Published on April 16th, 2019
There are many benefits to living in the countryside. You can say goodbye to city smog, the clattering of trucks hurtling down the road in the middle of the night, and town lighting that stops you getting to enjoy the starry night sky.
However, as most plumbers will tell you, there’s one significant drawback if you aren’t proactive, and that’s the water supply. If you have a private well or bore, you might think it’s safe to drink. It might be crystal clear and seemingly healthy, but that may not be the case at all.
Microscopic contaminants could be lingering where you least expect them, such as E-Coli, Campylobacter, and Salmonella. Even micro-organisms such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium can make their way into your water supply if you don’t have a sufficiently secure top on your well or bore.
Then there’s arsenic, boron, fertiliser, manganese, pesticides, petrol, diesel, and rubbish. Whatever is in the earth is capable of making its way into your water supply. Is that a scary thought? It might be time to call your local plumbers for advice. Country water can be clean, fresh, and pure, but it can also be the complete opposite. Here are some top tips for keeping your rural water supply safe.
1. Test Water on New Properties
A common problem that plumbers come across is that not everyone knows when they last had their water tested. It might not have even been them that did it. When properties change hands, especially during Gypsy Day, they presume the water is okay for drinking and thoroughly tested. It might have been all those years previous, but it may not be the case now.
When you create a new bore or well, a water test is part of the consents process. Anyone who buys or occupies the property after that point doesn’t have to worry. There is no legal provision for water testing when a property changes hands. A top tip is to test your water when you move to new premises. You can start property ownership or management on the right foot, with a healthy and safe water supply.
2. Ask Your Plumber For Help And Advice
When you move to a rural property, there could be many things you don’t know about the land or domestic water supplies on it. Before you get become too entrenched in daily life, arrange for plumbers to come out and inspect your groundwater supply. With your consent, they can arrange for testing and offer advice on how to approach water use in the meantime.
Such advice could include abiding by the Ministry of Health Guidelines, such as sanitary inspections, system maintenance, disinfection, and regular testing and monitoring.
3. Secure Your Water Supply
If you want to reduce the risk of your water supply ever coming under threat, then make sure new water sources are installed sensibly in the first place. Install them far away from contamination sources such as offal pits, compost, and rubbish, and secure them to prevent groundwater carrying contaminants.
Once you know you have been sensible with your water supply, don’t get complacent. Check with your local plumbers to see when you should carry out regular water testing.
If you are in the beginning stages of installing a well or bore, then refer to the Health Education guide on safe household water to make sure you do it correctly. Otherwise, check with your local plumbers.
4. Consider Water Treatment Options
To be on the safe side, additional water treatment options may be something else worth your consideration. Your local plumbers can point you in the direction of what will work best for you. Aeration, filtration, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and chlorination may help to solve your rural water supply woes.
5. Where Does Bore Water Come From?
Many farms and rural properties have a bore or well supply water, but do you know where it comes from? Both well and bore water come from rivers and rainfall. It flows down soil and rocks, moving underground. Either confined or unconfined aquifers hold it in place. A confined aquifer lets water flow without pumping, while an unconfined aquifer is seasonally variable.
6. What Can Contaminate My Rural Water Supply?
Even if your water supply is hidden and tucked away underground, that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Many things can contribute to an unsafe drinking supply that could compromise your family’s wellbeing. Animals that are closer than ten metres to your bore head can pose a significant danger, as can an offal pit or an old well with no maintenance.
If you have a septic tank or sewage disposal system nearby, then that’s a risk as well. Then there are pesticides, fertiliser, underground tanks of diesel and petrol, and bores and wells with no proper seals. Do you know the quality of your bore or well? Talk to your local plumbers about your next move.
Living on a rural property comes with many pleasures, but if there’s one thing that rural folk miss out on, then it’s a water supply they don’t have to worry about. If yours is a cause for concern, or you haven’t put any thought into testing it, then now’s the time. Consult expert plumbers for help and advice in getting the ball rolling.