water wells

Winterizing Your Plumbing (Inside and Out!)

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As you ready your house for the colder months ahead, don’t forget about your water system. When water freezes, it expands. So if the temperature of your water pipes drops below 32 degrees, even for a short period, you run the risk of a pipe fracture or worse. Take the following precautions now to avoid a major headache (and costly service call!) later.

  1. Inside Your Home – Anywhere cold air blows on a pipe, it creates the potential for freezing. To make sure your pipes are well-insulated, close crawl space vents and stuff insulation over the openings. Even a tiny hole can let a lot of cold air blow in; make sure you fill in all the cracks.
  2. A bathroom or laundry room located above or next to a garage can be particularly vulnerable, so keep the garage door closed to maintain maximum heat.
  3. If your bathroom pipes run along an outside exterior wall, try keeping the vanity door(s) open to allow heat inside. If you’re anticipating a deep freeze, consider using a fan to help circulate the air near the pipes, or purchase a small space heater for some extra temporary heat.
  4. Never turn off the heat when you leave home during the winter. Instead, set the temperature to at least 55 degrees F (higher if you’ve had problems in the past or live in an area of extreme cold). If you have multiple heat zones, be sure to adjust all thermostats appropriately.
  5. Outside Your Home – Disconnect and store garden hoses. If your home has a separate shut-off for external faucets, turn it off and drain the water from those faucets.
  6. Turn off and drain sprinkler systems. You may want to call in the professionals at Hunter Plumbing & Heating to blow out any leftover water in the underground lines. A broken sprinkler pipe can do damage to the delicate components that make up the entire system, increasing the cost of repair.
  7. Know where your main waterline shut-off is before problems arise. Depending on the age of your house, it can be inside a garage, basement or laundry room, or underground in your yard. After turning the water off, turn on faucets to allow the water to drain and release the pressure in your pipes.

How do you know if you have frozen pipes?

  1. If you turn on the faucet but nothing comes out, your pipes may be frozen. Look in the most likely places and use the techniques listed above to gently thaw the area. Whatever you do, do not use a blowtorch to warm up a frozen pipe! Many homes have been set on fire this way!
  2. If the water is turned off but you hear rushing water running anyway, your pipes may be frozen. This could be a sign that you have a leak somewhere. You should turn off the water lines immediately and investigate.

If you are still unsure if your pipes are frozen, call in the experts at Hunter Plumbing & Heating, we thaw out frozen waterlines & can also replace split or broken pipes to prevent them from leaking. We can also help you take necessary precautions to prevent your waterlines and drain lines from freezing this winter. Call us today to prevent bigger problems tomorrow!

Existing Water Wells

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If you live in a rural area, you more than likely have an existing well that supplies your household with water. As the homeowner, it is your responsibility to maintain your well and keep it properly sealed to prevent groundwater contamination. Water wells are a serious business and many are not aware of how to properly maintain them or what options are available to them to keep them running. This article hopes to provide information on existing wells and make homeowner’s, like you, be more “well aware”.

Upgrade your well, or construct a new one?

If there are significant problems with your existing well, one option is to drill a new well. A new well may be the best way to go if your existing well is:

  • poorly located, close to permanent sources of contamination, or at risk from flooding
  • producing insufficient quantity for the intended use
  • substandard and cannot be upgraded for technical or regulatory reasons (e.g., a brick-lined dug well)

Well pits

Prior to the mid-80s, well pits were commonly used to protect water line connections from freezing. Due to age and deterioration, some wells located in pits no longer provide potable water because the pit can fill with surface water and debris. This debris and surface water can be drawn into the water supply, leading to contamination. An MOE-licensed contractor, like Hunter Plumbing & Heating, can do a thorough assessment of your well to help you determine whether your well can be upgraded. Upgrading may involve extending the well pipe to the required height above grade and filling in the pit.

