What To Do If A Water Well Runs Dry

Homeowners tend to take for granted that their well is producing plenty of high-quality water, but private wells can see a reduction in their output over time and water levels can decrease in times of drought. There are some potential causes for low water pressure or a complete loss of water. Here’s how you can tell if the problem stems from a well that’s run dry.


Your private water well may be drying up or be affected by drought conditions if you notice the following:

•    Tap water looking murky or muddy
•    A change of taste in the drinking water
•    As air comes through the system spigots might start to sputter

If you’ve seen any of these, you may want to check your well water depth. To do this, just remove the cap and drop an ice cube down. Measure the time it takes until you hear the splash of the ice cube in the water. You can then estimate the depth of the water in feet by this formula:

16 X (time measured in seconds) X (time measured in seconds) = depth of water (approximately)


There are a number of options homeowners have to increase well water yield without having to drill a new well. The source of the problem could be as simple as the placement of the water pump. In most wells, the pump is located within the well underwater, known as a submersible pump. When water is drawn down below the pump level, the pump will bring air into the system instead of water. Calling in a professional to measure the water depth and lower the pump can quickly fix this problem.

Another problem can be well age. A well’s lifespan is considered to be roughly 20 to 30 years. Over time, yield may decline because of sediment or mineral scale build-up. If your home’s well is older and has been showing a slow decline in output, you may want to consider hydrofracking.

Hydrofracking is a technique that injects high-pressure water into the depths of your well to open fractures in surrounding rock and increase water flow. Skillings & Sons has a proven hydrofracking system that’s so effective; we offer a guarantee.

Water well deepening is another way to increase the yield of the well. When a well is deepened, new fractures containing water can be discovered. The chances of finding a new fracture containing water usually increase the deeper into the ground you go, but this is not always the case. A professional well construction company can consult you on the likelihood of finding more water and can aid you in the project.


Whenever work is done to a well, water testing should be conducted after to ensure the water quality. Skillings & Sons also recommends customers keep detailed records of any work done on their well, especially if they want to sell their home. In some states, including New Hampshire, records of significant work done on wells must be shared with potential buyers.


Sputtering faucets and a change in drinking water could have other causes. For example, there could be a problem with the electrical system delivering water to the water pump or pressure tank. One sure way to determine the problem is to call a well system specialist, like Skillings & Sons. With more than 40 years of well drilling and water system service, our technicians can helpyou quickly identify and fix your well water problems.