You’ve heard that statement, “If Momma ain’t happy, NOBODY’S happy!” Being out-of-water will send the good lady of the house into unhappy mode in short order.
There are several reasons to get your well tested:
- Before you finalize the purchase of a new home, you need to have an actual well test to determine if you have enough water, if the water is potable, and if you like the quality of the water.
- If a neighbor drills a water well too close to you.
- If an oil drilling company is going to be drilling anywhere nearby.
- If you have a new well drilled.
- To also get an assessment of the age, quality, and condition of the pumping equipment.
Before You Purchase . . .
When you are getting ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home with a well, you can turn the water on and watch it run for an hour or so and get a preliminary idea if you like the water. If the water system has a cistern then you really still have no idea if the well produces any water or if the water quality is any good. The well pumps to the cistern and then the cistern pumps to the house. So there is a huge delay in finding out any data from the well. We’ve known people who fill their cisterns with city water to make the water appear to be better.
If the well is a very deep well, it also can have many gallons of storage although it may only produce a fraction of a gallon per minute. Also there can be substantial saturation in the well formation if it hasn’t been used for weeks or months. You purchase the home and a couple of weeks later, you start running out of water. . . you become unhappy because Momma’s unhappy.
So you really need to have a well test that will give you the gallons per minute of what the existing pump will produce, what the static water level is, what the overall depth of the well is, what the pumping levels are every few minutes of the well test, and what the water quality is. We always recommend that you are present at our well tests. While we are gathering the data as the well pumps, we will spend time with you addressing any concerns that you have, discussing the wells in the surrounding area, and explain the condition of your pumping equipment.
Gotta Test A New Well?
One of the things we include in the costs of our new domestic wells is a well test. Quite often air lifting water will give you a good idea how much water a new well will produce. But from time to time air lifting the water simply gives bad information. In 2008 we drilled a 400′ well that produced 100+ gallons per minute while we were drilling and while we were air lifting the water. We had to purchase a large and expensive pump, pipe and wire and rent a large generator to pump this volume of water. An hour into the well test we – and our client – were devastated to find out that the well only produced 12 gallons per minute. The air lift test had found a pocket of water nearby and the vacuum action of the water pulled water from that pocket giving us false readings.
No matter how a driller ‘cleans’ the well he just drilled, there is still going to be a certain amount of sand, silt, clay or other sediment that will diminish the life of your brand new pump if your new well is not pump tested. The ground up rock that needs to be cleaned out is simply liquid sandpaper to the interior of your new pump. This is another reason why we always pump test your new well. We trash one to two of our test pumps each season pumping water from our new wells to save your new pump.
Another Innovative Thing We Do . . . Bore Hole Well Testing:
From time to time, when we are drilling and when we believe that we have a small amount of what appears to be good water, we will remove (trip-out) our drill stem and drill bit out of the bore hole, and install a pump with our custom built motorized spooler that has 700′ of pipe and wire on it. We have never heard of anyone in the drilling business do this. (They are all smarter than we are!?) Only we would be dumb enough to place thousands of dollars of pump, pipe, and wire down an open bore hole that might collapse and keep our equipment, leaving us with having to move the drill rig over a few feet and start the drilling process over again. . . Real Men stop crying before they drill again!
The reason we take such risks it to Create Benefit for you. We try with everything we’ve got to try and get you good quality water and enough of it. On certain wells, this is why we are willing to trash our profit margin by stopping drilling, tripping out, install test pumping equipment, and test and see if the bore hole is producing enough good water. The much more profitable thing to do would be to simply keep drilling and get bunches of water, but we know that quite often the deeper we drill, the worse the quality of the water gets. So stopping drilling shallower makes us less money, costs us more time and money to test pump . . . but test pumping certain bore holes will let us know if we’ve been able to get you enough better quality water. We choose when and where to do this, but when we do, the bore hole well testing is including into the costs of our drilling.
God Bless the USA Oil Companies . . .
I know it’s totally politically incorrect to have a soft spot in my heart for oil companies, but they do get hammered from all sides – no matter what they do. I guess that one of the reasons that I admire oil companies is that they keep inventing amazing new ways to drill and to keep finding oil and gas. And before you dump on me for this little opinion, please realize that we probably spend more on fuel each month then you do on your house payment.
However, when you hear that there is going to be oil well drilling in your neighborhood, you need to have a certified well test from a licensed well company that will ‘benchmark’ your well for both volume and quality. If something goes wrong with the oil drilling, you will need to produce a current certified well test that will prove what your water used to be like.
You will need to call us and give us a ‘heads up’ that this is what you’re wanting to do. You are always welcome to contact a state certified lab to collect and process your own water quality samples. Have a chair ready to sit down on for when you find out what the costs of having water tested is these days.
Written by my Dad. Joel Hellwege, H.S.