Category Archives: Maintenance

Utah Water Well Abandonment Basics and Steps

In cases where a water well that’s been in regular use is no longer needed, the well can’t simply be left to sit there with no other action taken. Rather, there’s an important process that must be undertaken to carry this out properly, and it’s known broadly as water well abandonment (also called water well decommissioning in some circles). 

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to offer quality water well abandonment services to clients throughout Utah, ensuring all the proper steps are covered if you’re no longer in need of a well on your property. What is well abandonment, why does it matter, and what are the basic steps we’ll help you follow here? Let’s go through all the facts you need to know.

water well abandonment steps

Water Well Abandonment Basics

As we alluded to above, water well abandonment is the process of safely rendering a well that’s no longer in use into an unusable state, or at least one where it won’t pose any risk to people who might come on the property. A well that’s simply left to sit without being properly abandoned can be a huge safety hazard, as it’s not uncommon for wells to suddenly start pumping water again even after years of disuse.

This is why it’s important to have a professional team like Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC take care of well abandonment for you – we know the right steps to follow to make sure everything is done properly. This is a process that varies from state to state, and we’re well aware of all of Utah’s specific regulations when it comes to well abandonment. This is another major part of the value of this process: If it’s not carried out, you could face fines or even potential legal action.

Our next several sections will go over the steps that should be followed for abandonment of a water well.

Identify a Reputable, Experienced Well Professional

First and foremost, unless you have specific professional training in water well abandonment services, you’ll need to identify a reputable, experienced professional to handle the process for you. This is important not only for ensuring that it’s done properly, but also because some states actually require this service be performed by a licensed well driller or pump installer.

Water well abandonment should never be attempted without proper experience and training because of the severe safety risks involved if it’s done improperly. It’s also important to note that around 70 percent of abandoned water wells simply stop working and often can’t be fixed or repaired, even by a professional – this is why you should never attempt the process yourself.

Get multiple quotes from qualified professionals in your area to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Obstruction Removal

Once you’ve hired a well abandonment team, their first step will be to remove any obstructions found within the well. This is important to do at this stage and not after the other steps because it can be incredibly dangerous and poses a risk of electrocution if the upper casing has electrical wiring that’s still operating inside.

The first step will be for experts to clear out any gunk or other material that might have built up in the well over time. This can be an arduous process, but it’s essential to do so in order to ensure that everything is in good condition for the next steps.

Excavation, Filling and Sealing

Next up, your team will get to work on the excavation process. This will involve removing the well head and all associated piping, as well as digging down to the water table. The water table is the groundwater level that’s found below ground – it’s generally about 6 feet down for most residential properties, but this can vary depending on the location.

Once the excavation is complete, your team will begin filling the well with the soil that was removed at the beginning of this process. The well will be grouted below the static water level, and disinfected gravel will be added to the well to keep it from being re-contaminated.

Capping and Backfilling

From here, it’s time to prevent any surface or near-surface contaminants from potentially entering the casing. This is done by capping that’s constructed from a strong but non-corroding material that meets or exceeds local and state requirements.

Finally, the well will be backfilled with clean soil to prevent any possible contaminants from entering into the water supply. This is one of the most critical parts of the abandonment process because it ensures there are no access points for outside contaminants – soil composition can vary widely from one property to the next, so it’s important to have a professional backfill the well to make sure it’s done properly.

Reporting

The final step in this process involves the reporting of your newly decommissioned well to state and local authorities. This is an important step because it helps to keep track of all abandoned wells in your area, as well as any potential risks they may pose to the community.

Once again, the needs involved in this reporting will vary between states and municipalities, so be sure to check with your specific governing body for more information. This is another area where working with quality well professionals holds major value, as we’re fully up to speed on all of Utah’s well-related laws and requirements.

