Heavy rainfall events are becoming more and more common, triggering devastating flooding. Hurricanes and strong thunderstorms have dumped massive amounts of rain on many parts of the U.S. recently, and experts fear it's getting worse.
If you're a well owner, you need to be prepared to deal with keeping your well safe before, during, and after flood and storm events.
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
When a storm is imminent, take some time to protect your wellhead and pump if they're exposed to the elements. Covering or securing them can help protect them from any flying debris. If you don't have a surge suppressor on your pump, now is a good time to add one. Power surges during and after storms can damage a well's electrical components. Also, it's a good idea to fill your tub and sinks with water before the storm - if you lose power this water can be used to wash hands and flush toilets - as well as stock up on bottled water for drinking.
2. Ride Out the Storm
If your well loses power during the storm, make sure you turn off the pump at the circuit breaker and leave it off through the duration of the storm. Power outages can result in spikes/surges which can damage the well's components. Stay away from the well during the storm to avoid electrical shock.
3. After the Rain
If you didn't have any flooding, examine your well equipment for damage. If you see any damage, contact a professional before you attempt to turn on or operate the pump.
If your property has flooding, you'll want to be extra cautious. Do not turn on the power! Don't go near it for your safety and to avoid electrical shock. Wait until the water has receded before you approach the well. Don't drink the water or use it for cooking or washing - use an alternative source like bottled water. Get in touch with a qualified water well contractor or pump installer to get your well up and going.
Adapted from Wellowner.org's Hurricane/Flooding Resources