Frequently Asked Questions

Well Production Tests

Q. What is a Well Production Test?
A. A process that thoroughly checks static water level and gallons per minute; monitors
pumping level and calculates water draw down and recovery; includes inspection of all
above-ground equipment.

Q. Why should I have a Well Production Test?
A. So you will know that you have enough water for your personal and irrigation needs,
and know that all equipment is functional.

Q. Do you have weekend appointments?
A. Yes, we make appointments seven days a week.

Q. How do you check gallons per minute?
A. Gallons per minute (gpm) are measured with a Flow Meter.

Q. How do you know where the water level is?
A. With an Electric Well Sounder to determine water level.

Q. How do you measure depth of well?
A. With a tape measure, through an access port in well seal.

Q. How long do you pump a well?
A. Standard pumping time is two hours. Four hours in water scarce areas and minimum of
eight hours for County Certification.

Water Samples

Q. How do I know if my water is safe to drink?
A. We can take samples and arrange to have them tested by a certified laboratory.

Q. Why is taking water samples important?
A. Understanding and spotting possible pollution sources is important. It is the first step to
safeguarding your drinking water for you and your family. Having a certified laboratory
analyze the water will identify if harmful contaminants are present.

Q. Where do groundwater pollutants come from?
A. Some threats come from nature. Naturally occurring contaminants however, can present a health risk. Other potential sources come from past or present human activity, such as mining, farming and using chemicals.

Q. What should I test my water for?
A. Well water should be tested for bacteria, coliform / E. coli, metals and inorganics (ie.
arsenic, nitrates) as recommended by Sonoma County Environmental Health Division.

Contaminated Well

Q. How do wells become contaminated?
A. In addition to natural substances, groundwater is often polluted by human activities
generating contaminants. Also, a faulty well seal, rusted out steel casing, cracks in
slab around casing, missing well seal access plug.

Q. What causes Coliform / E-coli to enter a well?
A. Some of the common causes include improperly sealed well heads, well heads below
grade, openings in casings, wells located too close to septic systems, and nearby wells that
have not been properly abandoned.

Q. What is the cause of Nitrates?
A. Typically, nitrates come from agricultural operations and septic systems..

Q. What is the cause of Arsenic?
A. Arsenic can occur naturally in the aquifer, nearby industrial operations can also be a contributor.

Q. How do you treat for Nitrates and Arsenic in well water?
A. Reverse Osmosis is a filtration technology that is quite effective in removing both of these contaminants. We can recommend local water treatment professionals that can help you.

Q. What are some signs of a contaminated well?
A. There are numerous symptoms of contamination that you can see, taste or smell. Click Here for a list of noticeable problems, published by United States Environmental Protection Agency. However, many serious problems can only be found by testing your water. Knowing the possible threats in your area will help you decide on the kind of tests you need.

Treating A Contaminated Well

Q. How do I treat a well contaminated with Coliform bacteria?
A. A well chlorination (shocking) can be effective in eliminating bacterial presence, but the effects may only be temporary. Filters can be installed that will provide a more reliable solution to bacterial presence.

Q. How do you shock a well?
A. Because each well is uniquely different, we would recommend calling a professional.

Protecting Your Water

Q. How often should I have my water tested?
A. Sonoma County Environmental Health recommends, at least once a year for
Bacterial. Nitrates & Metals at least once every 5 years.

Q. How can I protect my water?
A. Inspect exposed parts of well for damage, missing plugs, and cracks. Avoid mixing
or storing chemicals or fertilizer near well. Never pour toxic chemicals down
household drains.

Q. Can most water contamination be treated?
A. Yes. Call us we can recommend a number of contractors in the area.

Q. Who can help me?
A. A licensed Water Well Contractor or Pump Company, Sonoma County Permit and
Resource Management Dept. (PRMD), Sonoma County Dept. of Health Services-
Environmental Health Division.

Q. Are there instructions for disinfecting my well?
A. Yes click here for a PDF file from Sonoma County Environmental Health

Q. Do you have any information on water quality?
A. Yes click here for a PDF file on Understanding Water Quality

Q. Are there well water test packages?
A. Click here for a PDF file from Analytical Sciences

Q. Is there additional Info available from Sonma County for Water Qualtiy and Water Wells?
A. Click here for link: Sonoma County Environmental Health Division


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