How to Increase Water Production With Water Well Rehabilitation
For a homeowner with a private well, it's a situation that can be scary. You notice over some time that the water flow entering your home seems to be weakening. Or even worse, has stopped altogether and you have no water! While it may mean you need to dig a new well, quite often the situation is not nearly that concerning. Today, instead of abandoning the well and incurring the expense of having a new water well built, professional water well experts, like Skillings and Sons can often rehabilitate the well and restore flows that can provide more than enough water to meet your family's needs.
How do they do it? Several factors are involved including the type of well and the ground formation it is built into, the construction of the well, and the possibility that a natural condition like prolonged drought has dropped the water table below the pump location.
Sometimes the solution is drilling the well a bit deeper or lowering the pump into the existing well. Other situations may call for merely cleaning algae buildup on the well screen, or hydrofracturing to increase fissures that supply the well.
The following are answers to some commonly asked questions about the process of water well rehabilitation.
How do you know if well rehabilitation can work?
At Skillings and Sons, we undertake testing to determine if rehabilitation is possible. Often, we'll shut down the well for 24 to 48 hours to see if the static water level rises naturally. This is the level of the water table in the well when the pump is not working. If it returns or is close to the original level, rehabilitation is a viable option. Often, the first step before any testing is to lower a video camera into the well to see if there are any obvious issues, like a collapsed casing or another blockage.
What does the water table drop?
There can be several reasons your water table can drop. The ongoing drought has affected water wells in various parts of the country, but the drought is not the only reason for your water table to drop. The most common is the physical plugging up of holes along the well casing or encrustation forming on the well screens. If holes or portions of the screens are clogged, the water level can drop significantly. Calcium carbonate (hard water), iron bacteria, silt, clay, or “slime” (a combination of sediment and deposits) are all common causes.
The techniques used for water well rehabilitation?
Typically, we take one of two different approaches for rehabilitation of your water well. The first involves using chemicals to dissolve the encrustations so they can be pumped from the well, The second method consists of cleaning the well with a brush that is attached to a drilling rig and lowered into the well casing.
If the clogging is persistent high pressure jetting, hydrofracturing and well surging can be employed. Often, we will use various combinations of methods to rehabilitate your well.
What's the difference between high-pressure jetting, hydrofracturing and surging?
High pressure jetting uses a tool with an adjustable multi-head water-powered jet the is lowered into the well and injects water at high pressure to dislodge debris from the well.
Hydrofracturing consists of blocking a section of the well and sending water into the entire well at extremely high-pressure. The water removes the clogged perforations in the casing and can crack the underground bedrock to create new sources of water.
Well surging is the repeated injection and flushing of water into the system. With repeated flushing, the debris is flushed from the system.
If chemicals are used, what are they? Are they safe?
For iron bacteria and slime clogging, a liquid bacteria acid is often effective. For mineralization clogs, like carbonate scale, we use sulfamic acid along with inhibitors and modifiers. If the problem is persistent bacteria, we may take a more aggressive approach using muriatic acid and hydroxy acetic acid.
Chemicals are placed in the water well and agitated over a period of 24 to 72 hours. The well is then pumped with water before a water test is administered to make sure the well is safe and ready to be put back into service.
If your water flow has dropped or you have no water at all, do not panic! You can usually avoid the expense of drilling a new well on your property using well rehabilitation techniques like these and other methods. Contact your well water professional and have them diagnose the problem. They can provide you with all of your options and their costs.
If you live in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, give the experts at Skillings and Sons a call. We can diagnose your problem and provide the best solution to get your water well back to normal!