Depending on the depth of your well and its age, you may be surprised to find that localized drought conditions can have an impact on your ability to get water. While it is common for water levels to fluctuate mildly between rainy seasons and dry seasons, most wells are placed at a depth that accounts for this action. A lengthy period of drought can reduce the level of water in your well beyond the level of your pump, making it impossible to get water.
Emergency Water Conservation
The best way to ensure that you have plenty of water throughout the drought is to be water conscious at all times. It is extremely uncommon for wells to run completely dry during droughts, but more often the water level is just too low for you to reach at that moment. You can prevent the water from getting too low by making every drop count and avoiding over-watering your grass, running too much laundry or taking too many long showers.
Lowering The Well Pump
Depending on the length of the drought and your immediate needs, it may be possible to contact your local driller and have them lower your pump down to where there is still water. You will need to get appropriate permits from your local government for this work to be done, and you should look into the affect that this will have on water quality. Typically, the lower you go, the more minerals will be present in your water, but the more insulated you will be from drought.
Adding Storage Wit A Water Tank
Some homeowners choose to add a large capacity storage tank in line with their pump in case of drought conditions. This provides you with an on-demand resource even when the pump is unable to draw water from the well. This is also a good solution if you know that there are larger well systems in your area which will be drawing from your ground water supply. A tank can help you space out the demands on your well and hopefully allow more water to collect between refilling the tank. Nevertheless, conservation efforts go a long way towards making sure your stored water lasts.
When Will The Water Return?
Depending on the severity of the drought you are experiencing, it is difficult to know when the water will return to its normal levels. Shallower wells are the most susceptible to drought, but also the first to return to their normal levels with a few heavy rains. Deeper wells will likely take several months of soaking rains to reach their former levels. During the late summer, lawns and trees actually consume the water to grow, so it does not all soak through the ground to the well. There is no good way to know when or if your ground water will rise back above your pump on a constant basis.
If you are already seeing the early signs of drought in your area, it is in your best interest to start saving water immediately. As soon as you begin experiencing dry periods when your pump is no longer submerged, it is time to contract a well drilling professional so they can determine whether the problem is with the supply or if there is a fault with the pump. You may need to lower your well pump, add a storage tank or find other means of collecting water long term if your ground water supply has been severely depleted. View further information on hydrofracturing or well deepening.