If you are living with a low-yielding well, you know what an inconvenience it is. But if you are buying a new home and the well test came up with insufficient yield, what do you do? Don’t worry, our experienced Maryland well contractors are here to help you understand this problem and evaluate your options.
What is Considered a Low-Yielding Well
Well yield (or well production) is a rate at which a well can be pumped while maintaining a healthy water level. Well yield is measured in gallons per minute (gpm) and essentially means how much water your well can produce before it’s depleted and needs time to refill. In Maryland, it’s required that your well has a yield of at least 1gpm in order to meet the state’s well standards. If your well’s yield is lower than 1gpm, it’s definitely a low-yielding well.
However, sometimes when you have a 2gpm or even a 5gpm well, it may still be low-yielding for your needs. If you have a family of 5 that may want to take simultaneous showers, you will run out of water very fast with 2-5gpm. So, if running out of water is a problem in your household, a low-yielding well is likely to blame.
Should You Worry About a Low-Yielding Well?
Let’s say you found ways to work around your well’s limited water supply—are there other reasons why you should take the steps to improve the yield? Yest there are! Because the water levels in such well are likely to go up and down frequently, this leaves a room for oxygen to get into the aquifer. Oxygen causes changes in the water chemistry, and often contributes to higher mineral content and growth of bacteria such as E. coli. In other words, a low-yielding well can negatively affect your well water quality.
What Causes Low Yield
- Clay and hard rock aquifers
- Poorly sized well screen or poorly constructed well
- Improper placement of the submersible pump
- Development of scale inside the well or contamination with iron bacteria
- Incomplete well design, construction or well development
How to Fix a Low-Yielding Well
The solution to your low-yielding well will depend on the exact cause of the problem. You will need your local Maryland well contractor to thoroughly inspect your well and determine the cause of poor production. Depending on the findings, here are some of your options:
If your well is otherwise properly set up, drilling several feet deeper may improve the yield. This is true if you have a problem with the aquifer itself, and not the well pump or poor well construction.
Shock and Clean
If bacteria is clogging the well screen or otherwise restricting the water flow, then it needs to be killed off and your well should be thoroughly flushed. In case of scale, the inside of the well can be machine-scrubbed with special equipment.
Add a Storage Tank
A storage tank will provide you with sufficient water supply in case your well starts running low. This will reduce the likelihood that you will run out of water during the peak hours of use.
Add a Secondary Well
If little can be done about improving your current well’s yield due to the type or location of the aquifer, you can add a supplementary well. Even if it’s still low-yielding, with two wells each yielding 1gpm, you’ll get 2gpm of combined yield, which will make a significant difference.
Reduce Your Water Use
If all other solutions fail or are not financially viable in your situation, you can take the steps to prevent your well from running dry. Replace your indoor plumbing fixtures and appliances with low-flow models that conserve water. Avoid using water through several outlets at the same time. This might take some scheduling and changing of your habits, but at the end you’ll have the perfect formula for living with your low-yielding well.
Want to learn more about which solutions will work for your low-yielding well? Get in touch with our Maryland well contractors at R & G Water for a free consultation.