Chemicals and fuels

Any chemical or fuel spills that infiltrate the ground can contaminate your drinking water source. Check that gasoline, pesticides, and other chemicals are stored in proper containers designed to help prevent spills or leakage. Don’t store these materials anywhere near your well(s). Refuel lawnmowers and other machinery a safe distance from the well. (One litre of gasoline can contaminate up to 1 million litres of groundwater.) Refuel over hard surfaces to help prevent infiltration of spills. Change the oil in your vehicle on a sealed surface such as pavement or concrete, away from the well. Clean up spills with an absorbent material (clean sand or kitty litter) and remove to a Household Hazardous Waste depository. Keep a bucket nearby for quick access when spills occur.

Underground storage tanks are used to store home heating fuel and large fuel supplies for equipment. These tanks, pipes and fittings may leak, especially if they are over 15 years old or lack corrosion protection. Underground storage tanks are a special concern if the water table is shallow or if the tank is close to your well (or surface water). If possible, replace underground tanks with above-ground storage that has proper spill/leak containment.

Septic systems

Malfunctioning septic systems are a leading cause of private well contamination.  Ensure that your system conforms to the Ontario Building Code and is a safe distance away from your well. Keep chemicals other than human waste out of the system. Pump out your septic tank every two to three years and keep your system in good running order.

Inspecting your well

Ontario’s Wells Regulation requires that you maintain your well to keep out surface run-off and foreign materials.

It is recommended that you conduct an inspection of your well at least once a year, as outlined below, at the same time as you check for potential contaminants.

If you have problems with your well water, or concerns about your well, have your well inspected by an MOE licensed well contractor, such as Hunter Plumbing & Heating. Contact us today to learn more!

Things to consider:


As part of your maintenance routine, keep your well head clear of brush, debris, and other obstructions.

Well cap

Check the well cap for signs of cracking or damage, and have it fixed or replaced immediately if there is a problem. The well cap should be firmly attached to the casing. The vent should face the ground and be properly screened to keep out insects. Only air should enter. Clean the air vent regularly to remove debris and moisture.

Annular seal

Look for problems with the sealant used to fill the annular space between the drilled hole and the well casing. A depression in the ground around the edge of the casing can indicate that the sealant has shrunk, collapsed, or cracked. If you can move the casing around by pushing it, that’s a bad sign. Cracking and gaps allow run-off and surface water to move down the outside of the well casing and contaminate your drinking water. A faulty annular seal should be repaired.

Well casing – condition

Look for any external signs of damage, cracking, or dislocation on your well casing, e.g., due to vehicle damage. If your well has been damaged, removing the cap is not recommended. Visibility is limited and you could cause contamination or further damage, especially if you have a submersible pump. At this point, it may be time to call in the licensed well contractor, such as Hunter Plumbing & Heating.

If you have a structurally sound well – drilled, dug or bored – you can remove the lid with care. Be mindful of electrical wiring and debris falling into the well. Inspect the inside the casing using a strong flashlight. Look for holes, evidence of animal infestations, or stains from casing joints that may indicate water leaking into the well.

Backflow prevention

Under certain circumstances, contaminated water can flow backwards through your plumbing into your well. Backflow prevention devices are available from your MOE-licensed well contractor.

Well pit

Remove the lid of your well pit and look for water, debris, vermin, etc. at the bottom of the pit. (Remove the cement outer cover, not the well cap inside the pit). Do not enter the pit or breathe the gases which may fill the pit and take extra care to ensure children do not gain access to the well pit. The pit should be clean and dry. If water or other material has entered the pit, your well water is at high risk of contamination. Consider upgrading or constructing a new well.

Hiring a Contractor

Ontario Ground Water Association and/or your Ontario Ministry of the Environment district office if you have any questions or concerns about the qualifications or work procedures of contractors. Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. is a licensed MOE well contractor and specializes in well and septic system work. With over 50 years of experience and knowledge, their team of professionals can certainly help homeowners maintain their well and keep it running. Contact us today for your well inspection and quote!


