About Your Water Well - What Does Static Water Level Mean?

What Does Static Water Level Mean?

Static Water Level Information For Water Well Owners

If you're one of the over 42 million homes in the United States that receive water from a private water well, your well relies on groundwater. To receive an adequate and dependable supply of water, ground water levels must be replenished throughout the year by rainfall and snow melt. Drought and other weather condition can dramatically affect the amount of water in your well.

As a homeowner, along with annual testing and basic maintenance, you need to have some basic information about your well. Among this is the static water level in your well. The Water System Council recommends having a licensed well-water professional check your wells static water level periodically as a part of your regular maintenance.

What Is Static Water Level

The static water level of a well is the amount of water under normal conditions, while at rest. It is best measured when a well has not been pumped for several hours before measurement. If you measure too soon after pumping, you may get a false reading. Understanding your well's static water level can prevent overuse. Most state and local water agencies take routine ground water level measurements and can inform you of the water level trends in your location. You can also obtain information from the US Geological Survey about regional levels.

Many factors can influence water levels both in the long and short term. Rain and snow melt can add to aquifers raising levels. Periods of low-rain or drought conditions can lead to falling water levels as ground water moves more slowly to discharge points or is used by deep rooted vegetation. Water levels in aquifers located in coastal areas can be affected by the tide, and even atmospheric pressure changes can cause small fluctuations in static water levels. Low pressure can cause levels to rise, while high pressure can lower them.

Static water level varies seasonally throughout the year and may be affected by how many other wells draw from the aquifer, or how much groundwater is being used in the surrounding area for agricultural, industrial or commercial use.

Measuring Static Water Levels

You well water professional can help you to determine your wells static water level through various testing methods. These methods can include:

• Electric Sounder or Electric Depth Gauge

This is the most practical method for measuring water levels. It consists of a weight suspended on an insulated wire with depth markings and an ammeter to indicate a closed circuit. Current flows through the circuit when the wire contacts the water surface. The line is then measured to determine the level.

Wetted Tape

This method is accurate to a depth of 90 feet. To use this method, you must know the approximate depth to the water in your well. This method uses a 100-foot steel measuring tape with the first 8 to 10 feet coated with carpenters chalk. The tape is lowered until part of the chalked section is submerged. The tape is raised and the wet section s subtracted from 100 feet to determine level.

• Air Line

This is the best method for repeated testing of wells that are over 300 feet in depth. This method is the most complicated but can be extremely accurate in deep wells. A small diameter pipe or tube is lowered into the well about 20 feet below the anticipated water level. Air is the pumped into the line, and a pressure gauge is attached to the surface end. When the gauge levels off at a constant maximum meaning all of the water has been forced from the line. At this point, air pressure supports the column of water from the water level in the well to the bottom of the tube. The water column length is equal to the amount of submerged air line. The pressure is converted to feet from the known length of the air line to determine the amount of line submerged. This is then deducted from the known length of line to determine static water level.

Static water level is an important piece of information that can keep you informed about your water supply.  Every homeowner should have this information if you draw water from a private well. While measuring static water level may seem complicated, the professionals at Skillings & Sons do this type of work every day for our customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. If you're unsure of the health of your well, or your static water level, give us a call! We help our customers maintain the health and safety of their water wells with testing, treatment, and regular maintenance and are always happy to answer any questions you might have about your well.