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Fall Inspection and Maintenance Tips for Water Well Owners

Fall is upon us, and for those who enjoy the numerous benefits of a water well on their property, that means it’s time to consider a few basic areas of maintenance for the well headed into the colder part of the year. Wells and water pumps don’t need much attention to keep working optimally, but it’s important to ensure no components are damaged or working improperly as you transition between major seasons.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we provide a full range of service and repair for water wells, pumps and related components. Whether on your own (if you’re confident you have the skills) or with the help of our well water technicians, here are some basic areas to consider when it comes to fall well upkeep.

fall inspection maintenance water well

Hard Water Concerns

For property areas that contain hard water supplies, softening this water is important to rid it of minerals like lime, calcium and magnesium. These minerals can grow into large buildups that not only strain several mechanical components, but are also unhealthy for humans in large quantities and make several areas less convenient.

If you live in a hard water area and have not installed softening solutions, the fall is a good time to do so – before winter hits and makes this a bigger hassle. If you already have such a system installed, it’s important to check on it within your overall well and pump system at least twice a year, and the changing seasons are a good opportunity to do so.

Mechanical Elements

Over time, certain mechanical components of a given well may wear down or become damaged by a few potential sources. Defective components can lead to issues ranging from weird sounds to air pockets and even total pump failure in some cases.

The fall is a great time of year to check on whether any such issues have arisen with any part of the well during the summer period. When you hire our team for a simple inspection or repair service, we’ll perform pressure flow and water tank tests to determine these areas are functioning optimally. We’ll also check several specific parts for wear or damage, then give you options for repair or replacement if needed.

Annual Testing

In addition, fall can be the perfect time of year for your annual water testing, which needs to be done to determine water quality and any threats being posed to it. These tests pick up concerns like pest infestations, ground flooding and even deterioration of the well casing that may have taken place over time. They also help identify contamination like E. coli or Giardia, which require prompt treatment to ensure the water is healthy moving forward.

For more on important fall maintenance tips for your water well, or to learn about any of our water well repair or rehabilitation services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Elements That Help Determine Water Well Drilling Depth, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the primary factors that play a role in determining how deep a new water well should be. Water wells can range from about 100 feet deep to 800 feet or even deeper in some cases, and this depends on several different elements in the equation.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to offer quality water well drilling and treatment services for your home. Today’s part two will discuss a few additional considerations we keep in mind when determining exactly how deep to drill for your new well.

elements water well drilling depth

Water Table Changes

The term “water table” refers to the level below which the ground is saturated with water. It’s a factor that changes regularly within a given year, generally based on seasonal moisture differences and a few other reasons.

In most cases, our contractors will spend time determining the current level of the water table before any drilling begins. They’ll attempt to determine the lowest water table level of the year, using statistical data from several years going back to help them. In many dry areas of Utah, depth for the water table can be wildly different than even a nearby location.

Silting and Draw Rate

One issue that some poorly-installed wells deal with later in their lifespan is called “silting up,” an issue where sand or grit gets into the pump and begins to become a part of the water being pumped up to ground level. Avoiding silting is a common reason why some wells are drilled very deep into the ground, leaving years and years before any issues can arise here.

In addition to depth concerns here, your well drilling experts will also consider draw rate. This is the speed at which the pump draws water from the well – you want a fast enough draw rate to provide enough water, of course, but not so fast that silt or other debris can make its way in.

Surface Contamination Avoidance

Finally, another common benefit of a deeper well is the way it helps eliminate concerns related to bacterial or other forms of surface contamination. This is a two-sided coin, however: The deeper the well, the greater the quantity of rock, soil and other materials the water has to move past as it moves up its casing. It’s possible for contaminants within these rocks to eventually seep into water, as well as minerals that will require softening. Finding the right balance of depth here, one that avoids surface contamination but doesn’t risk deeper forms of the same kind of thing, is why you work with expert well drilling contractors like ours.

For more on how we determine the optimal depth for your new well, or to learn about any of our water well treatment, softening or other services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Elements That Help Determine Water Well Drilling Depth, Part 1

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, water well drilling is among our specialties. Using a combination of popular rotary drilling and other methods, we’ll help you tap into unused groundwater found below the ground, then install pumps and all the other required technology to bring it into your home.

