A Well Water System, is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, or drilling to access liquid resources, in this case water. The water is drawn up by a pump which brings it into the home. A properly constructed well water system will keep contaminates and surface water out. The system may consist of tanks, filtration systems and pumps.

There are three types, small-diameter, very small-diameter and large-diameter. It is important for well owners to know what kind of well they have, including how it was built and its basic operation. You can read the Factsheet by the Ministry of Agricultural Food and Rural Affairs for more info on wells.Well.

Water Construction – In Ontario all wells constructed for water must be constructed based on specific legislation and regulation regarding well licensing, construction, maintenance, abandonment, reporting and documentation. Additional information can be found at the Ontario Gov’t website Wells On Your Property. Scroll down a bit and you will see the Source Law Section (acts, regulation).

Well Records – The licensed contractor must submit a well record to the ministry and to you the well owner, any major changes and or abandoning the well will also require a record. If you just moved onto a property with a well and you don’t have the record or your not sure how or where the well may be located then you can request a copy of the well record from the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks – Get a Well Record. It’s your responsibility to understand what is on your property.

Licensed Well Contractor – When your improving, repairing or constructing a new well it’s advisable to use a Licensed Well Contractor. Water Wells can be a source of clean water but when not properly constructed or not maintained can cause serious health issues due to unwanted contaminates entering the well.

Maintaining a Well Water System – As the owner of a well water system your not only responsible for the construction and or maintenance of the actual system your also responsible for the quality of the water, remember your drinking this water and it should be safe.

I believe the Ontario Gov’t recommends to test your well water at least a minimum of three times per year for bacterial contaminants, E.coli and total coliforms, these tests may be free, however to test for harmful chemicals you will require a Licensed Private Laboratory to do the test. The Well Aware Booklet starting on page 14 can give you more info about chemicals.

Taking Samples – The Public Health Ontario’s – Well Water Testing website can provide more information about taking a sample (I believe you must use the gov’t water sample collection kits), filling out the form, dropping off the sample and understanding the results. You can also read the Well Aware Booklet which contains lots of information about Well Life-Cycle, Maintenance and Water Quality. More information can also be found at the Ontario Ground Water Association.