Schedule Your Annual Water Well Inspection


Routine inspection of a water well system can help ensure it is operating properly, prolong its useful life, and protect your investment. Most importantly, inspections can protect your health by discovering issues that could result in water quality problems presenting a health risk.

Wells should be evaluated annually by a licensed or certified water well systems professional. In between annual inspections, well owners should look for signs that a professional should be called sooner.

Visual inspection: Wellhead
Well owners should regularly examine the area above the ground surface over the well. If any of the following issues are discovered, a professional should be contacted to investigate:

  • Casing (pipe protruding from the ground)—Check the general condition and check if the casing extends at least 12 inches above ground.
  • Well cap (cap on top of casing)—Check the condition of the cap and any seals, make sure that it is securely attached.
  • Electrical conduit (if present)—Visually verify that all connections are secure.
  • In a survey of the area around the well:

    Check for potential sources of contamination and physical dangers, and:

    • Remove chemicals such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, or motor oil
    • Maintain at least 50 feet between the well and any kennels, pastures, feeding areas, or livestock operations
    • Ensure a proper distance is maintained from buildings, waste systems, or chemical storage areas (including fuel tanks)—a water well systems professional should know local codes and requirements
    Be sure the ground surrounding the wellhead is sloping away from the well to divert surface runoff
    If there is no concrete pad surrounding the well casing, contact your local health department to determine if one should be installed by a water well systems professional
    If the well is equipped with a vented well cap, make sure the vent is free of debris and able to keep insects and animals out
    Any growth vegetation with root systems within 10 feet of the well should be physically removed
    If your well is located in a low-lying area prone to flooding, consider having a water well systems professional raise the casing to at least 12 inches above the historic record flood level—or construct a new well outside the flood-prone area. 

Well system components and other equipment
Well owners also can visually inspect well system components away from the wellhead, again contacting a water well systems professional if any issues are discovered. Note the condition of:

  • Any above-ground pumping equipment. Ensure motors are properly cooled and vented (do not close them in and block air flow), check for shaft seal leaks, and rust or other signs of weakened fittings
  • Above-ground well system wiring and parts such as pipes, connections, joint seals, gauges, pressure relief valves, and the water meter (if present)
    √ Signs of corrosion or breakages
    √ Any odor of burned connections or wiring
  • Above- and below-ground storage tanks
  • The electrical control box and connections
  • Water softeners and conditioners, and maintain them according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Filtration equipment. Be sure filters have been maintained and replaced or recharged as required by the manufacturer and the quality of the incoming water.

Other reasons to get a well inspection
The following are other indicators of when a water well systems professional should be called to evaluate the condition of your well:

  • Anytime the well has to be opened up (cap or well seal removed)
  • If you experience taste or odor problems
  • If you experience turbidity—cloudiness of water caused by presence of suspended matter
  • If there is a loss of capacity or pressure—the well is not producing as much water as before, the pressure drops and surges, or the pump cycles on and off frequently
  • If a test is positive for total coliforms, anaerobic bacteria, or any positive test results indicating a potential health concern. Contact a professional or your local or state regulatory agency if you experience any positive test results or believe your well has been contaminated. A water well systems professional should be hired to thoroughly clean and disinfect any well that has had a positive “anaerobic” bacterial test result, which should include removal of pumping equipment and evacuation of the well to its bottom to be sure of maximum removal of anaerobic growth.