Germicidal UV-C Applications > Home/Residential UV-C Systems > Well Water Contamination
Well Water Disinfection is Your Responsibility
Groundwater is not stagnant — it’s always moving. Your well water quality can change rapidly without you knowing. More than 15 million U.S. households use private water wells and are responsible for overseeing the quality of their drinking water in order to prevent disease. The CDC, in its article titled “Overview of Water-Related Diseases and Contaminants in Private Wells,” discusses the need for homeowners to address private well water contamination.
EPA regulations protecting public drinking water sources do not apply to your private well. Well water contamination can affect even the best-maintained and newest wells. Regular testing, proper maintenance, and appropriate filtration and disinfection are necessary. Adding ultraviolet technology for disinfection can reduce health risks associated with well water contamination and improve the quality of your water.
Well Water Quality Concerns
There are two areas of drinking water concern — those dealing with safety for consumption, and those dealing with aesthetic issues such as taste, color, and odor. Contamination that can pose health risks is often invisible to the naked eye. Aesthetic issues are rarely indicative of impurities that create health concerns.
Several sources of pollution are easy to spot by sight, taste, or smell … however many serious problems can only be found by testing your water.—EPA, “Drinking Water From Household Wells”
An Economical & Rapid Disinfection Method
Ultraviolet technology is an economical and rapid method of disinfection. Germicidal ultraviolet lamps, also known as UV-C lamps, emit ultraviolet rays at 254 nanometers. This level is lethal to bacteria that may be present in your water such as E. coli, virus, mold, and cysts like Cryptosporidium.
SANITRON® , MINIPURE® , MIGHTY★PURE® , and Bio-Logic® UV Water Disinfection Systems are quality-engineered, manufactured by Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation®, and easy to install and use. They provide continuous disinfection of your water with minimal maintenance — occasional quartz sleeve cleaning and bulb replacement about once a year or every 10,000 hours. A stainless steel chamber houses the UV-C lamp, so there is no risk of exposure. Successful disinfection depends on the unobstructed path of ultraviolet wavelengths through the water, and on the proper dose of UV light needed in order to inactivate the particular organisms. To compare all models, view and download our UV Water Purifier Comparison Chart .
Well Water Contamination Risks
In 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studied the water quality of over 2,000 private wells to measure the existence and extent of contamination. The study found that about 23 percent of them did have at least one contaminant at a level of potential health concern.
Bacteria, virus, or fungi contaminating the aquifer can feed into your well. Contamination can cause foul odors and tastes, physical discomfort — and in the worst cases, it can have deadly consequences. The following water-related diseases and contaminants found in private wells are either susceptible to ultraviolet (UV-C) rays or removed by our carbon and sediment filters.*
Water-Related Diseases Susceptible to UV / Contaminants Removed by Our Carbon & Sediment Filters
*Lead and Nitrates are treated only by Bio-Logic® Pure Water Pack™ models with cartridge filter 25-4520, as part of a point-of-use treatment.
Common Drinking Water Quality Issues
Septic Tank Effluent
The EPA, along with Cornell University , determined that bacterial contamination from septic tank effluent is the most common drinking water quality issue. Septic tanks and cesspools also leach other non-bodily waste toxins — such as cleaners and over-the-counter and prescription medications — into the groundwater.
Another serious well water contamination issue is caused by animal waste that seeps into the groundwater and aquifer by a nearby livestock farm, and eventually into the well.
Flooding and stormwater runoff pollution are also causes for concern. Aquifer contamination is typically caused by improper use of fertilizers and pesticides, construction equipment, lead and copper piping, mining, stormwater drains, sewage plants, and inadequate disposal of hazardous wastes such as cleaning supplies, paints, medications, motor oils, and chemical or industrial wastes.
3 Routines to Address Private Well Water Contamination — Testing, Maintenance, Treatment
Because there are so many potential contaminants in your well at any given time, there is not one water treatment to eliminate all risks.
Experts recommend that you have your water tested by a certified laboratory at least once a year — more often if there’s a reason for concern like a failed water test. This procedure will indicate if your well water tests positive for coliform bacteria, nitrates, and dissolved solids — while monitoring water pH levels.
Periodic inspection by a well water specialist is also recommended to rule out any physical issues near or with your well. Areas of concern that the investigation can reveal are bad or corroded fittings, casings, and pipes, abandoned water wells nearby, and reduced water pressure.
Whenever possible, you want to remove the contamination source. However, removal of many natural and unnatural causes is not always feasible. Continuous disinfection treatment with the SANITRON® , MINIPURE® , MIGHTY★PURE® , or Bio-Logic® directly before use ensures your water is safe from harmful bacteria, virus, and fungi.
Safe & Pleasing Well Water with Ultraviolet Disinfection
With a variety of contaminants possible in your water, most well water disinfection procedures will require a series of treatments in order to improve groundwater quality. This layered process may include:
- Particulate filtration to remove debris and turbidity
- Ion exchange to soften water and treat arsenic and nitrates
- Reverse osmosis to remove a variety of contaminants
- Chemical treatment to fix hardness, PH balance, and sulfide issues
- Ultraviolet to provide continuous disinfection, virtually eliminating all bacteria, virus, and mold
Point-of-Entry or Point-of-Use
For better water aesthetics and safety, install a SANITRON® , MINIPURE® , MIGHTY★PURE® , or Bio-Logic® UV water purifier at your home’s point of entry (POE) or point of use (POU). When you turn on the tap, your UV system will have inactivated all bacteria, virus, and fungi. Our standard and optional safety features will alert you if a malfunction occurs. Since your water has undergone this ultraviolet disinfection step, you’ll gain peace of mind knowing it’s safe to consume. Compare all models with our UV Water Purifier Comparison Chart .
