In Texas, landowners have certain responsibilities for groundwater management. This is to ensure your private water well doesn’t interfere with local water quality and quantity. Here we offer a guide to maintaining a water well on your property.
Inspect your Water Well
The best way to avoid issues is to inspect your water well often. This includes checking:
- Casing: The pipe protruding from the ground from your well should be at least a foot above the ground.
- Well cap: The cap on top of the casing should be sealed and securely attached to keep pests and rodents out. Vented well caps need to be clear of debris.
- Electrical conduit: If you have an electrical conduit make sure all of the connections are secure without any loose wires.
- Possible hazards: Look for anything that might pose danger, as well as possible contaminants or damage that could pose risk for accidents.
- Chemicals: Remove any chemicals near the well such as fertilizer, paint cans, motor oil, pesticides, etc.
- Slope: The ground should slope away from the wellhead to divert surface runoff.
- Overgrowth: Physically clear away plant growth. Trees and shrubs should not be within 10 feet of the well. Do not use herbicides as this can contaminate the water.
- Consider run-off: Be sure your well isn’t in proximity to kennels, feedlots, or pastures where runoff can contaminate the water. This includes dog runs or animal pens on your property.
- Pumping equipment: Make sure all the above-ground pumping equipment is operating including making sure vents are open and not blocking airflow. Also check for possible leaks in the shaft seal, or signs of rust or damage on any of the parts.
- Wiring issues: Check for odors or the smell of burning as this could indicate serious wiring issues in need of a qualified electrician.
- Tanks: Check the condition of the tanks and water pressure.
Doing general inspections of your water well frequently will help catch issues early so repairs can be made and you can avoid water contamination or component failure.
Your well should have a water sample tap near the pressure tank. Have a sample analyzed at least once a year. If you notice a change to the smell, taste or color of the water test the water right away. If you aren’t sure how to prepare the samples, call your local lab and ask for instructions. This will ensure you follow proper procedures for the analysis you are running.
Preparing Your Water Well for Winter
Anything located above the wellhead needs protection against freezing. If you don’t protect against freezing the water pump can’t turn on. When this happens it can damage parts such as the impellers. It can also split the drop pipe or damage the pump motor. Insulate the pressure tank if it is not located indoors. If your well is located in or near driveways, make sure they are clearly marked above snow level, so they aren’t damaged by snowplows and shovels.
Equipment Maintenance Tips
Equipment must also be maintained including:
- Maintain water softeners and conditioners and replace salt according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Maintain filtration equipment replacing or recharging filters according to the manufacturer as well as the quality of your water.
- Log filter changes with the dates you change your filters to reduce the risk for contamination and keep a record showing you are compliant with local regulations.
- Make sure chemical pumps, lamps, and other components are managed properly based on the type of water treatment equipment you have whether it is for iron, manganese, or sulfide removal.
- If you have a windmill, change the motor oil annually.
If you are uncertain of what equipment you have, it is always best to call in a professional to assess your system and provide proper maintenance services for your water well.
Looking for private land with a water well on-site? Tired of maintaining a well yourself and hoping to sell your land? Contact Ruple Properties!