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Key Well Water Terms

At Clouser Drilling, we pride ourselves on keeping clients informed throughout the entirety of the well installation process. Understanding that a well represents a serious investment for your family or business, we strive to talk through the steps with you and answer any questions you have in a timely fashion. Here are some key well terms to help you communicate with your drilling team more effectively:

Access Port — All wells must have an access port for measuring the water level or a pressure gauge for measuring artesian pressure. The access port must be unobstructed and should be capped to prevent surface water from entering the well casing.

Commingling — This occurs when a well draws water from more than one aquifer. In no case should a well be constructed to tap into multiple aquifers.

Perforations — These are holes in the casing, which allow water to enter the well.

Special Standards — A special standard allows for deviation from the minimum well construction guidelines. The request must be approved before completing the work.

Static Water Level — Static water level refers to the stabilized level or elevation of water surface in a well when it is not being pumped.

Top Terminal Height — The casing of any well must extend at least 12 inches above the finished ground surface or pumphouse floor and 12 inches above the local surface runoff level.

Well Casing — Well casing refers to the steel or plastic pipe installed to prevent the borehole wall from caving in. It’s used to seal the upper portion of the well. The total length of casing should be the same as that recorded on the well log.

Well Depth — Well depth can be measured using a weighted line.

Well Development — Well development involves vigorously pumping the well to clean out drill cuttings and maximize production of the well. Development should result in a well that produces sand-free or mud-free water when operated properly.

Well Identification Label — A pre-printed stainless steel label attached to the well casing, this unique number identifies your well and is used to track future modifications. Please do not remove or cover this label.

Well Log — A well log or well report is a physical description explaining how your well was constructed. Keep your copy of the well log, as it’s one of the more important records of your property.

Well Seal — The space between the borehole wall and the casing, the well seal prevents commingling or contamination of the aquifer. The seal should be placed in one continuous operation from the bottom upward. A proper seal consists of neat cement or bentonite (dry clay) that extends from the ground surface to a minimum depth of 18 feet below land surface. The construction standards require a deeper seal depending on the formations encountered.

Well Test — A well test shows how much water a well produces using a pump, air, or bailer method. The static water level, date, drawdown at the end of the test period, pumping rate, and length of the test period are all recorded on the well log. A one-hour minimum yield test is required when work is completed on the well.