All Things Gardening forum: Symptoms the well is going dry?

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Nov 25, 2016 7:42 PM CST
We have a well and I have noticed that after running for a length of time, say watering garden, it turns red-clay like and has fine sediment. After a couple days it is clear again. I did 3 loads of laundry this morning and then filled about 400 gallons of water into a goldfish pond (had to drain down some to repair a leak). The water quit. Completely quit. But the breaker was not tripped, pressure at the tank was too low, so assuming that the pump was still running (?) and the water was below the level of the pump ( pumped it all out?). Will running the pump dry hurt it? Shouldn't it have a safety shut-off if it isn't actually pumping any water? I assume it didn't overheat or the breaker would have tripped off? DH called a well guy but he cant come until Monday. All our water is dirty and I am so worried that our pump is bust, or worse yet, that our well is a gonner. To make matter worse, we live 1/2 mile from a big golf course and they use wells to keep up their grass. Grumbling
ANY advice here is so coveted!
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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Nov 25, 2016 10:05 PM CST
You did use quite a bit of water at one time so hopefully it will come back. I could almost never use 400 gallons at one time, A well pump should last 10 to 15 years, I put in a new one last year. They do have a device you can add to your well I believe is called a pump-tec that shuts your pump down to protect it from burning out. If you do not have this turn off power to your pump when ever you run out of water. In this area a good number of people are out of water right now because of drought conditions,we are almost 10 inches below normal rainfall this year.Hope your pump did not burn out and your water comes back soon.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Nov 25, 2016 11:01 PM CST
well we have water now but it is dirty. Have no idea how old the pump is. Never heard of hte pump-tec, will ask about that! Thank you!
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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Nov 26, 2016 4:10 PM CST
Have your well checked out to find out how much water is in it, and where the dirt is coming from.
If the water in your well is muddy, the screen at the bottom may have given way. A drilled well has a screen section at the bottom that lets water in while keeping dirt out. I found this out last year, when the pump started bringing up sand and we were having to change the water filter daily. The well-pump technicians tried raising the pump to get it into clean water, but soon all the water in the well was muddy from top to bottom. We needed a new well drilled. We rented a 1500 gallon water tank that was installed in the garage, filled by tanker truck, and connected up to the house water supply, so we could use water normally while waiting for the new well to be drilled.

I'm assuming you have a pressure tank in the house. Once you have clean water you will need to flush out the tank, because the dirty water will have deposited grit/sand/mud in it, and every time the pump adds water to the tank it will stir up this muck. If the dirt has gotten past your water filter, the pipes in your house will also need to be drained and flushed.

Best of luck, and keep us posted!

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Nov 26, 2016 5:07 PM CST
oh, the dirt is everywhere, all the faucets, the water filter is filthy (not drinking or cooking w at the moment) and I'm sure the tank has a good amount in it. I will keep posted.

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