Hi Jim. I have been thinking about the Artesian well lately, as I'm pregnant and my 64 ounces of water daily comes purely from our water cooler filled with Artesian well water. I hadn't even given it a thought until I had someone else in my womb to consider. Lately, I've noticed dirt on the bottom of my water cooler when I am at the last of my water jug. And, sometimes it gets a really funny smell.
I went to your website (which is GREAT by the way) and noticed that you have the well tested annually. First, I would like to contribute to that fund and second, are those tests available to the public? I would love to see one, to see exactly what is being tested and what's in it. Do you test minerals? Pesticides?
The artesian well is classed as a Group A, Transient, Non-Community water system. As such, testing beyond the monthly coliform and an annual nitrate is very limited. Should there be concerns about water quality, we might suggest Volatile Organics and Synthetic Organics, though those test are pretty expensive, about $350 each. I don't think that herbicides or pesticides would be very informative, given the location of the well.
The fact that the well is artesian is an indication that the aquifer is well protected from surface contaminants. If there were open channels to the aquifer, the artesian pressure could not maintain.
There will always be some level of sand in well water. The aquifer exists in the spaces between sand and gravel particles. It is not a health concern because the water is coming from well below the level at which harmful organisms can live. In fact, the best filter media in the world is sand and gravel. Slow sand filters have been used in remote locations with no access to power to improve water quality for generations.
Feel free to contact me any time if you have questions.
What other testing has been done?
Is the Diamond Parking Lot well tested regularly?
What is an artesian well?
Not really. Once a groundwater supply is contaminated, both artesian and pumped wells can transport the tainted water to the consumer. And an artesian well is not immune from cracks or inadequate sealing that can set the stage for pollution to enter the well. However, a constantly flowing artesian well flushes itself out better than a pumped well.
Are the artesian wells in downtown Olympia unique?
The artesian well water looks clear and fresh and tastes cool and pure. Does that mean it's safe to drink?