Our Most Frequently Asked Questions About Bedrock Water Wells

What is a bedrock water well?

Bedrock wells are drilled below the topsoil and groundwater into bedrock, tapping the cracks in the rock that carry water deep underground. The average bedrock well in New Hampshire is between 100-feet and 500-feet deep, but drilling depth can go up to 1,000 feet.

To access the water, a pipe is installed into the bedrock, called a casing, and a pump to carry the water to the surface and into the home. The casing protects the well from possible contaminants at or near the level of ground water. Learn more about well drilling.


How do you drill a bedrock water well?

A drill bit at the end of a long pipe is rotated into the ground. It crushes the rock as it goes until the right depth is reached. A water and mud slurry is pumped down through the drill bit to clear the crushed rock out of the well. This rotary process is the most common and least expensive way to drill a bedrock well. A well can also be drilled using the percussion process which uses a falling weight to pound and pulverize the rock at the bottom of the well.


How long will it take to drill a water well?

When you decide to install a bedrock well, you should set aside a few days for the work. It usually takes about a day to complete drilling, and another day to install the pump.


How much does a bedrock water well cost?

How deep the drilling company must dig determines the basic cost, since most companies charge by the foot. A well drilling company can get a good idea of how deep the bedrock well will need to be by examining your property, the average well depth for your area, the geology and other factors. If after an initial drilling, there is adequate water available for your family’s needs, then the drilling can stop. If not, the drilling will continue until an adequate water source is found.


How do you know if the well will provide enough water?

During the drilling process we monitor the water flow to ensure there is enough water available at the source to provide adequate water for your family, lawn or business. We constantly monitor the water flow, so you can be confident that we will never drill a well that is deeper than it has to be.


The state also requires well drillers to conduct a 30-minute yield test of each new well to determine if the water removed is being adequately replenished. By measuring how much water flows from the well each minute, the homeowner can tell if the yield will meet the family’s needs.

In New Hampshire, the median yield for a bedrock well is 6.5 gallons per minute. The average American household needs 100 to 120 gallons per person per day, and a flow rate of about 6 to 12 gallons per minute.

If the well does not meet these standards, there are ways to try to get more yield from the well. Hydrofracking was originally created for the oil industry, but has become a useful tool in well repair and drilling. A bit is inserted into the well which blasts the bedrock with highly pressurized water to open cracks in the bedrock in hopes of creating new paths for the water inside. This method uses no chemicals. Skillings & Sons has a 98 percent success rate with fracking, a record so good we offer a guarantee.


Are there any regulations on bedrock wells?

Some municipalities have requirements relating to location, construction and water quality of private wells but there are no state requirements regarding well water quality or quantity in New Hampshire for private domestic wells. If you are selling or buying a home with a well, remember that the owner is required to disclose the location of the well, its age, any malfunctions, date of the most recent water test and any problems with water quality that test may have uncovered.

In 1984, the state began keeping records of all new wells. The information is available to the public in an online database. If you want to know about your well or those in your surrounding area, the database can help.


Are there any contaminants or water quality issues with bedrock wells?

Most bedrock wells in New Hampshire deliver safe drinking water, but the geology of the state and other factors do sometimes lead to contaminants in water. Some of the most common, naturally occurring contaminants are arsenic, bacteria, radon, radium and uranium. You can determine the presence of these contaminants by conducting tests, which Skillings & Sons can help you with.

Other naturally occurring water quality issues can include hard water, corrosive water and iron, sand or sediment in your water. There are water treatment solutions to all of these issues.

Of course, there is sometimes a risk of man-made contamination, which can be revealed in a water quality test. Homeowners with wells should be mindful of the activities on and around their property to ensure the well does not become contaminated. Improperly applying fertilizer or pesticides, inappropriate disposal of motor oil, solvents and other harmful substances, or living close to an industrial area could all put your well at risk.For more information about bedrock well water contamination in your area, contact the NH Department of Environmental Services.


How do I find a reputable company to drill a new bedrock well?

In New Hampshire, well-drilling contractors must be licensed, but homeowners can drill a well with the help of a contractor if it is on their own property. Skillings & Sons believes that it is vital the water coming into your home is clean and plentiful. Hire a licensed professional to do the work, as it will affect your life for years to come. Contact us for a water well drilling or water pump replacement estimate.


If you have questions regarding bedrock or artesian wells, contact us directly or click on the button below to download our service brochure.