Module 5 — Monitoring and Maintenance of Your Water Well
Monitoring and Maintenance of
Your Water Well
Preserving the water source on your farm or acreage is as vital as preserving the quality
of your soil.
When we think of factors that limit farm production, what come to mind are land base,
finances, time and energy. What doesn’t always come to mind is how necessary water supplies
are. Imagine having to reduce the size of a cattle herd or not being able to water your horses
because of a lack of water. Water is key to our quality of life as well. Waiting an hour to take a
bath or not having enough water to serve two bathrooms would be a change for many families.
Proper care and maintenance of your water source are key to protecting your water
supply. An effective monitoring program will identify changes in water levels and water
quality before they become serious problems. Just like a vehicle needs an oil change, tune up
and inflated tires to run properly, your well needs to be monitored, checked and cared for.
Regular, systematic inspections and treatment of problems will help increase the life of your
well. A licensed water well contractor may be required at times.
In this module you will learn several methods of monitoring your well. A worksheet where
you can record your own information is included at the back.
The first step in preventative maintenance of your well is taking some simple
measurements. Two measurements that you need to take on a routine basis are:
Water level measurements
Water quality measurements.
Water Level Measurements
Taking water level measurements on a regular basis will tell you whether water levels
have changed significantly. In turn, this can help you spot the following problems:
Pumping the well at a greater rate than it is designed for (stressing the well
by over-pumping)
Pumping the well at a greater rate than the aquifer is capable of producing
depleting the aquifer)
A plugged screen (or slotted casing) can diminish the well's efficiency and
production rate
Reducing groundwater recharge due to land clearing and surface water drainage.
In some areas of Alberta, up to one-third
of the new wells licensed are considered
marginal or poor for either water quantity
or quality. Monitoring and maintaining
these wells is key to maximizing the water
available and preserving the quality.
For more information refer to
the Water Wells That Last video (Part II —
Managing and Maintaining).