Schedule Your Annual Water Well Checkup
Wells tapping ground water resources can provide drinking water of the highest quality. Owning a private household-supply water well allows homeowners to control their own water supply. Ownership also comes with the responsibility of keeping the water well in good working order.
Why Is a Checkup Important?
A properly constructed and maintained household-supply well will provide you with many years of quality service. The National Ground Water Association recommends routine annual maintenance checks to ensure the proper operation of the well and prolong its years of service, as well as monitor the water quality.
What Does a Checkup Involve?
A licensed and/or certified water well contractor should conduct your routine well checkup.
Your checkup should include:
- A flow test to determine system output, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping (if possible), pump motor performance (check amp load, grounding, and line voltage), and pressure tank and pressure switch contact.
- An inspection of well equipment to assure that it is sanitary and meets local code requirements.
- A test of your water for coliform bacteria and nitrates, and anything else of local concern. Other typical additional tests are those for iron, manganese, water hardness, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor. Changes in these constituents also may indicate changes in your well or local groundwater. Additional tests may be recommended if water appears cloudy or oily, if bacterial growth is visible on fixtures, or water treatment devices are not working as they should. Check with your water well contractor, state department of natural resources, or local health department for information on local water quality issues.
- A concise, clear, written report should be delivered to you following the checkup that explains results and recommendations, and includes all laboratory and other test results.
How Do I Arrange for a Checkup?
Contact a local water well contractor and ask if he or she conducts the type of maintenance check described. You can locate NGWA member- or certified-contractors in your area through the Find a Contractor section on this Web site. You can also check your phone book under “Well Drilling and Service.” Check with other well owners or other knowledgeable people for good contractor referrals, and ask the contractor for a list of references.
Other steps to maintain your water well:
- Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a “clean” zone of at least 50 feet (15.24 meters) between your well and any kennels or livestock operations. Also, always maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, or chemical storage areas. Your professional water well contractor is familiar with the applicable local codes.
- Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out insects and rodents.
- Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, and annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.
- Get your water tested anytime there is a change in taste, odor or appearance, or anytime the system is serviced.