Picking a Water Well Contractor

You have reached a milestone in you life. You have decided to build a home. You have picked out the contractor to do the construction and an excavator to dig the foundation, dig all the trenches and install the septic system. You will also need to pick a well drilling contractor. How can you be sure that you will pick a reputable well drilling contractor, who will provide you with our most precious resource, “water”? Your best bet may be to talk to family and friends and find out who drilled their wells and are they satisfied. Did the well driller explain the process of well construction? Did he offer options such as grouting? Did they receive the well log? Was the contractor responsive to their questions and needs?

A well is an investment, which you expect to last a lifetime. It is important that your well drilling contractor uses quality materials and standard industry construction practices. It is also imperative that the contractor has proper insurance coverage. You can and should request a copy of the liability insurance coverage that they have.

There are several organizations, which were specifically formed to insure that the water well industry has standard construction practices and voluntary minimum standards. They are the National Groundwater Association and the Pennsylvania Groundwater Association. Is the contractor affiliated with these organizations? Does he have certified well drillers through the National Groundwater Organization? Are the drilling crews properly trained with OSHA safety training?

It is also imperative to check the drilling equipment for proper maintenance. Is the equipment leaking oil while it is in use? All mechanical equipment is subject to breakdowns, however, it is important that the equipment be properly maintained. Keep in mind that a drilling rig can cost between a half million and ¾ of a million dollars new. They get into very tight locations and have a tendency to be banged up, dented and scratched up with rust showing. This is not a sign of poor maintenance. Oil leaks are a sign.

If the well driller is installing the pump, is he using quality materials? Is the pump properly sized to your well yield and static water level? Is he willing to come back and check your water for nuisance problems like, iron, Ph and hardness as well as taking a sample to check for coliform bacteria. Does he offer water treatment equipment to solve these problems?

The bottom line is that it is important to have a basic understanding of a water well so that you can be assured that you will end up with a water source that will provide years of good service. As the owner of a private water well, you are the owner and operator of your own private water company. In a future article, I will be explaining well construction and it’s importance in insuring potable water and avoiding ground water contamination.