Learn the mandated flow rate for water wells in New Hampshire
There are many factors that can impact your well's water supply over time. As a result, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has set strict minimum standards for well water supplies in order to ensure your well functions properly. Also, the Federal Housing Administration is concerned with ensuring that all houses have a proper water supply.
Federal Standards For Flow Rate
According to the Federal Housing Administration, there are two primary standards that wells must meet to pass inspections. For older homes with wells installed years ago, the FHA requires a flow rate of 3-5 gallons per minute. However, new construction or old homes that have had new wells drilled must provide a minimum of 5 gallons per minute. This reflects a change in the way households use water today and our increasing demand on the groundwater supply with modern appliances and growing families.
The New Hampshire Water Well Board
In order to properly regulate water wells within the state, the NHDES has appointed a seven-member panel called the Water Well Board. The NHDES Water Well Board regularly publishes standards for protecting groundwater resources as well as constructing wells for long-term viability. Roger Skillings is a past Board President of the NHDES Water Well Board. They serve as a moderator between homeowners and well professionals. They work with contractors, construction companies, and others to set guidelines, enforce rules and maintain records concerning all wells currently in use.
Checking Your Well's Flow Rate
The flow rate of your well is measured in several different ways. While the standard is 5 gallons per minute, the truth is that we use water more heavily during certain times of day, so we need to look at the amount of water being stored and how quickly that water can be recovered. According to the Water Well Board, you should have roughly 600 gallons of water available within a two-hour period. This standard applies once each day. For instance, if everyone in your household is taking showers and starting laundry in the mornings, you need access to a vast store of water in a short amount of time. Alternatively, a flow rate of 4 gallons per minute is equivalent to 960 gallons of water over a four hour period. This is enough to supply your home with your basic hygienic needs as well as outdoor water supply for lawns and gardens.
Water Well Down Time
The suggestions above are based on the idea that you will only use water heavily during a small portion of the day. The remainder of the day your pump will be working to refill your storage capacity. For instance, while you are at work or asleep, the pump will be amassing water to prepare for the next heavy usage period. Understanding how storage charts work is perhaps more important that knowing that the FHA has set the flow rate at 5 gallons per minute since it has practical applications.
If you are struggling with water shortages or you have no water coming from your well, you should contact Skillings & Sons. We are a new Hampshire licensed well water contractor. We have water well professionals who can test your flow rate, well pump and storage capacity. It is possible to update your pump and storage capacity to meet modern needs even if your well has not been providing adequate water in the past.