ICYMI: Boston Globe article on well water testing

In case you missed it, this article in the Boston Globe highlighted the importance of regularly testing well water. Stow doesn’t have a public water system, and the quality of well water around the lake could not only be affected by corrosive water, but also by how close your well is to your septic system or to those of your neighbors.

Some takeaways from the article: Massachusetts is at greater risk than all but five other states from ground water that’s potentially corrosive enough to cause toxic metals in household pipes to leach into drinking water.

“‘Our findings suggest that people who use private wells for their water supply should really have their water tested at the tap,’ said Ken Belitz, the lead author of the report and the agency’s chief of ground water studies. ‘The more corrosive their water, the more likely they are to have lead in their water.’

“Naturally corrosive water isn’t dangerous to consume on its own. The danger comes when it reacts with pipes and plumbing fixtures in homes. Signs that metals have leached into water include bluish-green stains in sinks, a metallic taste, and small leaks in plumbing fixtures.

“On Cape Cod, where about 20 percent of homes draw water from private wells, local officials recommend that those residents flush their pipes before drinking the water by letting their faucets run for as much as five minutes, especially after the water hasn’t been used for several hours. ‘I advise folks to collect a gallon of water, after everyone has showered, and leave that in the refrigerator to drink for the day,’ said George Heufelder, director of Barnstable County’s Department of Health and Environment. ‘Given the risks, that’s prudent.’”

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