Creating More Living Space Outdoors

Ensure Your New Water Source Is Really Usable Before You Dig Or Drill

by Emily Flores

Have you just discovered a new underground water source on your land, and now you want to drill a new water well? If so, approach drilling with caution. It's always good to find new sources of water, but you must be sure the water is drinkable first, without costing yourself too much money. You also have to ensure that drilling for and using the water won't have the severe physical impacts on your land that water-well usage has had in many other areas of the country. Here are some steps to take once you find that new water source.

Septic Concerns

Immediately start looking around the area for a leach field or waste dump. Even if you are looking in a large, relatively flat area that you can easily monitor and that all belongs to you, you don't know what existed on the land in the years before you owned it. The previous owners could have buried waste in the area and not left records. Or, if the land is hilly, it could hide sites where people illegally dumped waste. All of this waste, be it from dumping or from septic systems, can contaminate groundwater that you want to use in your well.

Your planned well site and water source need to be at least 50 feet from a septic tank, and 100 feet from a septic drain field. If you find out there's been some waste dumping or burial outside of a septic system, talk to local environmental management departments for your city or county. You'll have to have the soil and water tested to see if anything has leached into the water supply from the waste.

Seismic Risks

Also start researching the seismic risks in the area. Once you locate an underground water source and dig or drill a well, you risk losing the water if there's an earthquake and rock under the water source cracks. If there's empty space under that rock, the water could drain away. Another risk is subsidence, where land surface altitude actually drops as the water underneath the land is drained away. You really don't want to have to spend all that money on a well only to find that it's making your land too unstable to live on.

Water Usage

Finally, get permission to dig or drill before you actually do the work. If you dig or drill a water well, you could start using up so much of the water that other users can no longer draw water from their own wells.

If you need more information about drilling a well when you've located a new water source, contact local well companies for underground water locating or the people who helped you locate the new water source. They might be able to dig up records of potential waste issues or water-shortage issues.