Steps Well Owners Can Take During Drought
North American Precis Syndicate
Even during a drought, there are ways to keep your well from running dry. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—In any given year, parts of the United States experience
conditions ranging from abnormally dry to severe drought, and for private
water well owners there are steps that can help them weather a dry spell,
according to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).
Drought Effects On Wells
When a well goes “dry” due to drought, it often means the
water table drops below the level of the pump. It is like putting a straw
into the top of a full glass of water. If a person drinks the water and does
not lower the straw as the water level drops, that person will end up sucking
air. There is still water in the glass, but the straw is above it.
If drought is severe enough or the well shallow enough, the water level
can drop below the level of the well entirely.
Wells typically do not go dry at once. Rather, the water table drops
gradually due to a lack of replenishment from rain. Often, older wells
drilled only into the top of an aquifer are most likely to fail first.
Depending on the severity of drought, it can take multiple soaking rains over
time for an aquifer to be replenished.
Some aquifers are sealed off from surface water replenishment due to an
impermeable layer of rock. A well drilled into such an aquifer is drawing
from a limited source of water, which, when depleted, could take hundreds or
even thousands of years to replenish.
Diagnosing Loss In Well
Even in an area of water scarcity, a well’s loss of productivity
could be due to reasons other than a lowering of the water table. A qualified
water well system contractor can determine the cause.
When the problem is not a lowered water table, a well sometimes can be
rehabilitated to yield substantially more water. Often, various techniques
can be applied to the well screen or surrounding geology to enable water to
flow more freely into the well.
When the problem is a lowered water table, it may be possible to drill the
well deeper to extend its depth back below the water table. The size and
condition of the well casing will dictate if a well can be drilled deeper.
Deepening a well, however, does not guarantee that it will produce more
water. In some cases, a new well drilled in a different location may be
necessary to provide a more reliable water supply. A reputable water well
system professional can inspect a well and recommend options.
Using Water Wisely
One aspect of using water wisely is not wasting it. Installing a water
meter can provide valuable information on how much water is being used and
the effectiveness of various conservation efforts.
Another aspect of using water wisely is managing its use; for instance,
scheduling water-intensive activities such as clothes washing, dishwashing
and showers across the day so they are not occurring simultaneously. This
allows the well and any storage tanks to refill to meet the next need.
Yet another water management tool involves installing transducers in the
well. These monitor water levels and signal the pump to activate when
adequate water is available.
Learn more about water well ownership and find well owner lessons,
webinars, an app, and information on well construction, maintenance, water
testing, water treatment, and groundwater protection at www.wellowner.org.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)