With over 750,000 British Columbians getting their drinking water from wells, it’s good to know there are safeguards in place to ensure our groundwater is clean and safe. On November 1st, 2005, the Ministry of Environment for BC introduced the Ground Water Protection Regulation to establish standards for ground water supplies by requiring all water wells in British Columbia to be properly constructed, maintained, and, at the end of their service, properly deactivated and ultimately closed. Water well drilling in BC is as safe and efficient as its ever been.
Did you know?The British Columbia Ground Water Association states that less than 3% of the Earth's water is drinkable, and of that drinkable water, 66% is from groundwater (34% is from glaciers, ice caps, lakes and streams).Contact us today for a free consultation and site evaluation.
Q: Can I drill my water well anywhere on my property?A: Location is extremely important as an improperly located well can lead to problems with well water contamination.The British Columbia Ground Water Association and the BC Ministry of Environment state that the location of a proposed water supply well should not be within 30 metres from potential contamination sources including:
- septic fields
- dog runs
- chicken coops
- animal ranges
- garbage cans
- refuse piles
- herbicide or fertilizer use or storage
- above and below ground storage tanks
- parking areas
- within 3 metres (10 feet) of an existing building
- in an area that will make it difficult to maintain, such as a basement, beneath a paved driveway, or under powerlines
- within 120 metres (400 feet) of any cemetery or dumping ground
Q: How can I ensure my well water is safe to drink?A: According to the BC Ministry of Environment, the best way to ensure your well water is safe to drink is to have your well water regularly tested by a laboratory. Contact an Environmental Health Officer at your local health authority.
Q. How long will a newly drilled well last for?A. There are 40-year-old water wells still in service today, but due to the use of steel casing, many of them experience issues. Thanks to the use PVC casing, a water well built today could potentially last for 50-100 years.
Q. What type of maintenance is required for water wells?A. The British Columbia Ground Water Association recommends you disinfect the system after your well is installed, after a pump is installed or any time the system is opened for repair. Thereafter disinfect twice a year.
Q. How often should I test my well water?A. The British Columbia Ground Water Association recommends you test your well water if:
- the well is new
- the well has been out of service for awhile
- there is a change in taste, odour, or colour
- a neighbour's well is found to be unsafe
- there is a chemical spill nearby
- spring runoff might have gotten into your well, or a neighbours well
- flooding has covered the wellhead
- there has been a significant change in nearby land use
- users have recurrent stomach illness or diarrhea
- a baby is expected