Spring Melt Could Lead To Contaminated Private Wells

Mar 23, 2016

Credit Wisconsin DNR

Northwoods property owners with private water wells should be on the alert for water contamination this time of year.

DNR private water section chief, Liesa Lehmann says well owners should take notice if the color or smell of the drinking water changes....

"....when temperatures warm we have snow melt or rivers rising and water running off on frozen ground. Any of those can create conditions that can send some of that surface water into the aquifer and into someone's private well..."

Lehmann says owners who see flood waters very near or over their wells should assume their water could be contaminated...

".....if you notice a change in the color, smell or taste of your water or you've seen some flooding near your well, stop drinking the water and have your well tested and see if there's any bacterial contamination. You should have the well disinfected, then have the well tested to make sure it is safe...."

Flood waters and rain runoff may contain bacteria and other contaminants that can affect water supplies and cause illness. Wells located in pits, basements and low-lying areas are especially susceptible to contamination.