Well Maintenance Calendar: How to Care For Your Water Year-Round
By Alisen Boada
As the seasons change so should your well maintenance routine. Different weather patterns—like heavy rains, snow, and long periods of dryness—affect your water quality in a variety of ways. Testing your water during certain times of the year can also provide greater insight into your water quality.
A little upkeep each year can help your well stay healthy for decades. Use the seasons to keep track of your well’s maintenance and water quality across its lifespan.
Spring Well Cleaning and Maintenance
Whether you shut your well down over winter or kept it in use, do a visual inspection for any winter damage. Look out for:
Check and change water treatment filters. Check that your treatment filters are working properly according to their manuals. Replace filters if they have reached their lifetime use.
Flush and fill the system. If the system was drained and unused over winter, turn on the breaker and run every faucet in the home. Let the water run for at least five minutes to flush your plumbing and check for new leaks.
Test for bacteria and nitrates. Test and treat for any new microbes that might have grown over winter if the well was not in use. Spring is a great time for coliform testing during wetter months, before the weather gets too hot.
Avoid pooling. Prevent water from ponding around your well during heavy rains or flooding.
Gardening. Only plant low-maintenance greenery with short roots within 4 feet of the well. Don’t use any pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers within 100 feet of the well. Avoid using mulch nearby or planting anything that can attract pests.
Schedule a well maintenance appointment. Have a licensed technician confirm that your well system is properly thawed and ready to use if it was shut off over the winter.
Summer Well Cleaning and Maintenance
Landscaping. Remove weeds and debris around the well. Take care not to damage your well head while mowing around your well.
Schedule a pumping/drawdown test. Well flow is best measured during dry periods of the year. Taking these measurements when water levels are low helps ensure you are using your well sustainably. A decrease in water production can be a sign that your well needs cleaning or that the aquifer is nearly depleted. Some states may require routine testing.
Returning to a summer home:
Leaving a summer home:
Autumn Well Cleaning and Maintenance
Protect your wellhead. Don’t let leaves or other debris pile up around the well.
Install and replace treatment filters. Get in the habit of installing new filters before the start of every fall season.
Winterize your well. To prep for winter, insulate pipes that run through non-heated space—like basements—using thermostatically controlled heat tape or insulation sleeves. Keep above-ground pumps inside an insulated housing.
Turn off the system. If you won't be using your well over the winter, shut down power to the well pump and close the main water valve.
Winter Well Cleaning and Maintenance
Remove snow. Don’t let snow pile and melt around the well.
Monitor water quality. If you live near a roadway or parking lot that is regularly salted, keep an eye on your water quality after the snow melts.
Emergency power supply. Most wells need steady electrical power to run water to your home. Prepare for potential winter power outages by having a backup generator.
Prevent freezing. Water inside the well cannot freeze since it’s below the frost line, so only above-ground equipment and pipes are at risk. Make sure these parts stay insulated. During freezing weather, a continuous slow drip of warm water can help ensure pipes don't freeze.
Defrost pipes. It's important to thaw frozen pipes as soon as possible to prevent cracks. A frozen water supply pipe or above-ground well pump will cause a loss of water pressure. To find the freeze point, turn off the water supply to the house, follow the pipes from the faucet and look for frost-covered, cracked, or bulging pipes. Warm the pipe with a hairdryer, heat lamp, or heating pad.
Well Maintenance Over the Years
Once you get familiar with your seasonal routine, check off each of the following well maintenance tasks across the lifespan of your well.
Every 3 to 5 years:
Every 5 to 10 years:
Arsenic (As) Aluminum (Al) Barium (Ba) Cadmium (Cd) Chromium (Cr) Fluoride (F) Iron (Fe) Lead (Pb) Manganese (Mn) Mercury (Hg) Selenium (Se) Silver (Ag)
Keeping Your Well Water Safe All Year
Check your state’s well maintenance requirements to see if additional routine testing is needed. Hold on to all your records on water quality data, service and repairs, and disinfection history to keep tabs on changes to your well’s health over time.
If you’re looking for a certified contractor for your annual inspection, contact us. We can help you find a licensed professional and answer any questions on well water quality issues and testing.
We also offer tests for as many as 1000 different contaminants, as well as a personalized water quality report—complete with unbiased recommendations that customers can put into action.
Sources and References▾
Spring Well Maintenance
An Introduction to Well Drawdown
SEASONAL WELL USE
The Drinking Water Taste Guide | SimpleLab Tap Score
How do I Prevent a Well from Freezing?
Essential Well Water Test | SimpleLab Tap Score
Stinky Water: Your Odor Guide | SimpleLab
Why Is My Water Yellow? | SimpleLab Tap Score
Contact Us | SimpleLab Tap Score