Frequent Questions by Homeowners...
- Why do I need a permit for my private well, and where do I get one? State law requires that all new construction of wells have a permit before any work can be started. Your County Health Division can issue you this permit. On the bottom of our Home Page you will find a link.
- Why does my water smell, is this a sign of trouble? Sulfur can occur in ground water in two forms: sulfides and sulfates. Sulfides are naturally in limestone containing organic materials. A “rotten egg” smell coming from your water indicates the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas. Creating an unpleasant odor and taste, sulfides cause corrosion to plumbing and darken water. There are several methods for treating sulfur. Aeration, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, and chlorine (best followed by filtration) are effective against dissolved hydrogen sulfide or gas. A reverse osmosis system, nanofiltration system, or a negative ion-exchanger also can be effective in reducing sulfates. Filtration is necessary in combating sulfur formation as a mineral or in biofilms.
- I see floaties in my water? Total Dissolved SolidsTDS, as it is commonly known, is the concentration of all dissolved minerals in water. It is the direct measurement of the interaction between minerals and ground water.TDS levels above 1000 mg/L will usually yield poor tasting water. Levels above 2000 mg/L are considered undrinkable due to taste, and levels more than 10,000 mg/L are defined as undrinkable. Water softeners with a reverse osmosis system are effective in lowering the TDS to satisfactory levels.
- What is hard water and why do I have it? The Hardness in drinking water is caused by two nontoxic chemical minerals; Calcium and magnesium. Found in ground water that has come in contact with certain rocks and minerals, especially limestone and gypsum. If either of these minerals are present in your water, the water is said to be “hard”. Usually making lather or suds for washing difficult and a film to appear on coffee. Hard water has not been shown to cause health problems, but can be a nuisance as it may cause soap curds and deposits to form on pipes and other plumbing fixtures. Over time this can reduce the diameter of the pipes and plumbing. This could mean your well might require well rehabilition please look on our repair and service page. Otherwise, the installation of a water softener can prevent hard water. People with heart or circulatory problems may want to consult their physician about drinking softened water as the softening process removes calcium and magnesium by adding sodium to the water.
- Why is my water so cloudy? Water often looks cloudy when first taken from a faucet and then it clears up. The cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to the gas bubbles in beer and carbonated soft drinks. After a while, the bubbles rise to the top and are gone.
- When working in the yard is it safe to drink from a garden hose? No, water is safe, but the standard vinyl garden hose is composed of substances to keep it flexible. These chemicals can dissolve and get into the water as it goes through the hose. Bacteria have been known to collect inside hoses especially during warm seasonal months and the outside thread openings at the end of your hose can be covered with germs.
- Why is my water pressure so low and what can I do? Water flows out of taps because of pressure in the water system by the pump. Different pumps have different flow capacities, and the pressure tank in a water system is designed to have extra gallons of water on reserve so small demands don’t require the pump to switch on, like turning on a faucet for a few seconds to get a glass of water. Low pressure can occur when the tank cannot compensate for flow greater than the pump capacity. If there is adequate pressure in the tank, hard water could be causing the decline in pressure, which causes a buildup of scale that can cause increased friction in the pipes and hamper water pressure. This could mean your well might require well rehabilition please look on our repair and service page. Otherwise the three common fixes are:
- Installation of a device called a constant pressure valve can be installed between the pump and the pressure tank. It will automatically adjust flow from the well pump to a preset pressure. It is relatively easy to install and a good, economic solution. However, it does not increase the flow rate greater than that of the pump.
- Installation of an additional pressure tank capacity can be added for high demand of water in excess of the pump’s capacity. Solving the short-term demand, although it will not permanently solve the problem of the shower, dishwasher, washing machine, and other heavy appliances all running at the same time.
- The pump can be replaced with a variable speed pump. Variable speed pumps can run up to two times faster than those with constant speeds. Speed is regulated by the demand for water and a device measures the demand for pressure, and adjusts the pump’s flow rate. Some variable speed pumps have a slow startup, which eliminates power surges and reduces torque on the pump and well piping.
- Can I tell if my drinking water is okay by just looking at it, tasting it, or smelling it? No, chemicals or microbes that could make you sick can't all be seen, tasted, or smelled.
- Will boiling my water help in an emergency? Boiling water is effective in removing certain contaminants, but is not the answer for everything. In fact, boiling water that contains lead and nitrate will increase their concentration and potential risk. It is best to check with a local health department to determine if boiling water is necessary.
