Drilling a water well isn’t quite as simple as just digging until you hit water. A lot can go wrong, which means surveying before you drill is more than a good recommendation; it’s a necessary component of ensuring you end up with a successful and safe well.

The disaster stories—what can go wrong

There are a couple of different types of things that can go wrong when you are drilling your well. For instance, you could hit something in the process of drilling down to your new potential water source, leaving you with a geyser instead of a well (let’s just hope it’s a water main you’ve hit and not a sewage main). Similarly, you could hit something that will contaminate your water source, or you could access a contaminated source of water—like water with too much salinity, or water that is contaminated with something worse. In these instances, the risk isn’t just to your own well. Drill the wrong way, and one wrong frack could lead to the cross contamination of your neighbors’ water sources, too. Alternatively, you could end up with a dry well, and the prospects there aren’t any better.

Dry wells can take a couple of different forms. First, there are the shallow wells that have hit water, but which run out of water quickly during summer heat and drought. These types of wells can sometimes be drilled deeper to access a more stable source of water—but not always. Alternatively, you could end up with a well that is purely in the wrong place and never had a hope of hitting water. Drilling a well—especially a deep well—is a very expensive endeavor, and a dry well will leave you with nothing to show for your money or efforts except a potential safety hazard on your property.

How surveying can help

Surveying can help you determine the depth your well needs to be and the potential yield of the water before you start drilling. A groundwater survey sends deep pulses of seismic sound waves into the ground. The information that is sent back can determine where there are aquifers, layers of water-bearing permeable rock, rock fractures, gravel, sand, or silt. Technological advancements have even enabled experts to determine potential yield as well as just availability of water, and this can go a long way towards ensuring you drill a well that is going to adequately cover all of your water needs. From this information, experts can assess where it would be most practical to drill a well, and how much water it will be able to produce, estimated either in gallons per minute or in liters per second. It can help you avoid ending up with a dry well, and it can also reveal other pipes and systems that could leave you with either a contaminated water source or the old faithful of raw sewage.

Surveying can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, and it can help to ensure the water you end up with is safe for you and your family to drink. For more information about having a water survey done before you drill, or to get a quote, contact us at American Water Surveyors today.