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Water Well Maintenance - Homeowner's Checklist

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:49 AM Comments comments (265)
Homeowner's Checklist
A Homeowner's Checklist from your Water Well Professional
Properly constructed private water supply systems require little routine maintenance.
These simple steps will help protect your system and investment:
  • Always use licensed or certified water well drillers and pump installers when a well is constructed, a pump is installed, or the system is serviced.
  • An annual well maintenance check, including a bacterial test, is recommended. Drinking water should be checked any time there is a change in taste, odor or appearance, or when the well system is serviced.
  • Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well.
  • Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair.
  • Always maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems or chemical storage facilities. Your professional contractor knows the rules.
  • Don't allow back-siphonage. When mixing pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemicals, don't put the hose inside the tank or container.
  • When landscaping, keep the top of your well at least one foot above the ground. Slope the ground away from your well for proper drainage.
  • Take care in working or mowing around your well. A damaged casing could jeopardize the sanitary protection of your well. Don't pile snow, leaves, or other materials around your well.
  • Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, as well as annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.
  • Be aware of changes in your well, the area around your well, or the water it provides.
  • When your well has come to the end of its serviceable life (usually 20+ years), have a qualified water well contractor decommission it after constructing your new system.

Water Well Maintenance - Annual Checkups

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:13 AM Comments comments (213)
Regular water well system maintenance is important. Knowing and practicing the basics of regular well maintenance can reduce risks to your water supply and prevent costly and inconvenient breakdowns.
Annual Checkups
Schedule Your Annual Water Well Checkup: Wells tapping ground water resources can provide drinking water of the highest quality. Owning a private household-supply water well allows homeowners to control their own water supply. Ownership also comes with the responsibility of keeping the water well in good working order.
Why Is a Checkup Important?A properly constructed and maintained household-supply well will provide you with many years of quality service. The National Ground Water Association recommends routine annual maintenance checks to ensure the proper operation of the well and prolong its years of service, as well as monitor the water quality.
What Does a Checkup Involve?A licensed and/or certified water well contractor should conduct your routine well checkup. Your checkup should include:
  • A flow test to determine system output, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping (if possible), pump motor performance (check amp load, grounding, and line voltage), and pressure tank and pressure switch contact.
  • An inspection of well equipment to assure that it is sanitary and meets local code requirements.
  • A test of your water for coliform bacteria and nitrates, and anything else of local concern. Other typical additional tests are those for iron, manganese, water hardness, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor. Changes in these constituents also may indicate changes in your well or local groundwater. Additional tests may be recommended if water appears cloudy or oily, if bacterial growth is visible on fixtures, or water treatment devices are not working as they should. Check with your water well contractor, state department of natural resources, or local health department for information on local water quality issues.
  • A concise, clear, written report should be delivered to you following the checkup that explains results and recommendations, and includes all laboratory and other test results.
How Do I Arrange for a Checkup? Contact a local water well contractor and ask if he or she conducts the type of maintenance check described.
Other steps to maintain your water well:
  • Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a "clean" zone of at least 50 feet (15.24 meters) between your well and any kennels or livestock operations. Also, always maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, or chemical storage areas. Your professional water well contractor is familiar with the applicable local codes.
  • Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out insects and rodents.
  • Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, and annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.
  • Get your water tested anytime there is a change in taste, odor or appearance, or anytime the system is serviced.

Water Conservation Tips for Arizona Residents

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:47 PM Comments comments (94)
 The following information are some tips to conserve water from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. 
Our water supply is limited and our population continues to grow.  Water saving habits help ensure that we have enough water for present and future generations to come.
  • Plant low-water use and drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees.
  • Group plants according to their water needs.
  • Minimize turf/grass areas.
  • Check all hoses, connectors, and spigots regularly. Repair leaks as necessary.
  • Install a water-efficient drip irrigation system.
  • Regularly check sprinkler systems and timing devices to be sure they are operating properly.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only landscape is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.
  • Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler.
  • Reduce evaporation by using a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around plants.
  • Water deeply but less frequently to create healthier end deeper root systems.
  • Weed yards and gardens regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for water.
  • Track how much rain and irrigation your yard receives. Adjust watering schedules to the season.
  • Shut off automatic watering systems when it rains or install a rain shut-off device.
  • Collect and use rain water for watering your landscape.
  • Install gutters and direct down spouts towards shrubs or trees.
  • Direct the bleed-off water drain from an evaporative cooler to trees or shrubs.
  • Water plants only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
  • Avoid over fertilizing. The application of fertilizers increases plant growth and the need for water. It is also a source of water pollution.
  • Aerate lawns to better absorb water. Water only as rapidly as the soil can absorb the water.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, sidewalks, streets and parking areas.
  • Equip swimming pools, fountains, ponds and other ornamental water features with re-circulating pumps.
  • Reduce evaporation by using covers on swimming pools and spas.
  • Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. If washing a car at home, use a bucket of soapy water, and either turn off the water while soaping or use a shut-off hose nozzle.
            Later I will post about indoor tips to conserve water, as well as tax credits you can receive when installing a gray water system for your home.