Owning a well is an exciting prospect – and a big responsibility. You are responsible for making sure your water is safe and easily available to your family and property. Additionally, you are responsible for maintaining a healthy well and protecting your local water table. A well presents a direct line to the natural water table and aquifer that, should it become contaminated, could have severe consequences for the wildlife and ecosystem surrounding your property. You may have heard it said that wells are pretty “hands-off,” but there are some things you can and should be doing to make sure your well is properly maintained. Some well maintenance tips are common sense, and some are easy to forget!
1) Prevention is Key
Keep hazardous chemicals and materials away from your well, and try to store them downhill from your well. This includes things such as paint, automotive chemicals such as gasoline and oil, and household cleaners. Never pour these down a drain, and never dump them outside.
2) Track Information
Keep a detailed log of your well’s information and maintenance, and keep it somewhere safe. Track maintenance records, keep your construction report handy, and track water test results. This can help you notice problems before they arise.
3) Take Testing Seriously
Test your water annually – This should be recorded in your logs, and tests should be run for bacterial growth, nitrates and other mineral presences, and any other areas of concern. You should also test if there is a sudden change in your water quality or after a flood. If the taste, smell, or color changes, get a test.
4) Backflow Protection
Be sure your outdoor faucets have backflow protection. This is especially important if you attach a hose to chemical sprayers, as water siphoned back through a hose down into the well could potentially bring hazardous chemicals into your water supply.
5) Limit Chemicals
Limit garden chemicals and fertilizer use, as these can easily filter down through the soil into the water table. Contaminants in the aquifer are not only potentially dangerous to your health but can also damage the equipment of your well. Contaminants also increase the level of nitrites in the soil.
6) Watch Your Well Casing
Always keep the top of the well casing at least 18 inches above the ground, and be careful when mowing or doing work near your well. Even minor damage to the casing can create a sanitation problem for your well.
7) Slope in the Right Direction
When planting, gardening, and landscaping, ensure that the ground slopes away from your well. Also, make sure that you do not plant too close to your well. Trees and flowers need water, garden chemicals, and fertilizer, and having these close to the well presents an opportunity for contamination.
8) Inspection is Important
Regularly inspect your well and its cohort machinery, such as pressure tanks and filtration systems. Look for cracks or damage in the casing, corrosion, a broken well cap, or changes to the quality of the ground around your well.
Caring for your well is a long-term process, and you must address problems early to prevent a larger situation from developing. By working with professionals and certified well drillers for your modification, maintenance, and abandonment needs, you are ensuring that your water and the environment around you are both safe thanks to the quality of your well. Contact American Pump Services for more well maintenance tips.