While flooding is less of a concern in a dry state like Utah than it might be in a state with other conditions, such as Florida for instance, these issues do still take place sometimes in our state. And when flooding takes place in or around your property’s water well, it risks not only damage, but also contamination and other potential problems that you’ll want to deal with quickly and expediently.
At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re here to help. We offer a variety of water well inspection and well treatment services, including for wells that have experienced any kind of flooding and may require treatment for contaminants or other concerns. What are the major risks involved with a water well flood, what are some signs that may tip you off that a flood has occurred or is occurring, and how will our pros help if you’re in this situation? Here’s an important primer.
Debris and Damage
First and foremost, one of the largest risks associated with flooding in a water well, or in many other settings as well, is the presence of debris. Floodwater is incredibly powerful in nature, meaning it can move large and heavy debris around without any trouble at all – and this often happens very quickly when there’s a flood, with items breaking away from structures or simply being picked up by flowing water.
And as you may have imagined, this can be extremely damaging to your well equipment. Debris may fly around and smash into various parts of the well, from the casing to the pump and even certain components near the well opening. The physical damage caused here may vary from minor up to significant.
In some cases, when flooding is heavy enough, the risks of damage aren’t only present to well components themselves, but also to other surrounding areas. For instance, a major flood in or from your well may lead to significant amounts of water in the ground and soil around the well, and may loosen this ground in major ways.
This, in turn, may lead to major structural integrity risks for the well and its surrounding components. In the worst of these cases, a complete collapse of the well may take place – these only tend to happen if major flooding has been ignored by the well owner, which underscores the importance of immediately working to remedy any flooding that’s taking place (more on spotting the signs of a flood in just a bit).
Post-Flooding Sediment Presence
And while flood damage is one of the top concerns involved here, there are also risks present once the main flood is over and cleanup is underway. One of the top areas here is the presence of a few different forms of sediment, which refer to various minerals or other particles that make their way into a water supply – sediment is much more common in untreated groundwater than in your well water supply, but flooding often creates issues where these two supplies are combined.
There are two major problems with sediment buildup: For one, it may enter your water supply and contaminate your drinking water, or at the very least make it taste bad. For another, however, high quantities of sediment are known to negatively impact your well pump, including often causing it to malfunction and require repair or replacement if too much sediment has built up over time.
Speaking of contaminants, sediment isn’t the only risk here when a flood takes place in or around your water well. There are several other contaminant types that may be picked up by floodwater as it builds, from pesticides up through fungus, bacteria and many others.
And while sediment usually just makes the water taste or smell bad, without too many significant health risks attached to it, the same cannot be said for some of these other contaminants. Drinking them will pose significant health risks to you and any other occupants of your home. For this reason, one major recommendation we make to any well owner dealing with floods is to stop drinking the water immediately and procure another temporary water source until we’re able to test your well for contaminants.
In addition to all of the above, flooding is often a major risk when it comes to electricity. As most are well aware, these two areas do not mix: Water is a conductor, and large pockets of standing water may become very dangerous if there are open electrical circuits nearby. If this is the case after any well or other flood in your home, you should turn off your electrical circuit breaker and call a professional electrician in addition to our well rehabilitation specialists.
Luckily, many modern electrical appliances are built to automatically power themselves down if they become submerged in water.
Signs of Flooding and Professional Assistance
Here are some signs your well might be flooding:
- Floodwater has risen above the actual well cap at the top of the well, and you see it leaking out.
- In cases where you did not see the actual flooding take place, such as if it happened at night, you may see sediment and debris on top of the well cap.
- In other cases, you may either call your local division of environment protection or receive a call from them. These groups monitor the quality of groundwater and can inform you if any contamination has taken place.
For more on the risks and signs of well flooding, or to learn about any of our water well drilling, repair or other services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.