FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To start, you must find a reputable, state-registered water well contractor. The well must also meet any requirements specified in the Water Well Construction Code. Most county environmental health departments have additional rules and will require you to get a permit and final inspection of your well system. An improperly installed well system can significantly harm the groundwater. It can also subject homeowners to significant fines, legal action, and forced removal of the well.
There are many variables to well drilling costs. The most significant variable is usually the depth of the well. Most companies have a per-foot charge for drilling. That price can vary depending on the well diameter, the materials used to drill the well (steel or PVC well casing), the geological conditions of the area, and the drilling methods. When getting prices for a completed well, you should also consider whether the geology requires a well screen, the purpose of the well, how much water you are hoping to get from the system, and the type of controls for the system. When comparing drilling prices, it is best to ask each company for the complete package price. Some companies may charge less per foot for drilling but more for the pumping system, well screen, and accessories. Hecksel Bros. Well Drilling does our best to customize the well system to your needs and the conditions on your property.
No. Michigan Water Well Construction Code requires varying isolation distances from different potential sources of contamination (i.e., septic systems, sewage pump chambers, sewer lines, fuel oil tanks, and chemical or waste storage). Some counties even require isolation distances from neighboring property lines. Isolation distances can be increased depending on the intended use of the well. Sub-division plot restrictions may also have additional rules on the location of water wells. Hecksel Bros. Well Drilling will meet with the general contractor or property owner to choose a location for a well. We also consider keeping the well accessible for future service and protected from snow plows, lawnmowers, cars, etc. If we are in areas where it may be difficult to find water, we may try to get closer to known water sources.
Michigan Water Well Construction Code says that any well (drinking or non-drinking) must have 25 feet of casing (outer well pipe) in the ground before we can start to make a well. That means our minimum depth for a legal, functional well is about 28 feet. Site geology then determines the final depth. We cannot extract water from clay. When drilling, we look for sand, gravel, or sandstone formations where the water travels. Ideally, those formations would be at least 5 feet thick. The Michigan Health Department will occasionally grant a depth variance in areas where the water is difficult to find. When this happens, increased isolation distances from property lines and potential sources of contamination will be required.
This depends on the site, the use of the well, and the site geology. Most drilling will take 1 -3 days. The pump installation and connection to the house usually take one additional day.
Under most circumstances, the Michigan Water Well Construction Code requires 50 feet from septic tanks, drain fields, and sewage lift pumps (including the sewage crock in your basement for laundry or a downstairs bathroom). They also require 10 feet from gravity sewer lines and 50 feet from pressurized sewer lines. If your well is for a business, public water supply, or more than one dwelling, those distances will increase to 75 feet or more.
There are a lot of causes for low pressure or water flow. There could be house plumbing problems, such as plugged-up filters, pipes, or water softeners. You can determine this on your own. With your faucets running, watch the pressure gauge by your well tank. If the pump cycles on and off (the gauge goes up and down between 30-50 or 40-60) with the water running, the well is producing more water than what your faucet is using, and the problem is likely plumbing related. Modern water fixtures also have government-required water-saving devices that can clog up and restrict the flow.
You can also try bypassing your water softener and changing your filters. If the flow and pressure at the faucets pick up, that is likely the problem.
If the gauge stays low when the water runs, the problem is likely well-system-related. Those causes can range from worn pumps, plugged well screens, clogged water lines in the well and to the house, or leaks inside the well. Call Hecksel Bros. Well Drilling and one of our trained technicians will gladly come out for a diagnosis.
First, check all your breakers and fuses to see if they are tripped or blown. If they are, reset or replace them. If not, locate your well system’s pressure switch or pump controls. Tap on the side of the pressure switch with a wrench or something hard. If the pump then runs, the switch most likely needs attention. Most modern well systems run on 230 volts. Electric testers and proper knowledge of their use will be required for further troubleshooting. The best answer is to call Hecksel Bros. Well Drilling to have us send out a trained, qualified technician to diagnose the problem.
Yes. Permits are granted through your local county health department. Hecksel Bros Well Drilling can assist and apply for the permit. If you wish to apply for your own permit, contact your county health department. Applications can be found on the county websites.
