Having a well dug on your property is often an excellent way to meet your water needs while remaining independent from municipal water systems. Before you have your well dug, you need to consider safety issues so you can make certain that your well is not a hazard for you or your children. Well Placement Placing your well safely means avoiding hazards both above and below ground. Of course, your well must give you access to plentiful water, but it must also be placed away from potential sources of pollution. Your well should be as far as possible from septic tanks, landfills, and fuel tanks. In agricultural areas, in particular, pesticide exposure can be a real danger. Modern wells should have a cap or seal on top to make sure a child cannot squeeze through an opening and drown. If you are using an older well, you need to make sure the top is secure. This step is important for physical safety as well as water purity. You want to keep out as many pollutants as possible. Water Quality Even the best placed well requires constant vigilance. Experts recommend that you test your well water for a variety of substances each year. You need to check your water for harmful bacteria that is often signaled by the presence of coliform bacteria. Nitrates are another dangerous substance that can get into you water, largely due to septic systems and farm lots. You should also check your water for the presence of pesticides and radium. If your water turns dark or smells, you should, of course, test it immediately. Well Maintenance You also need to perform regular checks of the casing and well cap to make sure they are free of cracks. Openings in these areas will allow various contaminants into your water. In addition, you need to have the electrical system checked to make sure there are no potential problems. If you ever decide to stop using your well, you need to have experts come and close it permanently. Otherwise, your abandoned well can actually harm the water table. Before you dig a well, you need to understand healthy water well placement and water maintenance. The contractor who digs your well should be able to assist you on these issues, so listen to their advice. Stubbornly placing your well where it might be more convenient but less healthy is a big mistake....