Preventative maintenance is key to groundwater and well water protection. Groundwater Awareness Week, celebrated annually March 6th – March 12th, serves as a yearly reminder to tend, test, and treat private well systems. Inspections and testing of private water systems are imperative to ensure systems are functioning properly to produce safe and healthy water.
What can you do as a private well owner? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Keep in mind the following tips year round to avoid major well maintenance hassles down the road.
Insulate Plumbing: Make sure all plumbing related to your well is covered with effective heat tape and an insulated wrapping. Cover up your filter, pressure tank, PRVs, and any switches to keep them from freezing.
Check Air Seal: Before the snow starts to bury the area where your well house lid meets the ground, it should be properly sealed. You can use mulch or soil to keep any air from escaping or moisture from going inside.
Use Your Water Regularly: It’s important to run water regularly. If the water from your well stands still for an extended period of time, it can freeze and cause bigger problems when temperatures drop further.
Well Maintenance Tips If Not Using Wells
Shut It Down: It’s important to make sure you’ve properly shut the control system down. This includes draining any lines to lessen the risk of any stagnant water freezing and opening all valves.
Use Antifreeze: During the colder months of winter, filling any toilets that are connected to your well water pump’s system with plumber’s antifreeze will help ensure they still work properly when you return in the spring.
Valve Seasonal Maintenance
Check For Repairs: Valves buried directly in the ground or covered by a valve box are insulated from the cold. Make sure any broken, missing, or open box lids are repaired or replaced.
Check Water Supply: The isolation valve that shuts off the water supply to the irrigation system from the main water supply needs to be freeze-proof. In an in-ground system the isolation valve is usually buried in a valve box near the meter and is insulated from the cold.
Check Insultation: An isolation valve can also be found indoors or above ground near the spot where the main water line exits a structure (e.g. basement or garage). If above ground, wrap it with fiberglass pipe insulation wrap or foam insulation wrap, and keep the insulation dry with heavy rubber tape.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Set home thermostats above 55 degrees during cold weather.
- Drip cold water in farthest faucet from your main valve. Moving water keeps pipes from freezing.
- Find shut off valves for emergencies.
- Insulate pipes in unheated areas.
- Open cupboards and vanities to warm pipes.
- Close inside valves that control the water supply.
- Open the outside spigots to allow to drain water out.