We get a number of common questions from our clients surrounding this project, one of which speaks to a very important area: How deep does your drilling penetrate to create a new well? There’s no single set answer here – water wells can range from about 100 to about 800 feet below the ground, averaging about 300 feet deep, but this depends entirely on a number of factors. What are these factors? Let’s investigate in this two-part blog series.

elements water well drilling depth

Building Codes and Local Guidelines

For starters, those considering a new well have to do so in accordance with all state and local laws and building codes. If you’re not completely sure of what these codes dictate, you can always check with government offices – though our experts can generally guide you in the right direction here based on our experience.

There are several areas to consider here. For starters, the general standard for water wells requires that well casing reaches all the way to bedrock under the earth, and that said casing is at least 20 feet in length. You’ll also have to think about grouting, sealing needs and well-cap reinforcement, all of which will vary between states and even individual municipalities.

Water Quality Considerations

The general rule of thumb with water underneath the ground: The further down you go, the better the quality the water should be. This is because water nearer to the surface can be more easily impacted by underground critters like moles – for this reason, many states have regulations that require drilling to reach a certain minimum depth to avoid these risks.

Now, how deep you choose to go will depend on a combination of desired quality and capacity for expense. Drilling down deeper than 500 feet may cost a bit more, but that cost could easily be worth it for the improved quality. Again, our team is happy to assist you with the ins and outs of this decision.

Rocky Landscapes

In certain areas where rocks are a big part of the landscape, the distance under the ground at which you reach water can vary widely. If you notice lots of rocks near or under the ground, though, it’s more common for water to be deeper than usual, a consideration you’ll want to factor into your potential costs.

For more on how deep a given well needs to be in your area, or to learn about any of our water well treatment, pumps, softening or other services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Debunking Common Well Water Testing Myths

When it comes to the proper maintenance and upkeep of water wells, contaminant testing is at or near the top of any list. Ensuring your water supply is safe to drink and clear of any possible contaminants or health risks is vital, and should be a regular part of your maintenance plan.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, our water well drilling and treatment services include everything you need to know about testing your well water correctly. Unfortunately, we’ve encountered a number of damaging myths out there that lead some well owners toward incorrect testing principles and application. With that in mind, let’s debunk several of the largest misconceptions regarding well water testing.

debunking water well testing myths

Myth #1: It Smells Fine, So There’s No Problem

There are several distinct reasons for well water testing, and one of the top ones is this: Most of the contaminants that might be present cannot be smelled, tasted or seen by humans. Your water might smell and taste completely normal, along with appearing totally clear and healthy – but it could still contain contaminants that are not traceable using your senses.

Even if water appears great, standard testing should be done at least once a year. You might be shocked at what a test discovers, even if you were sure your water supply was clean.

Myth #2: The First Test Was Safe, So I’m Good

When your well is installed, it will be given a first test during your initial inspection. In most cases, this inspection will not turn up any contaminants.

This does not mean, however, that your well is simply good to go for the rest of your life without further inspections. Water is affected by several factors over a long period of time, and conditions may change in or around the well that lead to contaminant risks. Wells can absolutely become contaminated even if they were previously marked safe, which is why regular testing is so vital.

Myth #3: No One Is Sick, Therefore No Issue

Down similar lines, the simple lack of sickness due to your water doesn’t mean no one will ever get sick in the future. Many water contaminants are slow-acting, poisoning your body over a long period of time before eventually making you sick. Again, annual water testing will prevent these contaminants from regularly entering your body.

Myth #4: Testing is Too Expensive

Some people avoid water well testing believing it’s a prohibitive cost, but this simply isn’t true. Well testing is simple and affordable, far less than the cost of a single water bill – and proper testing will also save you large sums in the future if it prevents the need for an expensive system overhaul due to contamination.