Spring Cleaning Checklist

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Winters can be tough on your plumbing, with freezing temperatures putting a strain on your pipes and pressure on your tank, it’s no wonder homeowner’s experience unfortunate drips and leaks that didn’t exist last fall. Let Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. help you with your spring cleaning checklist to ensure your plumbing, heating, water well, septic system and drains are in good working order! Here are 10 things to check over this spring:

  1. Check over your drains – Spring is here and so is the rain and wet weather. You need to make sure the drains in your home are clog free and ready to take on anything. If you have any unused or infrequently used floor drains in your basement, fill the trap by pouring in a gallon of water. You can also do this to test your sump pump by pouring a few buckets of water in your sump pump pit. The sump pump should immediately switch on and pump out the water before turning off again. If it doesn’t do this, it is best to get your sump pump checked over by the professionals at Hunter Plumbing and Heating before it’s too late and your basement floods.
  2. Check over your exterior plumbing – Your exterior plumbing can and will have a negative impact on your home if it is not in good working order. It is not uncommon for leaks and flooding to occur. Start by cleaning out all the gutters and eaves and ensure the downspouts are directed away from your house at the right degree. Check visible pipes and faucets for leaks or erosion. Also check your roof vents to ensure the mesh surroundings are clear of leaves, ice, sticks and possibly even a bird’s nest.
  3. Check over your water heater – You will want to check for leaks before anything else. Look around the bottom of the tank for water and around the fittings at the top of the water heater. Depending on if it is a big leak or a slow leak, there may be just a few drops of water or a big pool of water. If left unchecked, these leaks can become worse, more costly problems in the future. Also, look for the flush valve on your water heater and pump out a few gallons. This will drain out sediment and allow you to look for corrosion in the tank. Doing this once a year can actually make your water heater a more effective system and protect the life span of your water heater. Not comfortable checking this out yourself? Call in the experts at Hunter Plumbing and Heating! We provide service, maintenance and repair services on plumbing and water heaters!
  4. Check your toilets – While running toilets are easy to spot and hear, you may not know how to look for a leak. Try putting a few drops of food colouring into the tank of the toilet. If the colour appears in the toilet in less than an hour, it is time to get that toilet fixed. If you also notice water around the base of the toilet or water dripping from the supply, it is time to call in Hunter Plumbing and Heating to fix and/or replace your toilet to prevent further mold and water damage.
  5. Check your faucets for drips or leaks – Look over your kitchen and bathroom taps for water leaking around the base or water dripping from the drains under the sink. Ensure that all drains are in good working order and drain properly. If they are slow, check the drains for clogged food debris and hair. Clean mineral deposits from your shower heads, toilets, bathtub tap and faucets using vinegar or CLR. If you find you cannot unclog your drains yourself, or fix the leak at your faucet, call in the experts at Hunter Plumbing and Heating before the problem worsens and becomes more expensive!
  6. Check your septic system – Septic system cleaning is important for many reasons. The primary reason cleaning your septic system is important is to ensure that your septic system lasts as long as possible in good condition. It is recommended that your septic tank should be pumped out every 2-5 years, depending on the number of people living in your household. After the tank is pumped, call in the experts at Hunter Plumbing and Heating to inspect your system for potential problems that may arise, so you can get them fixed.
  7. Inspect your air conditioner – Your furnace has worked hard all winter and now is a good time to change your air filter if you haven’t already done so to get things ready for spring. Check over your air conditioner to ensure it is clean and there is no debris, such as leaves, in and around the unit. Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. offers yearly air conditioner inspections, if you are unsure or notice a potential issue with your unit.
  8. Inspect your well – Snow and ice buildup can cause your well lid to crack, leaving areas for contaminants to enter. Inspect your well lid and casing and re-seal where necessary. Clean debris such as leaves, mulch, soil, etc. around your well and regrade the soil so water runs away from it. If you do notice any issues, or areas where bacteria and other contaminants could enter, call in the experts at Hunter Plumbing & Heating to inspect your well. We will recommend the best solution to protect you and your family.
  9. Install new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors – Now is a good time to ensure these detectors are functioning in case there is an emergency.
  10. Inspect caulking – Be sure to inspect the caulking in your bathroom around sinks, toilets, taps, bathtub and shower surrounds. In your kitchen around sinks, taps and counter tops and around windows and doors. Re-caulk where necessary to prevent water seepage and mold growth.

