Well Is Running Dry

Problem: Output from a private well drops below the home’s requirements.

Background: In rural areas where homes are unable to connect to municipal water systems, a private well may eventually lose its ability to supply the home with an adequate amount of water. A drop in well performance can be caused by a number of factors, including faulty design, poor materials and construction, over-pumping, corrosion, scaling, and iron deposits or bacteria. Pumping equipment, instead of the well itself, may also be the cause of the problem.

What to do: Before blaming the well, first check the pumping system for problems. Make sure the pump is supplied with adequate power, that fuses aren’t blown, and that the pump itself is not worn out. Many pump failures are caused by corrosive or incrusting water, as well as power line voltage surges (caused by lightning) that burn out their motors. If all appears to be working, a well contractor in your area may be able to revive the well. Maintenance or rehabilitation is eventually required for most private wells, regardless of its location, depth, or type. Many wells no longer supplying adequate water can be restored to produce up to 90% of their original yield.

Special advice: Proper maintenance will reduce the need for well rehabilitation. Ask a well-drilling or ground water contractor what maintenance should be performed on a regular basis and when the well’s output drops below a certain point (usually not less than 50% of the well’s original capacity).

Helpful hint: Any noticeable change in water quality may indicate that poor-quality water is entering the well through a hole in its casing. Even if no quality problems are apparent, it’s a good idea to have private well water tested regularly. Both private and public water testing facilities are available.




The Home Repair Guide

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