For more debunked myths on well water testing, or to learn more about any of our well pumps or well treatment services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Factors Impacting Well Water Pump Lifespan

There are a few vital components involved in any water well system, and the well pump is chief among them. Used to extract water and bring it into the home for a variety of purposes, well pumps come in several different formats, most of which are submersible into the water itself.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to offer a wide range of services for your water well pump. We carry several new pumps, from Franklin Electric and Grundfos to STA-RITE and other great models. One of the single most common questions we’re asked when our clients are considering a new well pump: How long will my pump last once it’s installed? The answer will range between nine and 15 years in most cases, and will depend on a few factors, which we’ll examine in this blog.

Pump Type

Firstly, the type of pump you choose will play a large role in how long it will last. Submersible pumps, the most common format, are installed in the well itself – these pumps tend to last around eight to 10 years in most cases, depending on how well you maintain them. Pumps for home use, on the other hand, which are not submerged into the water, may last up to 15 years in some cases.

Rate of Use

Another big factor: How often is the well and pump system used? When used, how long are typical use periods? Ideally, you’ll want your pump to only run for a few hours per day, a format that will generally keep pumps in great shape and lasting toward the longer end of their range.

If pumps are being used for 10-plus hours per day and pumping large volume, however, it’s a simple reality that they’ll wear down faster. More frequent maintenance may also be required to counteract the heat and friction applications caused during the pumping process.

Motor Quality

One major component of the pump is the motor, which is primarily responsible for the hard work that moves water from one place to another. The better the motor, the longer the pump will generally last – a low-quality motor will not only have a shorter lifespan, but will create more problems during regular use.

Wire System

There are two different wire systems your pump may use: Two-wire or three-wire. In the two-wire system, the electrical control panel is situated as such that the system can self-start itself. In a three-wire system, the panel is outside the pump. Three-wire systems allow for repairs or replacements if the control panel has issues, while the two-wire system requires full pump replacement in these cases – for this reason, three-wire systems are associated with longer pump lifespans.

Sediment Buildup

Finally, sediment plus sand, gravel and other small contaminants may build up in the pump over time. This water can wear down internal components of the pump, making it more likely to break down or function inefficiently. Ask our pros about tips for reducing sediment buildup in your pump or any area of your well.

For more on how long your well pump will last, or to learn about any of our well pumps, well drilling or well treatment services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Protection Areas for Preventing Water Well Contamination

When it comes to any home or building that uses water wells for water supply, ensuring the safety and cleanliness of this water is vital. Through a combination of proper cleaning and decontamination practices, you can keep yourself and your entire family consuming and utilizing clean, healthy water.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re here to help with any and all related water well services, from well pumps to general well rehabilitation and much more. In addition to being prepared to clean and properly decontaminate any well areas, ensuring water quality also involves a few preventive methods. Let’s go over how you can protect your system from contaminants before they ever reach it.

protection preventing water well contamination

General Chemical Protection

One of the primary potential contaminants to well water is a variety of chemicals, which may seep into wells through various sources. Some of the top such sources are pesticides and fertilizers, which are used on nearby grounds in some cases and can seep into the well this way. This is a particular risk if your property has sandy or gravel-like soil, which allows for this kind of seepage easily.

If your property fits this description, consider how you can reduce the use of such pesticides and fertilizers near the well. If you absolutely cannot, we highly recommend re-soiling with a type that doesn’t allow for such easy seepage.

Don’t Over-Pump

One of the top human-related causes of contamination reaching the well is over-pumping it. For older systems, you’ll need to run a pumping test to figure out what a safe and efficient pumping range is. For newer ones, we’ll test your pump system in advance and inform you of the sustainable pumping range you want to remain in.

Well Pit Removal

In certain cases, older wells on your property may have what’s called a well pit included in its build. In previous generations, this was a vital part of the well, allowing the pressure system to operate without risk of frost during the cold winter.

Unfortunately, it was eventually realized that these pits actually were a major source of well contamination. Instead, modern pitless adaptor systems are used to allow the pressure system to operate without frost risk during the winter. If your well still has a pit, contact our pros right away to remove it.

Testing the Well

Finally, testing the well for various contaminants is a vital task that should be performed regularly. The exact tests that will need to be done may depend slightly on factors like the depth of your well or other factors, which our pros are happy to explain to you in detail.

