FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Who can construct wells?

Well driller— Only those persons holding a current well drilling license from the Department of Natural Resources may construct or reconstruct (deepen or install a liner or screen) potable wells.

Pump Installer— Only those persons holding a current pump installer license from the Department of Natural Resources may install and replace pumps, pitless adapters and accessory piping and pressure tanks on both drilled and driven point potable wells.

Exceptions— A well drilling license is not required for constructing driven point wells.

Who regulates water wells?

Wisconsin has had well regulations since 1936, and today is recognized as a national leader in well protection. NR 812, (formerly NR 112), Wis. Adm. Code, is administered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Well Code is based on the sound premise that if a well and water system is properly located, constructed, installed and maintained they well should provide safe water continuously without the need for treatment. Most county zoning and public health offices have a copy of the Well Code. For information about the code, contact Weslow Water Systems.

How do I choose my new well site?

There are many factors to consider. The first is legally mandated setbacks. The well must be 25 feet from septic tanks and 50 feet from the drain field. A well should be located away from power lines, buildings or other obstacles. Many times, a well that should be deepened cannot be because the equipment cannot get close enough. We also suggest that wells be located, where possible, at least 100 feet from wells on adjoining property. By giving this clearance, possible interference with nearby wells can often be eliminated.

Topography, specific knowledge of nearby geologic formations and the yields of wells in the vicinity may suggest a preferred location for drilling. Where possible, wells should be up slope from septic systems and be outside county and state highway right of ways, which may be much wider than the existing road. If you drill near a creek or river, the setback distance will be determined by a need to keep the well out of the flood way and to prevent drill cuttings from contaminating the habitat.

Accessibility to well drilling equipment is a factor. To safely move drilling equipment into position, it may be necessary to create a road, bridgework, or drilling pad. After drilling, well sites need to remain accessible for pump cranes and the possibility of a future service. Consider how you plan to develop, grade and landscape the property when picking a site.

How deep is my well?

Our database of well depths and water tables is rather extensive. We are tied into many State and Geological agencies. We should have a good handle on an approximate depth, if not the actual depth. Other information is also at hand.

Am I allowed to work on my own well?

Yes you are. You must comply with all the statutes and construction codes designated by the state. Can a friend install my pump? No! Only a State certified, registered and licensed contractor is allowed to drill wells or install pumps. However, a homeowner is allowed to if 1) He will occupy the property 2)Compiles with all codes.

What about a plumber? Plumbing, Well Drilling and Pump Installing all require individual industry licenses. Many plumbers pose their credentials are qualified in pump installation. Only plumbers having attended certified continuing education classes and those that have requested to be identified and licensed by the State as pump installers or well drillers are acceptable.

I think I am running out of water? Now what?

The well log you receive when the well is drilled is very important! It is a road map to your well. The options available to you will depend upon the type of well you have. Consult us for further information.

What is a drilled well?

A well consists of a hole drilled into the ground (borehole), with the upper part being lined with plastic or steel pipe, known as casing. The casing prevents the collapse of the borehole walls and prevents surface contaminates from entering the water supply. The casing also provides a housing for a pump and for the pipe that moves the water to the surface.

Below the casing, the lower portion of the borehole may be an open hole in solid bedrock or it may be screened and gravel-packed, depending upon the geologic conditions

Can I have a well if I have city water?

Most municipalities allow you to use your existing well provided it complies with State code and provides safe water. In most cases your well must be connected to non portable water lines only, such as your out side faucets or sprinkler system.

How safe is well water?

Water wells drilled to State and County code requirements by a licensed well contractor provide a safe and plentiful supply for the daily needs of a household. But even with these safeguards the only way to be sure that your water is free from contaminates is to have it tested

When should I have my water tested?

The standard recommendation is to test your well water once each year, usually during spring. It should also be tested after repairing or replacing an old well, pump, or pipes, or after drilling a new well.

You should have your water tested if any of the following occur:

  • Family members or house guests have recurring incidents of gastrointestinal illnesses.
  • An infant is living at home.
  • You are buying a home and wish to assess the quality and safety of the existing supply.
  • You wish to monitor the efficiency and performance of home water treatment equipment.
  • You notice a change in the taste, smell, or appearance of the water

What will the water be tested for?

Coliform bacteria are a group of naturally occurring bacteria that are present throughout the environment. The presence of coliform bacteria in your water indicates that a pathway exists that has allowed contamination of the well. The pathway may be caused by surface water run off, structural defects in the well or distribution systems, repairs without proper disinfection, or groundwater contamination.

Nitrogen is an element that occurs naturally in the environment. All sources of nitrogen are sources of nitrate. There is a potential health risk to infants under one year of age and pregnant or nursing mothers when drinking water containing elevated amounts of nitrates. This is because high nitrates can reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and cause "blue baby" syndrome (or methemoglobinemia). Nitrate concentrations exceeding health advisory levels of 10mg/l are generally an indication of contamination from major nitrogen sources such as sewage disposal system, animal manure, or nitrogen fertilizers. Nitrate contamination is more likely to occur in shallow wells or in wells that are poorly located, constructed or maintained.

Can I disinfect or chlorinate my own well?

Perhaps, many times homeowners cause more problems than they solve. But… yes you can. Just dumping a gallon or two of household bleach down your well does not effectively clean, disinfect your well or water supply. Remember … "CHLORINE IS POISON" just look on the label! The concentrations necessary and the placements are the factors you should know. Bleach is highly corrosive. If left in high concentrations on parts and materials inside your well, you will surely destroy the mechanical apparatus or sealing device. You may be pulling your pump in the future that may be ruined by a $1.79 gallon of bleach! Be safe not sorry. Call for advice. We will be glad to help!

How often is my pump supposed to run?

It doesn't hurt your pump to run continuously while using water, as it does to cycle or turn on and off rapidly. Short cycling or a water-logged tank causes the pump to turn on and off excessively. Lets face it, there is so many on and offs a pump can take. A water logged-tank is the single most common reason for pump failure. If your concerned we can coach you over the phone on how to balance, calibrate and adjust your system to maximize efficiency and performance.

What size pump and pressure tank will I need?

Usage will dictate the system needs. The standard size pump is ? HP, which is sufficient for most homes. A larger pump may be needed for higher demands such as more bathrooms, hot tubes or swimming pools, lawn sprinkling and other uses. The pumping system should be set up according to specific usage and the amount of water available in the well.

What kind of warranties can I expect on my well system?

Pumps normally carry a one-year warranty, but do not include lightning damage (5 year extended warranties are available). While most homeowner's polices will cover lightning damage to your pump you still have a deductible to consider. Pressure tanks are usually covered for 5 years. Manufactures do not cover the labor to replace the item. However, we offer special warranties on our installed equipment.