Having to cope with a low-yielding well at home can be an irritating experience to a homeowner. Water-consuming household chores like washing dishes and doing the launder, especially at peak hours, won’t proceed as usual due to the low water pressure levels going through the tap.
For a busy homemaker like you, such frustrations may pile up with one another and dampen your spirit, spoiling the entire day’s course for you. Fortunately, there are several solutions you can check out to increase the performance of your house’s well water supply. This feature presents six ways to maximize well water production at home. Continue reading to learn more about each one.
- Upgrade Your Well System
The low yield you’re experiencing in your home might be a result of well system over-pumping. It refers to the pumping water out of the well at a much faster rate than it gets replenished. If done for an extended period, water gushes from the aquifer into the well with an increased speed, pulling in a lot of sediment.
Overpumping may lead to the well water becoming cloudy and also clogs the cracks in the rocks. As a result, the water flow from the rocks into the well is significantly reduced. Overpumping is said to be one of the reasons why a well water system tends to fail.
Conventional pumping systems are designed to draw water until the storage tank fills up. Thus, overpumping is usually inevitable with these systems. But of late, there are automated modern well systems that maintain accurate control of the amount of water being harvested. The use of these novel technologies protects the well from overpumping, thus guaranteeing you a steady supply of clean water and an increased well lifespan. Aside from these, such modern systems come with the following valuable features:
- Automated switching: When the well falls below the minimum capacity, pumping stops automatically and only resumes when water fills up to a significant level. Such hands-free design offers convenience as it gives you time to concentrate on other pressing tasks instead of monitoring the well’s status in real-time.
- Enough storage: Modern well systems come with a big tank to store enough water for your household’s daily use.
- Water usage statistics: Most new well systems have a screen that displays various parameters, such as the current quantity of water in the tank, whether or not the pump is presently working, the amount of water used over the last few months, and the water pressure. These pieces of information help you gain a deeper insight into your periodic water usage habits.
- Food grade feature: The best systems have tanks approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for safe and potable water storage.
- Periodic updates: It’s said that water levels in a borehole change with the different seasons. As such, a modern well system keeps up with these changes by optimizing itself regularly to calculate the optimum amount of water to be pumped considering the new water levels.
- Perform Hydrofracking
The term hydrofracking is borrowed from the hydraulic fracturing process used in oil extraction. It involves pumping fracking fluid into an oil well at an extremely high pressure to create cracks in the surrounding rocks through which oil and gas can flow. The same technology can be applied to water wells.
In this case, pressurized water is injected through a well into the surrounding bedrock formation. It flushes out small particles from the existing fissures and cracks, thus increasing their size. Consequently, more water flows into the well. Hydrofracking is said to be an excellent method to boost production in low-yield wells or those that have undergone considerable mineralization that blocks the fractures supplying water into the well.
You’ll need an experienced contractor in conducting hydrofracking. They’ll come to the job site with two mechanical or inflatable packers. These are placed about 50 feet below the ground level to avoid contamination of the well water with surface pollutants. Then, they’ll pump water at a pressure of about 14 – 20 megapascals (MPa). This increases the internal pressure of the well, forcing water into the surrounding rock crevices.
Nevertheless, it’s advised to make sure that the contractor you choose for the job is licensed. This is a requirement in many states. Working with a non-certified firm may land you in tough legal tussles.
Inspect And Repair The Well System’s Pipes
The pipes conveying water from the well to the storage tank may get clogged with sediments and mineral deposits over time. This is especially true with hard water, which leads to the scaling of pipe interiors with calcium and magnesium deposits. Accumulation over a long time may decrease the diameter of the pipe, making it convey less water than its design capacity.
Therefore, make a point of calling inspectors time after time to check the health of your pipe network. Professional inspectors use a combination of sophisticated inspection tools, video cameras, and mathematical formulae to determine the exact spot with deposits and their extent. They can then use the appropriate chemical cleansers to descale the water pipes with this information.
If the deposits are too tough for the cleaners, the inspectors can recommend replacing the pipes. Doing so restores water pressure to the initial design capacity.
Increase The Well Dimensions
There’s a probability that your water well is limited in capacity, and that’s why you can’t get enough water from it. If that’s the case, you can consider drilling the well deeper or expanding its diameter. The choice between these two options depends on your well’s characteristics.
For instance, if your well has relatively constant water levels all year round, you may widen its diameter rather than dig deeper. As an illustration, suppose your current well is 15 cm wide and 30 meters deep. Volume calculations reveal that it holds about 530 liters of water. If you expand the diameter to 25 cm, the capacity increases to about 1,470 liters, almost triple the initial capacity.
If your borehole experiences shallow water levels during the dry season, then you may be better off deepening it instead of widening it. This will still increase its capacity. In the example above, digging an extra 30 meters deep will increase the capacity from 530 liters to 1,060 liters. Note that this usually requires more effort than widening, but still, the yield isn’t as much. So, if you have more money, you can consider both widening and deepening your well. The yield will multiply manifold.
Increasing the water well’s width and depth also means changing its casing and screen. Here are some factors you must consider when choosing casing and screening materials:
- It must be strong enough to withstand the rigors of installation and pressure from the surrounding rocks;
- It should be easy to transport to your home from the manufacturing plant;
- It should be easy to clean and repair if damaged;
- It should be corrosion-resistant; and
- You must be comfortable with the prices.
Most casing and screening materials are made of steel, which has high yield and tensile strengths. But there are different steel alloys you can choose from depending on how harsh the ground conditions in your area are.
Replace The Water Pump
Water pumps do experience internal wear with time. The impeller, rings, and bushings are all susceptible to getting worn out because of use. When this happens, its performance can significantly drop, leading to it no longer pumping enough water as it used to. You can also see the following signs and conclude that the pump is gradually failing:
- Continuous noisy clicking sounds from the pressure tank;
- Fluctuation in water pressure at different drawing points;
- Experiencing low water pressure even though the pump is running;
- Higher than normal electricity bills;
- The pump turns on and off repeatedly
- Water with bad taste and odor;
- Eerie vibrations on the piping system;
- Production of cloudy or muddy water;
- Sputtering of water at from the faucet; and
- Water pumping takes all day long but still fails to meet your needs.
The best thing to do at this point is to call a well water expert to evaluate the pump’s decline in efficiency and recommend the appropriate course of action.
While repairs may be an option, the most guaranteed solution is to replace the rundown well water pump. When buying a new one, ensure it’s of the appropriate capacity. Undersizing the pump will only overwork it and you’ll always be short of water even if the pump works round-the-clock.
It also helps to understand that the design life of water pumps is usually about 10 to 15 years. If you’ve already been using yours for roughly this duration, it’s time you consider replacing it.
Leaks, even the small ones, can significantly lower the water pressure coming from your well system. Thus, it’s in your best interest to inspect the entire system regularly to ensure all the fixtures are intact and water-tight. Sometimes, it might be just a matter of tightening the pipe joints. But if the leak results from pipe breakage, perhaps due to scaling or corrosion, you may need to get new pipes to switch up the affected sections.
Are you looking for different ways to deal with the low yield of your well water system? The abovementioned pieces of information aim to help you understand the probable causes and typical remedial actions to your well water woes. Viable solutions range from upgrading your well water system, doing hydrofracking, to fixing broken pipes.
To proceed, assess your well’s current conditions and try to diagnose the exact reason why it’s not producing enough water for your household needs. You’d want to enlist the help of professionals to perform this for they have the expertise and technical know-how to rectify most common well problems.