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How to Check Your Well’s Static Water Level

Four generations of experience installing, maintaining and
repairing wells throughout Utah and Wyoming.
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There are a few forms of general upkeep that will be important for your water well once it’s been installed on your property, and one of these involves checking what’s known as the static water level present in the well. There are a few reasons why such a check will often be needed, including situations where you’re purchasing a new pump for the well and several others. 

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re happy to help with any and all such needs. We’re your comprehensive water well specialists in Utah, serving clients in areas ranging from water well drilling and installation through water well inspections and more. What is the static water level, why does it sometimes need to be checked, and what are some ways of doing this on your own (if you’re comfortable doing so)? Here’s a rundown.

check well’s static water level

What is Static Water Level in a Well?

When we talk about static water level in a water well, we’re referring to the distance from the ground level in that area to the water’s surface underground — during normal conditions. Essentially, this is the depth of water that your well will typically contain at any given time.

It’s important to remember that the static water level can change depending on a few different factors. These include things like how often the well is used (and for what purposes), evaporation and transpiration rates, changes in barometric pressure, and more. However, in general, the static water level will be relatively stable most of the time.

Why Check Static Water Levels?

As we mentioned, there are a few reasons why you might need to check on your well’s static water level from time to time. One common reason has to do with installing a new pump. If you’re having a new pump installed, the company doing so will likely need to know the static water level in order to properly size the pump for your well.

Another common reason has to do with maintaining adequate water pressure. If you notice that your water pressure seems lower than usual, it could be because the static water level has dropped below the intake point for your pump. In this case, you’ll need to have the water level raised again in order to bring the pressure back up.

Of course, there are other potential reasons for wanting to check on your well’s static water level as well. If you have any concerns or questions, it’s always best to consult with a professional like Mike Zimmerman Well Service.

Our next couple sections will go over some DIY methods for checking static water level in your well — but also look at situations where simply calling on our pros for this job is the way to go.

Electric Depth Gauge

The more modern DIY method for measuring static water level in a well is the use of an electric depth gauge, also called an electric sounder in some circles. This device has two separate metal probes that will be placed in the water, sending an electrical current through the water between them.

The amount of current that’s able to flow will be inversely proportional to the depth of the water. In other words, the deeper the water, the less current will flow — and vice versa. By measuring the amount of current flowing between the two probes, you can get a good idea of how deep the water is.

This method is generally considered to be quite accurate, as long as it’s done correctly. However, it does require that you have some experience with electrical work — so unless you’re confident in your ability to do this safely, we recommend calling on a professional instead.

Measuring with a Weighted String and Tape Measure

Another method that can be used to get an estimate of static water level in a well is to lower a weighted string down into the well until it hits the water. Once you feel resistance (indicating that the string has hit the water), mark that point on the string with a piece of tape.

After that, simply pull the string back up and measure the distance from the ground to the tape mark. This will give you a rough estimate of the static water level in your well.

One potential issue with this method is that it can be difficult to tell when the string has actually hit the water, especially if the water level is relatively low. In addition, it can be hard to get an accurate measurement if you’re working alone.

Rock and Stopwatch

For a more low-tech method of measuring static water level, you can try the “rock and stopwatch” method. To do this, simply tie a rock to a length of string and lower it into the well until it hits the water. Once it does, start a stopwatch and begin pulling the rock back up.

When the rock reaches the surface, stop the timer. The amount of time that it took for the rock to come back up will give you a good estimate of how deep the water is in the well.

The main issue with this method is that it can be difficult to get an accurate measurement, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with using a stopwatch. In addition, this method only works if the water level in your well is relatively deep.

Call on the Pros

In some cases, the best course of action is simply to call on a professional like Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC to take care of checking static water level for you. We have the experience and expertise necessary to get the job done quickly and accurately, so you can rest assured that your well is in good hands.

In addition, we also offer a variety of other well services that can keep your well running smoothly for years to come. To learn more about what we can do for you, simply give us a call or send us an email today!