This depends on the situation and application. Most modern well systems use submersible water pumps. Generally speaking, properly sized submersible pumps are much more efficient than the alternatives.
Over the life of the well, mechanical items will eventually fail (pumps, tanks, controls, etc.). Hecksel Bros. Well Drilling always tries to use the best products for the cost. We use the items we would use in our homes.
Things a well owner can look for that may indicate service is needed:
- Low water volume or pressure.
- The pump is louder than usual.
- High electricity bills.
- Dirty or cloudy water.
- The pump turns on whenever you open a faucet or flush a toilet.
- Rapids fluctuations in water pressure.
- The pump turns on without using any water.
- The water stops running for no apparent reason.
- Water quality may also require more frequent servicing or cleaning of well systems.
Regardless of the well’s purpose, our rules for drilling are generally the same. These rules are designed to protect our groundwater. Please refer back to How Much Does it Cost to Have a Well Drilled?
All of our rules are intended to protect our groundwater. Regardless of the well’s purpose, we follow the same procedures. Please refer back to How Much Does it Cost to Have a Well Drilled?
No. Michigan Water Well Construction Code states the wellhead must be at least 12 inches above the finished grade and have an approved well cap. This rule aims to keep surface water, bugs, animals, and any other contaminants out of the well and the aquifer.
In Michigan, EGLE (Environment Great Lakes and Energy) administers the Michigan Water Well Construction and Pump Installation Code (Part 127, Act 368, PA 1978 and Administrative Rules). You can learn more on their website. The rules may seem cumbersome, but they are all in the spirit of protecting and conserving our precious groundwater resources. Our mutual goal is to keep it contaminant-free and usable for future generations.
Contact Hecksel Bros. Well Drilling or any other registered water well contractor to evaluate it. If the well has been sitting idle for a considerable amount of time (years), the odds of it being usable are not very good. If you no longer intend to use the well, it should be properly plugged and abandoned according to EGLE rules. An unused well is a direct route for contaminants entering the aquifer. There have been horror stories of homeowners using them to discard household chemicals and causing severe contamination to the aquifer.
Working outdoors is always an adventure into the natural seasons. The expression “Colder than a well digger’s a**” originated when wells were hand-dug. People would keep digging large diameter holes into the ground until they found water-bearing sand or gravel. Some of these holes would get very deep, and they would put the dirt in buckets while someone at the surface hoisted the buckets out. When the diggers got tired, they would lean against the earthen walls of the hole, and their backsides would get cold. We have encountered dug wells in our service area that are 80-90 feet underground! The people who dug those were either incredibly brave or crazy.
Unfortunately, no. Most oil wells in West Michigan are thousands of feet deep. The deepest wells we have drilled are about 350 feet deep.
Maybe. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. Some people appear to be better than others. If drilling in an area where water is tough to find, we may seek out someone with those skills as a starting point. Unfortunately, it is not a guaranteed method. The only scientific way to know what is in the ground is to drill a hole and see what is there.
Nothing is guaranteed in the drilling industry. Every job is an exploration. Some areas are very uniform and consistent underground. But that is often not the case. Sometimes, you can move 10 feet away and not find the same aquifer or water quality.
No. Due to liability and warranty issues, we will generally only install the products that we provide. We know that box stores or internet alternatives are often lower in price than we can buy from our suppliers. We also know those cheaper items are usually lower quality, problematic for potential warranty challenges, and need more adequate customer support. We always try to provide our customers with the most cost-effective products with the best function, support, and longevity.
No. We can also occasionally find items online for a cheaper price than what we get from our suppliers. 99 times out of 100, we will continue to buy from our suppliers. Just like we strive to be available for you in an emergency, we depend on them for knowledge and assistance when needed. Our suppliers are also a much simpler process when warranty issues arise. Significant overhead costs and expensive equipment are also associated with our type of business. Our costs, obligations, and services differ from those of an internet seller. Our prices reflect what our company needs to charge in order to operate our business and continue to serve you. We firmly believe our prices are very competitive with other local well drillers and plumbers.