BC Water Well
Drilling FAQ for 2023
Water Well Consumer Awareness Guide & Regulations
Water Well Consumer Awareness Guide & Regulations
Fraser Valley Well Drilling | Vancouver Well Drilling | Vancouver Island Well Drilling | Gulf Islands Well Drilling | Cariboo Well Drilling
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Salt Spring Island Well Drilling | Kamloops Well Drilling | British Columbia Water Finder | Okanagan Well Drilling
Water Well FAQ for BC
What Is An Aquifer?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #3 - An aquifer is a body or rock that contains a usable supply of water. Groundwater can be extracted using a water well. Hydro-geology studies the flow of water and it characterizes aquifers.
What Are The Approximate Costs of Well Drilling in BC?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #4 - The cost of drilling for water in British Columbia has increased substantially over the past couple of years, in 2023 water well drilling costs are now the highest the BC well drilling industry has ever seen for new drilled water wells.
Drilling a water well in BC, will will cost anywhere from $10,000 on the low-end and upwards to $30,000 or more in 2023
How Long Does It Take To Drill A 300 Foot Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #5 - Most water wells can be drilled in one to two days once a drilling rig is set-up on the well drilling site. Winter may be a good time of the year to drill for water as the wait times are greatly reduced but not all properties are accessible by the well drilling equipment because of the wet and often soft ground.
As we move into the summer months most well drilling rigs are busy and longer wait times to drill for water is not uncommon in British Columbia.
Where Should I Locate a Water Well When Drilling?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #6 - The well drilling contractor will conduct a site visit with a property owner to help determine the best possible drilling site. It's recommended to consult an expert who specializes in siting water wells when drilling for water to avoid drilling a dry hole
Should I Have My Water Tested in BC?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #7 - If you own a private water system or water well and if the quality of your water concerns your health and the health of your family, you need to be aware of some important details about water testing and water quality.
If your water comes from a private system whether it's a drilled well or shallow water well it's important that it's tested by a certified water testing laboratory to verify that the water is safe for you and your family to use for domestic purposes, such as drinking, cooking, washing of food, bathing and pets.
How is Water Quality Tested in British Columbia?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #8 - The water well should be regularly tested in order to maintain a safe source. By doing so, the water is protected from potential contamination. It is also essential to test the water quality with respect to is future use, such as drinking water, livestock, watering, etc. Water Test Kits for British Columbia.
What Water Tests Should Be Carried Out?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #9 - A variety of tests can be carried out to test the quality of the water, such as coliform bacteria, nitrates, pH, sodium, chloride, fluoride, sulphate, iron, manganese, total dissolved solids, nitrate, sodium, chloride, sulphate, iron, and manganese can impart objectionable taste or odor to water, sulfate and fluoride.
Water Well Setbacks For British Columbia
Horizontal setbacks for new water supply wells for British Columbia:
To safeguard the quality and quantity of the groundwater resource in British Columbia, new water supply wells used to supply water for domestic purposes must be sited at least the following distances from existing features.
– the owner of the proposed well also owns the existing water supply well and only one well is proposed to be drilled, or
– it is not practicable to do so. In this case, a professional with competency in hydrogeology can prepare alternative specifications for the siting of the new well, so that the existing uses of the existing water supply well will not be adversely affected.
These alternative specifications must be submitted to and accepted by a BC Engineer.
To safeguard public health and groundwater quality, the discharge area of a new sewerage system or storm water infiltration system must be sited at least the following distances from an existing water supply well:
Setbacks marked with an asterisk (*) may be reduced following consultation with a professional with competency in hydrogeology and/or a local regulatory authority. In these cases, refer to the corresponding regulations and/or guidelines, as special conditions may apply.
It is recommended that the professional consult with the appropriate regulatory authority before a hydrogeological study is initiated. For setbacks from sewerage systems under the SSR, refer to APEGBC’s Professional Practice Guidelines for Onsite Sewerage Systems.
How Is The Amount Of Water A Well Produces Calculated?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #1o - If you know the depth of the well, the level of the water and pump depth, the water storage capacity can be calculated.
The flow rate can be obtained via a flow rate test. The flow is the amount of water that is obtained from the well. The flow rate is the speed at which the flow is coming, generally measured in gallons per minute. The average household needs 100 to 120 gallons per person per day, and a flow rate of about 6 to 12 gallons per minute.
How Is A Water Well Protected From Contamination?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #11 -The most important action is to regularly test the water. Additionally, the water supply should be protected by managing activities near the water source. For households using a domestic well, this includes keeping contaminants away from sinkholes and the well itself, among others.
What Are The Main Components Of A Water Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #12 - The main components of water well are:
- Well Head. The head is generally made of steel pipe or plastic PVC and it has a cap which helps keeping the debris away from the well.
- Well Casing. The casing system allows the water to flow from the aquifer and reach the pump which is located inside the casing.
- Well Pump. A water well pump is required to pump the water from the well to the surface. Generally, electric pumps are used.
What Is The Required Site Clean-up After Drilling A Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #13 -All materials are required to be discharged after drilling. These cuttings can be collected in a container to then be sucked by a vacuum truck or removed from the drilling site.
