Having a private water source can be a nice perk. You won’t pay a city water bill, and in some cases, your well can be a tax deduction.
Many people also choose a water well because they believe it’s healthier than water controlled by a municipality. With fewer chemicals in the water, it can be an excellent choice for your health and the benefit of the environment.
Before you build a well, you need to understand what you’re doing and what to expect. Here are either essential things to learn before digging a well.
1. Wells Don’t Always Produce Enough Water
The idea of digging down a few feet and finding a gushing well can get anyone excited about having a personal water well. However, that’s not often the reality.
Consider the intended use for your well water. Low-yield wells can produce enough for daily personal water use, but you might not have enough for watering your yard or filling a pool.
Talk with neighbors and talk with a contractor to know how much water to expect from your well. Even if the well can’t provide all of your water needs, it might be worth digging if you can offset some of your water usage from your city’s supply.
2. You’ll Need to Test the Water
You won’t know the quality of your water until you test it yourself. You’ll need to access water below the surface to gather a sample for testing.
In most cases, water testing is simple and inexpensive. Many cities offer testing kits and lab results for free.
The challenge comes with getting a sample without investing too much into the well first. Completing your well digging—only to find the water is poor quality—could be an expensive mistake.
Again, a neighbor could be helpful in this situation. If their well is close to where you want to dig, ask them about their water quality.
Their water might not be the exact quality of your well water, but it’s an excellent place to start.
3. What Lands on Your Soil Can Be in Your Water
Why would there be a difference between the quality of your neighbor’s well water and the water from your well? Depending on how they treat the soil around the well, their water could have difference contaminants.
Rainwater, fertilizers, pesticides, and natural contaminants can find their way to your underground water source.
For the purest water, keep the surface free from the contaminants you can control, like pesticides and fertilizers.
4. You’ll Need to Protect Your Well and Water
After you complete your well, you’ll need to protect it from future contamination. It’s easier for rain, animals, and debris to get into an open hole in the ground.
Make sure your well includes a way to cover it. Be careful with the soil and area around the well. Again, pesticides and fertilizers around the surface of your new well can soak through the ground and into your water supply.
5. Your City Has Regulations for Wells
Do your research before starting your dig. Does your city have regulations about water wells?
Be sure your well meets city safety codes and other regulations like:
- How deep should it be to get to the healthiest water?
- How wide can it be?
- How far does it need to be from structures?
- How far does it need to be from sewer pipes to keep the water safe?
- What kind of structural components does it need to meet safety codes?
- Do you need a permit?
Know the rules before you dig, then follow the rules to make sure your well is safe and to avoid penalties from your local inspectors.
6. You’ll Need a Pump
A water well is more than the well itself.
Unless you plan to send a bucket up and down the well throughout the day, you’ll need a pump system to access your water.
From a simple hand pump at the site of the well to a pipe and pump system to your house, don’t forget to build that into your plans for the well.
7. It’s Not As Easy as Digging a Hole
Unfortunately, building a well isn’t as easy as getting approval then picking up a shovel to dig.
Wells require a plan. You need to make sure your well is in the right place to find the water you need, and it needs structural integrity to avoid collapse.
Work with professional engineers to handle your well-digging project. With their expertise, you’ll have a well that meets your needs and remains safe for you and your family.
Make sure you choose a licensed engineer. They have the training and experience to do the job right. An unqualified engineer can be a costly mistake.
8. Wells Can Be Costly
When you factor in all of the elements involved in digging your well, it’s not a small project. Prices for the installation of a well can vary. Be sure you budget for the complete project.
Plan for expenses, including:
- Your engineer
- Fees for permits and inspections
- Digging and securing the well
- Pipes and pumps
- Landscaping after the well is complete
If done right, the expense of creating your well can save money long-term.
9. Your Well Might Not Last Forever
Wells can run dry. Nature controls the longevity of your water supply.
However, you can help prolong the life of your well. Wells can require maintenance. Keeping an eye on the structure and pump system and make repairs as-needed.
Are Your Ready to Begin Digging A Well?
Make the right connection when you’re ready to begin digging a well. Find the right engineer in your area to handle your project and bring fresh water to the surface.
We connect engineers to projects and projects to engineers! Click here to get started. It’s the first step to breaking the surface for your new well!