Water Quality


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  1. Human Drinking Water
  2. Irrigation Water
  3. Livestock Water
  4. Septic Systems
  5. Water Treatment
  6. Tile Drainage

Is sulfur bacteria causing black slime in my plumbing system?

Black slime is most likely from the build up of metal sulfides.  Hydrogen sulfide bacteria can react with metals such as iron and manganese.  The black slime growth can contain bacteria and aren't always accompanied by a rotten-egg smell.

When comparing a small public water system to a larger system, is there a disadvantage for infrastructure improvements?

A small system will have less customers and less revenue, repayment of depb, and less money paid to qualified operators.  Infrastructure costs present a big challenge for a small system due to lack of customer and revenue.  Small systems are the least able to gain access to outside capital for infrastructure improvement.

Why does a well in constant use suffer a loss in pumping capacity?

Eliminate a deteriorating pump.  If the problem continues have the weather and rainfall patterns changed, determine if there have been any disturbances on the landscape that would reduce the recharge of the ground water, has the taste or color of your water gradually changed, has your increase of the total annual been changed, was the loss in capacity sudden or gradual?  Plugging can be a combination of chemical and biological.  A slower loss can be chemical where a rapd loss can be biological.  Biological growth often affects the taste and appearance of water.

When potable water stands for a long period of time can you drink the water without disinfecting it again?  Are there any health concerns I should worry about?

Potable water is typically disease free.  When left standing it can cause microorganisms in a system.  Residual chlorine will dissipate within days and this will allow a low level of bacteria to thrive in an oxygen free environment.  To clear up the problem you can try disinfecting and flushing the system.

Where can I find answers to common drinking water problems?

Many sites offer water testing services.  It is a good idea to periodically have your water tested.  Always have a water analysis done before you install equipment.  Simple terms as "water problems/treatment" and "drinking water problems/treatment" can produce a number of question answering results.  One could also contact their county Extension office to gain further information.

I have an odor that smells like rotten eggs in my well.  What is the cause of the odor?

A number of things could cause your well water to have this odor.  First, eliminate a leaky well casing.  If the casing is made of steel, look for possible corrosion.  A water source containing hydrogen sulfide could be seeping in through corrosion.  If the casing is plastic, corrosion is most likely not your problem.  Is there a sewer line close to your well line that could be leaking?  Have a water analysis done to see if there has been an increase of bacteria due to iron, manganese or hydrogen sulfide.

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