To facilitate a systematic monitoring approach, a well monitoring and maintenance checklist can be developed. There are many items that can be included on a checklist as outlined below, and a well owner can adapt these to their particular situation and adjust the monitoring intervals accordingly. Some of the items that can be included on a monitoring/maintenance checklist are:
A. General Physical Inspection
- ensure the well cap is secure and the well vents are unobstructed and screened to prevent pests and insects from entering the well
- ensure the well seal around the casing is in place and water-tight
- note any changes in turbidity, taste, odour and colour of the water
- ensure the ground is not settling around the casing allowing surface water to pond
- inspect the outside and inside condition of the well casing
- check for additional pumping wells in the area that may cause interference effects
- check operation of pressure tank and water treatment system
- record the date and time of the inspection and any observations
- date and time, static water level, pumping water level, pumping rate- note any changes.
- collect and record operational data, hours of pumping, discharge rates
- take pump voltage and amperage readings- note any changes
- conduct a well pumping test to measure the specific capacity of the well
- test water for bacteria at least 2-4 times a year
- test any water quality parameters of concern (i.e. nitrate, chlorine, sodium, iron, manganese, nuisance bacteria: IRB, SRB)
- test for other chemicals if you have concerns with fuel spills, etc.
- ensure backflow prevention devices are in place and functioning
C. Protection from Contamination
- maintain at least a 3-metre grassed buffer around the well
- ensure potential contamination sources are located down gradient of the well
- avoid chemical applications (pesticides, fertilizers) around the well
- locate and plug any nearby abandoned wells or test holes
Once a scheduled monitoring program has been in place for a while, sufficient data should be available to establish a suitable repair or replacement interval for components in the well and distribution system and to develop a preventative maintenance treatment schedule.