What to do

What to Do If the Well Runs Dry

Your well system works by inserting a pump inside a drilled hole to bring water up and into the house through a pipe. If there is no ground water available to enter the pump, it sucks air instead of water. When the tap is turned on, nothing comes out. In most cases, this is caused by the underground water table dropping below the level of the well pump.

Signs of Trouble

Look for signs that your well is under stress. Tap water may look muddy or murky or the taste might change. Spigots might cough and sputter as air comes through the line instead of water.  The submersible pump may be pumping nothing but air. All are signs of dangerously low water levels.

If your well has stopped pumping water and you do not have a pumptec device installed to protect your pump, IMMEDIATELY turn off the circuit breaker to the well.

NOW WHAT?  Take a deep breath, all is not lost.  A small water tank and pump could be used to supply non-potable water into your home in the interim.  Local fire departments may be able to provide you with the non-potable water.



bullet Perhaps the well’s pump can be lowered to reach the lower water table. If there is room, the pump can be placed deeper into the well’s borehole.
bullet Deepening the well itself or drilling a new well, so that it reaches further below the water table. However, drilling is never a guarantee that you will get more water or that it would be sustainable.
bullet Invest in a water storage tank, pump, and have potable water delivered to the home.  Make sure your deliverer is potable water certified.
bullet Invest in a rain catchment system


Pros and cons:

bullet Lowering the well’s pump:
bullet Pros – fairly inexpensive, can be achieved quickly.
bullet Cons – Could be only a short term fix depending on the water table.
bullet Deepening or drilling a new well:
bullet Pros – Easily implimented
bullet Cons – Cost and Drilling is never a guarantee that you will get more water or that it would be sustainable, nor guarantees water quality, could be a dry hole.
bullet Water Hauling:
bullet Pros – Sustainable water if under contract
bullet Cons – Costs
bullet Rain Catchment:
bullet Pros – New Mexico rain water is generally clean, naturally soft water with a relatively neutral PH, a 2000 sq ft roof creates over 1300 gallons of catchment with 1” of rain, reasonable implementation time, easy to implement water treatment, able to design for growth in demand
bullet Cons – cost, Subject to rainfall (but could haul water from a backup source), would require water storage pump and purification system.