Testing Well Water

LizGio

Songster
May 18, 2022
942
2,449
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Southeastern Pennsylvania
First and foremost, thank you for everyone's response to my other threads! I appreciate the time and detail you put into your replies more than you could possibly imagine! 🫂🥰

I have a hose hooked up to a well water source. We don't use this for anything more than watering our gardens in the summer. Our main supply of water is public. The chicken set up is on the side of the house with the well water and would be very convenient to use. So....

1. Should I test my well water to be on the safe side? I don't think it's hooked up to any type of filter. I actually have no idea....

2. What exactly am I testing for to ensure it's chicken-safe? I was looking on Amazon for water testing kits and some have many more "categories" to test for. Some even come with a bacteria test.

3. Do you have a preferred water test kit?

@U_Stormcrow
 
Contact your County Health Dept. They tested mine. If its safe for you, its safe for them.

There is no way I know of to do an at home test to look for the sorts of things a drinking water test needs to include, and the "sample and send" tests I just don't have enough experience with to recommend (or oppose). I just don't know. I know I'd want to look at heavy metals, nitrates, and fecal coliforms, some other bacteria. beyond that???
 
Here is the Virginia Dept of Health page on well testing for a reference:
https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-health/water-testing/

Pre-covid, our city held annual clinics for discounted testing of well water (haven't heard if they will be holding these again here or not). Your city may have a similar program. We have found that most of the free testing offered only tests for water hardness, not safety.
 
I have a hose hooked up to a well water source. We don't use this for anything more than watering our gardens in the summer. Our main supply of water is public. The chicken set up is on the side of the house with the well water and would be very convenient to use.
How deep is the well? Was it once used for the house?
 
How does your well work if i may ask? Is it something you can turn on with a switch and get an endless supply of water? Or is it something you have to pump with a manual valve? Is it an electric?

I have no idea, but I do know that if you have an endless supply of water, even a trickle, you can do some really cool stuff to build natural filters, waterfalls, etc. A natural filter would require only a little bit of rocky material that the water passes through removing any metals and hard stuff, and UV from the sun kills the bacteria.

Your problem with the well is you dont know what is down there. Testing it would give you peace of mind but an above ground way to create natural filteres water would be best, like a natural pond.

Is your terrain flat or do you have some slopes? Even an above ground tank where your well water passes through a filter into a tank may be a choice.
 
How does your well work if i may ask? Is it something you can turn on with a switch and get an endless supply of water? Or is it something you have to pump with a manual valve? Is it an electric?

I have no idea, but I do know that if you have an endless supply of water, even a trickle, you can do some really cool stuff to build natural filters, waterfalls, etc. A natural filter would require only a little bit of rocky material that the water passes through removing any metals and hard stuff, and UV from the sun kills the bacteria.

Your problem with the well is you dont know what is down there. Testing it would give you peace of mind but an above ground way to create natural filteres water would be best, like a natural pond.

Is your terrain flat or do you have some slopes? Even an above ground tank where your well water passes through a filter into a tank may be a choice.
I will ask my husband for more details. I know that he can shut it off in the basement...
 
I will ask my husband for more details. I know that he can shut it off in the basement...
Is your terrain flat? It must be an electric pump.

Just to give an idea, I supply a 20' x 50' although it is not very deep, pond for my ducks and chickens with just rain and a trickle of water from an elevated resevoir. Sometimes I turn on the water full just to regenerate the pond because I dont have any type of filter other than the water flowing down a hill and I live in an extreme UV zone. The water is sometimes green, sometimes black, sometimes clear. But I have never lost a duck or chicken.

So a well is a really useful thing if you wanted to bring the water up somehow into a resevoir on your property.
 

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