Wells are a great source of water, which we need in order to survive. Aside from drinking water, it is important for individuals to be able to do their daily activities such as laundry, cooking, and is also used for irrigation and other essential matters.
When you have a well in your residential or commercial property, you will absolutely want it to continue to be functional for as long as possible, as it can be very cost-effective to have one. Because water is a very valuable resource and may be hard to get, some cities in the United States highly depend on the working groundwater well drilled on their property. However, there may be some problems with your well that may hinder its purpose of providing fresh and safe water for people to consume. One event that can occur is a well that has been drying out. If this is the case, it would be important to conduct an inspection to get to the cause of why your well has dried up, and if it will ever recover again.
How long does it take for a dry well to fill back up again?
If your groundwater well is drying out or is showing signs of not having enough water, it is normal to be concerned about when it will recover. When you are wondering if it is still possible for your well to go back to its proper condition, there is no sure-fire way that can tell when exactly and if it will be functional again, unless you hire a water well professional.
Depending on the cause of your well drying out, the water may be back due to natural reasons or by doing some maintenance. By natural reasons, we mean that if your well gets its supply from a stream or other sources that do not need to be pumped, you can “recharge” your well for a short period of time but it may also take longer, depending on your well’s water table and the sufficiency of water from your main source.
However, if your water well needs to have a pump and other helpers to get the water filled, you may need to get some inspection and maintenance done. When the water supply taken from your well is no longer adequate, there are some things you can have a contractor do, and they may suggest getting a new pump, relocating the current one, or drilling a deeper hole. This can take them a day or week to finish, which will rely on the difficulty of the project.
Most common reasons why a well dries up
Here are the usual reasons why wells dry out:
Though there are many things you can do to extend the lifespan of a well, it can usually last around 20 to 50 years. When your well has been placed for a long time and is not properly maintained, it will not be able to get adequate water than what it was providing back when it is still new.
When there is drought, this would mean that there will not be enough water supply in the source where your well gets its water, such as streams, brooks, and rivers, which will absolutely affect your well.
- Type of aquifer used
Aquifers are the rock formations that “carry” water and can be used for wells to be able to pump out their supply. Depending on the type of aquifer, they can be easily replenished or dry out just like your well, especially when the water is taken too fast before they can recover. If the aquifer in your source is not enough or has already dried out, this can also be the cause of why your well is not able to provide the water you need.
How much water does a well hold?
A water well has several varieties and types that can be placed in residential, commercial, and even industrial properties. Depending on how deep the well was drilled and what it will be used for, it is common for a regular well to hold at least one and a half up to four gallons of water per foot. This will, of course, change, according to the material used for the well and on other matters.
The capability of a well to hold water is also called its yield. When a well is first installed, owners should know the estimated amount of water they consume on a daily basis, so that the well contractor would know the type of well that is necessary, how deep they need to dig, and what material they need to use. If a certain household is estimated to use more than the regular amount of water for their daily needs, the well contractor will adjust the well according to their requirements.
Signs that your well may be drying out
Wells that are dry may be bad for the owners, especially if it has happened abruptly or without any warning. There are many reasons why a well will dry out, and there are also things you can do to make it functional again. If you are unsure of whether your well is drying out or if it is showing other problems, here are the most common indications of a drying out well.
- The water you got from your well is muddy.
Groundwater wells are known to produce fresh and clean water. When you get some water from your well and see that it is muddy and murky, this may be one of the signs of your well drying out. When drying out is the problem, your water will be affected by the surface, and it will be harder for your pump to do its work that will disturb the sediments around, and will result in a clouded (and sometimes sandy) well water.
- The water you got from your well has a different smell.
Though there are other problems that can cause a weird smell to your water, a drying out well is one of the many culprits that can make it happen. Water does not often have a smell, and if it smells bad, this can be a sign of a serious issue.
- The water you got from your well has a weird taste.
One of the unfortunate effects of a drying out groundwater well is a difference in its taste. The water that came from the well might be clear, but if it tastes weird, this can be a cause of alarm. If this is the case, it would be wise to stop using your well water for anything related to drinking and cooking until you have it looked at and inspected by a professional for your and your family’s safety.
- Your faucets are sputtering.
Sputtering faucets can be an indication of a malfunctioning valve or a leak in your pipes, but this can also be caused by an inadequate water supply from your groundwater well. This is possibly from the air that can enter your plumbing system once your well does not have enough water in its storage. When your well pump is trying to get water but there is not enough to be taken, air can also be sucked in the pipes, which will result in sputtering when you open your faucet.
- Your neighbors are having the same problem.
When you ask around your neighborhood for the condition of their wells and they notice the same things you have, such as smelly and dirty water, this is also one of the signs of a drying out groundwater well supply.