What Is The Riser Made Of?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #14 - The riser is a steel pipe which is attached to the top of the well screen allowing the casing to be pulled back above the screen to optimize the well screen exposure and water flow.
What Is The Purpose Of Well Identification?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #15 - According to the Government of British Columbia website, attaching a well identification plate to a well helps distinguish one well from another in the field, and allows verification of the well to the well record. Section 74 of the Water Act and section 8 of the Ground Water Protection Regulation require a well identification plate to be attached to certain types of wells.
Is A Well Identification Plate Required For All Wells?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #16 - According to the Government of British Columbia website, it is not. Two factors determine if a well identification plate is needed: the type of well, and the date the well was constructed or altered.
If the well is one of the following three types and is constructed on or after November 1, 2005 (i.e., a “ new well”), a well identification plate must be attached immediately after drilling is completed:
(a) Water supply well;
(b) Recharge or injection well made by drilling; or
(c) Permanent vertical de-watering well made by drilling.
If the well is a drinking water supply system well (a community well) and was constructed before November 1, 2005 (i.e., an “existing well”), a well identification plate must be attached by October 31, 2006.
If the well is one of the following three types, was constructed before November 1, 2005 (an “ existing well”), and is altered on or after November 1, 2005, a well identification plate must also be attached:
(a) water supply well;
(b) recharge or injection well made by drilling; or
(c) permanent vertical de-watering well made by drilling.
Who Is Responsible For Attaching A Well Identification Plate To A Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #17 - According to the Government of British Columbia website, the person responsible for drilling a new well or altering an existing well, on or after November 1, 2005, is responsible for attaching a well identification plate to the well.
The owner of an existing well that supplies a drinking water supply system well (a community well) is responsible for attaching a well identification plate by October 31, 2006.
Where Should The Well Identification Plate Be Attached On The Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #18 - According to the Government of British Columbia website, the well identification plate must be securely and permanently attached to the well casing, well cap or well cover so that the well identification number is plainly visible.
If it is not possible to secure the well identification plate in the above manner, it may be attached to a nearby post, pump house or building adjacent to the well so that the well identification number is plainly visible. Safety must be foremost when attaching a plate in a well within a subsurface vault.
If 2 or more wells are contained in a single protective casing, each of those wells must have a well identification plate.
How Can The Well Identification Plate Be Attached To The Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #19 - According to the Government of British Columbia, the well identification plate can be attached to the well casing using a slotted, stainless steel hose clamp strap. If it is not possible to attach with the strap, other means can be used such as an epoxy adhesive. If attaching the plate to a pump house or building, ensure the plate is securely attached to the building.
What Is The Standard Diameter Of A Water Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #20 - If you’re drilling a well for your house in British Columbia, 6” or 8" diameter well is generally recommended, production or irrigation wells may be 10" or more.
What Can I Expect During The Drilling Process?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #21 - Firstly, the drilling rig is set up and the crane vehicle unloads the steel casing and the drilling rods, which are arranged close to the drilling rig. The driller will then use the winch line on the rig to raise a length of rod and casing into position for drilling. The rod is threaded into the top drive of the rig and the casing is held in place by jaws in both the top drive and bottom table. As the well drilling progresses, the operators will weld new lengths of casing onto the previous segment. The driller will continuously monitor drilling cuttings that are coming out of the hole through the cyclone discharge.
How Are Stainless Steel Screens Installed In The Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #22 - The steel screens are installed inside the casing at the bottom of the well because they are slightly smaller than the well casing. Once the screens are set at the bottom of the well, the driller pulls the well casing up in order to expose the screens to the water bearing material.
What Are The Legal Requirements For Groundwater Users?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #23 - According to the Government of British Columbia website, if you divert and use groundwater for non-domestic purposes, you must now obtain a water licence and pay water fees and rentals. This change came into force with the Water Sustainability Act (WSA) on February 29, 2016.
Licensing indicates the maximum water allowance while also increasing the security of the access to the water source. It works in a similar way as for surface water.
If you are a well owner and you use water for domestic purposes, you are exempt from licensing and paying provincial water fees and rentals. However, domestic groundwater users are deemed to have rights to the water they use for domestic purposes. Domestic groundwater users are encouraged to register their well.
Are There Any Groundwater Use Limitations During Scarcity?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #24 - According to the Government of British Columbia website, during times of water scarcity or drought, the B.C. government can apply a number of regulatory options, alone or in combination to protect the rights of water users, essential household needs and aquatic ecosystems.
What Are The Different Types Of Water Pumps And How To Choose The Right One?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #25 - The largest submersible pump that will fit down a 6” diameter well is a 5 Horse Power, 4” diameter pump that is capable of pumping up to 100 gallons per minute. If you’re after more than 100 gallons per minute (and the water bearing material is present underground) for irrigation or commercial purposes, it is recommended moving up to an 8” diameter or greater well.
