Contact IGWA:
4477 W. Emerald, Ste C-250
Boise, ID 83706-2000
P: (208) 381-0294
F: (208) 381-5272
E: iwpg.ltominaga@gmail.com

We've gathered important and relevant information regarding ground water and wells. Take advantage of our expert information provided here.

FAQs


Questions:

1.

Are there ever times when you have to watch your well water consumption so as not to run your well dry? If so, what times of the year does this occur?

2.

We had a salesperson come to our home. They performed an onsite water test and then told us our water was unsafe to drink. The salesperson suggested we could buy one of his treatment systems to fix the problem, but the treatment systems costs several thousand dollars. What should we do now?

3.

How far should my septic system be from my water well system?

4.

Where is my well located?

5.

How do I get a well drilled on my property?

6.

When do you disinfect a well?

7.

What type of treatment is needed for a well system?

8.

How do I get my water tested?

9.

What do I test for?

10.

Where do I purchase a water treatment system?

11.

What do I need to test for in order to sell my home?

12.

I am buying a home with a well and radon was detected in the air. Should I have the well water tested?

13.

How do I treat the contaminants?

14.

I have low water pressure and the water has a surging and subsiding pressure variation through the pipes.

15.

At what pressure should the pressure tank be set?

16.

At what pressure should the tank be set, and how do I adjust it?

17.

When I shut off the power to my pump, does the remaining water in the pipe line drain back into the pressure tank?

18.

I'm having problems with my well pump. It seems to be working fine, but I have to prime it every other day, otherwise nothing gets pumped out. Could my pressure tank be the problem? My water pressure isn't that high, but seems to be okay.

19.

If our well pump operates at 12 gallons per minute and it takes nine minutes to recharge the storage tank, does that mean we have a leak or other problem?


Answers:

1.

Are there ever times when you have to watch your well water consumption so as not to run your well dry? If so, what times of the year does this occur?

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Moderate to severe drought conditions are a fact of life in more than half of the nation. Some utilities and local and state governments have declared mandatory water conservation measures, even for private well owners. You can find additional information in these wellcare® information sheets: Water Conservation, What to Do if the Well Runs Dry, and Ground Water Withdrawals. Click on the link above.

2.

We had a salesperson come to our home. They performed an onsite water test and then told us our water was unsafe to drink. The salesperson suggested we could buy one of his treatment systems to fix the problem, but the treatment systems costs several thousand dollars. What should we do now?

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No person can tell you that your water is unsafe with an onsite test only. Only a licensed laboratory can perform the tests to determine the safety of your water supply. Never purchase water systems from a non-certified or pushy salesperson. WSC recommends having your water tested by a certified laboratory and then getting a second opinion from a certified water treatment professional before making a decision.

3.

How far should my septic system be from my water well system?

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Most states require your septic system to be a minimum of 50 feet away from your well system. However, your local requirements may be different. WSC recommends that you check with your local or state health department for the separation requirements in your area.

4.

Where is my well located?

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Locate the wellhead in your yard. This is the top of your well. It should extend at least six to eight inches above the ground to keep contaminants from entering the system. Surface water should drain away from the wellhead.

5.

How do I get a well drilled on my property?

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WSC recommends that you hire a certified well driller for any well construction. For more information on selecting a well contractor please view the WSC wellcare® information sheet, "Selecting a Well Contractor". Click on the link above

6.

When do you disinfect a well?

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Your well should be disinfected whenever any maintenance is done on your well or you are worried that your well may have bacterial contamination. WSC recommends that you have a professional water well contractor do any repairs to your well and disinfect it afterwards. You can also disinfect your well, but before you do, you should read the wellcare® information sheet, "Disinfecting Your Well". Click on the link above.

7.

What type of treatment is needed for a well system?

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Well water is naturally better! So it's likely that your well water won't need any treatment. Before you consider any treatment, you should have your water tested. The test results will help you to decide what (if any) treatment you may need. Then, your water well contractor or a professional water treatment dealer in your area can recommend the best treatment technology for your well.

