Across rural Texas, many homeowners find that they’re drinking water from a well. It’s not an uncommon situation to be in, depending on where you’re from in Texas. The Texas panhandle is the most extensive region in the state to use groundwater for irrigation, drinking, and general uses for water. So, in this guide on how to filter Texas well water at home, we’ll show you how to make your water safe to consume.
What is Well Water?
Well water is simply that, water from a well. In several areas across Texas, traditional water sources don’t exist. As a result, residents of these areas rely on wells to get their water. Unfortunately, this water is far from pure and does require proper filtration to be safe for consumption. This is a responsibility that falls on the residents of homes using well water. As it stands, roughly 30% of all homes in the US rely on well water, with 60% of that comprising groundwater.
How to Filter Well Water at Home
When it comes to filtering well water at home, you’re left with several options, including:
- Shocking with chlorine
- Reverse osmosis
- Whole-house reverse osmosis
- UV water purification
- Water softening
Shocking Using Chlorine
The process of shock chlorination is to disinfect natural home water systems to remove microorganisms in the water. It takes 5-7 days before the water will be drinkable directly from the well. You should be doing shock chlorination on your well when it’s newly installed, if water tests come back with traces of bacteria, after repairs and maintenance, after flooding, if it becomes muddy/cloudy post-rain, and if there’s an odor.
We think you should be doing several of these methods to get your water just perfect, but one thing you should not ignore is a RO water system. These systems filter water effectively and efficiently to remove the majority of contaminants to ensure it’s safe for consumption. If you’re wondering can reverse osmosis remove chlorine, the answer is yes!
Whole-House Reverse Osmosis
This is building on RO and making it work for the whole house to create filtered water for everything from drinking to showering. It uses the same process as a RO unit by filtering water through a RO membrane but on a larger scale.
UV Water Purification
By using UV water filters that utilize UV bulbs, you’re able to expose bacteria to UV light which has been known to effectively scramble the DNA of germs and kill it off. However, if the water has sediments and other contaminants of a similar nature, it might all be in vain, as these can block UV light from entering the water.
The process of water softening helps to remove various minerals and other components which are causing the water to be ‘hard.’ When it comes to hard water, it can be a preference. Some might actually prefer their water to be hard water as it’s got a high mineral content. However, the downside is that it can decrease the lifespan of appliances that are exposed to it and even have negative effects on your clothes, hair, and skin. Water softening is also a great way to eliminate iron.
What Are Common Contaminants in Texas Well Water?
There are four naturally occurring contaminants that are commonly found in Texas groundwater, which exceed standard drinking level standards. These four contaminants are:
When it comes to arsenic, it’s found in about all provinces of the state. Arsenic has dire health consequences. For starters, it’s bad for your skin and circulatory system. Additionally, it poses the potential for cancer. Activated alumina is a great way of tackling arsenic contamination.
This common mineral is most prominent in the Gulf Coastal Plains of Texas. Fluoride is harmful at high concentrations. Some parts of Texas, and the rest of the country, add small amounts of fluoride to the water to help with dental health, as it’s good for strong teeth and bones- once again, in small doses.
Radionuclides and Uranium
When it comes to radionuclides, any element which decays by emitting radioactive particles is known as a radionuclide. When they decay, they create several byproducts, such as argon and potassium. When radionuclides decay, they begin emitting one of three things:
- Alpha particles – can be harmful if consumed as they’ll come into contact with your organs.
- Beta particles – can damage cells and organs if consumed as they break the chemical bonds of one’s critical molecules.
- Gamma-ray particles – this is less common but still exists in some sources of groundwater. Gamma rays can cause DNA and tissue damage.
More Common Contaminants
Well water is susceptible to contaminants like iron, magnesium, and sulfur. In order to filter water with high contents of these contaminants, you’d need a specific filter designed to handle these kinds of contaminants. Iron filters are commonly used to filter all three of these common contaminants effectively. Test your well water to see where your levels are on these common contaminants.
Through a combination of methods, you’ll be able to remove harmful contaminants from your Texas well water in no time. If you’re someone who’s living in an area where a well is the way of life, it’s time to get serious about how you approach water filtration to ensure you and your family aren’t drinking harmful contaminants.