Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 12/20/2017

i need well water delivered to my well. well water is low

my water is below my pump need more well water so water can come into my home.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

1 Answer


Sorry - not as easy as that.

There is only one very rare situation where that would work - to essentially use your well as a reservoir for added water. That case would be one in which your well is fed by a shallow aquifer (which in this case would be failing) AND the rest of the well was either fully steel cased and bottom capped with no screen on the bottom (even rarer), or is in a basically impervious material like a tight fat clay or shale which would not absorb the water you added. That situation would only exist if the well was designed to act as a reservoir, or if the well driller went past the shallow aquifer looking for a deeper (and usually better quality) one, and failing to find it within reasonable depth then sealed the bottom part of the well in, leaving it so it could act as a reservoir. Even then, a normal sized well (3-6 inch casing) only holds a fraction of a gallon per foot to maybe a gallon or two, so unless your sealed casing length is pretty long the well would hold hours, not days worth of average water use. A very large diameter hand-dug well of course holds a lot more, but almost never would be water-tight - usually much the opposite.

In probably 99.99% of wells, the bottom of the well is in or not far below the water-yielding aquifer - the soil/rock formation providing the water. The bottom of the well (or very close to the bottom - sometimes some casing is run beyond to provide storage room for buildup of sediment over the years or to provide a small reservoir to allow the pump to keep up with a shower or washer load or so even though the average inflow is a lot lower rate, in a slow yielding aquifer) would normally be basically in (or at the bottom of the aquifer if thin), and screened at that point to let the water into the well. Adding water from the top from a tanker truck would just flow out through the screen and into the surrounding rock/soil - perhaps initially raising the water level in the well somewhat but unless pumped out to the house pretty quickly (in miniutes to at most hours) would just percolate out into the surrounding rock - acting as a recharge well to the aquifer but wasting most or all of the water you put in the well.

You need a Wells and Pumps contractor to initially see WHY you are not getting water - if you do not know for a fact the qwater is below the pump, could be a blocked pipe, failed pump (including possible failed or shredded impeller even though the pump motor still runs), blocked intake screen or foot valve on the bottom of the pump, blocked casing screen or gravel pack around the casing getting plugged with silt or sand or mineral buildup, failed footvalve letting the water in the pipes to the house run back down into the well when the pump shuts off, bottom of well filled in with sediment from gradual transport through the gravel pack and screen or from casing or well bottom cement plug failure, etc.

If the water level is actually below the pump, especailly after a short time pumping or even when it is not pumping, then the well obviously has less water supply to it than before (assuming it was fine in the past). This could be due to a local drought causing the water table to drop, low seasonal water table (which might be a surprise for you but normal if you have not lived there through this season before), too many wells in the area causing water drawdown - either because they are exceeding the aquifer recharge over the long term as is occurring in many areas, or because new construction of wells in the area as the area is built up is drawing the water down or intercepting it before it gets to your well. Can also be due to things like a new and deeper neighbor or public water supply well going in causing water table drawdown below your pump setting depth, petroleum well development or pumping of groundwater, a new industrial water demand on the groundwater, even things as unusual as a broken water main nearby being fixed so cutting off much of the water supply, surface drainages deepened so they intercept and draw down a shallow water table, or even nearby houses going from septic to piped public sewer so the well water going through the houses is no longer being returned to the groundwater to replenish it. And probably a few I spaced on for the moment.

Depending on the cause, solutions can include cleaning/replacing screening or pump or footvalve if that is the source of the problem, moving the pump setting lower (which normally requires deepening the well unless it was originally overdrilled in anticipation of this, which is done in some areas where the water table is dropping several to even tens of feet a year from overpumping), sometimes rehabbing the well or drilling it a lot larger and then gravel-packing the larger hole to provide more inflow capacity if the aquifer will produce it, drilling a new well in a different location (if even possible considering location of nearby houses, wells, and septic systems) with better water supply, changing to public or surface water supply, etc - all depends on your specific case.

