennels or livestock operations. Also, always maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, or chemical storage areas. Your professional water well contractor is familiar with the applicable local codes.
- Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out insects and rodents.
- Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, and annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.
- Get your water tested anytime there is a change in taste, odor or appearance, or anytime the system is serviced
Water & Well Testing Inspections