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Private residential well owners need to protect their drinking water and health with regular inspections, maintenance
May 04, 2021
As part of Private Residential Well Awareness Day during Drinking Water Awareness Week in Michigan, MI Environment looks at the importance of properly maintaining residential wells.
More than one million Michiganders get their drinking water from a private residential well. Taking proper care and maintenance of these systems is vital to protecting the health and well-being of families served by these systems.
The Michigan departments of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and local health departments work collaboratively to raise awareness and offer education to protect Michigan private residential well owners.
Drinking water is an essential part of all living things, but sometimes contaminants enter water unnoticed, as many have no smell, taste, or color. Some can be harmful to your health, and they can be manmade contaminants like industrial chemicals, or natural sources like bacteria that works its way into the well plumbing. If your household gets drinking water from a private residential well, learn about well maintenance activities you can do to protect your family's health:
- Inspect your wellhead and wellcap several times a year. Look for any cracks or openings that shouldn't be there.
- Have a registered well driller inspect the well system every 10 years, or as needed.
- Check the surroundings of your well to see if items or materials are nearby that could impact your well.
- Always work with a registered well driller if you find a problem.
Routinely maintain your well.
- Test your well water on a routine schedule for some contaminants and test as needed if you suspect or know of potential contamination concerns.
- If you notice a change in the rate at which your well pumps groundwater, contact a registered well driller.
- Sometimes to treat a contaminant in drinking water you need a water filter or treatment system. Contact your local health department or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to discuss the best option before starting any treatment.
Keep your well records.
- Keep records of when your well was installed and any repairs you have done.
- Track water tests to see if things change over time.
Learn More on EGLE's drinking water webpage.