Groundwater from bores or wells is often used as a private water supply by businesses and community groups, as well as some private residences. Regular maintenance is essential, and having the water tested is a vital part of keeping the water safe. Here are some of the circumstances under which you will need to test your water.
As part of a regular regime
Ideally, the water should be tested at least once a year, to ensure that there are no problems of which you are unaware. Water from a bore is at risk of contamination from sewage or nearby rubbish tips. It can also contain an overabundance of natural salts that will be harmful if consumed; some salts can make the water hard, which can lead to harmful metals from pipes getting into the supply. There is also a risk of bacterial contamination which can lead to illness. Regular testing should ensure there are no problems.
Before using a new system
A bore system will have its water treated before use, either by filtration or by disinfection methods, such as ultraviolet treatment or chlorination. However, there is always a possibility that the system has not been set up correctly, or that something is faulty. You should not drink any of the water from the bore until it has been properly tested.
After any alteration to the system
Any changes to the bore system should be treated as if the system as a whole has just been installed. There may be a problem with the installation which could lead to impure water, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
After any change to the water
The water should appear pure and clear. If there is any change to the water, in appearance, odour or taste, this may be due to contamination. If this happens, the water should not be drunk and should be tested immediately.
After a significant event that may affect the quality
Local events such as bushfires or heavy rains, or any known local contamination, can significantly affect the quality of water. The water should be tested again as soon as possible after such an event.
The simplest way to have water tested is to bring in a professional bore maintenance company who will ensure the water is properly tested to the highest possible standard. You will then be assured of the safety of your water supply.