For more on protecting your well from potential contaminants, or to learn about any of our well treatment services, speak to the pros at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Answering Common Questions About Well Drilling

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service, LLC, we’re proud to offer the top water wells and well drilling services in Utah. We utilize rotary drilling and other modern technology to create a brand new, clean, high-functioning well for your property.

For most who utilize our well services, this is their first experience in this realm. As a result, we naturally get a number of basic questions on the process, all of which we’re happy to answer while informing our clients of all the potential benefits associated with water wells. Here are some of the most frequent questions we get, plus some basic answers to get you started down the path toward installing a well on your property.

answering questions well drilling

How Long Will it Take?

This is probably our most common question, and while we can give better answers in each individual circumstance, we have to slightly defer here – the real answer is that it depends. Factors like your soil quality, the depth of well you desire, your water table and several others will all play a role in determining exactly how long our drilling process will take.

Our well professionals will consult with you and analyze your property to give you a better estimate when the time comes. Remember that this process will also involve testing for safety from contaminants.

Are There Any Special or Particular Operating Requirements?

The drilling and well installation process is a perfect time to ask our technicians any questions you have about operating the well. Have you never operated a well before? If so, we’re happy to show you the basic requirements, plus any other specific areas of your well that you’ll need additional expertise in.

Are Filters Required?

Many well water sources are safe for drinking on their own, but it’s always good to consider filtration as an added precaution against contaminants. One of the most common here is iron, which shows up in hard water and can create issues ranging from harmful buildups to a poor odor. Filters will keep away not only iron, but also numerous other potential chemicals or contaminants that could threaten your health.

How Often Should I Test the Well?

Finally, the drilling and installation process is one where you should leave completely clear on how often you need to test the well water for contaminants. While we will perform such a test initially upon installation, regular testing for various contaminants is vital to ensure your water stays clean and healthy at all times. Particularly if you notice any changes in taste, smell, color or other areas of the water quality, you should test it right away to see if any contaminants have seeped in.

For more answers to common well drilling questions, or to learn about any of our well services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service, LLC today.

Basics on Well Water Contaminant Testing, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the requirements and basic contaminants that are tested for during well water testing processes. These kinds of tests are vital for any water supply, ensuring that no risks to human health are presented by pollutants or contaminants in water.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, our well treatment and rehabilitation services include several potential contaminant tests. In today’s blog, we’ll go over several additional contaminants that might be detected during these tests, plus the risks they pose and why it’s important for them to be removed from your water supply.

well water contaminant testing


When it’s consumed in certain smaller amounts, including being found in certain food types in extremely minimal quantities, nitrate is not harmful to humans. If you’re interested, you can find information online on exactly how much nitrate is present in certain foods.

When it’s consumed in large enough quantities, however, nitrate can lead to sickness and chronic conditions. One way it can be so thoroughly present is if it enters a water well through agricultural waste or poor sewer systems. The local geology of a given area will also play a large role in the risks of nitrate making its way into your well water. Our pros will be happy to explain the geological factors at play here if you’re concerned about your specific area.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

The category of volatile organic compounds is a wide one, and refers to various chemicals and waste formats that come from factories and manufacturing centers. They’re also commonly found in fuel storage areas.

If you happen to live close to any such facility, or even if you live in an area that might receive water runoff from such a location, you should be testing your water regularly for VOCs. They are considered both a pollutant and a potential contaminant, with major health risks for humans who consume them.

Other Contaminants

There are several other contaminants that may be tested for, and many of them will depend on exactly which area you live in. These tests may include each of the following:

  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Various pesticides
  • Total dissolved solids (a measure of all inorganic and organic substances present in a given molecule)
  • pH level (for pure water, the pH should be 7 – water with lower pH levels than this is considered acidic, while water with higher levels than this is considered basic, with an acceptable drinking range between 6 and 8.5)
  • Coliform bacteria (a clear and often distressing signal that your well water supply has been contaminated by some form of virus, germ, parasite or other invader)

For more on water well contaminant testing, or to learn about any of our water well installation or maintenance services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Basics on Well Water Contaminant Testing, Part 1

