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Sampling & Analysis

Bacteria is commonly found in wells especially in the warmer months when insects and debris enter the well, (also referred to as bacteria eating organisms) which causes some of these issues. If the bacteria sample comes back positive for bacteria, it's then recommended that Well Chlorination be performed which is a three day process. 

Well Chlorination Process:

Day 1- The Well is treated also known as being "shocked".

Day 2- 24 hours after being shocked, the Well will be flushed.

Day 3- 24 hours after being flushed, another Bacteria sample will be taken.

Did you know?

  • Well caps should be checked to ensure they are working properly.

  • Two-piece vermin proof caps are recommended over a one-piece cap.

  • The conduit that protects the electrical wire should be tightly sealed to the wellhead.

  • Most wellheads should extend 8"-18" above the ground level which helps to keep insects and debris from entering the wellhead.

 

Most minerals and/or impurities can be tested for in the water which is most commonly referred to as a Potability Water Sample or Bacteria and Chemical sampling. As far as real estate transactions, most lenders require that a potability sample be taken with Conventional loans.

What's being tested for:

  • Bacteria (Tests for coliform & e.coli)

  • pH (Water is acidic or basic)

  • Turbidity

 

Real Estate transactions with FHA/VA​ loans require additional testing.

 

What's being tested for:

  • Bacteria

  • Iron

  • Lead

  • Nitrates

  • Nitrites

  • pH

  • Turbidity

There are many other types of impurities that can be tested for as well. They include the following:

  • Arsenic

  • Lead

  • Mercury

  • Radium

  • Radon (Water)

  • MTBE's & VOC's (It tests for petroleum products in the water.)

Water Sampling Options

Locations, Effects, Sources, Treatment & Lead Times

ARSENIC

Found: More commonly found in Wells located in Anne Arundel Cty specifically Annapolis,Arnold Edgewater and Mayo. Also, the Eastern Shore, Calvert and St. Mary's Counties. (A 3-5 business day turn around) 

Effects: Skin damage, circulatory system problems, increased risk of cancer.

Sources: Natural deposits

Treatment: Reverse Osmosis (R/O). Ion exchange.

BACTERIA (Coliforms total Fecal/E coli

Effects: Not a health threat itself, and its used to indicate whether other potentially harmful bacteria may be present.

Sources: Naturally present. Fecal coliforms & E.coli only come from human and animal waste.

Treatment: Chlorinate the well and installing a chemical feeder or U/V light.

 

COPPER

FoundCorrosion can occur within the homes plumbing systems. (A 5-7 business day turn around)

CADMIUM

FoundCadmium can be found in the Costal Plains; Anne Arundel Cty, Calvert Charles, Prince George's & St. Mary's Counties along with the Eastern Shore.

Effects: Kidney damage

Sources: Natural deposits

Treatment: Reverse Osmosis (R/O). 

HARDNESS

This has to do with the way the water feels versus any major health risks. A pass or fail has not been set in place by the EPA. (A 7 business day turn around)

IRON

Found: A test recommended in most of the Maryland area, and is required by most FHA/VA lenders. (A 3-5 business day turn around.)

Effects:Possible staining on plumbing fixtures and laundry.

Sources: Naturally occurring.

Treatment: Water softener.

LEAD

Found: Typically found in pre 1978 homes with copper plumbing; and is required by most FHA/VA lenders. Copper plumbing can be joined together by lead solder. (A 3-5 business day turn around time.)

Effects: Delays in infants/children development, along with kidney problems and high blood pressure in adults. Pets can be affected as well.

Sources: Corrosion of the household plumbing.

Treatment: Reverse Osmosis pH correction, pipe replacement.

MTBE's or VOC's

The testing of petroleum products which can be found in areas of known leaks. Also can be found in neighborhoods with underground oil tanks. VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) is a test that covers the entire spectrum above the MTBE's (which is mainly for detecting gasoline. (A 5-7 business day turn around.)

NITRATES/NITRITES

Effects: Infants less than six months of age can become seriously ill.

Sources: Runoff from the use of fertilizers, a leaching from the septic tank, and it can come from the erosion of natural deposits.

Treatment: Reverse Osmosis (R/O). Ion exchange.

pH

Effects: Water is acidic or basic.

Sources: Naturally occurring.

Treatment: Neutralizer

PESTICIDES

Pesticides are caused from lawn applications.

Effects: Pesticides are toxic and exposure can cause a number of health issues and is linked to a range of serious illnesses and diseases in humans (and pets) from respiratory problems to cancer.

RADIUM 224 (Gross Alpha)

The testing of radiation in the water. Radium maps from the EPA should be referred to on whether testing is necessary or not. (A 7-10 business day turn around.)

Effects: Increased risk of cancer.

Sources: Erosion of natural deposits.

Treatment: Reverse Osmosis, a Water softener.

RADIUM 226/228

This test is recommended should the Gross Alpha results be 5-15 pCi/l.

RADON (Water)

If levels are found to be under the 4,000 pCi/l, its found to be at an acceptable level, per the EPA. (A 5-7 business day turnaround.)

SALT WATER INTRUSION (Total Chlorides and Total Dissolved Solids

Is commonly found at properties near tidal water and roadways that happen to be treated with road salts/chemicals in the winter months.(A 5-7 business day turn around.)

TOTAL FLUORIDES

Not commonly found in Maryland wells. (A 5-7 business day turn around.)

TURBIDITY

Sampling to see if there is any sand, dirt or grit in the well water. Turbidity is caused by soil run-off. ( A 2-4 business day turn around.)

 

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