Town or municipal water is checked regularly for contaminants including levels of bacteria as well as arsenic, iron, and manganese, copper, and among others .However, the vast majority of water systems in the Poconos are not town or municipal water, rather most people have well water, with either wells that they have paid to be dug or have inherited as a result of buying a property. These private wells are not tested on a regular basis. Nor are they required to be by law.
From the Pocono Record in 2012: Pocono record (2012):
Most aesthetic problems in water are not hazardous, they’re mostly a nuisance or can cause damage to pipes. A majority of aesthetic problems include corrosive and hard water, or water that contains iron, manganese, or hydrogen sulfate.
For water that has aesthetic problems, such as discoloration from piping, or odors from certain minerals, Sulstock adds that the most popular and easiest way to treat water is filtration systems.
Also from the Pocono Record (2016): The federal Environmental Protection Agency and a local geologist noted that well water can pose problems simply because the EPA does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells and thus they are not subject to EPA standards. “For private wells, there is virtually no oversight, and it is up to the private well owner to ensure the drinking water is safe. In general, the well water in the Poconos is rather pristine, but this means that the water is more likely corrosive to metal plumbing and fixtures,” Oram said. The most common problems for private wells include the presence of coliform bacteria, low pH, corrosive water and elevated levels of iron and manganese, Oram said.
High iron is another common water problem that afflicts many Pennsylvania homeowners. A 2016 report found excessive iron concentrations in 17 percent of Pennsylvania’s private water supplies.
Iron and manganese both infiltrate water systems - especially deeper wells - because water has been in contact with rock for an extended period. These two minerals often occur together in groundwater, although iron concentrations tend to be higher than their corresponding manganese levels. High iron content in water is colorless and may not be apparent at first.
Water should not contain more than 0.3 parts per million of iron. Water tainted with high levels of iron can cause skin problems and have negative impacts on your health. In rare cases, small bacteria that feed off iron can be harmful if digested.
Too much iron in the water:
- Cause yellow, red, or brown stains on dishes, laundry, and plumbing fixtures.
- Turn tea, coffee, and potatoes black.
- Iron can lead to a metallic taste in food and drink.
A bad taste from drinking and cooking water is never a good sign. While normal levels of iron in drinking water will not have a negative impact on human health or well-being, excessive amounts can certainly do harm
Having your well water tested on a yearly basis is a first step to making sure your water is within healthy parameters. Spring Rain are the experts that can help you with high levels of Iron or other chemicals in your water with water filtration systems.