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Chris Quinlan’s “Ask the Expert” as Seen in the Western Wheel

Question: How should I choose a water well drilling contractor?

Answer: A properly constructed water well is a great investment and should produce clean, clear water for you and your family. A water well that is constructed properly is a valuable asset. Without a good water source, your property’s value can be affected when reselling, and living with dirty water can be a huge pain.

Drilling a water well is a long-term investment, so it should be assembled with the highest quality materials. We recommend 6 to 5/8 inch
diameter steel surface casing installed into bedrock and a 5 inch PVC water well liner from the bottom surface casing to the bottom of the water bearing formation. Never over pump your well. The larger diameter of the surface casing and liner allows for easy service in the future, and installing the proper amount of surface casing seals off silt and sediment from entering your well over time.

Question: Do water wells require regular maintenance?

Answer: Your acreage home is most likely serviced by a private water well and pumping/filtration system. This is more advantageous than being tied to a pipe line or community co-op, because it can be managed by you. Although a private water system has its advantages, your equipment will require regular maintenance.

Alberta Environment suggests that your well be treated every year. This can prevent invasive bacteria from slowing the available volume of water from the aquifer into the well. It is also a good idea to have the water tested annually. This will allow you to determine if the well environment is changing or has become contaminated. The Regional Health Unit provides this service at no cost.

Scheduled maintenance will go a long way in preventing excessive stress on your well and pumping/filtration system. In the long-term, this will help to reduce the overall costs and ensure clean, reliable water for years.

Question: How can I determine the quality or quantity of my water well?

Answer: There are 3 types of tests that can be performed on your well:

Chemical/Bacterial Analysis 

This will show the chemical breakdown of your water and the presence of bacteria. Once you know the chemical makeup of your water, you can determine the custom filtration system required to bring clean potable water to your taps. A number of factors influence the presence of bacteria in well water. Accordingly, Alberta Environment recommends testing your water annually.

Production Test 

This will determine the quantity of water your well produces. The amount is measured in gallons per minute, and can change over time based on the underlying aquifer or if your well is not maintained properly.

Pre/Post Filtration Test

This can be performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of your filtration equipment. Depending on the chemical analysis of your water,
filtration systems need to be rebuilt every 4-6 years.

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