New York ranks as one of the highest states in America for private household wells, which pump water from underground reservoirs into a home’s plumbing for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Bacteria and chemicals can contaminate well water, making water filtration systems and regular water tests necessary.

How Private Wells Become Contaminated

1. Microorganisms in the Environment

Microorganisms are bacteria, viruses, and parasites that occur naturally in the environment. They are often found in the soil as a result of rainfall, human and animal waste, and erosion. They can seep into the groundwater that is used for private wells, which can impact the people and animals who drink the contaminated fluid.

Microorganisms can lead to E. coli and giardia infections, both of which can cause gastrointestinal illnesses in those who consume them. 

2. Pollution From Man-Made Products 

water filtration systemChemical fertilizers, pesticides, gasoline, oil, and road salts are some of the man-made pollutants that can infiltrate groundwater and contaminate wells. Poisoning from the toxic elements of these products can occur if too much contaminated groundwater is consumed by animals and people.

These items can also cause too much nitrate to enter drinking water, reducing the blood's ability to transfer oxygen.

3. Heavy Metals Found In Plumbing

Household plumbing and service lines can deteriorate over time, causing heavy metals to leak into private well water. Arsenic, lead, antimony, copper, cadmium, chromium, and selenium are common metals eliminated from drinking water by water filtration systems. Too much consumption of these elements can cause liver and kidney damage, anemia, and cancer. 


Water professionals recommend well testing at least once a year and regular maintenance through water treatments and filtration systems. Hudson Valley residents can rely on The Water Source in Wappingers Falls, NY, for solutions to their well water problems. For more than 25 years, they have provided expert water consultation services for residents and businesses. Call (845) 297-1600 to request a free water analysis or visit them online to learn more about their services.