Atlantic Ultraviolet’s Tank Master™ UV-C Liquid Storage Sanitizer prevents slime buildup inside your non-pressurized well water holding tank and stops microorganisms from multiplying. Even though the water undergoes full treatment before use, using the Tank Master™ helps to keep the slime problem under control.
A Well-Established Water Disinfection Method
Ultraviolet disinfection has been recognized for decades as a powerful, safe, rapid, and chemical-free well water disinfection method. Some of the well water microorganism contaminants that STER-L-RAY ® UV-C Lamps deactivate include Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts, E. coli, Hepatitis A, Rotavirus, Salmonella, and Shigella. The keys for successful UV-C disinfection are a quality constructed system, correct installation, consistent maintenance, and having a properly-sized system for the water volume.
The Keys for Successful UV-C Disinfection
Selecting the Best UV-C Water Purifier for Your Needs
The UV purification method is safe and economical, with hundreds of gallons purified for each penny of operation cost. STER-L-RAY ® UV-C Lamps , installed in all Atlantic Ultraviolet water purifiers, require little energy to operate and produce the lethal dosage required to rid water of virtually all microorganisms.
When selecting a UV-C water purifier to treat well water contamination, consider your disinfection rate goals, proper evaluation of your water volume, and whether you want continuous or intermittent purification. Small purifiers can operate between 1 and 40 gallons per minute. Larger ones can provide 416 gallons per minute or more.
Four UV water purifier product lines manufactured by Atlantic Ultraviolet are listed below. To compare all models, view and download our UV Water Purifier Comparison Chart .
The Bio-Logic® line is economical, compact and versatile. These models feature dual, rotatable chamber heads to match an existing water connection, streamlining installation and saving time and money. They are available either as stand-alone water purifiers or with a dual-filter system . These water purifiers are designed for point of use installations (under the sink) and can also be used to treat water in aquariums, boats, campers, etc.
These models have a compact footprint, making them ideal for point-of-use applications (under sink installation, water vending machines) as well as with small reverse osmosis systems, boats, recreational vehicles and other similar applications. Models come equipped with an audible alarm integrated into the ballast that alerts you of malfunction. All MINIPURE® UV Water Purifiers come equipped with Stainless Steel Promate™ Wall Mounting Brackets.
These water purifiers, manufactured in Type 316 stainless steel, offer superior quality and numerous standard features. Several optional accessories are also available, including a GUARDIAN™ Ultraviolet Monitor. MIGHTY★PURE® Models MP36C (12 GPM) and MP49C (20 GPM) are available with Certification for NSF®/ANSI Standard 55: Ultraviolet Microbiological Water Treatment Systems and can install for POU or POE.
These models provide maximum gallon per hour flexibility. Multiple units can be added or removed at any point as your needs change. Install these purifiers at the point of use (POU) or point of entry (POE). SANITRON® models S37C, S50C, and S2400C comply with NSF®/ANSI 61 and 372 — Drinking Water System Component — Health Effects and Lead Content. All SANITRON® models have many standard features such as an integrated drain fitting and a patented dual-action wiper for easy quartz sleeve cleaning — making them the easiest of the 4 product lines to maintain.
Compare all UV Water Purifier models with our Comparison Chart .
SANITRON® and MIGHTY★PURE® UV water disinfection systems from Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation® are quality-engineered and made in the USA. MINIPURE® and Bio-Logic® product lines are assembled in the USA. All product lines utilize stainless steel for maximum durability, along with standard features and optional accessories to alert of system malfunctions.
Tank Master™ Ultraviolet Liquid Storage Sanitizer
In addition to the benefits of UV installed POE and POU inside your home, ultraviolet disinfection can be used to reduce risks found inside your non-pressurized well water storage tank. Atlantic Ultraviolet’s Tank Master™ Ultraviolet Liquid Storage Sanitizer , which installs inside this tank, helps to eliminate slime that can continuously grow on the tank’s walls and in the head space above the water. During the summer months, slime can become heavy and a nuisance to keep clean. Even though the water undergoes full treatment before use, using the Tank Master™ helps to keep the slime problem under control.
Need help? Call Our UV Application Specialists at 1-631-273-0500, Mon.–Fri. 7am to 6pm EST.
We will help you determine the right products, and the proper installation method in order to provide the precise ultraviolet dosage for your needs.
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Our Well Water Contamination Blog Posts
- UV-C Safeguards Your Water from Abandoned Well Cross-Contamination
- Guard Against Unknown Well Water Quality Changes with UV-C Disinfection
- UV-C Assists Well Water Owners in Reaching EPA Recommended Zero Bacteria Count
- Atlantic Ultraviolet UV-C Purifiers Protect Against Virtually All Well Water Bacteria