Well Inspection

Water Well Inspection Professionals

Unlike public water systems that are regularly inspected and regulated by local or state laws, private water wells are left to you as an owner to maintain. This can be arduous and if not well done, can pose both physical and health risks. This is why you as a water well owner must take special precautions to have your well and pump system inspected frequently to ensure your water and well are in the right state.

As well pump system specialists, we advise that you be aware of the basics. Your well construction should follow the proper guidelines, which we will look at a bit later. The best option in this case is to engage a water system professional to provide you information on well construction. The well’s location should be such that rainwater flows away and does not pool around the well. The reason is that rainwater can contaminate your well if it picks up bacteria and other contaminants on the land surface.

Before drilling a well, ensure you use a licensed well water driller or pump-well installer to do the technical work for you. Well inspection involves certifying that your water well is strategically located in an area with reduced chances of contamination. Our experts have some suggestions as follows:

  • Your well should be at least 50 feet away from any septic tanks: the closer the well is to a septic tank, the higher the chances of raw sewage seeping into it. The bacteria from the sewage has detrimental health effects when consumed.
  • The recommended distance between a water well and silos, septic leach fields and livestock yards is 50 feet while for manure stacks is 250 feet.
  • On the other hand, fertilizer storage and handling, petroleum tanks and liquid-tight compost storage should be a minimum of 100 feet from your water well.

Although well water maintenance and inspection should be regular, most homeowners forget until there is a crisis at hand. The resultant expense can be high as the solution needed is an emergency. It is best to find the problems earlier and correct them before they reach to crisis standards. Water well inspections are a good way of guaranteeing the safety and soundness of the well.

Keeping records can be another way to track the integrity of your well. These records can help you tell when your water well needs inspection or when your pump maintenance crew should visit next. Records to keep include:

  • Well installation and repairs
  • Pumping and water tests

Our advice is that you also mind how you store and dispose of household and homecare chemicals and waste as these can contaminate your well water if disposed improperly.

As mentioned above, there are different things to inspect for different well. Below we look at different types of wells and how to tell if they are in good shape.

Dug wells

As the name suggests, these are just holes dug in the ground. They are dug by shovel or backhoe to the point where incoming water exceeds the diggers bailing rate. Thereafter, stone, brick or tile lining of the well prevents collapse while the top is covered with concrete, stone, or wood. Most are 10 to 30 feet deep and this shallowness makes them more prone to contamination. The good news is that there are certain features that can protect you dug well water from contamination.

  • The wells casing material should be watertight to prevent seepage. Options include tongue-and-grove precast concrete, bentoniteclay sealant, or cement grout.
  • A concrete curband cup standing a foot above the ground should cover the well.
  • To prevent surface water form pooling around the well, the surface surrounding your dug well should be mounded to run water away from the well.
  • As well pump experts, we advise that your pump be placed in a pump house or inside your property and not in a ditch next to the well.

Driven wells

These source their water above the bedrock but can be deeper than dug wells. Still, they are not deep enough, at between 30 to 50 feet and in areas with thick sand and gravel, to be safe from surrounding ground activity. Safety construction features for driven wells are:

  • Pipes are driven in the ground with the aim of filtering the water getting into the well in the first place. It is still important to have a pump filtration system, as the only thing filtered at this stage is the sediment from the sand and gravel.
  • This type of well features an access pit around it, running down to the frost line. A pipe supplying water to the house is fitted to the well pipe with the water pump located either in the house or at the wells top.
  • A large diameter concrete tile like in a dug well is ideal for this type of well too. This covers the well and pit while the access pit is pre-cast concrete cased.

Drilled wells

These stand at heights of between 100 and 400 feet into the bedrock. The drilled well intersects bedrock fractures holding ground water. Safety features include:

  • For casing, a six-inch wide metal or plastic pipe is used, running a foot or two from the surface to at least 18 feet below the ground with a minimum of 5 feet going into the bed rock, by law. This pipe prevents shallow ground water from finding its way into the bedrock ground water. A sealant is the poured along the outside of the casing from deep down to the surface and the top is then capped so that surface water does not enter.
  • The most efficient pump for this well is a submersible pump, located near the wells bottom. For a shallower well, a jet pump is sufficient. These pumps require specialized installation and servicing that only a professional can do.
  • To protect the well from frost and contamination, most modern wells feature a pitless adapter. It provides a sanitary seal at the point where water gets into the house from the well.

These are just some of the features that as a well owner should be a sign that your well is preserved well and functions like it should. However, the list is not exhaustive and the only way to be sure is to have a professional inspection.