Have you ever thought about how safe your water is? If you’re like most people, probably not. In residential areas, we depend on water treatment facilities to ensure our drinking water is safe. In rural areas, private wells typically are not contaminated. What if I told you that you were wrong? New studies have shown that wastewater is finding its way into our groundwater by way of septic and other drainage systems. This study used artificial sweeteners to track the flow of wastewater into groundwater and then on to residential wells. Artificial sweeteners are the optimal tracer due to its inability to break down. Once it’s in water, it never goes away.
That may not seem like a huge deal until you think about all of the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and bacteria also flushed down our drains and into our septic systems. Beyond our own health, this wastewater also finds its way into rivers and streams and may contaminate ecosystems.
With this knowledge, it’s important to remember the little things. A tiny action could have an overwhelming consequence to the health of all species (humans, plants, and animals). An easy way to ensure you are providing the best for your family, be sure to test your well water at least once a year. If you’re a true DYI’er, this handheld water testing meter would be a good investment and give you a baseline of what’s in your water. For a more in-depth test, I’d recommend reaching out to a local university or testing lab. Penn State offers water testing at a reasonable rate with an extensive list of contaminants it tests for.
Put your mind at ease and get tested!