What's Wrong With Your Well? Four Steps For Fixing Your Water Worries

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If you're having issues with the quality or quantity of water that comes into your home, your well could be the culprit. Depending upon where you live and what type of soil or rock makes up the composition of your yard, your well could be too shallow to perform the way you expect it to. Couple that with one or two dry seasons in a row, and you could have serious water issues. What steps should you take when the water from your faucet begins running muddy?

1.  Call a Plumber

Muddy well water is usually a sign of disaster to come. Typically, this means there's not enough water in your well for your pump to draw on, and it's bringing up debris instead. If this is the case, a licensed plumber can pull your well pump and take a look. He'll be able to tell how deep your well is and how much water the pump is resting in when seated. Your well could be insufficient for several reasons:

  • You live in an historic home, and your well was hand-dug. If this is the case, it could be as shallow as 30-feet deep.
  • Your pump is damaged or not functioning properly. According to HomeAdvisor.com, A new well pump typically runs about $800. Add another $300 to $400 for the labor required to pull the old one out and drop the new one in.
  • Tree roots have infiltrated your well and are causing problems. If this is the case, your only recourse is the drilling rig.

2.  Call a Drilling Rig

Nine times out of ten, if your water is terminally muddy and filled with debris, it means your well is running dry -- bad news for sure, but not disastrous. Get a call in to your local water well drilling company to find out what's what. Often, they'll come take a look for free and give you an estimate on what it will cost to deepen your well. Expect to spend several thousand dollars on this project, depending upon how deep they have to drill before reaching new water.

3.  Call Your Insurance Company

If you're one of those fortunate homeowners who has all his ducks in a row, you might very well have homeowner's insurance that covers the cost of your new pump or well. Put in a call to your agent as soon as you have your estimate to find out what is and isn't covered. In certain instances, such as frozen water pipes outside the home, the cost may not be included, but it never hurts to ask.

4.  Have Your Water Tested

You can buy those small water-testing kits yourself at your local home improvement store, or you can have a professional water company in to test the quality of your water. Water that features dirt or debris isn't fit for drinking, and even if you address the problem at it's core by deepening the well or replacing the pump, you should still have your water tested afterward, just to ensure everything is clear and safe for drinking.

When you're a homeowner, turning on the faucet and finding murky, smelly water is terrifying. It's even worse when you open the faucet and find no water at all. Sadly, when this happens, you have no recourse other than calling in a professional to find out what's wrong and to fix it right away. Expect to spend more than a little bit of money to get to root of your problem, but once you do, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that the water coming out of your tap isn't going anywhere anytime soon and that it's safe for your family to drink and use.