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Private Water System Maintenance


Here are some steps you can take to help protect your private water system:

  • If you have a well, it should be checked periodically for mechanical problems, cleanliness, and the presence of certain contaminants, such as
    • coliform bacteria,
    • nitrates/nitrites, and
    • any other contaminants of local concern, (for example, arsenic and radon).
  • If you have a well, periodically check the well cap (including the vent) to ensure it is free of damage and is properly secured to the well casing.
  • All hazardous materials, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil, should be kept far away from your private water system. 
  • All spigots with the capability of connecting a hose should be protected with a backflow prevention device.  When mixing chemicals, do not put the hose inside the mixing container, as this can siphon chemicals into the private water system or the plumbing distribution system.
  • Housing or securing domestic and farm animals around the private water system should be avoided.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

For newly constructed, altered, and repaired private water system, all private water systems contractors are responsible for disinfecting the work they perform.  If a long period of time passes between the construction of the private water system source (such as drilling the well) and the completion of the distribution portion of the private water system (such as connecting it to the house and installing the pressure tank, and pumping system), a physical cleaning should be performed prior to disinfecting. 

General maintenance, such as inspecting the well casing and well cap condition, cleaning and disinfecting, should be done periodically. Changes in the water quality may be an indication that the private water system well or storage tank(s) should be cleaned.  It is recommended that a registered private water systems contractor be contacted to evaluate your private water system prior to cleaning and disinfection.

Physical or chemical cleaning of an existing well may expose existing problems with your well casing. It is recommended that the well be thoroughly inspected by a registered private water systems contractor prior to cleaning or disinfecting. 

Newly constructed, altered, or repaired private water systems must be disinfected prior to being put into use. Components on all private water systems such as the water lines and pressure tank must be cleaned and disinfected after an alteration or repair.  These components are capable of harboring bacterial growth that can affect the water quality.  When altering a private water system, all components must be evaluated for compliance with the requirements of the private water systems rules.