What you should know about installing a well in your backyard.
Having a well installed on your property is going to provide you with many different benefits including lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
Unfortunately, any mistakes that you make during this process can result in contaminated water, severe property damage, and expensive fines.
Homeowners who are considering this project should spend a little extra time researching local laws in order to avoid common mistakes and keep their overall costs down. Here are the basics of what you should know about installing a well in your backyard.
Apply for a permit.
Most locations allow residents to drill their own wells, but you must adhere to very strict regulations.
Those who plan on digging a deeper well will most likely need to apply for a permit and hire a contractor and possibly a plumbing professional too who is experienced with wells. You should be able to find a list of all local and state codes at a nearby courthouse or online.
Drilling a well without a permit could cost you thousands of dollars in fines and other legal expenses.
If you do apply for a permit, you will need to have the well inspected once the project is complete.
Your family’s health and well-being should be your primary concern throughout this process.
All of the soil within a few hundred feet of the potential dig site should be tested for contaminants. Septic tanks, wild creeks, open animal pens, and muddy areas can all contaminate local water sources.
Many homeowners contact topographical specialists or water chemists before choosing a specific location. These individuals use specialized tools, old city records, and advanced testing kits to find clean water sources.
Contact all of your local utility companies.
Once you have decided on a few potential excavation sites, you then need to contact all of your local utility companies.
You will be responsible for any damage that is done to water pipes, phone lines, or electrical lines.
Depending on what type of damage is done, the repairs could potentially cost you thousands of dollars.
Each local utility company should confirm or deny the digging sites within a few weeks of your initial request.
Determine the yield of the well.
In addition to annual contaminant tests, you must also test the yield of your well once every few months.
A contractor should be able to give you an estimate of the well’s yield, but you won’t know the true yield until the drilling is completed and the hardware is in place.
Testing the yield is done by pumping the well for an extended period of time while you track the recharge rate. Once you know the exact recharge rate, you can then decide if you need to upgrade your pump or add more sanitizer to the water.
Small irrigation wells are relatively easy to dig, but you might need help with a larger residential well that is going to produce potable water for your home. This is a major project, and you must be absolutely sure that your family and property will be safe in the coming years.