Can a Water Well Run Dry?

Short answer: yes.

What does it mean when a water well runs dry?

Quality wells are drilled so they reach groundwater aquifers. When the water level goes below the intake — for whatever reason — then it’s said the well has “run dry.”

What is an aquifer?

Aquifers are not underground rivers as some like to think they are — instead they are like a permeable rock that allows water to seep in from above. This process acts like a natural filter that traps potentially harmful chemicals and bacteria.

If a well runs dry, is it permanent?

When a well “runs dry” it doesn’t mean that the well will never produce water again. Aquifers can recharge through a combination of more precipitation and less pumps pulling water out of that aquifer. Sometimes wells can run dry permanently, but that is quite uncommon.

How likely is it that my well will run dry?

Not likely. It depends on many factors, but generally most modern wells are dug deep enough so that they should never “run dry” in their lifetime.

Why do water wells run dry?

The reasons that a well runs dry is typically caused by human error rather than some natural phenomenon. For example, if the same aquifer is being pumped aggressively by many pumps, it can deplete the aquifer to the point where certain pumps will start to “run dry” temporarily.

Another reason a well could run dry is water leaks in the pips between your well pump and pressure tank.

Does the well “running dry” do any damage?

Yes, it can. Running the well pump when there isn’t water to pump can damage the pump itself which can cause it to burn out prematurely. Well pumps can be quite expensive to replace.

Can you tell if your well is about to run dry?

The water pressure tends to lower significantly right before the water level dips below the water intake.

Is there anything that can be done to make sure the well doesn’t run dry?

Practicing water conservation is a good idea all on its own, but it also serves the purpose of not allowing the water level drop too low.

Another tactic is deepening the well itself. Deeper is not always better, but a well professional like A&T Well and Pump can detect new fractures that would be higher yield.

Another factor to keep in mind is age of the well. Wells can fill in with sediment as they age, so it’s possible clean out the well to increase the water yield.

Need your Well Pump Serviced?

If you live in the greater Raleigh area, consider A&T Well and Pump, a reputable company that specializes in well drilling, maintenance, and repairs. They will test the water, inspect the well, make any necessary repairs, and then disinfect the well before you resume using the water. If you have any of the concerns detailed above, or just want to get some routine testing and maintenance done, contact us today by calling 919-291-4063 or by filling out the appointment request form at the top of the page.