- Can lead in household plumbing get into your drinking water? Using the hot water tap to save time when cooking can shortcut your health. Lead can dissolve into hot water from lead pipes and solder. Find out if your pipes are lead, or if lead solder was used to connect the pipes. If so, using cold water is a must, always heat your water on the stove when cooking especially when making baby formula.
- Is it OK to cover the well cap? If you don’t like the look of the exposed casing and well cap sticking out of the lawn you can camouflage it. Manufactured plastic covers designed to look like landscaping boulders,“mock rocks,” and bird baths are lightweight, hollow, and durable to the elements. Don't cover a well head/cap with any permit structure or landscaping.
- Why is my well so rusty? A “rusty” or metallic taste in water is a result of iron/manganese in ground water. Creating bad taste, staining your pipes and destroying your laundry. Naturally occurring and found in ground water coming from contact with minerals that contain iron, such as pyrite. The homeowner can Install a water softener that may help if iron and manganese are present in low quantities. Aeration (the addition of oxygen to the water), chlorination, and feeding ozone or hydrogen peroxide can aid in the precipitation of iron, which it is removed from the water by filtration.
- Does Fleming Well Drilling work on water pits? Usually no, water pits are a potential health risk, as the well in open to contaminates from surface water, animal and insect infestation, and collapse of well walls. Never drink from these sources.
- What is a GeoExchange unit and how does a GeoExchange unit operate? A GeoExchange unit is a heating and cooling system that provides heat in winter and cooling in summer, at efficiencies that are far better than those for alternative systems. Like a conventional heat pump, it is essentially an air conditioner that can also run in reverse to provide heat in the winter. Relying on the nearly constant temperature of the ground or ground water for heat transfer instead of the widely fluctuating temperature of the outside air. Since the temperature of the ground or ground water remains fairly constant throughout the year—ranging from about 45-50 degrees, GeoExchange unit saves energy, cuts electric bills, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and offers lower maintenance and lower hot water costs than conventional heating and cooling systems. By simply transferring thermal energy (heat) from the ground or ground water into the space being conditioned during the winter months and transfers excess heat from the structure back into the ground or ground water in the summer months.
Tips for your consideration...
- Understanding the water supply for your well. Homeowners can speak with neighbors to get an idea of "their general area" in regard to water depth (how deep is their well?), and supply. This could be used in your decision making process.
- Don't allow your pump to turn on and off for long periods of time. Time your water use for long periods at the same time. IE. When doing lawn maintenance, run two or more sprinklers at the same time to cause the pump to stay on continuously (long periods is approx. 30 min.+ the pump is constantly on & off!). Your pump might need to be replaced; stress of over-heating by restarting over & over.
- More water is used in the bathroom than any other place in the home. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth and shave. Install low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucet aerators and you’ll save thousands of gallons of water a year.
- Dripping and running toilets waste. A faucet can waste up to 2,000 gallons of water a year. A leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water a day. Waiting a week to fix a leaky faucet can drip 604,800 drops while you are waiting.
- What’s dumped on the ground, poured down the drain, or tossed in the trash can pollute the sources of our drinking water. Slipping used motor oil into a storm sewer or burying it in the trash can leak into lakes, rivers, and wells. Just one pint of oil can expand over an acre of water. Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint and motor oil far away from your well. Maintain a “clean” zone of at least 50 feet between your well and any kennels or livestock operations. Always maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, or chemical storage areas. Take used motor oil and other automotive fluids to an automotive service center that recycles them. Patronize automotive centers and stores that accept batteries for recycling. Take leftover paint, solvents, and toxic household products to special collection centers.
- 50% - 70% of household water is used outdoors for watering lawns and gardens. Don't watering your lawn when it’s windy or at high noon, the hot sun will evaporate the water your lawn needs. Water early in the day and make the most of the water you use. Turn off your sprinklers when it’s raining. Plant low-water use grasses and shrubs to reduce your lawn watering by 20% - 50%.
- Lawn and garden pesticides and fertilizers can pollute the water. Reduce your use of pesticides and fertilizers and look for safer alternatives to control weeds and bugs. For example, geraniums repel Japanese beetles; garlic and mint repel aphids; and marigolds repel white flies.
Myths you might have heard...Never mind, so they are not true!
- Using too much water will cause your well to go dry. The water table in your area is not going to be affected by your personal use with your private well. A "high-use" well is usually more healthier than a "low-use" well.
- Water Witching...fact or fiction?
Fleming Well Drilling
445 North Ortonville Road ♦ Ortonville, Michigan 48462
Phone: 248-627-3511 ♦ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org