What does well water contain in Panama and how can I filter it?

¿Qué contiene el agua de pozo en Panamá y cómo la puedo filtrar?

Well water can be an important source of drinking water for many people, especially those who live in rural areas or who do not have access to treated water from the public network. However, it can contain certain contaminants and minerals that are harmful to health if not removed. Filtering is the best way to combat the problem and make it safe for human consumption, use it for personal hygiene and household cleaning.

The success of having a well that works ideally and safely for human health, lies in a good implementation from its very construction. The recommendations of the experts indicate that the wells must be implemented in a way that manages to make rainwater flow away from it, since this can have bacteria and dangerous chemical substances from the earth's surface; So if the water accumulates near the well, it would cause it to leak in a highly contaminated state and that would have serious health repercussions.

Likewise, it is emphasized that the bombs must be well attached. This job cannot be left to anyone! It is necessary to make sure that the company that will carry out the process is endorsed and certified by the authorities for the execution.

It is important to learn about well water, how to handle it and what to prevent with it. The liquid that comes from these places can contain a variety of contaminants and minerals, depending on the geographic location and the quality of the soil. Some of those common pollutants include:

Bacteria and viruses, especially if you are near a source like a septic tank or farm. Special care must be taken to avoid deploying them near these sites. Other contaminants are nitrates, which are harmful to babies and pregnant women, generally coming from fertilizers and other chemicals used in agriculture.

What else does well water contain? The so-called heavy metals can affect the pure state of the water in the wells, there are some that are complex such as lead, arsenic and mercury, highly negative for health if ingested in large quantities. Similarly, minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium may be present, which change the taste of the water and cause stains on clothes and dishes.

How to clean well water?

To ensure that the water from the well is clean and safe for human consumption, bathing, or household activities, at Sanaté we suggest carrying out water quality tests. Before beginning to purify well water, it must be determined what contaminants and minerals are present in the water. This will help you choose which cleaning and disinfection method will be the most effective.

For example, to remove or disinfect well water, chlorine can be used. The chemical is added to the well and allowed to settle for at least 24 hours. You can then run the pump until the chlorine completely removes the impurities. We will talk later because in the case of the shower it is important to have a filter that reduces the amounts of chlorine when bathing.

Another strategy for cleaning well water is filtration. Different types of systems are available, such as activated carbon filters, sediment filters, and reverse osmosis filters.

Softening is a tactic used when the pit contains high levels of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which are the ones that stain clothes and dishes. This process -basically- uses a number of resin balls, since since the water is hard due to calcium or magnesium, among others, it seeks to make the water flow through the resins and, in a process called ion exchange, that "stiffness" of the liquid is exchanged with ions and puts it in a softer and purer state.

Keep the well in good condition

To keep your well safe, you must maintain it constantly. Since the possible sources of contamination that are located in its vicinity must be treated, it is also advisable to install septic tanks, to separate it from land where livestock or other activities are carried out, nor to have silos, leaching fields, septic tanks or warehouses for fertilizers or manure.

Whether using some of the three most common types of drinking water wells such as those dug in the ground with shovels or backhoes; the driven ones, which are perforated hydraulically or by beating on the ground and which drive water; or the measured ones, their distinctive characteristic is that they are deeper (more than 40 meters), they cannot be considered free of total contamination, you always have to analyze and be cautious, they all have risks of having altered water.

Another of the tasks to be carried out when supplying well water is to take actions that reduce erosion and minimize water runoff on the surface.

Shower filters, more than necessary

As the water can last several days at rest inside the well, there is a high probability that different external agents will contaminate it, therefore, it is imperative that filters are used for showers and ensure that such an important daily personal hygiene activity can be carried out safely and does not impact human health.

Quality shower filters, such as those offered by Sanaté, remove different substances or chemicals such as chlorine, which is essential to clean well water, as well as filter heavy metals and bacteria to promote pH balance. On the other hand, they allow the quality of the air that is breathed during the bath to be high, by cleaning the chemicals that evaporate; just as it reduces the exposure of the skin, hair and nails to chlorine from external agents that lead to their deterioration.

There is no doubt that water wells are an option for many people to access water efficiently or have them as a plan b for the supply of liquid, but they must carry out strict maintenance, in addition to using other solutions that complement their proper functioning, such as shower filters and purification products.

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