Water security for homes during drought conditions

Drought Conditions–Do You Know Your Water Well?

Drought conditions already exist across much of the U.S.

More than 15% of U.S. homes are on private water wells—almost 45 million people. Water wells are often the sole source of drinking water and for other household needs for most people.

At Constant Water, we talk a lot about water wells. Most of our customers purchase Constant Water systems as an assured source of potable emergency water during “water out events.” These are events such as power outages, electrical or mechanical failure in the home, or flooding/tidal surges that can temporarily contaminate private wells or their water sources.

We Take Our Water for Granted

Most people never give their water wells a moments thought. Water seems to never run out and it’s always clean and cold. Yum!! But, current weather conditions and events should cause most well users to learn more about their water wells than they ever knew before.

It’s not uncommon for us to read or hear news reports about water restrictions somewhere in the country. Mostly, these restrictions occur out west where severe drought conditions have existed for some time and are even greater today. Recently, Los Angeles limited outdoor water for some 6 million people to to one day a week.

A directive for drought conditions like this has never before occurred in the LA area. Most of us don’t give this much thought. Los Angeles is a crowded metropolis that uses a tremendous amount of water. But, we should give it a great deal of thought because it highlights a symptom of a real and growing problem that can affect homeowners across the country.

Drought Conditions are Spreading

Drought conditions spreading across the U.S.
Drought conditions are spreading across the U.S. early

Over the past several years, drought conditions spread over a growing part of the U.S. Even before the normal warm weather season, when we see drying conditions, much of the U.S. is already in long-term extreme drought conditions. And the both the spread and the severity of the drought conditions are increasing across the country. Drought conditions don’t only impact metropolitan areas like Los Angeles. Drought conditions can also impact private water well users.

Water Well Numbers to Know

When they drilled your well, it likely came with a report detailing how the depth of the well, the size of the bore hole , the type of pipe installed, etc. It also likely states the flow rate of the well and the static level of the water. Flow rate shows how much water (in gallons per minute) flows into the well after you draw water from the well. The static level of water in the well says how deep is the water from the bottom of the well to the top of the water–the water column. The original report tells you the numbers when they drilled you well. You , or your preferred plumbing professional, can determine the current numbers. Drought conditions may impact these numbers. You should know these numbers for your water well.

As an example, you have two faucets and a shower running simultaneously in your home. You are probably using close to 6 gallons per minute. How long can you do this until you run out of water? It depends on the numbers we discussed above—the availability of water in your well (static level) and how fast it replenishes (flow rate). In drought conditions, both numbers can drop and you may find yourself without water when you need it most.

Constant Water Systems in Low Flow or Low Water Conditions

Many of our Constant Water customers find they run out of water during high demand periods of the day. These high demand periods often occur from 6 AM to 9 AM and 6 PM to 9 PM. During these high demand times, they operate their Constant Water systems on a timer. In the past, running out of water only occurred in the driest months of the year. For many, water outages occur much more often and earlier. Drought conditions, or natural changes in the aquifers under their homes, may cause the problem.

The times and the weather are changing. Learn more about your water well, and better prepare for changing climate conditions that may impact your water well.

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