How Deep Are Water Wells On Average?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #26 - Generally, the depth of a household water well is in the range of 30-150 meters or sometimes more. The depth of the well depends on the geology and underground water levels of the area
What Is The Meaning Of Developing A Water Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #27 - Firstly, the well is drilled and all components constructed. Secondly, the well is developed. This is done to increase the well´s discharge capacity. This usually is done by alternately pumping the well and surging water in the bore to wash silt and sand from the formation and open it to greater flow rates. A properly developed well will produce adequate quantities of sand and mud-free water
What Are The Most Used Pumps?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #28 - While some wells may flow at land surface under artesian pressure, most require some type of pumping mechanism to lift the water. Almost all of the common well pumps are centrifugal in design, using spiral impellers to push or pull water up and out of the well.
The most common of these is the above-ground centrifugal, where the motor and pump sit at or near the well. These pumps are capable of moving large volumes of water, but they cannot typically lift from depths greater than 25 feet. Wells with deeper static water levels and relatively low discharge requirements, such as domestic wells, often use submersible pumps.
These pumps usually are attached directly above the motor and the entire unit is suspended in the well. Wells with deep water levels used for large quantities of water often use turbine pumps. Turbine pumps have the motors sitting on top of the well with a long shaft turning the impellers deep below the surface.
How Much Room Is Required To Drill My Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #29 - The well is drilled via a drilling rig which dimensions can be approximately 30 ft long and 9th wide. Additional room may be required on both sides of the rig for the access during the drilling process.
Will My Well Go Dry Eventually?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #30 - Wells that “go dry” are generally shallow/surface wells that are less than 50′. These wells depend on rainfall to replenish the water table. If the wells are deeper and penetrate a confined aquifer, hence they don’t depend on rainfall, the water level will rise and down but the well will not go dry.
How Long Does A Pump, Pressure Tank, Or Filtration System Last?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #31 - Submersible pumps are reliable technology. They are typically low maintenance and can last 8-12 years. It’s not unusual to find one that’s been in service for 20 years
What Does GPM Mean?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #32 - stands for Gallons Per Minute and is an approximate measure of the maximum water you can pump out of your well. Using air, we can estimate the gpm of your well at the time of drilling. If you need a more accurate measure, a pump test by a qualified pump installer is recommended.
What Is A Surface Seal And Why Do I Need It?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #33 - A surface seal is a non-permeable substance that prevents surface water or contaminated groundwater from seeping along the outside of the casing and entering your well.
What Are The Types Of Water Wells?
- BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #34 - The excavated wells are holes in the earth excavated with shovels or backhoes and, in general, they are lined (lined) with stones, bricks, mosaics or other material to prevent a collapse. Since they are generally shallow (approximately 10 to 30 feet (3 to 9 ml deep), the excavated wells have the greatest risk of contamination
- The driven wells are drilled hydraulically or by shaking in the ground and drive water of the area saturated with water. The driven wells are also shallow (approximately 30 to 50 feet [9 to 15 m] deep) and have a moderate risk of contamination a high from nearby terrestrial activities.
- Drilled water wells are deeper (approximately 100 to 400 feet (30 to 122 ml) and, generally, the lining of the pipes is made of metal or plastic, which protects the well water from sources of contamination. Drilled wells have a lower risk of contamination. However, no well can be considered without risk of contamination.
Typical Well Drilling Set Up
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #35 - Imagine a well drilling rig that is 30 ft. long and 9 ft. wide, The well is drilled where the trailer hitch would be. Additional room may be required on both sides of the rig for the access during the drilling process. Fraser Valley Well Drilling has several sizes of drilling rigs to accommodate different access issues.
What Are The Main Contamination Sources?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #36 - Possible sources of contamination could include:
- Septic tanks
- Livestock, silos, septic leach fields
- Oil tanks, waterproof storage of manure, and handling
- and storage of fertilizers
- Manure accumulation
Is It The Same, Radius Of Protection And Cone Depression?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #37 - No. The cone of depression is a phenomenon that occurs in uniform layers of gravel and sand that contain sufficient groundwater, which when pumped out form a depression around the well that lowers the initial water level. A cone of depression does not form in water from fractures or galleries. On the other hand, the radius of protection is the distance that must exist between one well and another so that these are not affected in their production of water.
Water Is Dirty, Do I Need To Do Another Well?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #38 - Generally a new well is not usually required unless it has gone dry, perhaps the dirty water problem is due to the fact that the maintenance of your drilled water well has not been carried out. To correct the problem, you may want to consider having your water well system inspected and following the recommendation.
What Advantages Does A Deep Well Have?
BC Water Well Drilling FAQ #39 - Nowadays the deep well is the best option to obtain water, without having to influence much in the terrain and landscape while also having a more stable flow because the underground aquifers have huge amounts of stored water reachable even in periods of drought. The deep wells are built in a small diameter avoiding falling children, landslides, among others. Its manufacture is fast since only in a couple of days it is operative.
The quality of the water is generally clear and clean of good bacteriological and chemical quality and very rarely requires a treatment to make it drinkable, besides it is free of particles that can damage your pump. From the real estate point of view having a well increases the value of your land since it is part of your independence.