Turning on the faucet and seeing water come out is something most of us take for granted, but when it comes to building or purchasing a new well system, adequate water supply is a major consideration.
When evaluating a well’s water supply, the first test done is typically a flow rate test. The flow refers to the amount of water coming from the well, and the flow rate measures the gallons per minute coming out. 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. This requirement may be higher if it serves a home housing a large family or there are significant water demands.
In New Hampshire, domestic wells are regulated by the Water Well Board. The Water Well Board is a seven-member group made up of representatives from the Department of Environmental Services and others including water well contractors, pump installers, technical drillers and the public. The board is responsible for protecting groundwater resources, licensing well and pump contractors and keeping well construction records. It also creates policies and enforces standards for water well construction and installing pumps. Skillings & Sons President Roger Skillings is currently the Water Well Board Chairman.
In the private sector is the New Hampshire Water Well Association, which issues recommendations on well system construction as well. The association is made up of water well drillers, pump installers, water treatment professionals and suppliers. Its purpose is to promote new technology, maintain good policy and to support proper development and protection of underground water supplies.
The Water Well Board suggests that the minimum water supply capacity for use inside a home should be at least 600 gallons within a two-hour period, or about 5 gallons per minute for 2 hours. Here you will find a chart that describes the water flow rate recommendations further.
The Water Well Board and the New Hampshire Water Well Association both recommend a flow rate of 4 gallons per minute for a 4 hour period. That’s equivalent to 960 gallons of water flowing steadily for 4 hours. These groups agree these results will ensure optimum water supply for home use and a modest amount of outdoor use.
This amount of water may be less than is needed for some families, especially if there is significant outdoor water use, which is why well professionals may recommend a minimum flow rate of 5 gallons per minute or more.
If after conducting a flow rate test, the well does not meet the recommended standards, there are some options to increasing flow. If there is space on the property, another well can be dug. This is also costly, time-consuming and may not get the results the homeowner needs. We recommend using a process called hydrofracking, which blasts water into an existing well bore to clear debris and open fissures allowing water to flow through the bedrock.
Hydrofracking or hydraulic fracturing does not use chemicals and is different from the hydraulic fracking associated with the oil and gas industry. Our method has a 98 percent success rate, and we are so confident in our process that we offer a guarantee.
If you have questions about your well’s yield, depth or other state requirements, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Department of Environmental Services website, or Skillings & Sons and speak with a well water system professional for a consultation.