Water – Determining the correct depth of a well


My wife and I are looking to buy our first home and have found some promising prospects. One of the homes we like is in what use to be a rural area. Since this house was in a rural area when it was built, it uses a well and septic instead of the city's water system. Upon further investigation, we learned that 6 other homes share the same well and they all contribute to the maintenance of it. Our concern with the well is its depth. We would hate to buy a home that in may run out of water. How does one determine the correct size and depth of the well needed?

Best Answer

The correct depth of a well probably involves several factors such as soil permeability, the level of the water table, and annual rainfall in the area.

I'd think the easiest way to determine if the well will supply enough water is to ask the neighbors who are already using it. They should be willing to share the information with a potential new neighbor/well-sharer.

  • How much water does each household with access to the well use per month? Check your current utility bills to make sure they line up with the amount of water available. Keep in mind, if you live in an apartment without a dishwasher or clothes washer in the unit, the amount of water you use will go up when moving to a house.
  • Can they remember a dry spell/drought in which they did not have enough water, or had to ration it? If so, how often does this happen? When I was growing up, we lived in a house with a well in the basement, and my mother always had to check the water level before running a load of laundry during the summer.
  • Does anyone who shares the well water their lawn with the well water? Are you planning on watering your lawn?

I'm sure there are more water-usage questions to ask - these were just a few off the top of my head.