How Long Does it take for a Water Well to Refill?

Nature has blessed us with so many great things. One of them is water. Without water, life would not have been possible. Water wells are a common source of drinking and irrigational water across the world. Some 13 million households rely on well water to meet their daily water needs. When we use water from a well aggressively, the water level in it is depleted, and it takes some time for a water well to refill.

In this article, we will discuss how much time a water well typically takes to refill. We will also put light on other factors that may influence the refilling speed.

How long does it take for a Water Well to Refill?

If a water well has been constructed properly, it usually refills itself in 24 hours. The two things which dominate the refilling rate are geological properties of the area and water demands. If there is enough water underneath and the well has been constructed keeping in mind the needs of the people using it, it will not be overburdened and will refill within 24 hours or may take less time. The geological information helps in selecting the place properly with good water potential. The knowledge about water demands will enable you to decide the right depth and diameter for the well.

Other Factors which impact the Refilling Rate

Water Demands – Once the well has been built, the water withdrawn from the well will impact the refilling rate. If your well is small and you pump a large volume of water, it will push the static level further down than anticipated during the construction phase. This lowered level will need more time to come to the regular level.

Underground Water Level – The level of water in the aquifer from which your well is getting water also impacts the refill rate. If you have tapped a reservoir with less water potential, it will take more time to refill. The size of the fracture on the surface of the rock also determines the speed at which water is coming out from it. Wells with a large rock and big fracture size refill pretty quickly.

water levels and aquifer

Aquifer Formation – The thickness of the aquifer formation, its hydro-conductivity, specific yield, and storage capacity also impact the time your well takes to refill.

Depth of the Well – The depth of the well is also a critical factor in deciding the refill rate. It has been observed that the depth of the well relative to the depth of the water table affects the refilling rate. You must dig your well at least 40-50 feet below the water table, so you never have to face a slow refilling or recovery rate.

Well Screen – A well screen is placed below the well casing. It is installed to trap sediment and allow water to enter your well. Over time, the well screen can get clogged due to sediment deposits. The best way to ensure that the refill rate is not affected due to a clogged well screen is to get your well inspected annually by well professionals. The driller will do a video inspection and highlight all the problems inside your well.

slimes buildup in well water

Slime Buildup – If there is bacteria slime build-up at the aquifer’s opening or well screen, it can also decrease the refill rate. Slime will stop the flow of water and also alter the chemical properties of water. It may alter the taste and give it a reddish color. Slime can be avoided by getting your water tested regularly and opting for the right treatment.

Environmental Factors – Environmental factors like drought, less rainfall, and high temperature also affect the well refilling rate. Though their impact is very slow and may show after 8-10 years, they play a major role in deciding the well refilling rate.

Number of Wells on a Single Underground Source – If your neighbors are also using the same aquifer to get water from it, the refilling rate will be less. This is because a single water source will be supplying water to a large number of wells. It will not only decrease the refill rate, but it will also reduce the flow rate.

Final Words

It isn’t easy to calculate the exact refilling rate for a well. A lot of factors are in play here. If you want to get a fast refilling well, you must gather ground knowledge in detail and estimate your water usage, add a few gallons in it, and then decide the well’s depth and diameter. If you plan to construct a new well or do modifications to the existing one, make sure you follow all the state regulations and hire licensed well drillers.

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