Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Well Aware- a limited number of visits left for 2010

Here in Muskoka the majority of home owners depend on their water wells to supply their home with water for drinking and everyday use. For those who depend on a well the Muskoka Heritage Foundation offers the Well Aware program.

The main purpose of the Well Aware Program is to educate private well owners on best management practices and encourage an annual self inspection of their water wells. This is to insure the home has safe drinking water and to protect our ground water resource.

Although the water well is the principle target of the Well Aware visit, ground water connections between the property's septic system and any nearby bodies of water (i.e. lake/river) are addressed and discussed. Another topic discussed during the Well Aware visit is testing of the homes well water for bacteria and nitrates.

Water well testing is a free service offered to private well owners though the Ministry of Health. Best management practices recommend testing your well water a minimum of three times a year. Most often the homes well water is tested once a year and in most cases the tested water comes back free of bacteria. However, water tested at different times of the year can receive dramatically different results. Testing your water in Spring (after snowmelt) again in the summer months, then after a heavy rain in the autumn will give you a better indication of the changes that occur in your well throughout the year.

Ground water can also change from nearby land uses. Assuming the water in your well is free from harmful bacteria because it has been in the past is not always correct. Instead routinely testing your water before and after the homes filtration system a minimum of three times a year, continuously year after year will insure that you’re well aware the water that you and your family are using is safe.

Water testing bottles can be picked up at your local Ministry of Health Office, for locations of your local Ministry of Health Office click here.

For sampling procedure and more information on the type of bacteria your water sample is being tested for click here.

Contact Rebecca Francis at the Muskoka Heritage Foundation to book your Well Aware visit

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