Nothing’s worse than going for a cold glass of water—especially in this summer heat—and nearly gagging on a drink that tastes like it came from the ocean. Yuck!
And even if your water only has a mild salty taste, it’s still unpleasant all the same.
So, what gives? Well, if your water is tasting salty, the short answer is: There’s salt in your water.
But, of course, there’s much more to it than that.
Here’s what you need to know about salt (a.k.a. sodium chloride), how it gets into your well water supply, and whether you need to be concerned about it.
How Does Salt Get Into Your Well Water?
First things first: Sodium is a common, naturally occurring chemical element found in the ground, specifically in rocks and soil. In fact, it’s the sixth most common element on the planet.
Furthermore, sodium and sodium compounds (e.g. sodium chloride) are highly soluble, which means they dissolve into water very easily. This means all groundwater contains trace amounts of sodium, although the levels are typically not detectable.
So, if you can actually taste the salt in your water, this obviously points to a problem. Something is causing your well water supply to have significantly elevated levels of sodium chloride.
But what could be causing this?
Here’s where things get tricky. High levels of sodium could result from any of the following:
- Local salt deposits eroding into your groundwater
- Naturally high salinity in your aquifer (the permeable, underground rock layer where your well draws water from)
- Nearby seawater mixing into your groundwater (as a result of coastal flooding, for example)
- Road salt combining with water runoff
- Excessive rain or snow draining through soil that’s naturally high in sodium
- Liquid waste or sewage contaminating the groundwater
- Agricultural or industrial solvents contaminating the groundwater
In other words, it could be almost anything.
Should You Worry?
This is where a professional well water inspection proves vital. You should be having your water tested annually as it is, but if you notice a sudden spike in the saltiness of your water, then you should schedule a thorough inspection right away.
A professional will inspect your well system and test your water for sodium and certain other contaminants based on your local water table, geological features, and surrounding environment. If your well’s structure looks fine and your test shows elevated levels of sodium exclusively, then you have nothing to worry about (unless you have medical reasons to be concerned about sodium intake). To resolve this issue, install a reverse osmosis system.
However, if the inspection reveals defects in your well, you’ll need to repair it ASAP. And if additional contaminants show up in your test results, then you can assume the issue has been caused by environmental pollution. You’ll need to install a reverse osmosis system to fix the sodium content, and you’ll also want to consider specialized filtration systems to neutralize the other contaminants.
Schedule a Well Inspection Today!
If you’re having issues with salty-tasting well water in the Capital District, Columbia County, or the Berkshires, good news: Goold Wells & Pumps is available to help you!
Simply give us a call or send us a message to book your appointment.