You can get word-of-mouth recommnedations on well drillers - they range from grossly incompetent and sometimes scammers to some (usually old-timers) who grossly underprice their services and are almost like miracle workers in their local water well knowledge and in solving well water supply issues, and everything in between - so check refernces and reviews. In serious cases a groundwater geologist/geohydrologist might have to get involved (either from state or local geologist or water agency or district, or a consulting registered/professional geologist) to identify likely cause and solutions applicable to your area.

Asking neighbors if they have had to deal with this issue or have had their water table going down might give you a clue to the cause too - or i their responses are in the negative, if none of them have had any problems then general water supply adequacy might not be the issue and some pump, screen, or piping blockage issue is the problem.

If this is a newish house for you, they might also know if the previous owners (if not a new house) had talked about seasonal or recent water supply shortages, which they might have failed to disclose to you in the sale disclosure documents.

If a new house, if the builder was foolish enough to promise well production capacity (other thn just testing to prove it initially produced per state rage when new), you might have cause for action there too.

Cost can run typically anything from $400-2000 for a simple pump replair/replacement solution (more with deep pumps), on up to in extreme cases where suitable groundwater is quite deep (hundreds of feet or more), many tens of thousands of $.

And of course, be sure the solution is actually a "solution" - for instance in the western Great Plains there are areas where the Ogalla Aquifer (running from MT/WY down to west/centralTexas) is dropping as much as 20-30 feet per year because usage exceeds the precipitation replenishing it, so some people are paying to have their wells deepened 9and pumps periodically replaced with higher lift capacity ones) every few years - some have deepened orignally 50-100 foot wells by hundreds of feet over the decades. Ditto to Central and Southern California and Southwest areas, eastern WA/OR, areas of UT and CO, etc - common in most dry/desert areas in fact as development and water demand outstrips the rechargae capacity of nature, and extremely common in irrigated crop areas without ample surface water supplies.

As for the water supply issue till the well issue is solved - some drillers have temporary potable water supply tanks or tank trucks/trailers which they can temporarily install at your house to provide a working supply. A small tank or trailer may have to be refilled every day or two even when using water conservation measures to lower the per-capita daily demand well below the normal 100-150 gallons per day demand, a large tanker trailer might last several weeks depending on family size and water usage. Of course, gets more difficult if you have freezing weather during this time - I have been involved in cases where a temporary foldable thickwall "rubber tank" (not actually rubber) like the temporary fuel bladders used by the military and at remote sites was put in the basement or garage to keep it warm, or sometimes you need to plug in tank heaters to keep them from freezing - if the outside temps do not go too low. Going with sort of temporary storage requires keeping track of the fill level and ordering a potable water refill in time as needed (most areas have at least one contraxtor who can provide water fillups with potable water).

Also - with the inflatable tanks especially, but also with rigid plastic and even newer steel tanks, the water taste will commonly be objectionable - so bottled water is normally needed at least for drinking and usually for cooking as well.

Some people in your situation put a temporary tank or bladder at the property, and a 200-500 gallon plastic tank in their pickup (depending on truck load capacity) and fill it periodically in town from public water supply - either from a friend's garden hose, from a business that sells it to them, or by permit off a public hydrant or public water supply point. Some just refill about daily and hook the truck tank up to a portable pump every day when they get home (if the house if unoccupied in the daytime), others transfer the water to a holding tank or bladder at the house right after every water run. Most well and pump contractors can arrange this - themselves, or through a contractor who does that sort of water supply work. More common in rural areas than in cities as you might image - some plumbers also know people who can do this. Be sure to get recommendations so you know the tanks are clean and have not been used for non-potable water or fuel, and that the incoming water truck tank, pump, hoses, and water are potable water disinfected - you do not want Joe's Septic Pumping with the name on the truck taped over pulling up and filling your tank.

An additional complication that sometimes comes up - if the new water quality from a deepened or relocated water supply/well is poor, you may need to add water treatment (water softener or filters, RO unit, or whatever) in the house too.

Good Luck - but unless you are lucky and this is a pump or screen or plugged pipe issue, do not expect it to be a simple or just couple of day fix - commonly you are talking a week to few to get a well deepened and put a deeper rated pump in, sometimes a month or few in difficult water access/availability situations or in some areas if you try to convert to surface water supply.

Answered 10 months ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy