Survival Basics

Water Filter Buyer’s Guide

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The vast majority of well water is safe to drink, because of the processes that create well water in the first place. Well water is drawn from things called aquifers – underground reservoirs of water that have been there for years (decades and centuries). Aquifer water starts life as surface water, and as it seeps into the ground many hundreds of feet to accumulate below the surface, it gets filtered by the sand and rock to become relatively pure. Well water can become undrinkable in the following conditions:

  • Chemical spills or other hazardous materials leaching through the soil to contaminate the aquifer. This is exactly what happened in the town of Hinckley, California, and the townspeople needed to call an attorney by the name of Erin Brokovich to fight the mining company that had contaminated the water.
  • Sometimes, wells become undrinkable due to natural reasons, such as mineral buildup. This is an accumulation of minerals and salts that don’t necessarily make the water unsafe, but they make it unpalatable to drink because of mineral tastes or bad odors.

In any case, if you already have access to a well that is known to be good and safe to drink, you’ll be far ahead of everyone else in the quest for water.

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