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Healthy Home Solutions Lesson 3: Protecting private drinking water wells and managing on-site waste Healthy Home Solutions Lesson 3: Protecting private drinking water wells and managing on-site waste systems Part 1. Test and protect your private drinking water well Part 2. On-site waste water management (septic systems)

Part 1. Test and protect your private drinking water well Part 1. Test and protect your private drinking water well

 Knowledge: Access information on well water testing including what to test for, when Knowledge: Access information on well water testing including what to test for, when to test, and where to test. Increase awareness of typical on-site septic systems. Learning objectives Comprehension: Describe the importance of annual well water testing and daily management of septic system. Application: Identify where to get information on what to test and where to have tests performed. Identify additional actions that protect private drinking water wells

In the dark about drinking water testing and protection? Groundwater and wells Well construction In the dark about drinking water testing and protection? Groundwater and wells Well construction and maintenance Private well testing Home water treatment Protection techniques

THE WATER CYCLE The water in our wells THE WATER CYCLE The water in our wells

What is groundwater and where is it? What is groundwater and where is it?

Ground water needs to be recharged Ground water needs to be recharged

Our water quality is affected by what we do in and around our homes Our water quality is affected by what we do in and around our homes and communities.

How does pollution get into our groundwater? How does pollution get into our groundwater?

Well water protection: Where is the well located on this property? What is going Well water protection: Where is the well located on this property? What is going on around the well that could affect water quality? What needs to change? Insert home a syst property map here

Well construction and siting Well construction and siting

Minimum distances from the well to potential pollution sources Well Sewer line: 50 feet Minimum distances from the well to potential pollution sources Well Sewer line: 50 feet Septic system drainfield: 100 feet Animals: 100 feet Road surface: 50 feet Septic tank: 75 feet

Drilled well Drilled well

Drilled well and system parts Drilled well and system parts

Driven well Driven well

Driven well and system parts Driven well and system parts

Dug well Dug well

Dug well and system parts Dug well and system parts

Well log Well log

The “good” well: • Land slopes away from the well head to prevent ponding The “good” well: • Land slopes away from the well head to prevent ponding Proper drinking water well siting is important • Located up hill from a potential contamination source • Properly sealed and capped The “bad” well: • Located in a low spot, allowing for water to pond around well head • Located down hill from a potential contaminant source • Not properly sealed or capped

How do you know that your water is safe to drink? How do you know that your water is safe to drink?

Well testing schedule Initially, then every year: Total coliform bacteria Nitrate and nitrite Color Well testing schedule Initially, then every year: Total coliform bacteria Nitrate and nitrite Color Turbidity Chloride Initially, then every 3 - 5 years: Fluoride Iron Lead Manganese Sulfate p. H Tests for corrosivity (alkalinity, calcium, total dissolved solids, hardness, specific conductance) Initially, then every 5 -10 years: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) includes MTBE

Total coliform bacteria Standard • Maximum contaminant level (MCL) = Absent Total coliform bacteria Standard • Maximum contaminant level (MCL) = Absent

Standards Nitrates: Maximum contaminant level = 10 mg/L (ppm) Nitrites: Maximum contaminant level = Standards Nitrates: Maximum contaminant level = 10 mg/L (ppm) Nitrites: Maximum contaminant level = 1 mg/L (ppm) Nitrates and nitrites

Color and turbidity: Measures of clarity and cloudiness standards Standards • Color: Secondary maximum Color and turbidity: Measures of clarity and cloudiness standards Standards • Color: Secondary maximum contaminant levels = 15 color units • Turbidity: Maximum contaminant level = 1 turbidity unit

Standards Chloride: Secondary maximum contaminant levels set at 250 mg/L (ppm) Sodium: No standard Standards Chloride: Secondary maximum contaminant levels set at 250 mg/L (ppm) Sodium: No standard Chloride and sodium

Fluoride Standards • Maximum contaminant level = 4. 0 mg/L (ppm) • Desired range Fluoride Standards • Maximum contaminant level = 4. 0 mg/L (ppm) • Desired range = 0. 7 – 1. 3 mg/L (ppm)

Iron bacteria Iron and manganese Standards • Iron: Secondary maximum contaminant levels = 0. Iron bacteria Iron and manganese Standards • Iron: Secondary maximum contaminant levels = 0. 3 mg/L • Manganese: Secondary maximum contaminant levels = 0. 05 mg/L

p. H measurement of acidity of water Standard • Secondary maximum contaminant levels = p. H measurement of acidity of water Standard • Secondary maximum contaminant levels = 6. 5 – 8. 5

Standard • Action level = 0. 015 in parts per million Lead Standard • Action level = 0. 015 in parts per million Lead

Copper Standard • Action level = 1. 3 mg/L (ppm) Copper Standard • Action level = 1. 3 mg/L (ppm)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and MTBE (gasoline additive) Standards • Varies depending on the Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and MTBE (gasoline additive) Standards • Varies depending on the VOC • Check with your local or State Dept. of Health for specific information

Other times to test? • • If the well has flooded If you notice Other times to test? • • If the well has flooded If you notice a change in the color, taste or smell of your well

Choose a state certified private lab Call and tell the lab what tests you Choose a state certified private lab Call and tell the lab what tests you want Lab will give you bottles, directions, and costs to collect your sample Carefully follow directions when collecting the sample Take the sample to the lab within specified time

Check private well testing regulations May require well testing before a certificate of occupancy Check private well testing regulations May require well testing before a certificate of occupancy is granted May require testing of new wells May require well testing upon sale of existing homes Buyers may be responsible for testing

Unsealed abandoned wells Should not be allowed on a property. Safety and contamination issue! Unsealed abandoned wells Should not be allowed on a property. Safety and contamination issue!

