At Home with Christie – Country Living Part 2: Understanding the Basics of Wells


Christie Mahany
Christie Mahany

Country Living Part 2: Understanding the Well Test

Ahhhhhh…the well test. I’ve seen it scare off quite a few people over the years when, really, it’s pretty simple. It comes down to two separate things: quantity and quality. How much water is coming out of that particular well set up, and how clean or safe is that water?

Let’s talk about quantity first. How much water can this well produce, and over what time period? Is it enough? The “yes” answer is always the simple one. It’s when we get a “no” or a “not quite” answer that I ask the following questions from my expert:

1. Is this an older well? Should we have it scrubbed? Scrubbing is pretty much what it sounds like – a specific cleaning of the inside of the well so that it flows better. It’s a relatively inexpensive fix if it works.

2. Can a replacement or supplemental well be drilled/dug? Sometimes a new well is an option, especially if it’s in a different location or deeper. Sometimes two wells can be tied together into one system that keeps plenty of water flowing.
3. Can a storage tank/system be an option? Think of it like this: if my bathtub is set to a very slow trickle, that’s not enough for me to take a shower. However, if I plug the tub drain and let it start filling the next thing I know I have an overflowing tub with plenty of water to use as needed. This works the same way and accumulates water throughout the day and night into large tanks that can be drawn upon when needed.

Now, that brings me around to quality. If I have a bunch of water sitting around in a tub, eventually it’s going to get a little funky. There’s quite a few options for water purification ranging from chlorinators to UV lights to things I’ve never heard about. If we can get enough water, we can usually make it work, even if it’s not as high quality as we would like. Two quality questions to ask are:

1. Is this a temporary quality issue? Has the well been sitting around unused awhile? Can it be bleached and flushed through and then be fine?

2. If it’s not a temporary issue, is this a bacteria or serious chemical issue? Can it be safe if a system is put in place to get rid of any bacteria?

Again, always consult with a well expert. If you need one, let me know and I’m happy to connect you. Most of the time it’s possible to store or get more water, or to purify the water that is already there. Those big water towers are simply a large scale storage option, and they certainly don’t chlorinate public drinking water for the taste.

At home, Christie

About Christie Mahany:

Christie Mahany
Christie Mahany

On any given day I’m a full time real estate agent, momma and chief wrangler of two kids and two dogs, married to a guy who essentially hunts and fishes for a living, and happy residing on the outskirts of Erie, PA. Sometimes I fool myself into thinking I have superpowers, except my cape is usually in the laundry…I hope. It’s all in a day’s work.

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