In Westford, Massachusetts, roughly 40% of properties depend on obtaining water from an on-site, drinking water well. The term “private well” is typically used for a well that provides drinking water for a residence. Private wells are regulated by the local Board of Health. There are various water quality issues you may encounter including hard water, iron, manganese, radon or arsenic. These are all correctable problems with the proper water test & analysis followed by proper equipment specification, installation and maintenance.
MINIMUM TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR PROPERTY SALES
The analysis for potable water wells drilled in bedrock must, at minimum, include:
Coliform Bacteria, Nitrate/Nitrite, Hardness, pH, Sodium, Chloride, Iron, Manganese, Lead, Copper, Arsenic, Fluoride, Gross Alpha Screen, and Perchlorates. If the Gross Alpha Screen is elevated, a second water sample shall be collected and analyzed for Radon and Uranium. Based on advice from the well driller and/or laboratory, Radon and Uranium can be analyzed in water instead of Gross Alpha. For more information on water testing see below. If you are on the public water supply, the following link can answer many questions that you may have about your water. See link Wesford Town Water Q & A.
Water testing should be conducted by an EPA or Massachusetts state certified laboratory and should minimally include analysis for the parameters identified above. If you are uncertain as to how to take a proper sample and get it to a lab, you should contact a lab or water treatment professional for assistance. The closest lab to Westford, MA for having this testing done is Nashoba Analytical in Ayer, MA. Nashoba website link. They can walk you through the steps required to complete this task. You are responsible for your own water testing if you have a private well. Speak to a water treatment professional or state certified lab for information on how often to have your well tested.
COMMON WATER PROBLEMS IN WESTFORD
The common issues encountered in Westford, MA private wells and public water supply include:
In private wells, you may also encounter low pH and sometimes the health threats radon and arsenic making their way into the water. If the testing results for Radon exceed the current Massachusetts guideline of 10,000 pCi/L in water, the radon must be removed from the water and the Board of Health recommends testing the air for Radon as well. It should be noted that New Hampshire requires action if radon is 2,000 pCi/L (pico curries per liter), Maine and Rhode Island are at 4,000 pCi/L. The maximum allowable level of Arsenic in drinking water per the EPA is .01 mg/L (miligrams per liter) or 10 parts per billion.
EFFECTIVE WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS
Water filtration systems can be installed in Westford for the removal of any of the contaminants listed above and more. Water softeners are typically installed to remove dissolved iron or manganese in the water through a technology called Ion Exchange. Sediment filtration will remove particulate iron or manganese in the water. Water softeners will also remove hardness from the water. Arsenic is removed with tanks containing a specific media that “grabs” the arsenic out of the water. Removing radon from water requires a system where the water is highly agitated releasing the radon gas from the water, but then vented outside the home to ambient air. Other technologies and systems may be required to remove other contaminants. These systems are typically installed in the basement.
Again, any water filtration system or water softener installation should start with a water test before an informed recommendation can be made.