Spring is a busy time of year both inside and out, but your household plumbing, heating, well and septic system should not be overlooked. Drips, leaks, and floods can become costly and easily ruin your home. If you are too busy, or notice a problem but don’t have the time or know-how to fix it, call Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. at (519) 458-4488. We are here to help with your spring repairs and projects!

Well & Septic System Inspections

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When making that all-important decision of buying a home, check if there is a water well and/or septic system on the property. Homeowners must ensure that their well water is safe to drink, and that their septic systems are properly maintained. A malfunctioning well or septic system can pose a health risk to your family and your neighbours, and can be expensive to repair or replace. It is therefore very important to conduct a detailed inspection of both the well and septic systems prior to purchasing a home.

If the well is active, have both the water and the condition of the well inspected by one of Hunter Plumbing’s licensed well technicians before making the purchase. Our team of licensed professionals can thoroughly inspect, service and decommission your well to ensure you and your family are protected from bacteria and other contaminants that could enter your well.

Here are a few things we look at when we perform a well inspection:

  1. Well Record – Obtain a copy of the well record from the Ministry of Environment or the current homeowner. This will tell you the location of the well, date of well drilling, depth and diameter of well, static water level, pumping water level, recommended pumping rate and recommended pump setting.
  2. Location – A well should be located at least 15m or 50ft. from any source of contamination if the casing is watertight to a depth of 6m, otherwise, the separation distance should be at least 30m or 100ft. Sources of contamination can include septic system, manure storages, fuel storages, agricultural fields, and roads (salt runoff). Wells should also be located at least 15m or 50ft. from a body of water.
  3. Well Cap – The cap should be at least 0.3m or 12″ above the ground. The well cap and seal should be securely in place and watertight. This applies to both the well cap on drilled wells as well as the well cover on dug wells.
  4. Well Casing – There should be no visible cracks or settling of the well casing and the ground should slope away from the it.
  5. Drainage – Surface water should drain away from the well and water should not pool around the well casing.
  6. Well Pump – The well pump and distribution piping should all be in good working order.
  7. Abandoned Wells – All abandoned wells on the property must be decommissioned (plugged permanently) by a licensed well contractor to avoid contamination of the underground aquifer.
  8. Inside the Home – Check for sand or grit in the faucet strainer which may indicate a corroded well screen. Verify that the pressure tank reads 40-60 psi. Ensure that the check valve (or foot valve) is able to sustain the system pressure by drawing no water for 30 minutes to an hour and monitoring the pressure. The pressure should not drop and the pump should not start up during this dormant period.

We can also test the quality of your water for hardness, iron, sulphur and pH levels. Even if there is water treatment in the home, how can you be sure it is working properly? A water test will help determine if any levels are higher than the accepted concentrations, and how much it would cost for new/upgraded water treatment if need be.

If the septic system is active, have the condition of the septic tank & leaching bed inspected by one of Hunter Plumbing’s licensed septic system installers before making the purchase. A septic system should last anywhere from 20 to 25 years, and could cost upwards of $30,000 to replace, so it is important to get it inspected before you purchase your new home.

Here are a few things we look at when we perform a septic system inspection:

  1. Compare the size of the tank and the expected water use, observe the general condition of the tank including the baffles, partition wall, look for cracks and leaks. A steel tank is likely corroded and in need of replacement.
  2. Observe the water levels in the tank (too high suggests a clogged leaching bed while too low suggests a leaking tank).
  3. Have the septic tank pumped out by a septic pumping company (normally the homeowner pays for this when selling their home).
  4. Observe the connections to the house and the leaching bed, look for direct discharge of surface drainage into the tank.
  5. Clean the effluent filter by rinsing with an outdoor hose.
  6. Check for effluent on the surface, odours, lush growth, soggy field/saturate soil.
  7. Check for obstructions to the leaching bed (pavement over the bed or trees over the bed).
  8. Verify that surface drainage is directed away from the leaching bed (ie. – downspouts are not saturating the leaching bed).
  9. Dig test pits in the tile lines for signs of ponding water and slime growth.
  10. Inspect all mechanical equipment (pumps, aerators and alarms) to ensure they are in good working order.
  11. Check for leaking faucets and run-on toilets which can flood a septic system. Slow moving drains and sewer gas smells from flowing drains can also indicate a failing system.
  12. Verify the plumbing to ensure it meets current building code or health department standards.
  13. Inspect the sewer vent stack for damage or blockage.

