Well water can replenish at a rate of 5 gallons per minute on average, but it will vary. It depends on the age of your well, how long you’ve been using it, the well’s location or geology, and the aquifer the well taps into to replenish its water level.
Confused? Let’s then look at all these factors in detail.
If you have dug your well only in the past decade, its water level will replenish much more quickly than a well supplying water for 50 years. That’s because the aquifer the well taps into to restock its water will have more supply left in the first scenario.
That’s not the only factor affecting how fast your well water will replenish.
The well’s location, or geology, will also impact how quickly it refills. Most domestic water wells rely on an underground aquifer to maintain their water level. Mostly, the aquifer is a thick layer of sand and gravel. If these materials stop water from leaving the aquifer, the well will take longer to refill.
Read on if you don’t intend your well to run dry.
How To Tell How Much Water Is Remaining In Your Well?
Follow these steps to measure how much water is remaining in your well:
- Tie a fishing weight to a long cord
- Lower the cord into the well
- At the point when the weight touches the water, push the cord back up and mark that point.
Next, calculate the diameter of your well (explained below). Once you have the diameter, divide it by two: this will give you the well’s radius.
Now, subtract the depth of the water (the point you marked on the cord) from the well’s overall depth. For instance, if your well was 10 feet deep and the water levels are 9 foot deep, applying this calculation will give you a final figure of 1 foot.
Next use this equation: (3.15 x square of the well’s radius x height of 11 feet)
Say your well has a 2 foot diameter. Dividing it by two gave you a 1 foot radius. Put 1 into the above equation, multiply it by 3.15 (pi) and multiply the resulting number with the well’s height (11 feet in our example): Approximately 28.3 cubic feet. This is the well volume.
Finally, multiply the volume with 7.47, and you’ll get how much water is remaining in your well, which in our example happens to be 210 gallons.
How To Tell If Your Well Is Going Dry?
The following are warning signs that your well is going dry:
- Faucets beginning to sputter every time you open them.
- Muddy or murky water coming out of your water fixtures.
- Change of color or taste in the drinking water
- Water coming out of faucets in trickles rather than gushing out.
- Pump having to run longer to keep the tank full.
- Well is taking longer to replenish its water level.
How To Keep My Well From Going Dry?
Start by eliminating unnecessary water use. This means closing your faucets the moment your water need is met. It also means ensuring that your home’s water lines don’t have any leaks. If you don’t plug these leaks quickly, they can become the source of your well running dry.
Next thing you must do is to take steps to conserve water. Spread out your water-intensive chores, such as doing laundry and washing the car, to ease off the pressure you’re putting on your water supply. If you’ve a whole home water filtration system, turn it off at night to prevent water wastage.
The final thing you might want to do is to talk with members of your community. Impress upon them the importance of maintaining groundwater levels. By ensuring that the wells and new developments are spaced out, you’ll end up losing a lower amount of water to others in your neighborhood.
What To Do When Well Runs Dry?
If worse comes to worst and your well ends up running dry, here’s what you can do to replenish the water:
1) Lower the pump
Wells run dry when the water level in the aquifer falls below the pump level. This is followed by the pump drawing air instead of water. To fix this problem, call in a professional plumber to lower the pump to the level the groundwater has fallen to.
2) Deepen the well
Deepening the well might also cause its water levels to replenish. When you deepen a well, new fractures at its bottom may appear, capable of ‘leaking’ water from the aquifer and into the well. Hire a professional well construction company if you intend to deepen your well.
3) Turn to hydrofracking
Hydrofracking is one of the best techniques to replenish well water. It works by injecting high-pressure water into the depths of the well. This opens up fractures in the rock surrounding the well, giving the aquifer new avenues to provide water to the well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to calculate the diameter of your well?
Follow these steps to calculate the diameter of your well:
- Take a piece of measuring tape
- Wrap it around your well casing (the metal shaft of your well) and measure
- Divide the measurement by 3.14 (pi). This will give you the well’s external diameter
- To calculate the well’s internal diameter, subtract 5/8” (0.625”) from its external diameter.
How does a well replenish itself?
A well replenishes itself by drawing water from the underground aquifer. Other sources with which a well may replenish itself include rain, lake or river water seeps into the ground to refill the aquifer from which the well is drawing water, and snowmelt.
How long do wells last?
Most wells last between 30 and 50 years. And how long should a well pump last? Closer to 10 or 15 years.
Having said that, there’s no method with which you can calculate a well’s exact life expectancy. That’s because how long a well may last depends on various factors including its location and the type of the well. Hang-dug wells, for instance, dry out much sooner than drilled wells which draw their water from a well-fed aquifer.
I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering and have written for a number of nationally recognized publications in the home improvement space. My skills include fluid mechanics and process engineering and I have worked on numerous projects, including in waste water flow rate calculation and heat balance of steam rollers in the paper industry. My goal as a technical writer is to make complicated topics easy to understand for the average person.