Many people believe well water cannot become tainted by contaminants because it typically comes from locations far beneath the surface. Water Testing Blog strongly suggests that you DO NOT BUY INTO THAT LINE OF THOUGHT.
We ‘yelled’ that last bit for a reason. Unwanted and potentially harmful contaminants can find their way into well water regardless of how far below the surface it comes from.
Hence the reason why well water professionals and health officials suggest having one’s well water tested yearly.
Today’s story about well water contamination came from Kansas where residents of Butler County have had to all but abandon the use of their drinking water wells because of an unpleasant chemical smell.
Specifically, the water coming out of the private wells has a gasoline like odor to it.
A bad odor and taste in the well water has some residents in a neighborhood east of Andover concerned. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and a water testing lab are working to find the source of the problem, but residents in the area are becoming frustrated.
Eric and Brittney Hauck say the well water at their house in Butler County smells terrible and they fear it could be unsafe.
“There was the smell of gasoline, kind of a paint-thinner kind of smell,” said Brittney Hauck.
The Haucks immediately stopped drinking the water and contacted the KDHE. Ash Creek Associates out of Portland, Oregon came out to their house and tested the water.
Last week, the Haucks received the results which showed elevated levels of benzene and other contaminants. The testing company gave the Haucks bottled water and installed a charcoal filter at no charge.
A week later, the family and many other neighborhood residents are still waiting for answers from the KDHE about what’s causing their water to become contaminated. KAKE News attempted to contact both the testing company and KDHE but could not get a response because the offices were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Some residents suspect the contamination may be coming from a petroleum pipeline that runs through their neighborhood. Until they can get some definitive answers about the safety of their well water, residents say they’ll continue to use bottled water for drinking, cooking and bathing. ( source )
We feel very bad for the Haucks and all the other folks in that area affected by the suspected contamination of the aquifer from which they draw their well water. Hopefully the KDHE will determine the source of the well water contamination quickly and make it so the Haucks and their neighbors can once again perform simple tasks like cooking and bathing with their well water.
Testing for benzene in drinking water?
The average person cannot obtain an off-the-shelf test kit capable of testing for the presence of benzene in drinking, tap or well water. That sort of testing must get done in a laboratory using advanced analytical techniques and equipment.
AS usual at this point we suggest contacting your local water department or board of health to see if they can provide you with a list of certified water testing laboratories. For those wishing to use a mail-in water testing service, you may want to take a look at the 83 water quality parameter test package offered by National Testing Laboratories.