Water Wells 101: A Water Well Manual for Well Owners

Water Wells 101
A Water Well Manual for Well Owners

A properly built and maintained well can be an excellent source of drinking water. The fact that nearly half America's population gets all or part of its drinking water from wells is proof of this.
But how can you be sure your well is properly built and maintained?
The place to start is with a qualified water well contractor, who can drill and/or inspect your well for maintenance, says the National Ground Water Association. There's no replacement for a skilled professional to make sure your well is working properly, according to NGWA.
The second step is to become an informed well owner, and NGWA offers what amounts to a well owners manual through its web site, www.wellowner.org. Well owners who familiarize themselves with the content of this web site can make smarter decisions about their wells and take some of the anxiety out of well ownership.
The web site is divided into six main areas: Water Well Basics, Well Maintenance, Water Quality, Contractors, and Financing and Ground Water.
"Water Well Basics" examines some different types of wells and matters to consider when planning a water well. It also discusses septic systems and their relationship to wells.
The "Well Maintenance" section explores the importance of annual well maintenance checkups, a homeowner's maintenance checklist, important well records, ways to restore water flow into your well, properly sealing old wells and the problem of iron bacteria.
The "Water Quality" section discusses a variety of water quality issues such as iron, hydrogen sulfide and bacteria. It also includes information about water testing.
The "Contractors" section looks at considerations in finding a contractor, contractor certification, contractor licensing and NGWA's service, "Contractor Lookup," which enables consumers using www.wellowner.org to find a nearby NGWA-member water well contractor with the click of a button.
The "Financing" section contains information on two programs available to help persons with well construction or renovation costs.
The "Ground Water" section contains some basic information on ground water itself--what it is, how it fits into the water cycle and its use in the United States and around the world.
There are two more sections on the web site:
The "Additional Topics" section includes relevant information on drought, which is affecting many areas of America; the use of geothermal heating and cooling, which uses ground water; links to other ground water related web sites; and resources available to educators about ground water and wells.
The last section contains information on National Ground Water Awareness Week and how consumers and ground water professionals alike can promote ground water awareness.
Now, back to the first step of using a qualified water well contractor to make sure your well is properly built and maintained. To find a NGWA-member contractor near you, go to www.wellowner.org and click on "Contractor Lookup" at the top of the page. To get the most results, just fill in your state and scroll through all the contractors to find one near you.