St. Lawrence County Public Health Department Well Water Safety Tips
Is Your Well Water Safe?
In areas with a public water supply, water is treated with disinfectant and then filtered to remove sediment, unwanted chemicals, and metals. The same is not true for private well water. As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to have your well water tested to ensure it’s safe for drinking and free from harmful bacteria and chemicals that might otherwise go unnoticed.
When to Test Well Water:
Every Year : Test for coliform (bacteria)
Every 3-5 Years : Test for pH, turbidity, hardness, alkalinity and contaminants such as
arsenic, chloride, lead, nitrate, nitrite, manganese, sulfate, and sodium
When problems occur : Any time there is a change in odor or appearance
: If your family experiences recurring gastro-intestinal illnesses
: If you see stained plumbing fixtures
: If you notice scaly residue buildups
: If your soaps do not lather
In addition to water testing, homeowners should also conduct a visual inspection of their well every year to ensure the following:
- The well cap is securely attached
- The well casing is free from cracks and holes and extends at least 12” from the ground
- The surrounding ground slopes away from the casing and is free of pooled water and debris
- Do not store hazardous materials such as chemicals and fertilizer within 100 feet of the well casing
St. Lawrence County Public Health recommends having a well contractor inspect your well at least once a year.
Smell Rotten Eggs?
Hydrogen sulfide is a gas that gives off a distinct ‘rotten egg’ odor and occurs naturally in groundwater. The Environmental Protection Agency does not have limits for hydrogen sulfide because the human nose can detect it at low levels when it is not considered a health risk. The time to become concerned with hydrogen sulfide in your well is when the odor is overpowering and renders your water completely unpalatable. At high levels, it can also corrode metals and cause yellow or black greasy stains on fixtures and inside pipes.
Where to Test Well Water in St. Lawrence County:
Dunn Paper: Gouverneur, 315-287-7180
Life Science Laboratories: Waddington, 315-388-4476
Tap Score: mytapscore.com
DEC Registered Well Contractors in St. Lawrence County:
Cleve Greenhill Well Drilling – Gouverneur 315-287-3124
Drake’s Well Drilling Inc – Gouverneur 315-578-2331
Durham Well Drilling – Richville 315-347-2576
Fenlong Well Drilling – Richville 315-287-2076
Greenhill Well Drilling – Gouverneur 315-287-2076
Larry Young Well Drilling – Heuvelton 315-276-4441
Wood Well Drilling – North Bangor 518-483-2932
For Further Information