1: When a well head is buried under ground, it is at greater risk of surface water infiltration and therefore of being exposed to potential nearby sources of contamination like road salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and gasoline etc.

Some people may also plant flowers or shrubs around their well in an attempt to conceal it as much as possible. This may not be as risky as burying the well head however, it is not a good idea to add plant fertilizers or pesticides to the soil around your well and the ground around the well should slope away from it.

In the case of shrubs, the root mass could interfere with the wiring extending out from the ground and cause problems with well function.

2: Some people remove their well cap or in the case of older wells the cap may become damaged or simply outdated

If you remove your well cap or if it is damaged or outdated, your well could become exposed to bacteria, insects and vermin such as rodents and if the cap is removed all together, it poses a safety risk to children and small animals.

3: Some people may decide to house a pet near their well head or even tie their pet directly to it

If waste produced by a pet is allowed to accumulate around a well head, it becomes a potential source of contamination.

4: Some people decide to make alterations to their well for instance: removing the metal ID tag or in the case of a flowing well, drilling holes in the casing to allow excess water to escape

Well drillers are required by law to permanently affix a metal ID tag to your well and it should never be removed. There are approved methods for controlling the flow in the case of flowing artesian wells. Drillers usually deal with this when a well is being drilled but if your well only begins to flow freely sometime after the well was drilled, you must hire a driller to come back and correct the problem. Removing the cap or drilling holes in the casing to allow excess water to escape is not an approved method.

5: Storing Petroleum products or other chemicals near your well

Anytime you house a potential source of contamination near your well, you risk contaminating the groundwater aquifer in the event of a leak or spill. Once the groundwater aquifer becomes contaminated, your well and potentially neighboring wells may have to be permanently decommissioned.

6Over Sizing Your Pump 

Pump Installers may choose to ignore pump requirements by installing a pump larger than the maximum requirements, the pump will over pump the aquifer,  draw sand from a greater distance, increase sand in the well, sand can bridge around the screens making water moving into the screens more difficult and sand can even change the internal water seams by depositing into areas of the aquifer that slows water production and reducing your pump rate long term.

7Dole Value

The plumber is unlikely to be an experienced water well driller. Plumbers are often unfamiliar with aquifer formations and did not participate in the drilling of the well.  Dole values work to reduce water flow to a safe level, so sand is less likely to migrate within the aquifer if the water usage is high.  The water well will regulate itself in extreme cases by sanding off and not working as efficiently.

8Sand Filter

Sand filters are often precautionary and preventative.  Some aquifers will produce ultra fine sand, similar to road dust. This sand migrates easily due to it’s size and weight and over time it will reduce and stop after months – years of use.  If an aquifer is known to produce this ultra fine dust the driller will recommend a sand filter. It is true you may have to wash the filter; this will save this ultra fine sand from entering your household system.   In extreme cases if a sand filter is not installed or water is by passed the filter for some reason, toilets will leak, taps will not turn off, water tanks will fill with sand etc.

9Over Pumping 

Over pumping is when more water is removed from the aquifer than the aquifer can deliver.  This might be from over sizing your pump, even installing the 5 gal pump in a 5 gal per min recommended well can over pump a well because of the head pressure that the pump was designed for.   For example: 5 gal pump with 50ft head pressure is different than a 5 gal pump with 350ft head pressure.  Your water well driller must understand the pump rate curve between gal per min and pressure.

An aquifer is a formation with space between the particles that contain water at a specific pressure.  If the water is pulled away from the particles for too long, the space between the particles can collapse and not allow water to pass through anymore.   Fine sand can also migrate into the spaces, not allowing water in the space or the less water into the space between particles, changing the pump rate of the well.  Pulling the pump and laying it in the grass, can add foreign materials and organic material to the well.  Even though the water in the well is cold, it can grow bacteria that have been introduced.

10: Having a safe and professional well drilled can be a large financial investment

Some people will not do their research and end up hiring an unlicensed and unqualified well driller. Make sure that this doesn’t happen to you by checking with each water well driller for license and years of experience. Also make sure that the head driller will be on location during the drilling of your new well.

We hope you enjoyed “10 Costly Mistakes When Installing A Domestic Well”. If you have more questions about your new or existing well please call us for immediate assistance.