Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Well Water Testing in Nova Scotia - Buying a home?

Homeowners are solely responsible to test their own well water to ensure it is safe.
Over 40% of Nova Scotians obtain their water from a well. Homeowners are solely responsible
 for testing their own well water. Just because the water looks clear and innocent, something harmful may be present.  Dept. of Health recommends testing every 6 months.

 If you are selling or buying a home with well water, it must be
 safe. Test thoroughly to ensure there are no harmful contaminants.  If the water is not safe, the
 house sale may not proceed. Stains or odours(aesthetic objectives) may be present that may not
 affect the sale of the home. 

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Selling or Buying a home with well water? Test thoroughly!
Most Common Water Quality Issues found in a Real Estate Transaction: Unsafe Water
Coliform bacteria including E.Coli may be found in the well water. This is a health concern.
You have 2 options:
1. Shock the well water with chlorine and re-test after all chlorine residual is depleted. Water should be testing in one month to ensure it stays safe. Water should be tested every 6 months as
recommended by the Dept. of Health and Dept. of Environment.
2. Install an Ultraviolet Sterilizer - This system is 99.99% effective to sterilize coliform bacteria including E.Coli when the well water quality meets the guidelines for that system. Re-test coliform bacteria including E.Coli to ensure it is safe.  The ultraviolet lamp inside of this unit needs to be changed yearly. The quartz sleeve must be clean to ensure sterilization.
Arsenic or Uranium may be found in the well water. Many areas in Nova Scotia have arsenic and uranium in the water. This is a health concern that will affect the sale or purchase of your home. Nuisance minerals such as iron, hard water, manganese, hydrogen sulphide odour may interfere with
 the reduction or arsenic and uranium. There are many ways to reduce these concentrations to safe levels.  Arsenic comes in 2 forms. Arsenic 3 and Arsenic 5. Laboratories test for Total Arsenic.  
1. Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Systems with designated faucet. This system will reduce
arsenic 5 and uranium.  You must obtain water for cooking, drinking and teeth brushing from this system.    
 2. Whole house mixed bed water softeners with anion and cation exchange resin.  This is a multi purpose water system that will reduce hardness, ferrous iron, manganese, uranium and arsenic 5.
This system uses water softening pellets to clean and regenerate.  This system will also reduce the
pH(acidity) level.
3. Whole house chemical-free Metsorb Filter - This system uses no salt or chemicals.  This system will reduce Arsenic 3, Arsenic 5 and uranium.  Hydrogen Sulphide(rotten egg odour) must be absent. Contact your water treatment specialist for further details.