Friday, September 9, 2011

Flooding and Private Wells - If your private well has been flooded and inundated with water

I go to a lot of meetings and the citizens are always concerned about how the Marcellus Drilling might impact the groundwater aquifer, but we all seem to forget about these flooding events that most likely have a more cummulative negative impact on the environment and our health. If your private well has been inudated with water and possibly submerged, you will need to take the following action:

1. Make sure the power is off the the well and check the electrical connections. The well is accustom to being submerged, but not the electrical connections at the top of the well.
2. If necessary you may want to have a licensed well driller, plumber or other electrial contractor check the electrical connections.
3. If the connections look good - the well should be pumped to waste for the equivalent of 3 wellbore volumes. One wellbore volume is:
Depth of Well - 100 feet
Depth to water - 20 feet
Depth of Water in the well - 80 feet
Volume of water in 6 inch well - 80 * 1.5 = 120 gallons
4. Assuming the well contains a pump that pumps 5 gpm - one wellbore volume would be equivalent to pumping the well for 25 minutes. Therefore, 3 volumes would be 75 minutes.

5. Now shock disinfect the well - there is a procedure online at

6. Get the water tested - or contact a local laboratory or the PADEP.

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