Fresh, clean water is an essential utility for any home, and there's nothing quite like having access to pure well water on your own property. Installing a well can vary somewhat depending on your unique property, but learning these key steps to the process will ensure your well is a healthy and sustainable source of water.
Before you can begin drilling, it's essential to research your local laws regarding well installation. Certain localities require a well permit before you can break ground. Your contractor or certified driller will likely be familiar with these legal stipulations and can point you in the right direction. The sooner you begin the necessary paperwork, the faster your local zoning and property boards can approve the project. It's also advisable during this period to access property records to determine if previous wells, septic systems, or other subterranean projects were carried out on you property, which in turn will reveal the depth of your property's water table.
Once all legal considerations are addressed, the next step is to determine the suitability of your water supply to meet the various demands of your home. You can determine the potability of your water by examining the soil content, which is done via preliminary drilling. Contaminants can be dealt with via proper well positioning and filtering mechanisms.
The National Ground Water Association enumerates a number of supply considerations to consider when evaluating whether or not well installation is adequate for your property's demands. Water uses to consider include drinking and food prep, bathing, landscaping, and plumbing. This can determine if your home would benefit from a system that repurposes so-called grey water; for example, it is possible and environmentally friendly to reuse water from showering or dish washing to facilitate landscape maintenance.
Safe positioning of your well is paramount. Depending on the obstacle in question, there are set distances to ensure your water supply is safe for use. For example, the well should be 50 feet from any septic tank, five feet from your property boundary, 200 feet from any local landfill or waste disposal site, and so on. These regulations vary by state, and your drill expert will be familiar with these metrics.
Provided you've done your due diligence and explored these preliminary factors, you should be ready to break ground and start your well. Each well is different, so your project may involve drilling, digging, or driving. A casing will be lowered into the well's aquifer, which will protect your water supply from bacterial contamination. Once complete, and assuming you adhered to all regulations and best practices, your property will have access to clean, renewable well water for decades to come.