Living with a private well is sometimes a new experience for log home owners, so we spoke with Chris Borst, Project Manager at Capital Well Company in Dunbarton N.H., to get a sense of what a well owner should monitor. He asks owners several questions to help to troubleshoot well problems. Here’s what he looks for:
Change in Water Pressure. Do you have adequate water pressure? Are you able to draw water for several activities (shower, wash dishes, flush toilet) without a loss of pressure? Can you water your lawn? Is this unusual pressure the result of a change in normal use, such as filling a swimming pool or adding a hot tub to the deck? Any change in pressure could indicate a number of problems from electric well pump design or age, the depth of the well, or the age of the well.
Change in Water Quality. Has your water developed a change in its color, taste or odor? Are you noticing unusual staining in tubs and sinks or scale build-up on glassware? Borst recommends regular testing of well water — first a baseline report, then every three to five years — to monitor water quality and to prevent unpleasant surprises when it’s time to sell the property. Comprehensive data from water testing can also be used as a baseline if a new development or other operation is located nearby. If water problems are identified, they can usually be easily remedied with appropriate filtration systems.
The Age and Depth of the Well. If your well is older, sediment may be affecting flow from the cracks and crevasses surrounding the intake of your well. Shallower wells may also be more affected by variations in seasonal rainfall and might be improved by drilling deeper. If sediment is an issue, Borst said that sometimes they employ a hydro fracturing technique to use very high water pressure to widen cracks where water flows into the well. If hydro fracturing is the remedy, the well casing and pump and other materials are removed from the well leaving a 6” diameter hole. Then a 2000-gallon water truck is connected to a hose with a “packer.” The packer is lowered into the well and inflated (see diagram at left). Then water from the truck is pumped into the well at high pressures (2,000 psi – 3000 psi) to open up the ledge and soil around the well to allow more water flow.
Borst said that with the increasing size and water demands of new homes, that constant pressure pumps often provide a good option for homeowners as they accelerate and decelerate their action based upon the draw of the household to deliver a constant 70 pounds of water pressure.