Determining if a No Water Issue is a Dry Water Well (and what to do about it)
As a homeowner, you often take for granted that your well will always produce plenty of high-quality, fresh clean water. But the fact is, there are a number of reasons that over time can reduce the output of your private well. When you suddenly find yourself with no water it's human nature to assume the worst. Often the first impulse is to assume that your well has run dry and you'll need to incur the expense of digging a new water well.
The good news is that here in New England, water wells rarely run completely dry without warning. More than likely, you water is running low due factors like drought, or mineralization of the fissures that replenish you well. Luckily, once the problem has been identified by a well water professional like Skillings and Sons, there are steps you can take to remedy the problem, often without spending a fortune.
Recognizing The Signs
Your water well will rarely simply run dry. There will usually be clear signs that there is a problem, and these signs can often help you to identify the problem. Tap water may look muddy, or the taste of your water mat change. Spigots might “sputter” indicating that your pump is drawing air into the line instead of water. These are all signs of dangerously low water levels.
Often there may be a simple solution, for example, a fuse may have blown, cutting power to your pump or pressure tank. The pump, pressure tank, or the wiring may also have failed. If your well is dug into the bedrock as many here in New England, it is replenished by water flowing from fissures in the rock. For a variety of reasons, these fissures may become clogged. If this is the case there are solutions like chemical cleaning to dissolve mineralization, or procedures like hydrofracturing that can solve the problem.
The only way to tell if your water well has run dry is to measure the water level in the well. It may have dropped due to a number of reasons such as drought, or additional homes drawing on the aquifer. Measuring the static water level can be a complicated task. Contact your well water professional to diagnose the problem.
Know Your Water Well Options
Once you've determined that the well is out of water, review your options with your well water professional. You may find that your well is reaching the end of its lifespan. Typically the life of a well is anywhere from 20 to 30 years or longer, depending on the type of construction and the quality of the materials used.
Over time, the yield may decline due to sediment build up or mineral scale build-up inside the well. If this is the case, you well may just need a thorough cleaning or chemical treatment to restore it to its previous water level and flow rate.
If the water table has dropped due to drought, or additional homes drawing on the source lowering your pump deeper to better access the new water level is a possible solution. If this is not possible, deepening the well itself, so that it reaches further down into the water table, can help ensure a drought-resistant water supply. However, this option is not guaranteed to provide more water and can be as expensive as drilling a new deep well.
Redeveloping your existing well using a process known as hydrofracturing may be able to restore your water well. Hydrofracturing consists of using high-pressure water to open new fractures if the surrounding bedrock increasing water flow.
Remember, whenever you perform maintenance or deepening of your well to have it tested to ensure the quality of your water.
Water Well Replacement: The Last Resort
If your water well professional has determined the any of the above options are not viable, the only solution may be to dig a new, deep and modern well. This can sometimes be the only option for restoring a steady water supply if your current well runs dry.
At Skillings and Sons, we work closely with you to address the location of your new well, it's size, storage capacity, water pressure and any other issues. After your new well is drilled, we will seal your old well to protect the purity of your groundwater supply and prevent any hazards to keep your family safe. If you're having any issues with your water well, give Skillings and Sons a call. We're always ready to help!