When it comes to human drinking water from any source, a primary need before the water is consumed involves removing several possible contaminants. Water contaminants can also come from several sources, including both natural and man-made areas, and can lead to issues ranging from minor respiratory concerns all the way up to major health problems if they aren’t purified out of water before it’s consumed – or prevented from ever infiltrating the water source to begin with.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to offer several testing services to assess the possible presence of contaminants in your well water, all as part of our well rehabilitation services. Even if you have not experienced any recent contamination issues in your water supply, yearly testing is vital to ensure everything remains in order and no contaminants can make their way in. During this two-part blog, we’ll dig into the general recommendations and rules for water well testing, plus look at several of the most common contaminants and compounds we’ll be testing for as we assess your system.

well water contaminant testing

Testing Requirements and Common Errors

While actual legal requirements will differ between states and even within individual cities and municipalities in some cases, most experts and disease control officers will tell you it’s best to have the well tested every year. Ideally, the spring period we’re in right now is the optimal range – it’s nestled in just after the long winter, one where the elements may have impacted areas of your well and altered their protective qualities, and also gets this out of the way before the hot summer arrives.

Unfortunately, many water well owners make the mistake of only testing their well water a single time: When they buy the home. Apart from yearly inspections, there are a few events that might necessitate a well water test:

  • Recent flooding or major water event in your area
  • When other well owners in your area have experienced contamination issues
  • Anytime you notice changes in taste, odor or color of your well water

From here, let’s begin looking at some of the common well water contaminants and the risks they pose.


One of the single most common contaminants in any water source, not just wells, is radon. This is a radioactive gas that’s dangerous in part due to how difficult it is to detect with natural senses – it cannot be smelled or tasted, and has no distinct color.

In many cases, radon is released when well water is used for drinking and washing. It can lead to significant respiratory issues, and is a known risk factor for lung cancer.


Arsenic is a chemical found in many minerals, known as a metalloid. It can lead to health issues ranging from cardiovascular disease to several forms of cancer.

For more on well water testing and the contaminants it helps prevent, or to learn about any of our well water services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Assessing and Resolving Rare Well Water Odors

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to be a full-service water well company. We’re not just here to install your well and wave goodbye – we’re also on hand for well pump service and repair, well rehabilitation services and any other areas you need assistance with when it comes to your water well.

Like with any other source of water, strange smells coming from well water are always concerning to you as a home or business owner. Luckily, however, these are both rare when you use a well system and often simple issues you can correct for little to no cost or hassle. Here are some of the odors that might be possible, plus what to do if you happen to encounter them in your system.

assessing well water odors

Musty Odors

If you smell a general must, often coming from the hot water tap when you turn it on, this is usually a sign that there’s too great a level of iron content in your water. This isn’t a health risk at all, though iron-heavy water may not taste as good to some people. If this is the case for you, and you want to remove this odor and/or taste, you can simply install an iron filter and/or use chlorine to get the current high iron levels down.

Smell of Sewage

In some cases, such as if you smell odors of sewage or plumbing runoff, the issue might be a buildup of bacteria in a drain area, or within unused home appliances. Gas will build up in the drain for a variety of reasons, but then will be forced out when the water is turned on.

To check if this is the problem, fill a glass of water from your tap. If it doesn’t smell, but your drains do, you need to clean the drain system itself.

Chlorine Smell

This is one of the rarest smells, almost never appearing in well systems. It is not necessarily an indicator of bad water supply, and may take place if you’re near a public pool’s water supply that’s been faultily built. If this happens to take place for you, we’ll help you with a specialized filter to remove these odors and any chlorine damage.

Rotten Eggs Aroma

The rotten egg smell is putrid, but it’s also sure-thing sign of just one possible intrusion: Sulfur. Sulfur bacteria may enter well water in a few different ways, often due to a lack of oxygen or chemical reactions in groundwater near the well.

If sulfur is an issue for your well water, there’s a simple solution. Just install an aeration system that dissolves sulfur bacteria, or a chlorine injection that will clear the sulfur content from your supply.

Fishy Smell

This smell is due to organic materials that have made their way into water, increasing certain elements. Like iron, these elements are not harmful to you, but can be removed using carbon filters or reverse osmosis systems if you’re tired of the smell.

For more on dealing with rare odors that may come from well water, or to learn about any of our well water installation or maintenance services, speak to the pros at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.