During the summer months, North Florida can expect a significant amount of rain. With the average precipitation nearly doubling this time of year, it’s not uncommon for us to get calls from home-owners with brown water coming out of their faucets or claiming that their well water tastes funny.
Anytime your water changes color or taste, it’s a cause for concern. Inconsistencies in appearance or flavor after heavy rain can indicate one of several issues, such as:
The color or taste change alone isn’t as much of a concern as are the potential, underlying issues causing the change. This article addresses some of the next steps to take in the event your water becomes contaminated and outline a few steps to avoid challenges during future rainy seasons.
Before we assume the worst, it’s important to ask a few questions.
The plumbing to and from most water wells will deteriorate over time, especially on older homes without CPVC piping. If the discoloration or taste dissipates after a few minutes of running the tap, it’s likely that it was caused by rust or sediment collected while not in use.
If the issue is only present when the hot water is on, it’s an indication that there is an issue with your hot water heater or one of the supply lines from the water heater. It may be wise to look into this before contacting a professional well pump repair company. Similarly, if you have a water softener or water treatment system, it may be wise to ensure that it is operating properly.
If you’ve run your water for an extended period of time, checked all the fixtures, appliances, and visible plumbing and are still experiencing problems, the next step is to inspect the well itself.
It’s not normal for a functioning water well with a properly fitted cap to be impacted by heavy rain. But, over time, fittings and seals can wear out.
As such, we recommend taking a good look at your well and addressing a few questions.
Cracks in the casing, seals, or cap can allow stormwater to enter and contaminate your well. If you notice any of these irregularities, it’s important to contact a professional immediately as they may be indicative of a much larger problem.
If you’ve inspected your well and still don’t see an issue, the next step is to get to the root of the problem.
Poor water quality associated with recent heavy rains could come from any number of issues, the worst of these being a leaky septic tank or surface water infiltration. If you can’t visually diagnose the issue, it’s best to test the well water and work backward to identify the root problem.
At a minimum, a complete water test should include the following measurements:
For those who feel comfortable, a self-administered water test kit can be picked up at most Florida county’s department of health. However, clean water is something that you really can’t afford to postpone and self-administered tests can take days to return a result. At Perry’s Pump Repair, we have our own private lab that is able to immediately test for common contaminants such as chemicals, particles, and bacteria, and also for hidden contaminants such as lead, nitrile, nitrates, bactin, and minerals.
Accurate testing will allow you to properly address the issue and put your money toward the best solution. For instance, if the issue is a leaky septic tank getting into your well water, the water test will identify certain bacteria and help concentrate future repair efforts.
If your well becomes contaminated, you and your family can quickly experience the negative consequences. Therefore, it is vital to regularly inspect and maintain your well pump to ensure your family has the highest water quality. Consistent maintenance will not only extend the life of your water pump but will help you avoid issues, like those discussed above, in the future.
The bottom line is if you have brown water after a rainstorm or you notice a change in your drinking water’s taste—you need to take it seriously. Check your pipes, appliances, and get the water tested immediately. Clean water is not something we can take for granted.
If you are experiencing an issue with your well water or would simply like to discuss how to safeguard your well system, contact the professionals at Perry’s Pump Repair to keep you and your family safe.