What To Do If Your Water Well Runs Dry

Last Updated on December 16, 2022 by Mattias

The United States has one of the highest groundwater use rates in the world. This means well owners must conserve water and have other backup sources if their well runs dry.

But even if there are some problems with wells sometimes, remember that you’re getting a natural water source compared to city water, which has been treated before it enters your tap.

This article will answer the question, “what to do if your well runs out of water?”

Let’s dive in!

Watch for the Warning Signs Of A Dry Well

Murky, Muddy, or Cloudy Well Water

If your well water is cloudy, it can be due to the following:

  • A high sediment level in the water: You can test if you got sediment in your water at home by filling a glass of well water and letting it sit for some hours. The murky water is probably due to sediment if you find debris on the bottom of your glass. You can always find small traces of sediment, and it’s okay. But if the sediment level increases rapidly due to surface water leaks or if your water gets contaminated by nearby drilling, you might have a problem with the filtration system in your well. Then it can be a good idea to contact a well expert for help. In the worst case, you might need to install one more filter or upgrade the one you have now.
  • Dissolved gas bubbles or air in the water: The groundwater can sometimes contain liquids and gases that may get mixed into your water. This is only possible if your well is running dry. You might see tiny bubbles in the water due to gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. These gases can cause severe adverse health effects and harm your health. But the good news is that treatments are available for these issues.
  • Excess Manganese or Iron: If your water tastes a bit metallic, has a slightly greyish color, or has black spots, you might have iron or manganese in the water. Even if these harmless minerals don’t cause you any harm, they can make it difficult for you to get the clothes clean in your washing machine. By using a special iron well filter, you get to catch the iron. But remove the manganese in the well water; you must use chemical water treatment.

Read also: How To Remove Iron From Well Water

Your Drinking Water Tastes Different

If you notice any difference in the tap water taste or smell coming from your well, you must find the reason and fix the issue. Because if it tastes different, it can be that the water level in your well is shallow. So when the groundwater levels go down, the pump starts to suck the sediments from the bottom.

Water Sputters Out Of a Faucet

If you’re experiencing that your faucets are sputtering more than usual, it indicates that there is air trapped inside the pipes, and it’s interfering with your water flow. It may be that your well is dry, so your well pump is sucking up air instead of water. Look after pipe leaks and failing valves.

Well Water Recovery is Slow After Heavy Use

If you’re using the well water to water your lawn for a long time or doing laundry for a whole day, it may take longer for the well to recover. But if it’s taking longer than it usually does, your aquifer might be going dry.

The Pump Runs For a Longer Time

If you’ve noticed that your pump runs for a longer time, it might be struggling with building up pressure for pumping the water out. Mostly the pump is placed at a depth of the water. So when the water level goes low, your pump will keep trying to keep your tank full and maintain its normal water pressure. One more sign is if your pump turns on and off constantly, indicating that your well is dry.

Neighbors Got The Same Problems As You

Ask around and see if your neighbors are experiencing any well water problems. If your water source is about to run out, it can be a good time to look over your water supply by measuring it to know if it’s anything serious.

All these signs can be that your well is running dry, but it can also be:

  • Pump issues like a failing pump
  • A fluctuation in the groundwater
  • Leak in the well casing

Read also: How Fast Does Well Water Replenish? An Easy Explanation

What To Do If Your Well Runs Out Of Water?

At times, private wells run out of water. But several potential solutions exist to increase the well water yield without drilling a new one.

The reason for the dry well can be as simple as the placement of your water pump. Mostly the water pump is placed within the well underwater, also known as a submersible pump. So instead of pumping in water, it will pump in the air. So by lowering the water pump, the problem might be solved.

One more problem can be your well’s age. The average lifespan of a well is 30-50 years. Consider doing hydrofracking which can increase the water flow by injecting high-pressure water into a bedrock formation via your well. The method is often used to increase the yield in deeper wells with low production rates.

Deepening your well is also an alternative to increasing the yield. In deepening a well, it’s possible to discover new fractures containing water.

PS: After doing any work on your well, you must do a water test. To ensure that your water quality is good. The best way to do this is by using a test kit.

What Causes a Well To Run Dry?

A dry well can cause severe problems for a family, which means no fresh water for a long time, depending on the problem. Other water resources can be smart, like water stored in a storage tank, so there’s available water at all times.

But just because a well is dry doesn’t mean it won’t have water again.┬áIn time the underground aquifers are resupplied by rain.

Read also: Why Is My Well Water Brown All Of A Sudden

False Alarm

Sometimes, the well isn’t out of the water, and the problem is just caused by mechanical failure. The pump may be clogged or broken. It might be something wrong with the electrical system or a leak in the pipe system that prevents the well water from coming to the house. 

Heavy Usage Of Well Water

Wells produce water at a certain speed; if there’s high water usage, it might start to sputter or stop producing water. If someone else is taking the water from the same source as you, it can be a problem in the long run.

Ground Water Shortage

In some cases, a well becomes exhausted. If the well water is used faster than the groundwater aquifers can be refilled by rainwater, the groundwater will be depleted, and to keep getting water, the well owner must drill deeper and deeper wells. 

How Often Does Well Water Run Dry?

Most likely: not so often. Newer wells are very deep, so they should never run dry during their lifetime.

If a well runs dry because of prolonged drought, it will get water again when the rainfall recharges the water table.

Read also: How To Fix A Frozen Well Pump

What To Do If Your Well Runs Out Of Water Summary

I hope you enjoyed this article on what you should do if your well runs dry.

As you discovered, there are 4 good options if a well has ruined out of water:

  1. Lower the Water Pump
  2. Hydrofracture the Well
  3. Deepening the Well
  4. Replace the Well

Good luck!