The dry season is the most stressful time for millions of Americans relying on well water. During such periods, they find their well has low water levels, poor quality and the well itself may need maintenance. Now, if you are part of this group and have been looking for solutions, we have got you covered. Today, we will take you through everything you need to know about protecting well water in a drought.

Do private wells dry up?

The simple answer is yes; private wells do dry up. There are quite a number of reasons for this and one of them is the over-reliance on well water for various activities. The physical conditions of the aquifer are also said to be behind this. We shall discuss these reasons in great detail in the next section.

What would cause a well to dry up?

Below are some reasons why a well would dry up;

1.      Drought

Water drawn from aquifers, the well water source, comes from precipitation forms such as rain and melting snow. Now, during dry spells, precipitation does not occur. This then means that the aquifer does not get water. As such, the well becomes dry.

2.      Human activities that result in heavy usage of water

Human activities like farming that require a lot of groundwater often make a well run dry. Here is how it happens. A well works by releasing water from the aquifer into the drilled hole at a certain rate. When there is a huge water demand, water is pumped out at a very high rate. If this drawing rate is faster than the replenishment rate, the well dries out.

Do wells dry out in drought?

Wells do dry out in the drought. However, the severity of the situation is determined by the well’s depth. Shallow wells tend to dry out at the beginning of the dry season. In contrast, it will take a bit more severity and time for deep wells to give in to drought.

Can a drought affect my well water?

Not only is water yield affected by the dry season, but also its quality. In essence, as you draw water, you may find that it comes out with sediments, making it unfit for use. Additionally, drought affects the concentration of chemical compounds in water. As a result, the water quality is lowered significantly.

How do I protect my private well?

The dry season comes with its complications. That is why well owners should put measures in place to protect their wells. Here are a few methods you can use to safeguard your private water well;

1.      Installing an animal-proof perimeter wall

The heat of the dry season often makes small animals like rats crawl into wells to quench their thirst. Now since many wells are dug deep, these animals end up drowning. As a result, their rotting carcasses contaminate your water. That is why you need to ensure the well’s perimeter is correctly secured against small animals. You can do this by building a small brick wall around it. You can also equip your well with an animal-proof lid and lock it with a padlock.

2.      Build a trench around the well to direct surface runoff away from its mouth

It sounds ironic protecting your well against surface runoff in the middle of a dry season, right? Well, it is important to do so, especially if you live in a semi-arid area. This is because such areas are prone to flash flooding towards the end of the dry season. Now, if the floodwater finds its way into your well, it may contaminate it. That is why having a trench around the well is vital as it will direct this water away from its mouth. As a result, your well water’s quality will be safeguarded.

3.      Keep chemicals, and home septic wastes away from the well

Experts advise that farm chemicals should be at least 100 feet away from the well. This prevents them from accidentally trickling down into the well and contaminating it. Things like septic tanks and home effluents should also be kept very far from your water well.

What would someone do to maintain his well during a drought?

The following tips will help you manage your well better during dry seasons.

1.      Test the water

Contact an expert to test your well’s water for any contamination. If any are found, develop a plan on how you will clean the well.

2.      Monitor the water level to protect the pump

Keep a keen eye on water levels to protect your pump from overheating when drawing in air instead of water. You can do this by observing water from fixtures. If the water comes out with bubbles, sediment, or is dirty; the water table is very low. At this point, it is crucial to recruit pump removal plans.

3.      Work with neighbors to determine how you will use water in your area

Most of the time, neighboring wells are connected to the same aquifer. Therefore, if there is a water shortage, you will all be affected. Teaming together may help you conserve the precious resource better. You can start by determining your water usage needs. Once that is done, you can distribute heavy water usage needs across different days of the week. For example, let one of the neighbors do laundry on Monday, the next on Tuesday, and so on. This is because, if you all do laundry, a task that requires a lot of water, on the same day, repeatedly, the well will dry out quickly.

4.      Take full advantage of the rainy season.

If your well is prone to drying out, buy a tank to store water during the rainy season. You can use the stored water at the peak of the dry season to offset the well from drying out.


Protecting your well during dry seasons guarantees a fresh and clean water supply.   It is also super important to do annual maintanence on your well and maintenance on your well pump to ensure it lasts a long time. You can achieve that by incorporating the pointers listed above. A few examples include; testing well water for contaminants and storing water during the rainy season. Inviting experts to help you with this is also an impeccable idea. Speaking of experts, we at Ewbank Drilling are always here to help. If you need to consult professionals on well-protection methods, we are here for you. Not just that, if you need any other well-related assistance, whether it is drilling or getting supplies, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us via email or phone, and our team will tend to your needs.