What do you do if you live in a home with a well yielding only 1.6 gallons of water per minute?

So let’s set up an example, which assumes that the well storage (in the ground) is 150 gallons—fairly normal—along with the implied additional storage of another 25 gallons in the pressure tank.  Let’s further assume that the family has five members, and that several members decide to use generous amounts of water, all in a confined time-frame.  For example, they do the laundry, run the dishwasher, go to the bathroom, and take multiple showers, say, in a few hours.  Indeed, it is possible to “run out of water” for a temporary period of time, since the well is recharging at a lower quantity rate than this usage would suggest. That is, output exceeds the intake/recharge.

We should note that you can calculate the gallons of storage in your well by measuring the column of water, from the total depth of the well, less the static or resting water level (if known)*. On average, we find wells to be an average of 200 feet deep with an average static water level of 50 feet (newer wells will be deeper).  This is 150 feet (200 less 50) of water in a 6 inch well boring.  The conversion of the footage into gallons is at the rate of 1.5 gallons per foot (at normal 6” boring diameter).  So in this example, a 150’ column of water in the well equals 225 gallons of stored water.  Adding in the pressure tank storage of 25 gallons, for example, this family can use 250 gallons in a short period of time and not run out of water.

Solutions

Assuming low yield and the limited storage due to a shallow well, how can the homeowner correct for this?  Having identified the potential problem, the question is then whether you can adjust your scheduling of household activities involving water usage so that they don’t all occur at the same time?  Can you run your dishwasher as you go to bed at night, or do laundry when others are not taking showers, etc.?  We have found that is easily manageable, and may not even need to be managed at all.

Other and more permanent ways to solve this temporary supply shortage can be achieved by the following:  (1) you can increase storage within the home via a storage tank, (2) you can deepen the well to (at least) gain additional storage in the well.  This is typically why you will see that low yielding wells are deeper.  And not only can you increase the storage, but you might also find additional water bearing rock fractures, which increase the current well yield as you drill,  (3) you can drill a tandem well to locate additional water bearing fractures, or (4) you can “hydrofrac” your existing well to increase its yield.

Increasing the level of storage through deepening the existing well, “hydrofracing”, or adding storage in your basement are solutions applying to a small percentage of wells, but are valid solutions under rare circumstances.

Each of these solutions come with a price, and, as noted above, may not even be necessary with common sense water usage management.

Conclusion

So we should all stop giving low yielding wells a bad reputation!  WelGard® Protection provides peace of mind for homeowners no matter what the well yield, so long as it meets the one gallon per minute minimum standard.  With caution regarding usage, low yielding wells are no more or less reliable, and the dozens of service parts in any given well are exactly the same – pump, pipe, wire, adapters, valves, switches, gauges etc.  And all these parts will fail at some point due to normal wear and tear.

Should well owners conserve water? – YES!  In fact everyone should, since we all share the limited potable water supply on earth.  Water is a natural resource as precious as gold (or air!).  And we need it every day.

We are happy to respond to your questions.  Please send a note to info@welgard.com or call 866.Wel.Gard for more information not included here.

* You can determine the “static water level” of your well, if you have a certified drilling professional visit your well and inspect it to determine your static water level of your well.  For assistance, call one of our representatives who can recommend a solution.