Abandoned unsealed wells should not be allowed on a property! Abandoned unsealed wells should not be allowed on a property!

 Well cannot be used as stormwater or drywell Sealing abandoned wells Seal completely Well cannot be used as stormwater or drywell Sealing abandoned wells Seal completely within 3 feet of surface Casing/liner should be removed or placed below 3 feet surface Fill rest of space with soil Water permanently confined to original strata Land surface restored

 May not be permitted; check with Dept. of Health Well mounted hydrants … May not be permitted; check with Dept. of Health Well mounted hydrants … Wellhead yard hydrants Direct cross-connection between the well, its hose, and standing water at the end of the hose Drains water through gravel and serves as a conduit for contaminants to reach well If permitted, hydrant should be located at least 20 feet from wellhead

Water treatment and conditioning may be a Band. Aid Water treatment and conditioning may be a Band. Aid

 Test to determine need for treatment Before treating your drinking water… Find and Test to determine need for treatment Before treating your drinking water… Find and fix source of problem before treating Treatment is expense to purchase, install and maintain Deal with reputable distributor Have system professionally installed If possible - treat at the point of use REGULARLY maintain the system

 Does the water test show a problem? Home water treatment – questions to Does the water test show a problem? Home water treatment – questions to ask What are the levels of the contaminant in the water? Are more tests needed? Is there a health risk or a nuisance problem? Do I need to treat all the water in the house do I need to treat for drinking and cooking only? Are there any potential secondary effects to treatment? What are the long-term maintenance needs and costs?

Point-of-use system Home water treatment system types Point-of-entry system Point-of-use system Home water treatment system types Point-of-entry system

 Test your drinking water well. Follow the well testing schedule Make sure the Test your drinking water well. Follow the well testing schedule Make sure the area around the well is clean and fee of animal waste and other pollution Drinking water action list Check for cracks in the well casing and repair promptly Don’t let water pond around the well Install backflow prevention on outdoor faucets and in -ground sprinkler systems Maintain water treatment system on a regular basis

Protecting private drinking water wells and managing onsite waste systems End of Part 1 Protecting private drinking water wells and managing onsite waste systems End of Part 1 Test and protect your private drinking water well

Part 2 On-site waste water management (septic systems) Part 2 On-site waste water management (septic systems)

On-site waste water treatment Many rural home-sites with drinking water well, often have an On-site waste water treatment Many rural home-sites with drinking water well, often have an on-site waste-water (sewage) treatment system. On-site home waste-water systems (type and design) are usually regulated by the local health department with guidance from the state System design is based on soil types

Septic systems are most common Septic systems are most common

Three parts of a septic system Toilets Part 1: What goes down the drain Three parts of a septic system Toilets Part 1: What goes down the drain Dishwasher Sinks

 Pharmaceuticals Do not dispose of… Solvents and petroleum based products Excessive water-based products Pharmaceuticals Do not dispose of… Solvents and petroleum based products Excessive water-based products Garbage Paper towels

Three parts of a septic system Part 2: The septic tank Three parts of a septic system Part 2: The septic tank

Three parts of a septic system Part 2: The septic tank Size of tank Three parts of a septic system Part 2: The septic tank Size of tank based on residential flow: 1 -3 bedrooms 1, 000 gallons 4 -5 bedrooms 1, 500 gallons 6 -7 bedrooms 2, 000 gallons 8+ bedrooms 2, 000 gallons + 250 per room

Three parts of a septic system Part 3: The drainfield or leach field Three parts of a septic system Part 3: The drainfield or leach field

Assess clearances from drinking water well Water Well Assess clearances from drinking water well Water Well

 All domestic use wastewater must discharge into the septic tank Septic system management All domestic use wastewater must discharge into the septic tank Septic system management Roof, footing, garage, surface water drainage and cooling water must be excluded Backwash from water softener may be discharged into septic tank if … Regenerates using a demand-initiated regeneration control device, AND connected to interior potable water only

 Use of garbage disposal Septic system management Use of powder detergents, disinfectants, and Use of garbage disposal Septic system management Use of powder detergents, disinfectants, and grease Sewage back-ups in the house Slow draining toilets or drains Disposal of meth wastes

Septic system management Do not plan trees and other deep root plants over drainfield Septic system management Do not plan trees and other deep root plants over drainfield Do drive or park over drainfield

Septic failure: Impact to/from neighbors Drinking water well head locations Septic drainfield failure – Septic failure: Impact to/from neighbors Drinking water well head locations Septic drainfield failure – sewage surface seep

Know where to locate tank cleanout access! No fun and VERY $$$ Know where to locate tank cleanout access! No fun and VERY $$$

Septic tank pumping frequency Septic tank pumping frequency

 Keep maintenance records Septic system recordkeeping Know the location of the tank and Keep maintenance records Septic system recordkeeping Know the location of the tank and drainfield – have map handy Follow a regular inspection and pumping schedule

No substitute for proper management and maintenance No substitute for proper management and maintenance

Protecting private drinking water wells and managing onsite waste systems End of Part 2 Protecting private drinking water wells and managing onsite waste systems End of Part 2 On-site Waste Management (Septic Systems)

Protecting private drinking water wells and managing on-site waste systems <presenter name here> Thank Protecting private drinking water wells and managing on-site waste systems Thank you! Questions? Comments?