Testing Your Water Levels During a Drought: What You Should Know
A severe drought can affect the water level in your private well. When a well goes dry due to a drought, it does not necessarily mean there is no water in it. More often than not, it means that the water table has dropped below the level of the pump.
A well usually does not go dry at once. Instead the water level drops gradually. Depending on the severity of the drought, multiple rain showers might be required to recharge an aquifer. Some aquifers are continuously recharged by rainwater that falls on the ground, others can be recharged using alternative sources of water.
Some aquifers have an impermeable layer of clay or solid rocks that prevent surface water from reaching them. In such cases, it takes longer for the aquifer to recharge. One way to combat the problem of a declining water table is to dig the well deeper. Deepening a well with a declining water table, however, does not guarantee more water.
If you plan to take this route, have an expert examine your well system to determine if the condition of the casing will permit the well to be drilled deeper.
How to Measure Groundwater
You can test the level of your water using a water level meter. A water level meter has an electrical probe attached to a measuring tape. Lower the probe into your well. Once the probe reaches the water, take the reading to determine the depth.
Alternatively, have a water well contractor or a water well drilling company in Sonoma County measure the water depth. A professional has the resources and skills required to accurately measure water depth. They have specialized equipment designed to help them measure water depth swiftly and accurately.
Your water well contractor may have drilled a new well nearby and may have answers to your questions regarding the water level in your area. The professional may also have installed new submersible wells in homes in your neighborhood that allow them to monitor your locality’s groundwater level
Can Land Use Changes Increase a Well’s Susceptibility to Drought?
Many homeowners fear that rapid development and rural population growth can increase their well’s susceptibility to drought. These concerns aren’t unfounded.
Dramatic change in land use patterns can cause well water levels to fall or prevent recharge from occurring. Wells located in areas that fall in mining belts or have paved areas that prevent rainwater from recharging groundwater are particularly susceptible to droughts.
Warning Signs Your Well May be Running Dry
Here are some signs your well may be running dry.
A Change in Taste
When well water level drops, the sediment and other deposits sitting at the bottom of the well may get into the water, affecting its taste and smell. If your water tastes weird, your well water level may have dropped.
Sediments can also affect water color so if your water is murky or muddy, you well may be going dry.
Pump Runs Longer and Works Harder
If your pump runs longer or switches on and off frequently (short cycling), it is struggling to build up enough pressure to pump water out. This may be an indication that the water level in your well has declined drastically.
Your Faucets Sputter
If the faucets in your home sputter frequently, air has got into your plumbing system. Though this does not necessarily mean that the water level in your well has declined, it could be a potential cause.
Sputtering faucets could also indicate a leaky pipe or weakening check valve. Have a well contractor take a look at your well immediately. The professional will get to the root cause of the problem and treat it before things take a turn for the worse.
Talk to your neighbors. Discuss the problems you’re facing with them. If they’re facing the same problems, there is a high probability the water level in your locality is falling.
Tips to Prevent Your Well from Going Dry During a Drought
Schedule water-intensive activities such as laundering, car washes, washing your utensils, taking a shower and watering your lawn across the day to ensure they do not occur at the same time. Use groundwater usage data to acquire an in-depth understanding of usage patterns and modify it to conserve water.
The more water you use, the more pressure you create on your well system. Households around the country waste hundreds of thousands of gallons of water everyday overwatering their lawns. Smart watering devices designed to ensure that plants and grass do not get more water than they need can help reduce water use in the lawn.
When the water level in your well declines, reduce the frequency of watering your lawn.
Have a professional test your well to check the amount of water it produces per hour and how quickly water is replenished.
Maintain your well pump. A neglected well pump can develop problems that can affect its ability to pump the water out of your well. If your well pump is on its last legs or is damaged beyond repair, it’s time to start looking for a replacement.
Even if your pump is brand new and well maintained, drought conditions can cause your water storage to take more time than normal to fill up. If you do not have a water storage tank, get one so you can have a steady supply of water.
Weeks Drilling & Pump Co. is a trusted drilling contractor in Sonoma County. We are your go to team for water well drilling, well maintenance and repair. To consult one of our professionals, call 707-823-3184.