Last Updated on January 19, 2023
UPDATE AS OF 1/1/2023
Well Water is Subject to Cross-Contamination
You have your water tested and don’t like the results. Your well shows high levels of coliform. You then need to take steps to treat your water, such as shocking the well and adding appropriate water treatment equipment. Most importantly, you need an ultraviolet water purifier to treat the coliform and other microorganisms that may be present. In most cases, once the water is effectively treated, your home water should be safe and free from contaminants. However, leaving your well water untreated poses a significant risk because groundwater is always moving. Whether on your own property or nearby, there are several factors that can affect the water quality of your private well — one of them being abandoned well cross-contamination.
Some of the earliest evidence of drinking wells dates back 6,000 to 7,000 years ago. For centuries, humans have been digging wells to obtain valuable drinking water for use and consumption. Abandoned water wells are in every corner of the globe — and when not appropriately decommissioned, they can be the cause of significant contamination risks. Installing an in-line ultraviolet disinfection system in your home can mitigate your risk. These systems provide continuous protection against virtually all microorganisms that could leach into the groundwater from an abandoned well. Water passes through the chamber on its way to your faucet, virtually eliminating bacteria, virus, and fungi.
Avoid Risks from Abandoned Well Cross-Contamination
Your property could have had many different wells over the years. Your land may have changed hands dozens of times — between generations, farmers, developers, and homeowners. Abandoned boreholes create a pathway for surface contaminants to enter the aquifer. Once in the aquifer, your functioning well is exposed to these pollutants.
Survey your property for signs of old water wells, such as pipes sticking out of the ground, depressions in the land, slate stone pits, and out-of-use windmills. Since it is possible that new structures may have been built on top of old wells on your property, seek out property plans and old maps, and even talk with neighbors who may know the history of your property. If you find a decommissioned well, have a professional well water advisor assess the state of the well.
A properly decommissioned well has been filled from the bottom up with a special grout. Unlike concrete, which shrinks as it cures, this grout expands and creates a barrier that prohibits surface water from entering. When concrete shrinks, it establishes small fissures that allow microorganisms to infiltrate the groundwater and enter your functioning well.
Chicken coops, animal feedlots, stables, and hog houses have been known to have been built directly over top of wells for convenience. Unfortunately, over the years as the wells have dried up and have been either improperly decommissioned or not decommissioned at all, they’ve created a straight path for fecal coliform from the animals into the groundwater. It’s important to note that the abandoned well may be on your neighbor’s property instead of your own.
Protect Your Family with a UV-C Water Purification System
Your water well pulls water from the aquifer, no matter whose property it’s flowing through. Groundwater is always moving and has the constant risk of being further exposed to contaminants. Get the best protection by adding the final step of ultraviolet purification.
The Bio-Logic®, MINIPURE®, MIGHTY★PURE®, and SANITRON® UV-C Water Purifiers from Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation® install at point-of-entry (POE) or point-of-use (POU) in your home. A POE system treats all water entering your house — for drinking, cooking, showering, dishwashing, and clothes washing. POU systems install at the sink, water dispenser, or ice maker for more isolated protection.
Properly installed and maintained UV-C water purifiers will deactivate virtually all microorganisms that may have entered your water source through abandoned well cross-contamination, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts, E. coli, Hepatitis A, Rotavirus, Salmonella, and Shigella. Our ultraviolet water purifiers require very little maintenance — just occasional quartz sleeve cleaning and UV bulb replacement about once a year. Our UV Application Specialists can assist you in selecting the correct model for your well water disinfection needs.
Learn More & Shop Our Products
Made or Assembled in the USA of Type 304 or Type 316 stainless steel, the UV water treatment systems from Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation® are constructed of the highest quality materials and use germicidal UV-C lamps to purify water. Many applications can benefit from germicidal UV-C, including those with water affected by abandoned well cross-contamination. For more information on well water contamination — including how UV Water Purification improves water quality — visit our application-specific page.
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