A proper well and septic system inspection performed by Hunter Plumbing & Heating’s team of licensed professionals will ensure you are aware of any issues before you purchase your home so there are no surprises down the road! Call us today for a free quote on a well and septic system inspection. We can provide on-site written reports as well as letters and quotes on work that we recommend completing before you make the biggest purchase of your life.

Fall Maintenance Checklist

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Fall is a perfect time of the year to start getting your home ready for those winter months ahead. Cold weather can have a big effect on your home’s plumbing and heating system. If not properly prepared, you could face frozen pipes, burst pipes and “no heat” service calls that end up being costly. Luckily, these disasters are easy to prevent. The professionals at Hunter Plumbing & Heating have compiled a fall maintenance checklist to help get your home winter-ready:

  1. Turn off and drain sprinkler systems. You may want to call in the professionals at Hunter Plumbing & Heating to blow out any leftover water in the underground lines. A broken sprinkler pipe can do damage to the delicate components that make up the entire system, increasing the cost of repair.
  2. Check, clean and inspect your humidifier, furnace, water heater, HRV, and fireplaces to ensure each unit is working properly. The professionals at Hunter Plumbing & Heating provides yearly heating system inspection and maintenance service visits. Contact us today to customize a plan to suit your needs!
  3. Change your furnace air filter. This goes hand in hand with your furnace cleaning, but just in case you forget, we recommend changing your furnace filter every 1-3 months to keep the air in your home clean and prevent problems with your furnace.
  4. Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat. If you are planning on travelling someplace warm during the winter, a programmable thermostat can help keep your home at the correct temperature during the day and night to save on energy costs and keep your home comfortable.
  5. Change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. You never know when you might need them, so make sure they are all in good working order!
  6. Clear gutters and inspect your sump pump & drain lines to ensure there are no blockages and the pump is functioning properly.
  7. Fix any waterline leaks you are aware of. You can usually spot these from water marks on your basement ceiling. It is also a good idea to inspect your water pump, water softener, iron filter, water heater and pressure tank to ensure nothing is leaking around these units either. Hunter Plumbing & Heating also provide yearly water system service inspections. Contact us today to customize a plan to suit your needs!
  8.  Inspect your well and well lid for cracks and damage. It is not uncommon in the dead of winter to deal with frozen well service calls due to improper well maintenance. You don’t want to be stuck without water until your system thaws out, trust me!
  9. Insure waterlines are properly insulated to prevent freezing and bursting. Close crawl space vents and stuff insulation over the openings, ensure pipes that run along outside walls are well insulated and stay warm. Even a tiny hole can let a lot of cold air blow in; make sure you fill in all the cracks.
  10. Shut off and drain outside taps and store garden hoses. If you are not sure where the shut off is for your exterior taps, contact the experts at Hunter Plumbing for help!

Start your fall maintenance checklist today before you forget! Sometimes winter can strike early and you’ll be unexpectedly caught in the cold. The last thing you want is for a burst pipe or falling gutters to ruin an otherwise cozy winter day. Don’t have time to complete your checklist? Call in the professionals at Hunter Plumbing & Heating for help! We provide complete plumbing and heating services to get your home ready for winter.

Ground Water Contamination

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Nearly one-third of Canadians rely on ground water extracted from aquifers for private and municipal use. Besides being the only source of drinking water in many rural areas, ground water is also used for crop irrigation and livestock, and by numerous industries in Canada.With life dependent on access to clean water sources, a push for further research and greater understanding of current waste contaminants and emerging contaminants in ground water is being echoed across the country.

