Common Well Water Problems Clarified: What You Should Watch For
If you move into an area that's not serviced by municipal water sources or you have decided to be independent of the city supply, well water is your primary option. If you've never had a well before, you may not understand that managing your water supply goes beyond the initial water well drilling process. Understanding some of the most common and more unusual occurrences from your well can set your mind at ease when you're seeing normal behavior or alert you to problems that need attention. Here's a look at a few common well issues that you should be aware of.
Why Is There No Water When You Turn On The Tap?
If you're not getting water from the tap when you turn it on, that doesn't necessarily mean that the well is dry. There can be several reasons for this problem. Start by checking the breaker that controls your well pump. If the breaker is tripped, reset it and try again. This should fix the problem.
If not, you'll want to have a well drilling and maintenance contractor inspect your pump and the well condition. If the pump has seized, the contractor can replace it. The pump may be working fine, but the water level in your well may be just below the pump's pickup line, which means lowering the pump. This is usually resolved quickly by well pump specialists.
Why Is The Water Pressure Dropping?
Your well pump system uses a filtration design that includes a well screen as well as a series of pipes. Over time, mineral buildup and bacteria can cause some constriction in the system, which can reduce the flow rate from your well.
Additionally, if the groundwater levels are dropping, the reduced yield in your well can lead to lower water pressure and slow water flow. You can have the system tested for flow rates and inspected for any potential obstructions. Then, if you flush out the screen and the lines, you should be able to restore flow.
Why Is There Sediment In The Water?
Sediment is typically only visible in well water if your well pump is drawing sand. This can occur for many reasons, but it does necessitate that you have your well inspected and repaired by a licensed well drilling contractor. The most common causes of this problem include improper development during the well construction to prevent any excess sediment or a possible failure in the well casing that's designed to keep the sediment at bay. Finally, the cistern may need to be cleaned.
What Causes Sulfur Or Chemical Odors And Flavors?
Sulfur odors in well water are a sure sign that there's bacteria present in the water. Before you use the water for anything further, call the local water testing authority to have it assessed. Once you know what the problem is, you can have it disinfected to ensure that it's safe for consumption.
The presence of a chemical flavor in the water often indicates pollution in the ground water. The same testing can determine what the contaminants are, and your local health department should be able to narrow down the source. Talk with a well water specialist about how to treat your well and keep the water safe from recurrence.
Why Is The Water Fizzing?
The most common reason well water fizzes is the presence of gas in the water. This can be caused by an abundance of air in the system or carbon dioxide. Either of these are harmless. Unfortunately, it can also be caused by more serious gasses like methane or radon. The only way to know for sure is through a water testing service.
Another reason you may see fizzing in your well water is an air leak in the pipes. Check all of the exposed pipes, and then have the system tested for pressure to spot any other potential issues.
When you're new to water well behavior, it can be confusing. With the information presented here, you can face some of the most common and concerning issues with confidence.