Over 15 million households across America rely on a private wells for water. Living off of a private well has a lot of benefits. Well water often has minerals that make it better for you than water than that you get from the city (and if your well delivers hard water, incorporating water filter ration systems into water tanks is an easy solution). After the initial well digging and installation costs for water tanks, you don’t have any monthly water bills and ongoing maintenance is fairly simple and inexpensive. You know exactly where your water is coming from and the quality of it– there is no Flint, Michigan scandal in your future. Owning a private well is attractive to people who prefer to live self-sufficiently and off the grid. These are only a few benefits that come with living off of a private well.
However, owning a private well comes with a unique set of responsibilities. When you live off of municipal water, you pay a monthly bill and the city maintains the water that comes out of your faucet. As a well owner, you are responsible for your pump and water tanks, if you don’t keep up with maintenance, the damage comes straight out of your wallet. A few common mistakes that well owners live to regret include:
- MISTAKE: Burying the well head.
We know, the well equipment and in the water tanks that store your water can be unsightly. However, even the best water well sealing efforts are susceptible to contamination in the right circumstances. When you bury your well head underground, it stands a higher chance of infiltration from pesticides and fertilizers in the soil as well as contamination from pollution like gasoline. There are better ways to make a well look more appealing that aren’t as risky to your health and your investment and your well.
- MISTAKE: Planting foliage too close to your well.
If you choose to make your well more aesthetically-pleasing by planting flowers or shrubs around it, make sure not to use any fertilizers or pesticides in the soil surrounding your well, as they can be a contaminator to your water supply. You should also make sure the ground slopes away from the well, so that runoff from the plants don’t run into the well area. Only choose plants with non-intrusive root systems, so that the roots don’t interfere with the well or water tanks around it.
- MISTAKE: Not maintaining the well cap.
A good well will last decades upon decades. However, as the well ages, sometimes the cap that seals it becomes damaged and no longer keeps the water inside free from bugs, rodents, or bacteria invasion. Get in the habit of doing a visual check on a regular basis to make sure that the well cap is secure and airtight.
- MISTAKE: Keeping animals near your well.
Sometimes, because of the lack of aesthetics that a well contributes to a property, the location of the well becomes a working area. However, storing livestock in the well area is a dangerous idea. The the waste produced by goats, horses, and cattle is teeming with bacteria that could be harmful if it gets into your well water. It is better to keep the well area restricted from livestock.
- MISTAKE: Ignoring pump requirements.
The well drilling services who perform your sump pump installation will know the specific pump size requirements for your particular circumstances. If you opt for a pump that exceeds the recommended maximum size, you will find that it pulls more sand out of the ground than your screens and filters can handle. Getting sand into your system slows down water production and makes your pump less efficient.
- MISTAKE: Trying to cut corners to save money.
The best well drilling services come with an equivalent price tag, but are worth the investment. Your well provides the water you need to live on for decades to come. When you try to save cash by doing the work yourself or hiring unlicensed and under-qualified contractors, you can end up with an unsafe well or damage that costs you more in the long-run anyways.
Do you have any questions about installing or owning a well? Please share them in the comment section below.