Reducing Risks: Protecting Water Quality
Protecting our clean water factory
We are a small island with a growing population. We are blessed with extensive forest lands, our clean water factory. Protecting this green infrastructure is vital. In developed areas, we need to commit to 'best practices' to minimize the risk of contamination.
When things go wrong
Septic fields fail when drain fields clog and septic effluent rises to the surface and flows overland, contaminating wells and streams. Wells downhill from a failing septic field are only protected if they are capped and grouted properly. Otherwise, septic effluent can enter a well from the surface.
Is your well protected?
Trouble occurs when contaminated surface water leaks down into wells. To prevent this, properly sealed wells have grout injected between the well casing (steel pipe in the upper well) and the well wall, and a cap is placed on the top of the casing; however, many wells are not properly sealed. Is yours?
Protecting water quality in source areas is our first line of defense. Beyond that, community water systems use disinfection (chlorination, ultraviolet radiation) to kill bacteria, viruses and Giardia cysts, and filtration to remove turbidity that interferes with the sterilization process. Some homeowners on wells treat water to remove dissolved minerals such as calcium (hardness), iron, manganese, or arsenic.