Although the years-long drought in California and other states in the West and Southwest is beginning to ease, groundwater levels are still below their ideal level, necessitating continued water conservation efforts from those in the region. Even once you get the "all clear" from your state or local government to let you know you're no longer subject to drought restrictions, going from reduced household water use to regular (or heavy) use can strain your well pump, risking failure. Read on to learn more about how you can protect your well during a drought and what you should do to ease it back into heavier usage without risking damage.
What should you do to protect your well during drought conditions?
After taking efforts to reduce your household water usage -- like installing high-efficiency showerheads, turning off your lawn sprinklers, and investing in low-flow toilets and faucets -- you'll next want to turn your attention toward the depth of your well pump to ensure a steady supply of fresh water. Shallow pumps, or those placed just a few meters below the water table, can be easier to maintain due to their close proximity to the surface, making them quicker and simpler to winch up.
However, a major drought that causes the water table to drop significantly could soon leave your well pump dry. Attempting to operate a well pump without an adequate water supply can quickly cause the major components to fail, often requiring you to replace the entire pump and housing. Having your well pump dropped so that it's closer to the bottom of your well can ensure a steady supply of water during even a severe drought. Even after having your pump dropped, you'll want to regularly measure the water level to ensure your pump remains saturated and isn't risking damage.
How can you ease your well back into heavier usage?
Once drought restrictions have been relaxed (or are lifted entirely), you'll want to increase your household water use gradually at first, ensuring that your pump isn't put under any additional strain that could shorten its lifespan. Depending upon the longevity of the new water table level, you may also want to have your well pump raised again. Shortening the distance your pump needs to force water will help reduce your electricity usage and decrease the amount of pressure the pump needs to create in order to keep the water flowing.
If your well pump needs any servicing, contact a company like County Pump & Supply Co.