Because ground water cannot be observed, we typically discover that the ground water is contaminated once a well or surface water body becomes contaminated. Surface water contamination occurs quickly and can be stopped at the source. However, ground water contamination may commence years after the waste source is in place. The slow release rate causes it to take years to thousands of years to move through the ground water flow regime, and ground water can be difficult, if not impossible to remediate, and costly. Ultimately all contaminated ground water will discharge to surface water. Thus, should serious ground water contamination occur, the destruction of drinking water supplies and aquatic ecosystems occurs for decades to hundreds of years.

Given the significance of the issue, identifying contaminants and their sources, as well as minimizing their entry into the water system, is crucial. There’s no doubt, we are discovering more and more contaminated ground water, but it may be because we’re becoming more concerned about water quality so we’re doing more testing.

In the 2001 Environment and Climate Change report, the writers note poor solid waste management practices of the past have caused severe water quality issues and the developing nature of the problem is prompting experts to identify new contaminants and set up better disposal practices. The report outlines five categories of waste that are contaminating the ground water system in Canada, including:

  1. Municipal/hazardous/industrial solid waste
  2. Mining waste
  3. Agricultural waste
  4. Municipal biosolids & septic systems
  5. Other wastes that include contaminants from the petroleum industry, excess road salt, waste sediment from dredging of harbours and channels, and radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.

In Canada, the most common contaminants include arsenic, nitrate, hardness, iron, manganese, and radon & hydrogen sulphide gases. Nitrates are a huge problem anytime you have a lot of agricultural activity, whether it’s crop production or animal production, and is usually the result of over-fertilization. In the case of ground water contamination caused by a leaking septic tank, that’s an issue where it is 100% human error resulting from the septic being placed way too close to a well.

While a concerted effort into identification, remediation and prevention of ground water contamination is carried out at a broader level, individual homeowners can also take measures to purify their drinking water for added peace of mind. Point-of-entry systems, such as water softeners, iron filters & UV systems will treat water as it comes into the house, while point-of-use systems provide treatment at the tap. Families with young children who are likely to drink from an outside tap or from the shower, a point-of-entry system may be a better option to treat the whole house. For more information on which water treatment options are best suited for you and your family, contact the experts at Hunter Plumbing & Heating.

From homeowners to water well drillers to farming and industry, every Canadian has a responsibility to protect our ground water. But this can only be achieved through a greater understanding of this precious resource and the contaminants that threaten it.

Well Decommissioning

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By law, if you have a well on your property, you are responsible for it. You must follow specific rules for maintaining and, if necessary, abandoning a well to help protect the safety of your water and the groundwater resource.

You must decommission a well that is not being:

  • used as a well
  • maintained for future use as a well

A well purchaser must immediately abandon a new well it if is dry, unless you, as a residential land owner, agree in writing to maintain the well for future use as a well.

If construction is discontinued before your new well is completed, the person constructing the well must immediately decommission the well.

Unless you have received written consent from the Director, you must properly abandon (plug and seal) your drinking water well if it:

  • produces mineralized water
  • produces water that is not potable and you do not contact the local medical officer of health or you did not follow the local medical officer of health’s advice
  • contains natural gas or other gas and you do not take steps to manage the gas to prevent a hazard
  • permits any movement of natural gas, contaminants or other materials that may impair the groundwater and you do not take steps to correct the problem
  • isn’t constructed or sited to the materials or methods outlined in the law and you have not taken steps to correct the problem or the steps you have taken failed.

Some of the issues that trigger well decommissioning of a drinking water well apply to other types of wells as well.

So, how do you decommission a well that falls into any of the above circumstances? First you should hire a licensed well contractor like Hunter Plumbing & Heating. They carry the skills and qualifications to properly plug and seal your well and prevent contaminants from entering into the groundwater.

