Water Well Going Dry? 7 Warning Signs
If you get up in the morning, turn on the faucet and nothing comes out, that’s actually good news. The problem is probably a failed pump, wiring problem or something similar. These aren’t fun problems to have, but they’re fixable and relatively affordable.
If you’re experiencing ongoing issues such as low water volumes or pressure, you might be dealing with a well that’s in trouble. No well owner likes to think about it, but it’s a very real possibility.
Let’s take a look at common warning signs your well might be going dry:
- Air in the system. If faucets start sputtering on a routine basis, pay attention because it signals air is entering the plumbing system. While it may simply indicate a failing check valve or leak somewhere in the piping, it can be a sign the water level in the well may be dropping.
- Heavy use exhausts available water. If watering the lawn or back-to-back loads of laundry exhaust the available water and the well is slow to recover, it can indicate a dwindling groundwater supply.
- Pump produces less water. If your pump seems sluggish or struggles to replenish water supplies, it may be the well not the pump. This is more likely if your well is a low-producer with a slow recovery rate.
- Pump runs a long time. If your pump frequently cycles on and off or runs longer, it can indicate the water level is dropping so low the pump is struggling to build sufficient pressure to lift water into the system.
- Low water pressure. If the water pressure has declined or it’s taking longer for pressure to build when a faucet is turned on, it can signal a failing well.
- Water looks, smells or tastes funny. If your water looks murky, smells off or develops an odd taste, it might be a symptom the water depth has dropped. As water levels falls, the quality can deteriorate due to higher concentrations of sediment, minerals and/or chemicals sitting at the well bottom.
- Neighbors are also experiencing problems. Talk to your neighbors to find out if any are experiencing similar issues. If several of them are, it may indicate the water level in your common groundwater source is falling.
Many of these signs can also indicate pump problems or leaks in the system, so don’t panic.
Remember, too, that groundwater levels fluctuate seasonally and differ from year to year. Drought conditions deplete groundwater reserves and affect well production, but a few healthy rains can quickly reverse the immediate problem. If the weather has been wet and rainy and your well is still struggling, it’s time to talk to an expert and explore your options which can range from repositioning the pump to drilling deeper, hydro-fracking or drilling a new well.