It’s no secret that water is essential for life. We need it to drink, cook, clean, and water our plants. Most of us get our water from a municipal source, but some of us are lucky enough to have our own wells.
While having a well means you don’t have to worry about your water being shut off if there’s a problem with the city’s supply, it does mean you have to be extra careful during dry periods.
Groundwater depletion can cause wells to run dry when the water table – the top surface of groundwater – drops in May and continues to decline during the summer months. That’s because when the ground around your well dries out, it can cause your well to go dry, too.
The good news is that, in most cases, the water table will naturally replenish over time with rain and snow melt.
However, the rate at which a well can refill depends on multiple factors including the aquifer it draws from, its depth, and any nearby large-scale water usage.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your well pumping during a dry summer.
1. Check the level of your water table.
The water table is the upper level of groundwater in an aquifer. If it’s low, there’s a good chance your well will go dry. You can check the level of the water table by looking at the static level in your well. This is the level at which water stands in your well when it’s not being pumped. If the static level is lower than normal, it could be a sign that your well is going dry.
2. Look for changes in your water quality.
Another sign that your well might be going dry is a change in your water quality. If you notice that your water doesn’t taste as good as it used to or that it’s discolored, it could be a sign that your well is running low on water.
3. Monitor your pump usage.
If you notice that you’re having to run your pump more often than usual or for longer periods of time, it could be a sign that your well is going dry. Pay close attention to how much water you’re using and how often you have to turn on your pump, so you can spot any changes early on.
4. Check for cracks in your foundation or walls.
Cracks in your foundation or walls can also be an indication that your well is going dry. As the ground around your well dries out, it can cause the structure of your home or business to shift and crack. Be sure to check for any new cracks and report them to a professional right away so they can determine whether or not they’re caused by drying out around your well.
5. Limit your water usage.
During dry periods, try to limit your water usage as much as possible. Take shorter showers, fix any leaks in pipes or faucets, and use drought-tolerant plants in your garden . These small steps can make a big difference in conserving the water in your well.
It’s also important to have your well serviced regularly by a professional to ensure it is functioning properly and efficiently. They may also be able to offer advice on how to maintain and conserve your well during dry periods.
Does rain fill your well?
The average well can recharge at a rate of 5 gallons per minute, though this will depend on various factors such as the age and usage history of your well, its location, and the geological make-up of the area.
Rainfall can contribute to the recharge of your well, but it will not be the only source. It is important to also consider other ways to conserve and maintain your well in order to ensure a steady supply of water.
Rainfall that seeps into the ground on your property moves at a rate of only 10 feet per year, so it can take a long time for the rain to reach your well.
Heavy downpours and stormwater runoff can also have a negative impact on the recharge of wells by carrying pollutants and sediment into aquifers. So, while rainfall can contribute to the recharge of your well, it is not always a reliable source and conservation efforts should still be a priority.
If you’re lucky enough to have a private well, then you know how important it is to keep an eye on it during periods of drought or extended dry weather conditions.
By following the tips listed above, you can help ensure that your well continues pumping even when the ground around it is parched and dry. And don’t forget to have your well serviced regularly by a professional to ensure it stays in top shape.