If you have a private well on your property, you're likely aware of the number of diseases and contaminants that can cause illness and wreak havoc on your water system. Hepatitis A, a common virus found within water wells, is discussed below, as well as how wells can become contaminated with the virus and how regular well testing can help.
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a liver infection that's caused by the hepatitis A virus. This virus, while not usually fatal, can cause unpleasant and debilitating symptoms in individuals infected by the virus.
The hepatitis A virus is found in the fecal matter of infected individuals, but not everyone who's infected will show symptoms. You can become infected by Hepatitis A by eating food prepared by someone with the virus, caring for someone with the virus, or drinking water that's been contaminated with the virus. Hepatitis A is the most common cause of private well outbreaks, but it isn't the only, or even the most dangerous, one.
How Can a Well Become Contaminated with Hepatitis A?
While a properly installed and carefully maintained private well can prevent contamination by Hepatitis A and similar contaminants, certain events can lead to your well becoming compromised.
A common event that can contaminate your private well is a sewage system overflow. This can occur when a sewage system has been improperly installed or when there's a system failure that leads to sewage overflow. Other events that can lead to private well contamination include floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. If any of these events have occurred, it's important to have your well thoroughly inspected before use of the well continues.
How Can Well Water Testing Help to Prevent Infection?
When you have your well's water regularly tested for common contaminants, you can protect yourself and your family from illness, as well as protect your well system from damage and disrepair.
Your well should be tested, at minimum, once per year. You can call your county's health or environmental department for a list of licensed well testers. While the yearly testing is important, it's also important to have your well tested at the first signs of illness. There are a large number of water-related diseases that, once detected within the well, can be completely removed from your private well. This is important for you and your family's health and well being.
To learn more about best practices when it comes to well testing, consult with a well water testing professional, like those at Neilson Research Corporation and other locations.
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