Well Water Treatment Guide

Learn if you need to treat well water, and about the different treatment methods to choose from.

By: Derek Mellencamp

If you’ve recently moved into a new home that has access to a private well, you may be wondering if you should use it over city water, and what you need to do to make it safe

Using a private well means you won’t have to pay a water bill to the city and you’ll have water that’s rich in nutrients and minerals. Having a working well can also increase your property value. However, to access these benefits, you’ll need to ensure it's free of contaminants that can be harmful for your health. 

To help you treat your well water and make it safe, we’ve created this guide with everything you need to know.

Does well water need to be treated?

Well water should be treated, as it can contain contaminants including lead, e. coli, arsenic, nitrates, and several others associated with health issues. These contaminants are associated with gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. While contaminated well water is a concern for anyone who uses it, infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals are at a higher risk for developing illnesses from these contaminants.

Unlike city water, well water isn’t regulated by the EPA — which means the homeowner is responsible for regularly testing and treating it to make sure it’s safe. The CDC recommends that private wells should be checked at least once a year for the presence of contaminants, cleanliness, and mechanical problems.

How much does it cost to treat well water?

The cost of treating a well includes all expenses associated with testing, treatment, and maintenance. 

A basic well water testing kit can cost anywhere from $10-$150, depending on how many contaminants they test for. You may also need to purchase a TDS meter, which can cost between $10-$1,000 depending on the level of accuracy and features it offers. Treatment costs vary depending on the contaminants found and the method you choose. For example, chemical treatments can cost a few hundred dollars while a well water filter can cost over $1,000. Maintenance is also a factor regardless of the treatment method you choose, as you’ll need to retest regularly and fix any issues with a system if you choose to purchase one.

If this sounds like a lot to manage, the EPA has a state directory with resources to help you find someone that can help test and treat your well water.

How to treat well water

There are three different well water treatment methods that can make your water safe for use.

Use a well water filtration system

Water filters are a great way to improve the health, smell, and taste of your tap water. While there are several types of water filters to choose from, you’ll want one that’s designed specifically for wells like our Rhino® Well Water with UV.

This system features five stages of well water filtration including:

  • Sediment Pre-Filter: Captures rust, sediment, and silt.
  • Salt-Free Water Conditioner: Treats hard water by preventing minerals from binding and forming scale build-up.
  • Rhino® Filter: Copper-Zinc (KDF) extends the life of your system and inhibits bacteria and algae growth. Activated carbon is also included.
  • Post-Filter: Reduces any remaining sediment and organic particles.
  • UV Filter: Sterilizes 99.99% of bacteria and viruses and 99% of cysts found in well water using ultraviolet light.

Even if well water is treated with a whole house well water filter, it can be recontaminated traveling through the pipes in your home.


Rhino® Well Water with UV

Protects from bacteria, viruses, cysts, and other contaminants commonly found in well water. Lasts for 5 years or 500,000 gallons.

As such, if the home you’re moving into is old, you should check out the plumbing to make sure it doesn’t contain lead or other contaminants. Lead pipes weren’t banned in the US until 1986, and it’s estimated that 15-22 million Americans still use water that comes from lead pipes. 

If the pipes in your home do contain lead, you’ll want to get them replaced or install a point-of-use water filter to supplement your well water system. Point-of-use water filters like an under sink or countertop system treat water right before it enters your faucet, so you don’t have to worry about contamination from pipes. However, these systems aren’t equipped to filter well water on their own, you’d need to use them in supplementation with a well water filter.

Use a distillation system

Distillation systems boil water to separate water particles from contaminants, then capture and condense the steam back into a liquid for use. During this process, contaminants are left behind as the water evaporates, and the re-condensed steam water is much safer to drink. While this water purification method removes many contaminants including microorganisms, minerals, and chemicals with a high boiling point — it does not remove volatile organic compounds, which are capable of vaporizing with water. As such, distillation systems will need to be supplemented with another type of filtration system.

Use chemicals

Chemicals can be used to disinfect well water. Most notably, chlorine and chloramine are commonly used in public tap water to kill parasites, bacteria, and viruses. 

When using chemicals to disinfect water, you’ll need to determine the right concentration to use and contact time for the mixture to sit. The goal is to use enough chemicals to kill contaminants, without causing harm to the health of people who use the water. When using chlorine, it’s important to note that some contaminants can react with the chemical and produce byproducts that can be harmful for health.

Due to the high amount of precision and concerns over chemical contamination, some people may prefer alternative well water treatment methods.

Treat your well water with a water filtration system designed for wells

If it’s not clear by now, the recommended well water treatment method is using a well water filter. This option improves the health and taste of your water without drawbacks associated with distillation and chemical disinfection.

If you’re interested in a well water filter, check out our Rhino® Well Water with UV. This system provides clean water for every faucet in your home, and can filter 500,000 or up to 5 years. Learn more about this filter and purchase now to start enjoying healthy, great tasting water from your well!