Three Steps to Safer Drinking Water for Well Owners

Young person using a kitchen sink tap to fill a glass.

Get to Know Your Drinking Water

Does your home or business draw drinking water from a well? How do you know it’s safe for you, your family or employees to drink?

Many common substances, like de-icing salt and pesticides, can contaminate groundwater and make it unsafe to drink. Septic systems that fail can contaminate underground water aquifers with sewage and wastewater. Treatment systems, like ultraviolet filters, add extra protection against some contaminants, but they are no substitute for proper well and septic system maintenance.

Properly caring for your well and septic system can protect groundwater and everyone who relies on it. Here are the top three ways you can protect your drinking water from common contaminants.

  1. Get to know your well: Check your well record to learn what type of well you have and its age and depth. If no well record exists, engage a well contractor to fill in your knowledge gaps. This information will help you assess risks to your drinking water. For example, wells less than 15 metres deep are more at risk than deeper wells and dug/bored wells are more at risk than drilled ones that meet current safety standards.
  2. Perform well maintenance and upgrades: Wells should be inspected yearly to catch potential problems quickly. Wells no longer in use should be properly decommissioned. Hire a licensed well contractor to inspect, recommend maintenance, and do any necessary upgrades.
  3. Manage your septic system: Septic systems should be pumped and inspected every three to five years or as recommended by your septic system service provider. 

Groundwater is a shared resource and protecting the quality of rural drinking water is everyone’s responsibility. Contact [email protected] to get a free assessment of your well’s condition.

Other Resources:

Be inspired by others

Well Upgrade Gives Landowner Peace of Mind: John Island knows his one-hectare property in Mono like the back of his hand. Surrounded by evergreen trees, John’s home of 30 years has always been cozy, private and well protected from the elements, but he knew there was a problem lurking in his backyard. Read their story.

Access funding

For Rural Residents: Find funding for well upgrades or decommissioning through CVC’s Landowner Action Fund.

For Farmers: Find funding through local Rural Water Quality Programs.

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