Do you know when it’s time to look at replacing your municipal water supply? With an average life expectancy of 50 years for a properly designed community well, you can do the math. But the math doesn’t always add up.
There are wells that need replacing in less time (often due to poor designs or lack of maintenance) and very productive wells that are much older than 50 years.
The reality is the day will come when your community’s most important and expensive asset will no longer perform as designed and wear out. If you’re lucky, your well will deteriorate slowly at a predictable rate, leaving ample time to plan for future replacement.
Routine maintenance/testing of a well is important to longevity along with professional well and pump inspections every five years. More frequent or annual inspections should be done on wells 25 years of age and older.
Despite maintenance, wells can suffer from a sudden failure, collapse or the discovery of contamination. A well gone bad can create many challenges including leaving a community scrambling to find a suitable water source.
Signs of problematic wells include water quality and performance changes such as:
- Increased sand in the water usually due to holes developing in the screen;
- Increased electrical usage usually due to well motors pumping harder or longer;
- Significant reductions in flow rates of the pumps and/or the well needs to be cleaned more often to restore the pumping rate.
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