Private well users in Connecticut usually experience significant reductions in groundwater levels during summer droughts or when water usage is particularly high. Depending on the condition of soils, rocks and other ground-related variables influencing the operation of their wells, some well owners may suffer water problems while their neighbors do not. Generally, wells that fail to function when nearby wells are still working normally have been manually dug or exist in less than optimal areas for wells to operate reliably.
If you are not sure about the location or dimensions of your well, try contacting your local health department for answers. Most county health departments keep files on area wells that are less then 20 years old.
Metal detectors work well when searching for metal pipes connected to older wells. Newer wells using plastic piping generally contain enough metallic tracer wires, casings or sanitary seals to trip a metal detector and provide the location of a well.
Signs of Possible Water Issues with a Well
You might have a problem if:
- Your pump is noisy or pumping more frequently.
- Non-aerated faucets are providing water streams filled with air bubbles.
- Water pressure drops suddenly and significantly.
- Water unexpectedly looks dirty or cloudy.
Conserving Water to Enhance Well Functioning
- Reduce demand for water by limiting yard irrigation and automobile washing.
- Flush the toilet only when necessary.
- Avoid excessive showering.
- Time water use so that family members are not showering, doing laundry or washing dishes simultaneously.
If demand for water simply cannot be reduced, consider implementing a larger storage tank to increase the storage volume.
Other ways to alleviate water demand problems include adding more pressure water tanks or hiring Greco & Haines, Inc. to install a non-pressurized tank (atmospheric) equipped with a transfer pump.
When well pumps are located inside the well (commonly seen in professionally drilled wells), they should be set 10 to 15 feet above the well’s bottom, which prevents sediment from entering the water even as the well ages.
Another method to improve a well’s output is hydro-fracturing and completely flushing the well. Hydro-fracturing is a type of high-speed velocity jetting that may give you more well water column storage.
As a last resort, well owners can deepen the well to meet their demands for water. Well owners should contact their local health department for information about licensed well drillers or Greco & Haines, Inc., can provide you with the name of a licensed well driller. Allow only a licensed water pump company such as Greco & Haines, Inc. and /or a licensed well driller to work on your well and water issues!
Finally, never fill an empty well with water from your home, a creek or other outside source. A well that has naturally gone dry is not capable of holding water and will redirect the water to aquifers underlying the well, where overburden will occur.
Risk of Water Contamination
Anytime a well is altered or if water storage tanks are added, the home’s plumbing system needs disinfecting. Disinfection treatments are necessary to eliminate bacteria and other water-borne pathogens that could easily infiltrate the water system during the installation of water tanks or while changing the dimensions of a well. Private well owners should also have the water tested each year for contamination by coliform bacteria, viruses and protozoa that could cause serious gastrointestinal illness.