If you’re looking to abandon a water well on your property, it’s important to understand the basics steps involved. For more on this or any of our water well drilling or pump services in Utah, speak to the pros at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Signs Your Water Well May Need Shock Chlorination

As the owner of a water well, there are several methods you may take to ensure no harmful contaminants or pathogens make their way into your home’s water supply. One method that may be used, especially if you’ve had recent issues of bacterial buildup in the well, is known as shock chlorination.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re happy to provide a wide range of water well drilling and well inspection services, including testing for contaminants and ensuring your water supply remains healthy at all times. What is shock chlorination, what does it do to your well water supply, and what are some common signs that it might be time to apply this method to your well? Here’s a primer.

signs well shock chlorination

Shock Chlorination Basics

Shock chlorination is a common process carried out in a few settings, one of which is within water wells. It involves controlled exposure of the well to a chlorine-based disinfectant, usually in a powdered form. This is typically done by pouring or pumping the substance straight down into the well, but depending on how it is being used, sometimes water from another source can be added as well.

The amount of time required for this process varies based upon local regulations and specific instructions from the manufacturer of the product being used. However, it is usually done for around an hour or two at a time, allowing sufficient time for an effective disinfection to take place within the well itself. After this process has been completed, the disinfectant should be flushed out of the well using water from another source; afterwards, normal functions can resume with the knowledge that any bacteria present has been completely removed.

It’s vital that only water well professionals attempt to use shock chlorination on their own wells, as incorrect handling could lead to adverse health issues. If you suspect any sort of problem with your given system and want to be sure it is done correctly, allow us here at Zimmerman Well Service LLC to handle the task for you.

Our next several sections will go over some potential signs that your well might be in need of shock chlorination or a similar process.

Slime Buildup

One of the most common signs that your well may be in need of chlorination is the appearance of slime or algae, both of which can be cause for alarm. As bacteria accumulates in the well itself over time, these substances will sometimes begin to accumulate around the well’s pump and other components. Slime may also appear on nearby surfaces; this is especially true if you find any greenish material present.

Shock chlorination can be used to effectively remove both algae and slime buildup, restoring the well’s pump to proper functionality. If you’ve started to see a slimy substance forming on the inside of your toilet tank, for instance, or in several other related areas, this might be a sign that your well is in need of immediate disinfection.

Discoloration

Slime or algae growth isn’t the only sign of bacterial build-up in your water supply. If you find that there is any kind of discoloration coming from the well itself, whether it’s a greenish tint to the water or some other change in color, this could also be an indication of bacterial growth taking place within the well.

Shock chlorination can help restore your well to its full original functionality after any sort of discoloration has taken place, so if you find that your water supply is darker than usual, there’s a chance it may be a sign that the well itself is in need of disinfection.

Laundry Stains

Even if you aren’t checking areas like the toilet tank or other parts of your water supply system regularly, you may see the signs of bacterial contamination in your clothes once they’ve been run through the laundry. Bacteria in your well system may make their way into fabric, causing stains to appear in your clothing that represent organic residue being left behind.

Shock chlorination can help remove any buildup in your well that might have caused discoloration in the first place, making sure that you don’t have any further problems when it comes to laundering your clothes. In other cases, the stains on your clothes may be due to rust from your pipes, which could be due to similar issues that shock chlorination will also help solve.

Major Foul Odors

While there are a few potential reasons for unpleasant odors coming from your well system other than bacterial build-up, it’s sometimes the case that you’ll find very strong smells emanating from your water supply. These odors are often described as pungent, musty, or otherwise unpleasant; this is another sign of bacterial contamination in your well. If these symptoms don’t go away on their own after a few days, you’ll want to have your well shock chlorinated as soon as possible.

Long term exposure to the chemicals in a bacterial buildup can lead to serious adverse effects on your health. It’s vital that you take steps to remove any problems with bacteria from your system before they become too severe, so call us today if you’re worried about these issues.

Never Been Shocked

Finally, while most of these other issues involve reactive use of shock chlorination, this is also a process you should be considering even without a specific cause if it’s never been done to your well in the past. Shock chlorination is a simple step you can take in order to ensure that no issues involving bacterial contaminants or pathogens will ever affect your water supply, so if you haven’t had it done to your system yet, give us a call today.

For more on shock chlorination or water well sanitation, or to learn about any of our water well drilling, rehabilitation or other services, speak to the pros at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.