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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER FILTERS, HOME USE
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL CHLORINATION & DISINFECTION
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes the steps and methods to improve or increase the quantity (amount) of water available at a property. If your well runs dry or you keep running out of water here are some suggestions to increase water supply quantity.
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When water quantity is insufficient at a property, the basic steps and options for improving the water quantity include the following (all of which are discussed in detail at this website):
What's the Difference Between Inadequate Water Quantity & Bad Water Quality?
We distinguish among water quantity (how much water can we draw from a well before we run out?), water quality (what contaminants are present in water?), and water pressure or flow adequacy, and we list options for improving the first of these in the articles below.
Our photo (left) shows a modern drilled well with a six-inch steel casing and electrical conduit entering the well cap - telling us that this is a deep well whose pump is installed inside the well itself.
But from just a visual inspection of the well we have no idea how much water can be drawn from this system. This article explains how to determine the water quantity available at a property, how to diagnose inadequate water quantity (or alternatively poor water pressure and flow), and how to correct those conditions.
If your concern is for the quality of drinking water (contaminants, odors, etc)
Our page top photo shows a very large water storage tank - a system that is installed when the well flow rate at a property is very limited. By using a large water storage tank the building occupants can have plenty of water for regular use. The tank is filled, slowly, during periods when water is not being drawn from the system.
Water pressure or water flow rate in a building plumbing system describes the water quantity and water pressure delivered at individual plumbing fixtures. The in-building water flow rate or water pressure is determined by the pressure capability of the well pump, the settings of the water pressure tank control, and by the length, diameter, and clogs in building piping - not by the quantity of water available.
The total amount of water available is the sum of the static head in the well (the water inside the well casing or well itself when the well is at rest), the water stored in piping and in water pressure or water storage tanks, and the well flow rate (the rate at which water flows into the well).
If you run out of water at a property this means that you have drawn off all of the static water storage and that the rate at which water flows into the well is less than the rate that the pump is trying to send water out of the well and into the building.
Well flow rate or well yield is the rate at which water flows into the well from surrounding rock and ground water sources. The flow rate of a well is a complex number - water enters the well from various rock cracks or fissures at different depths. The sketch at left, courtesy of Carson Dunlop, outlines what happens during a well drawdown or well flow test procedure.
At each point where water enters the well the rate of water flow may vary over time, and may slow or even stop as water is drawn from the well. When a new well is drilled the well driller measures the actual flow rate of the well (the sum of all of these individual flows) by using a calibrated pump installed right at the well itself.
Well depth does not tell you much directly about the ability of the well to deliver water (the well yield or well flow rate). Rather, the depth of an individual well was determined by the well driller who drilled ever deeper until the well flow rate appeared to be adequate (typically 5 gpm or better for new wells). However a very deep well probably indicates that the driller had to do a lot of drilling to hit an adequate water supply.
Hot water problem diagnostic basics: If cold water pressure is adequate in the building but the hot water quantity or pressure and flow are inadequate, see these articles listed below. The sketch at left, courtesy of Carson Dunlop, shows the installation of a tempering valve at a tankless coil used for making hot water.
A useful water pressure and flow diagnostic in a building is to compare the hot water pressure and cold water pressure at individual fixtures.
If hot water pressure and flow are the same as cold water pressure and flow at some fixtures but at others the hot water flow rate is less, we suspect a local problem with the piping, faucets and valves at the fixture.
If hot water pressure and flow are poor throughout the building, the problem could be at the hot water source or in the building piping.
Water quality describes what is in the building water supply: contaminants,odors, etc. If your concern is for water quality (contamination, odors, water tests, water treatment) see these articles:
Continue reading WELL LIFE EXPECTANCY at or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
or see WATER TANK DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR and before assuming that a water problem is due to the well itself,
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: black stuff in water after we ran our well pump for a few hours
(July 12, 2014) Stacey said:
We ran our water pump for a few hours today to get a few inches in our pool. Now our water is black and not sure why? We do have well water.
Stacey. I suspect you ran the well nearly dry. It is comon for an exhausted well to begin to pick up debris from near the well bottom as debris may be stirred by the extreme draw-down of the water in the well bore.
If the problem persists you may need to install a water filter system and a pump protection control to avoid damaging a well pump by running dry.
Questions & answers or comments about how to improve the amount of water available from a private well system.
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