Looking for ways to conserve your well water during the summer or a period of drought?
Here, we’ve shared our top 11 well water conservation tips to help you retain your precious water resource.
📌 Key Takeaways:
- Well water conservation is important to preserve a limited water resource, reduce your carbon footprint, and minimize the risk of your well drying out.
- There are many effective and easy ways to conserve well water and extend a well’s lifespan
Table of Contents
🚰 How Much Water Does A Well Use?
The average private well uses 6 to 12 gallons per minute.
In the US, a single person uses between 100 and 120 gallons of water per day. So, assuming that all this water is used at home, and you have a family of four, you’ll use between 400 and 480 gallons of water per day – or between 146,000 and 175,200 gallons of water per year in your home, all of which you’ll likely source from your private well.
The good news is that wells also replenish themselves (at a typical rate of 5 gallons per minute). However, there are several factors that affect the rate at which a well refills, and some wells may take longer to replenish their water supplies than others.
🤔 Why Is Well Water Conservation Important?
It’s no secret that we use a lot of water at home in the US.
In fact, the EPA predicts that the average family of four can use 400 gallons of water every day, and, on average, with just under three-quarters of this water being used indoors.
If you’re used to using a lot of water and you own a private well, you might be ill-prepared for a period of drought or a dry summer.
Wells are replenished gradually throughout the year. But if you use more water than the well is replenished with during dry spells, you put pressure on your well and increase the risk of the well running dry.
Thankfully, if you have a deep well that’s suitably sized for your home, the chances that your well will completely dry out are slim. However, conserving your well water is still a good idea to avoid the potential stress of dealing with a rapidly depleting well supply.
✅ 11 Tips For Well Water Conservation
Read on to learn the 11 best ways to conserve your well water when conditions are dry.
Tip 1: Repair Dripping Faucets
Leaks can contribute to nearly 10,000 gallons of water waste in the average household every year.
So, an effective way to conserve water in your well is to fix any dripping faucets that you find around your home. You’ll reduce your water usage without cutting down on the water you’re actually using for specific purposes.
Be sure to also check your toilets, pipes, and other plumbing fixtures and connections that might be leaking without you knowing.
Tip 2: Use Other Water Sources
Whenever possible, use other water sources to give your well a break.
For instance, you can capture and store rainwater in large containers over the rainier seasons, then use this water to water your plants, clean, bathe, and even drink (as long as you install a water treatment system to make the water potable).
You’ll be making use of another free, natural resource, without putting as much pressure on your well, helping to conserve the water in the aquifer.
Tip 3: Switch To Water-Saving Fixtures
Another easy way to conserve your well water is to switch your existing fixtures to water-saving alternatives.
You can buy faucets and showerheads that have a lower maximum flow rate than conventional fixtures, limiting the volume of water that leaves the fixture per minute.
You probably won’t notice that you’re showering or washing in a smaller water volume, but your well will benefit from the reduced flow rate. This easy switch could help you to conserve tens of gallons of water in your well per day.
Tip 4: Ditch The Irrigation
Watering your lawn with a popup lawn irrigation system uses about 16 gallons of water per minute. You might want to keep your lawn alive – but is it really worth it at the expense of potentially losing access to a reliable groundwater source?
A simple way to conserve your well supply is to ditch the irrigation and water your garden manually, only when necessary.
Irrigation often uses more water than your garden actually needs. Watering your garden manually allows you to see exactly how much water is going where, so you can stop when your plants are fed.
Also consider adding mulch to the soil around your plants, which will help to retain soil moisture and reduce watering frequency.
Tip 5: Identify & Fix Well Leaks
Poor well construction, general wear and tear, defective casing seams, lightning strikes, and natural disasters can all cause cracks and corrosion in your well that result in a leak.
It’s not always immediately obvious that a well is leaking. That’s why it’s important to get your well inspected annually and act on any problems that are identified as soon as possible.
Don’t wait until a leak springs before you do something about it. Preventative maintenance can help you to avoid leaks from your well in the majority of cases.
Tip 6: Check Your Well Pump
Leaks can also come from your well pump. A bad seal or another design flaw could cause water to leak out of the pump, reducing the yield.
Your well contractor should inspect your well pump during their annual inspection of your well. If an issue with the pump is causing it to lose water, make sure to resolve it as quickly as possible.
Tip 7: Don’t Leave Water Running
You can conserve your well water without having to drastically reduce the water that you genuinely need for various purposes in your home.
One of the best ways to do this is to switch off the water when you’re not using it. So, don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth, don’t leave the shower on while you’re using a hair mask or conditioning treatment, and wash your dishes in a bowl of water rather than letting water run down the drain.
These simple hacks will help you to reduce the water required from your well without having a detrimental effect on your water using habits.
Tip 8: Use Water-Efficient Appliances
Old dishwashers, washing machines, and other water-using appliances use more water than they need to get the job done.
Many modern appliances are water-efficient, meaning that they use less water while offering a comparable performance to their less efficient counterparts.
This method requires no work from you (except for buying and installing the new appliances). You can save water and conserve your well supply by switching to water-efficient appliances.
Tip 9: Reuse Water When Possible
A lot of the water that we use in our homes can technically be reused, but most of us don’t think to capture this water before it’s drained away.
For instance, shower water or washing up water is fine to use for irrigation purposes outdoors. Catch this water in a bucket and use it when you need it. It’ll save you from having to use newly-pumped, fresh well water outdoors when you don’t need to.
Tip 10: Limit Toilet Flushing And Bathing
The average American flushes the toilet 5 times per day. Now imagine that in a four-person household – it’s a lot of water wasted every day.
Showering and bathing also uses water. According to the EPA, the average shower uses 16 gallons of water, just for a single person!
Of course, we’re not advising that you don’t flush or shower when you need to, but try to limit both of these activities. Take 2-minute power showers and only flush when there’s something worth flushing. This should reduce your daily water use and help to conserve your well supply.
Tip 11: Get The Family Involved
It’s all very well being vigilant about conserving your well water yourself – but if you have multiple people in your household, your actions alone won’t make the world of a difference.
Educate your children and other family members on the importance of conserving water and share the tips in this guide with them.
There are plenty of ways to make many of these tips into a fun activity for kids, like showering for the duration of their favorite song, making a DIY rainwater collection system, or putting on your detective coats and inspecting your home for leaks.
📉 What’s The Average Lifespan Of A Well?
Even if you do everything you can to conserve water in your well, there will eventually reach a point where the well reaches the end of its lifespan.
The average lifespan of a well is 30-50 years. After this, the yield may decline as a result of sediment or mineral buildup.
The good news is that a dry well probably won’t stay that way forever – or it might not have dried out, even if the well pump isn’t drawing water.
You might be able to simply lower the well pump to access more water, or the well may gradually replenish, causing the water levels to rise over time. Deep wells are less likely to run dry than shallow wells.
🔚 Final Word
There are plenty of simple yet effective ways to conserve water in a private well.
Overall, it comes down to being mindful of your water usage. Fix leaks, don’t leave taps or showers running if you’re not actively using the water, and avoid situations where you’ll use more water than needed (such as in irrigation systems).