The recovery time of the well is defined as the time required for a well to stabilize at the static water level after the pumping has been stopped. The recovery rate may vary from one well to another well. Some wells may recover within an hour, others may need more time.
What is the Static Water Level?
When a well has not been pumped for at least 12 hours, the water level in the well is called static water level. It is the normal and undisturbed water level in the well. Read more about it.
What is Flow Rate?
Flow rate is the volume of water that your pump can withdraw from the well. It depends on the water level and the pump power. Flow rate is measured in gallons per hour or gallons per minute.
Factors which Affect the Well Recovery Rate
The following factors affect the well recovery rate.
Pumping Duration – Pumping duration negatively impacts the well recovery rate. When you pump more water from a well, its static level goes down further than normal, and it takes more time to reach its static level.
Pumping Rate – The rate at which the water is pumped from the well also impacts the recovery rate. When you are pumping the water at faster speeds even for less time, it will negatively impact the well recovery rate.
Aquifer and Well Properties – The nature of the aquifer from which the well is getting water matters a lot. If it has a large water potential, your well’s recovery rate will be faster. Similarly, the depth of the well also influences the recovery rate. If the well is properly built and deep enough to tap a huge water potential, it will recover quickly.
Environmental Factors – Environmental factors also affect the recovery rate. If your area is facing drought, less rainfall, and high temperature, the underground water volume will decrease steadily. It will, in turn, lead to a slow recovery rate.
Number of Wells on a Single Underground Source – If your neighbors are getting water from the same aquifer or rock as you are, all of the wells will likely experience a slow recovery rate. The reason is that a single water source will be supplying water to more than one well, and it will create a slow recovery rate and flow rate problems.
Slime Buildup – Slime buildup from mineral deposits and iron bacteria can also decrease the well recovery rate. When deposits are formed on the openings of the rock and aquifer supplying water to your well, recovery rate decreases, and well yield reduces.
Clogged Well Screen – A clogged screen may also be the reason behind the slow recovery rate. It is possible that sediment deposits on the well screen will not allow water to enter the well at a faster rate despite the underground source having a large water potential.
How to Improve the Well Recovery Rate?
Increasing the well recovery rate is a part of the well rehabilitation program. To increase the recovery rate, the following techniques can be used.
Water Conservation – You must start from the basics. Try water conservation, limit the use of water, and reduce the pump power and pumping time. Don’t put too much stress on your well at one single time. Run your well pump with intervals so that the water level does not get too low. It will reduce the time taken for the water to get below the static level.
Well Inspection – If the recovery rate is low due to a blocked well screen, a new well screen will do the work for you. It will increase the recovery rate by allowing more water to pass through it.
Chemical Cleaning Methods – To remove the slime deposits in the well and on the underground rocks, chemical cleaning is used. Acidic solutions are introduced in the well; they remove the deposits at the base of the well, and are then pumped out from the well. Similarly, chlorine is also used to remove iron bacteria buildup on the rock surface. Chlorine is also used to disinfect the well.
Hydrofracking –Hydrofracking is a technique used to remove sediment and open adjacent rocks to obtain more water for your well. The sediment will gather at the bottom of the well and reduce the well replenishment rate. Hydrofracking uses a high-pressure water stream. It is immersed in the well and helps in removing sediment and opening adjacent rocks for a faster recovery rate,
Deepening the Well – Another way to increase the recovery rate is to deepen the well. It is possible that the water level has depleted, and your well takes a lot of time to recover after pumping.
Relocating the Well – The last solution is relocating the well. A new well will help you tap a new and probably filled source of an underground source of water. A new well must be your last strategy, as it is costly. If you plan to drill a new well, make sure you do it according to the state regulations and ensure that the old well is properly plugged.