8.

How do I get my water tested?

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Call your local health department for a list of licensed laboratories in your area. Call the laboratory and schedule an appointment. Your test results should be back within 2 weeks. There are also some national testing laboratories that can provide you with a test kit and instructions on how to properly test your well water. You then send the sample to them and they will provide you with the test results.

9.

What do I test for?

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If there is no known contamination and no apparent changes in smell or taste, have the laboratory test for bacteria. For more testing options, view the "Potential Ground Water Contaminants" Wellcare® information sheets on the WSC website at www.wellcarehotline.org.

10.

Where do I purchase a water treatment system?

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WSC recommends that you contact your water well contractor or a professional water treatment dealer in your area. You can find listings in the Yellow Pages under "Water Treatment Companies."

11.

What do I need to test for in order to sell my home?

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WSC has a list of recommended testing criteria that is based on the HUD requirements. We can provide you with that information but required testing varies from state to state. Contact your state health department or real estate commission for current requirements.

12.

I am buying a home with a well and radon was detected in the air. Should I have the well water tested?

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WSC recommends that you have the well water tested whenever you are buying a house with a well. Contact your local health department for list of licensed laboratories in your area. Call the laboratory and schedule an appointment for testing.

13.

How do I treat the contaminants?

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There are different treatment systems for different contaminants, so WSC recommends that you always consult a Water Treatment Specialist and be sure that the treatment system is certified.

14.

I have low water pressure and the water has a surging and subsiding pressure variation through the pipes.

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Your well pump system can be adjusted to give you a service pressure that will meet your expectations. The surging of your water coming from your faucets is a sign that the air change in your water tank is out of balance with your pressure switch or the diaphragm in the tank is torn. Your water tank may need to be replaced. The surging will eventually lead to pump failure. Contact a licensed well contractor to inspect your system for this problem.

15.

At what pressure should the pressure tank be set?

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The pressure setting in your tank will vary depending upon application. You will need to know your switch setting (check the manufacturer's instructions). However, we suggest you contact a well contractor to make any repairs on your well.

16.

At what pressure should the tank be set, and how do I adjust it?

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To adjust a tank’s air pressure, first shut off electric power to the pump. Open a faucet near the tank and drain completely. Then follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the pressure. However, we suggest you contact a well contractor to make any repairs on your well.

17.

When I shut off the power to my pump, does the remaining water in the pipe line drain back into the pressure tank?

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No, the water will not drain back into the pressure tank. During normal operation of a well pump system there is a pressure control switch, which reads water pressure within your pipe line. The switch controls the flow of electricity to your pump when you are using water from your system. When you stop using water, your pressure tank will fill with water until an upper pressure setting is reached and at that moment the pressure switch will interrupt the flow of electricity to the pump and the pump will stop pumping water. A valve, just above your pump will close and hold the water pressure in your system. When you use enough water, the cycle will start over.

18.

I'm having problems with my well pump. It seems to be working fine, but I have to prime it every other day, otherwise nothing gets pumped out. Could my pressure tank be the problem? My water pressure isn't that high, but seems to be okay.

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Let's consider some factors that could be causing you to prime your pump so often: 1. Every two days, your water use is greater, causing the water level in the well to drop enough for the pump to pull in air, either through the intake, or through a very small break in the pipe. When the water is low enough, the break is exposed to air and you lose pressure. 2. The suction pipe has a loose connection. 3. The rotary shaft seal is worn on the pump. 4. The air volume control valve on the pressure tank sticks from time to time, allowing air into the pump chamber. Your best bet is to contact a certified well driller, experienced in pump repair, to inspect your system and pinpoint the problem.

19.

If our well pump operates at 12 gallons per minute and it takes nine minutes to recharge the storage tank, does that mean we have a leak or other problem?

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Yes. It seems that there is something wrong with your well system, since the average fill rate is 1.34 gallons pumped per minute. A good certified water well contractor should be able to inspect your system to determine if you have a failure or need any repairs.