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Troubleshooting the 7 Deadly Sins of Well Water

How do you troubleshoot the seven deadly sins of well water?

Having your own well at your home, cottage or cabin is much different from being on city or municipal water. The municipality treats your water in your town or city so you don’t need to worry about whether the water is safe to drink or not. With well water, however, you’re totally on your own. That’s why you need to know what symptoms to look for to determine if any of these seven deadly sins are in your well or surface water and, more importantly, how to fix these issues.

    Bacteria in your water can make your family sick. The only way to know for sure if you have bacteria in your well water is by having it tested specifically for bacteria at your local health unit or a Lab. Water can smell, have colour to it, and stain your fixtures all with or without bacteria. Unfortunately, you can’t smell or taste bacteria so the only way you know if it’s present is by having the water tested. But remember that the bacteria test only reveals if you have bacteria in your water at the time of the test… no one knows about tomorrow’s test. This means you’ll need to continually test for bacteria to get an update on whether you have bacteria or not.
    SOLUTION: Bacteria is typically killed by using an Ultraviolet Disinfection System (UV) like this.
    Lead in water has become more of a concern than ever before, mostly due to recent high-profile events in the news. And, similar to bacteria, you don’t know you have lead in your well water unless you have it tested by a licensed Lab. Thankfully, safeguarding against lead is pretty straightforward.
    SOLUTION: To remove lead from your water, you can either use a special kind of carbon filter to do the whole house, cottage or cabin, or you can use a Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water system like this HUM Water Saver 75.
    High TDS or Total Dissolved Solids is another potential concern with well water. TDS is a total of all the mineral content that is in your well or surface water. If your water has high TDS, often it’s caused by extremely hard water or high levels of sodium or other minerals. Drinking water standard for TDS is 500 ppm or less.
    SOLUTION: A Reverse Osmosis system like this is the best way to remove high TDS from your home or cottage.
    Hard Water in your house, cottage or cabin leaves scaly deposits on every surface the water touches. You’ll see it on and around your fixtures, as a water line in the toilets, and as spots covering those beautiful glass shower doors. What’s equally important is where you don’t see it… caking on layer after layer inside your hot water heater, the valves inside your faucets and toilets, and inside your washing machine and dishwasher. Worse yet, if you have a tankless hot water heater or Ultraviolet Disinfection System the hardness in your water will clog and scale them up, rendering them useless.
    SOLUTION: To eliminate hard water, you need a Water Softener like this.
    woman smelling something bad in waterIf you have it, you’ll know! Sulphur in your water quickly becomes noticeable by that foul rotten egg smell. After some time you may become accustomed to it and stop noticing it, but your guests will remind you with their subtle, “why does your water stink?” Although this is more an aesthetic issue and won’t harm you, it will make your life miserable.
    SOLUTION: This is easily fixed by getting your water tested and then installing an Iron & Sulphur Filter like this one.
    Iron in your water shows up as those rusty stains – often in your toilets, fixtures, dishwasher etc. Your water can come out of your faucets totally colourless but once it’s exposed to the air, the iron starts to come out of your water and the water becomes rusty coloured. This is because the air is oxidizing the iron out of your water.
    SOLUTION: You can use an Iron & Sulphur Filter like this. If you don’t have sulphur in your water then a Water Softener like this will also work great as it will remove up to 1ppm of iron.
    Tannins cause discolouration in water similar to iron, except tannins are organics tinting your water instead of being a mineral, like iron. Common forms of tannins you may be familiar with are tea and wine. Tannins in themselves are not harmful, but they stain your tiles, grout, and fixtures and can be a source of embarrassment when company comes over. And if you fill a bathtub full of tea-colored water, nobody is going in there! NOTE: Tannins can be misdiagnosed as iron to the naked eye, so it’s important to have your water tested by a certified professional for a proper analysis.
    SOLUTION: Tannins in small quantities of water can be removed with a tannin filter cartridge; however, for a whole house or cottage, you need a dedicated tannin filtration system like this one.


Water Store Midland offers FREE water testing!

If you want to know what’s in your well or surface water, our Certified Water Specialists are here to help you conquer crappy water. We offer FREE water testing for minerals. Just mail us a sample to:

Water Store Midland
1004 King Street
Midland, Ontario L4R0B8

Once we know what’s in YOUR water, we can provide you with recommendations on the best water treatment solutions for you and your family.


Since we’re talking about well water filtration, click here for my next video and I’ll see you there!