What Causes Cloudy Well Water?

Sarah Weddle

According to DrinkWell, a water testing company, cloudy or turbid water could stem from a variety of well issues. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it is a homeowner's responsibility to take the precautions to ensure that well water is safe to consume.


DrinkWell notes that if your water is cloudy, but it clears upon standing, then the cause may be a poorly working pump or a problem with the water filter. Another reason that water may be turbid is because of the existence of dirt, clay salts, silt or rust. Additionally, the cause may be an excess of surface water seeping into the well.


The EPA recommends testing private well water yearly for the presence of total coliform bacteria, which relates to E. coli; nitrates; total dissolved solids; pH levels; and any other contaminants you may be concerned about. You should also be aware of changes around your community that may affect your water, such as increases in rainfall, livestock and lawn fertilizers.

Are you at risk?

The EPA explains that your risk level depends on your local environment, as well as how well your well was constructed and how it is maintained. The best way to combat any risk with well water is to regularly test the water, set a regular maintenance schedule and speak to local experts if any problems should arise.