An unused or improperly abandoned well that hasn’t been properly filled and sealed may:

  • pose health and safety problems for animals and people, especially children
  • contaminate the groundwater
  • impact the water quality in your neighbour’s well

Which is why it is important to hire a licensed well contractor to properly decommission your well. They can also help you complete and send a well record to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change as required by law.

If you live in the Grand River watershed, you may be eligible to receive a grant from the GRCA for decommissioning an unused/unmaintained well on your property. Visit the GRCA’s website for more information.

Water Well Checklist

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As a well owner, you want your water to be clean, clear and safe for your family to drink. Your water may look clean and clear, but how can you be confident that it is safe? Properly constructed private water supply systems require little routine maintenance. These simple steps will help protect your system and investment.

  1. Always use licensed well contractors by the Ministry of Environment when a water well is constructed, a pump is installed or the system is serviced. Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. are licensed well contractors that employ licensed well technicians to perform water well service work.
  2. An annual well maintenance check, including a bacterial test, is recommended. Drinking water should be checked any time there is a change in taste, odor or appearance, or when the water well system is serviced.
  3. Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well to prevent contamination.
  4. Periodically check the water well lid or cap on top of the well casing to ensure it is in good repair. If you notice any cracks or holes in the well lid, or the well cap is not properly sealed, it is a good idea to replace the well lid or cap to prevent contaminants from entering the well or freezing in the winter.
  5. Always maintain a proper separation between your well and buildings, septic systems or chemical/waste storage facilities (garbage bin) to prevent contamination and possible health complications.
  6. Prevent backflow or back-siphonage. When mixing pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemicals, don’t put the garden hose inside the tank or container.
  7. When landscaping, keep the top of your well at least one foot above the ground. Slope the ground away from your water well for proper drainage.
  8. Take care in working or mowing the lawn around your water well. A damaged casing could jeopardize the sanitary protection of your well by allowing contaminants to enter. Don’t pile snow, leaves, or other materials around your well.
  9. Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, as well as annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.
  10. Be aware of changes in your water well, the area around your well, or the water it provides.
  11. When your water well has come to the end of its serviceable life (usually 20 years, plus), have a qualified water well contractor, such as Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc., decommission it after drilling a new well and hooking up a new system.

As a private well owner, it is your job to be well aware – to understand the basics of well maintenance and operation, and to take the necessary actions to keep your water wells in safe running order. By performing regular well inspections, you can ensure your well stays in good working order to prevent future emergencies that lead to costly repairs. If your water well does require service or maintenance, make sure you call in the licensed well experts at Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc.! We provide well drilling, well cleaning, well decommissioning, pump and pressure system services.

Are you “well aware”?

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Your water well taps into one of nature’s treasures – cool, clean groundwater. It accounts for about 30.9% of the Earth’s freshwater supply, which is only 2.5%. Thus, you can see the importance in trying to protect such a valuable resource. You and your family also depend on groundwater for cooking, washing and a continuous supply of safe drinking water.

Did you know…as a private well owner it is your responsibility to be well aware? How do you become well aware? Simply by understanding the basics of well operation and maintenance, and to take the necessary actions to keep your water well in good running order to provide potable water to your family.

If you have contaminated water, start by finding the source of the problem or cause of contamination. Reducing or eliminating contaminants at the source is the best place to start.

Next, take a closer look at your well. You should get your water tested 1-3 times per year for bacterial contaminants such as E.coli and coliform. Visit your local health unit for more information on where to take a water sample. If you well water repeatedly exceeds the drinking water standards for bacteria, there is likely an ongoing source of bacteria affecting your well. Look at the location and construction of your well, is it near a farmer’s field that could become contaminated with manure runoff? Is the well sealed properly? Is the well lid damaged or cracked? Address any problems you identify immediately.

If you can’t detect the cause of the problem, bring in an MOE licensed well contractor like Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. right away! We can inspect your well, identify possible causes of contamination and provide you with a quote on the work needed to prevent the problem. Whether its the installation of a new well lid, or a well upgrade, we are all about water wells! We can also install water treatment, such as an ultraviolet disinfection system, to continuously treat your well water and provide your family with clean, safe drinking water.