6 Ways to Revive a Failing Water Well
The prospect of a failing well can be daunting. Drilling a new one is costly, time consuming and disruptive, so every well owner wants a well to last as long as possible.
Common symptoms of a well that’s running dry include air in the plumbing system, low water pressure or a pump that struggles to replenish water supply. Don’t panic, you may be able to revive that sluggish water well. Let’s look at a few possibilities:
- Have your well system checked. Persistent hidden leaks in the well and plumbing can produce many symptoms associated with a failing well, particularly if it was a low-producer to begin with. Have your system checked, it’s a savvy first step and may help remedy the situation.
- Cut water usage. This buys you time while you explore options, may delay well replacement until the aquifer recharges, and continues to conserve water no matter what you decide. Implement commonsense changes: Reduce shower length, consolidate laundry loads and run the dishwasher only when it’s full. Stop watering the lawn or water less frequently for shorter periods. If neighbors have similar well worries, come up with a collective strategy for conserving water in a shared groundwater source.
- Invest in water conserving appliances and devices. To optimize the water you have, install flow-control devices on faucets, shower heads, toilets and appliances. Install flow reducers on outside spigots and invest in more efficient sprinklers, rain barrels or a gray-water irrigation system. Use pool and spa covers to reduce water loss through evaporation. Replace outdated toilets and appliances with water-smart models, which can be costly but less expensive than a new well.
- Evaluate the pump. If your well is deep enough, have the pump set deeper inside the well. You might need to invest in a larger pump to lift the heavier column of water into the system, but this is a very affordable alternative compared to a new well.
- Drill deeper. It’s not always an option, but sometimes an existing well can be extended to tap into a deeper water source. Several factors are at play: The existing well bore must be straight and structurally sound. The well must be situated where the equipment can access it. And geological surveys must indicate viable, deeper water sources exist.
- Consider hydro-fracking. Unlike methods used for oil and gas operations, hydro-fracking uses nothing more than water pressure. Fracking widens fissures and removes sand, sediment, mineral deposits and blockages, which may increase water flow from the existing groundwater source and transform a failing well into one that’s more than sufficient for your needs.
Talk with your well driller to determine which options make the most sense for your situation. If you do decide to drill a replacement well, you’ll know it was a smart, informed decision.