Wells and Septic Systems – Do They Mix?

well system diagram
If your home operates off of well water, you may have some concerns. Can the wastewater from your septic system contaminate your drinking water? If so, how can you prevent it? We’re here to answer all your questions about wells and septic tanks.

How Do Well Systems Work?

To understand the relationship between your well and your septic tank, it is important that you understand how well pumps and systems work. Shallow wells occur when the water table is high, while deep wells are common in areas with low water tables.
The most common type of well system is a shallow well with a jet pump. Jet pumps are located above the pump and use a tank and pipe system to “suction” water from the wall to the house. Your well system is separate from your septic system, as the well brings fresh water to the home, while your septic system draws wastewater from your home.

Can Septic Water Contaminate Well Water?

Since the two systems are separate, you don’t have to worry about the pipes sharing water. However, if your septic tank malfunctions or your pipes leak, close proximity between the wastewater and well water may result in some cross-contamination.

How Can You Keep Your Well Water Clean?

To avoid well water contamination, make sure you are observing the following rules.

1. Make sure your well and septic tank are far enough apart.

If you are building your house from scratch, this is an easy step to take. If you already live in a home, you are at the mercy of the prior builders/owners. Generally speaking, your well and septic system should be at least 50 feet apart, with a minimum 100 foot distance between your well and the septic drain field.

2. identify other nearby septic systems.

Especially if you live in close quarters with neighbors, figure out the location of any nearby septic systems. They, too, must meet the minimum distance requirements.

3. Inspect your tank regularly.

To prevent leaks and other problems, keep a close eye on your septic tank. Depending on how many people live in your room, you may need to pump it more regularly than the average of three years.

4. Inspect your well water regularly.

Try not to take for granted that your water will always be clean. Contamination is possible, so inspect your well, pump, and overall water quality every once in awhile.

Other Septic Service Tips

The best thing you can do to ensure your drinking water is pure is to invest in routine septic system maintenance. A professional will ensure that everything is functioning properly within your septic system and well. A good rule of thumb is to schedule a professional inspection and pumping every couple of years, or as soon as you notice a problem. It’s always better to nip issues in the bud before they become an expensive and unpleasant surprise.
Norway Septic Inc. is a service-oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you need a new effluent filter or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.

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