Safety of water for bathing #212721 - Ask Extension


Safety of water for bathing #212721

Asked September 16, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

Our well has been dry now for 1 month. We are pulling water from neighbors' stream fed pond to irrigate and flush toilets. The stream that feeds the pond also feeds their well and ours. There is not enough flow to operate the wells. They have a holding tank but we dont. How safe is it to shower with this pond water?!It goes into a 2 filter and UV light tank before coming into the house.I have just boiled this water for 20 minutes and the small amount of foam I'm skimming off the top is brown and gross! UGH! I'm throwing it out! I was going to wash my dishes with this but NO WAY!!!! Where can I have a sample tested at?

Lincoln County Oregon

Expert Response

Here is a list of certified labs available to do water testing in Oregon, call ahead for prices and they may be able to ship the sample bottles to you if the lab isn't super close to your location.

The water that you were boiling may be safe to use for washing dishes and bathing. However, definitely get the water tested before you continue to use it. If the water is deemed safe that foaming comes from the excess dissolved organic material and proteins in the water. These are commonly found in surface water. As the water moves through the soil into the aquifer the water is cleaned by soil creatures that feed on the organic material. Hence the better increased quality of the well water. If you have any other questions please feel free to email or call me .
Chrissy Lucas Replied September 18, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

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