Much like a city is responsible for maintaining the water provided for its inhabitants, a well owner is responsible for maintaining their well in order to ensure the safety of their well and the wells around them. Below are the some simple steps well owners should take to maintain the integrity of their well and the safety of their drinking water.
1. Maintain the cleanliness…
The area around wells, whether they are in a pump shed or out in the open should be kept free of clutter and contaminants. While pump sheds can seem like convenient storage areas they are not in fact storage sheds. Equipment, tools, chemicals & other miscellaneous items should not be kept around your well site. Clutter can lead to animal infestations which can damage well equipment (especially electrical!) and animal droppings can lead to contamination of your well water. Chemicals can be accidentally spilled leading to water contamination as well. We like to say if you wouldn’t keep it in your refrigerator don’t keep it next to your drinking water!
Heavy items stores near wells heads could fall or lean on plumbing and other system components causing damage. Remember too that anything stored near a well site that would prevent a technician from accessing it or safely working on it will have to be moved should you ever need a service call. Save yourself the time and money by keeping the area clear!
Example of a well site with many potential hazards…
2. Regularly inspect your well…
There are two types of inspections that should be routinely completed on a well system, an inspection by the well owner and an inspection by a well technician.
Inspection by well owner
Once a month you should perform a brief but thorough visual inspection of your well and water system components. Check the portion of the well that is visible above ground, make sure it is in good condition with no leaks or deterioration. Check over all the water system components for the leaks, deterioration and any other system changes.
Inspection by a licensed water well technician
Annually a licensed water well technician should perform a full maintenance check on your system. This inspection can take 4-6 hours and will should include not only a visual inspection but also performance tests on the various components of your system. A typical maintenance check performed by Groundwater Pump & Well includes the following…
– Visual inspection of system components
– Operation of electrical components while running and static
– Operation and condition of well pump and motor
– System cycle time
– Water levels
– Draw down
– Static water level (SWL)
– Pumping level (PL)
– Gallons per minute (GPM)
– Sediment content & color of water
– Bacteriological test (testing to see if there are any Bacteriological contaminants in water)
3. Good Record Keeping…
It is important as a well owner to keep accurate and up to date records on your well. These records make identifying and correcting problems with your system much easier and can also be used to estimate life expectancies of your water system and even the well itself. Below is a list of records that you should keep in organized and easy to locate manner…
– Drill logs & well completion reports
– History of static water levels and pumping levels
– Equipment installation records with make and model numbers
– Maintenance check records
– Water quality including bacteriological testing records and results
4. Properly handling wells that are not in use…
It is important to remember that wells that are not in use have can have an effect on other wells nearby and surrounding water tables. If you have a well that is not in use it must be properly capped or destroyed to prevent contamination of that well and possibly others. See our information on well destruction or abandonment here.