Running out of well water can be devastating for a homeowner. Drilling a new well to replace a well that’s run dry can be expensive, but isn’t always necessary. There are some ways you increase the flow of water from your well, even if you are experiencing low water levels.
Knowing the cause of low well water levels
Low water levels in your well can be caused by a drop in the water table in your area. Is there a new business close by that is drawing a large amount of water? Has there been a continued drought in your state? These could be the reason behind the water level drop in your well.
Low water levels could also be caused by debris blocking the screens and other holes meant for filtering contaminants out but letting water into the well casing. Another cause still could be the age of the well. It is not uncommon for well levels to drop over time, which is why the life expectancy of a well is usually between 20 and 30 years.
Narrowing in on the well dry problem
Understanding how much water your well yielded when it was new can help you determine how much the water yield has decreased over time. Massachusetts and New Hampshire both keep records of wells drilled in the past 30 years, which should include well logs from the professional drilling contractor. These logs should tell you how old your well is, its depth and how many gallons of water flowed per minute, known as the flow rate.
You can conduct this test yourself by measuring how much water flows from the faucet in one minute. If there is a significant drop between the original flow rate and the rate today, the low water level could be a culprit. But remember, when the original test was done, it was likely done at the well, not at a faucet inside the home. There are some factors between the well and your faucet, including the well pump and the system that monitors water pressure, which could be the actual cause of weak water flow.
A professional well contractor can conduct the test for you and compare the results to the original rate. A water well expert can also advise you on what method to address the problem will work best.
Simple fixes to low well water
If you find that the flow rate is below 5 gallons per minute, it is likely not enough for your home, especially during times where water demand is highest. You may be able to extend your water supply with conservation methods first, such as installing low-flow toilets and other fixtures, or by fixing leaky faucets. Limiting water use by taking fewer showers or cutting out watering the garden may also help, but these options may also diminish your quality of life and aren’t usually long-term solutions.
Increasing water storage is another affordable fix. A large-size pressure tank with a larger water tank can give you added water stored inside the home. It can also prolong the life of your well pump as it reduces the need for the pump to cycle as often. Most wear and tear on the well pump occurs when it stops and starts. If you feel your well pump is a problem view our pump replacement information.
Hydrofracking is another option. This method of injecting high-pressure water into a well can blast out debris blocking fissures in the aquifer’s bedrock, increasing the flow of the water within the earth and into the well. If your well system is a good candidate for this procedure, it has a very high success rate when it comes to increasing flow.