Private wells supply drinking water to more than 15 million households across the United States. But, beyond knowing that a turn of the tap provides a ready supply of water, many private well customers don’t have extensive knowledge about their water supply.
For our many customers curious about their well water, we would like to share three of our most commonly asked questions about residential wells.
Where Do Private Wells Get Their Water?
You’re probably familiar with the Green River, flowing through southwestern Wyoming and eastern Utah. Rivers just like the Green River flow through underground permeable rock all across the United States. Called aquifers, these underground rivers are the source of water in private residential wells.
Just like the surface-level rivers we can see, underground rivers have curves and turns as well as varying widths and depths. Your property may sit above an aquifer that can supply a residential well. Your neighbor a mile down the road may not be able to access the same aquifer, however, because of a change in the way the water flows.
Why Do Water Levels in Private Wells Levels Rise and Fall?
Residential wells are drilled down deep into the ground to reach the aquifer. So, if they’re drilled far enough, why don’t they maintain a constant level of water?
The characteristics of the underground rock often play a part in determining the amount of water supplied to a well. The less porous the rock is, the slower the aquifer will be replenished with water from the surface and the surrounding area.
Water levels in private wells can also be affected by seasonal changes that cause shifts in the aquifer flow. Finally, heavy demand on one well can cause the supply to be lowered in others nearby.
Can Private Water Wells Ever Run Dry?
Unfortunately, it can happen. If the aquifer rock takes too long to resaturate and area wells have been pumping at a significant rate, they may stop producing water.
In drought conditions – which currently affect nearly 1.9 million Utah residents and over 50,000 residents in Wyoming – the amount of water supplied to residential wells can decline significantly. If the level drops below a well pump’s intake, it is said to have run dry.
Fortunately, dry wells don’t always stay dry. Once the aquifer is replenished from precipitation, they can fill back up. Lessening the amount of pumping from a particular groundwater source can also help to make residential wells productive again.
Do you have more questions about how water wells work? The professional team at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC has the answers. Contact us today to learn more about private wells in Utah and Wyoming.