Can you fill paddling pools with well water?

The very hot summers of the last few years mean that more and more families are cooling off in their own garden and setting up their own paddling pool. It is clear that a lot of water is needed for this over the course of the summer. You can find out here whether well water is an alternative to valuable drinking water and what you need to pay attention to.

What is well water?

Before we start thinking about whether you can fill a paddling pool with it, let’s first have a look at what well water actually is.

As the name suggests, this is water that is not taken from the public drinking water network. Instead, it is obtained directly from the groundwater. A borehole, the so-called well , is usually required for this. Depending on the depth at which groundwater is encountered on your property, more or less effort may be required in terms of drilling depth and conveyor technology. Well water differs from normal groundwater in a few striking aspects:

  • No strict water quality control
  • No adjustment of the parameters by adding external water
  • As a result, very individual components and characteristics
Note: Since well water can be used, but does not comply with the Drinking Water Ordinance, it is generally referred to as ‘process water’. Drinkability is not guaranteed, so it is mainly used for garden irrigation and other non-critical uses.

components of the water

Because the water pumped from wells is neither controlled using specified patterns nor changed to usable parameters if necessary, the components can vary greatly. May contain:

  • Dissolved minerals such as salt, calcium, cadmium, phosphorus etc.
  • lime
  • Dissolved metals, sometimes also heavy metals
  • Water-soluble organic compounds
  • Microorganisms such as bacteria
  • pathogens
  • Other soluble substances transferred from the soil

Where lurk driven?

However, when it comes to filling the paddling pool with the water you have pumped yourself, the general content of the water is less important. Rather, it is about which components could become a problem for the users, i.e. children and of course also adults.


Not all minerals cause you problems. But on the contrary. Some contents, such as calcium, magnesium and many others are even vital for the human organism. However, too much certain connection can still lead to health impairments. Particularly worth mentioning here is the nitrate, which repeatedly comes into focus. Getting into the soil from fertilizers, it can accumulate in the human body. It causes problems in the gastrointestinal tract and other internal organs.

metals and heavy metals

While iron and zinc can even be health-promoting in small amounts, copper, mercury and other heavy metals pose an enormous health risk even in low concentrations. From increasing the risk of cancer to organ damage, children in particular can quickly be permanently damaged.

microorganisms and pathogens

The most obvious are probably pathogens as a source of danger from self-extracted well water. Above all, intestinal germs, such as E. coli bacteria, can cause significant gastrointestinal problems. You usually get into the water via defective sewage pipes in the ground around the extraction point, or via animal droppings.

Other substances

In addition, various other substances from the soil can make it unsuitable for people and especially children bathing. Contamination from oil and fuel, for example, which can easily get into the ground from a lawnmower or other garden tool, is conceivable here. But substances from a previous use of the property, or even from other places, can find their way into the paddling pool via the groundwater and your well. What consequences the water then has for you and your children depends heavily on the substance in question.

Suitable for filling?

Now the question is justified as to whether the fountain water is suitable for filling the paddling pool given the abundance of uncertainties. In short, no blanket statement can be made here. If critical content is missing, self-produced water can certainly be used well, while increasing loads, on the other hand, can also lead to complete unsuitability.

The best way to gain clarity about your water is through a solid and comprehensive laboratory analysis. It provides information about the general composition of the well water and possible contamination with heavy metals, microorganisms and other common substances. You should only fill your children’s pool with the water from your well if the results of this test confirm that it is harmless. If, on the other hand, critical values ​​are found, you should refrain from using them for the benefit of all bathers.

Instructions for using well water

If you have come to the conclusion that your paddling pool can certainly be filled with the water you have pumped yourself, the following tips and information offer additional safety:

  • interpose a suitable water filter for solids and microorganisms
  • Change the bath water regularly, eg daily, so that germs have no opportunity to develop in standing water
  • Clean the bath regularly to avoid foreign entries when filling
  • Consider using water additives such as chlorine in large children’s pools

Kira Bellingham

I'm a homes writer and editor with more than 20 years' experience in publishing. I have worked across many titles, including Ideal Home and, of course, Homes & Gardens. My day job is as Chief Group Sub Editor across the homes and interiors titles in the group. This has given me broad experience in interiors advice on just about every subject. I'm obsessed with interiors and delighted to be part of the Homes & Gardens team.

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