Jan 16, 2012

New NGWA Best Suggested Practice Reinforces Importance of Well Systems Inspections

Guidelines recommend procedures, qualifications for routine inspections of water wells

The National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) recently issued its “Water Well Systems Inspection Best Suggested Practice,” which will serve as a guide to well owners, water systems managers, regulators, contractors and pump installers, as well as those who perform and depend upon well inspections.

Routine water well system inspection is vital to assuring proper operation of the well, prolong its operational expectancy and monitor the quality of the groundwater it supplies, according to the NGWA. The qualifications of those hired to perform inspections are also important.

This new "best suggested practice" (BSP) recommends that any individual or group hired to conduct groundwater system inspections possess the following skills and experience to operate within the following parameters:

• Knowledge of local, regional, state and federal code and regulations relative to water well construction, well inspection, pump installation, electrical systems, groundwater quality, etc.;
• Safety protocol awareness for situations applicable to the work being conducted;
• Basic understanding of natural and anthropogenic threats to drinking water quality; and
• Technical awareness of pumps and related electrical systems.

The BSP also lists items a qualified inspector should perform including, but not limited to:

• Determining the water well use parameters such as purpose, estimated groundwater usage per day and any known water quality issues;
• Visually inspecting the wellhead to ensure proper siting;
• Visually and physically inspecting the water well system components, including testing the pump, checking valves and conducting electrical testing;
• Visually inspecting any other equipment such as pressure tanks, storage tanks, water heaters, softeners, filtration equipment, etc.; and
• Documenting for the well owner or manager the system specifications observed, any suggested recommendations for remedial work, and a recommended schedule for future routine inspection, testing, cleaning and rehabilitation.

More information is available at NGWA’s website.