Is your well going dry?  There are a few things you can do before drilling a new well. Maybe there is a pump problem. Or...

If you have a shallow dug well and you have less than 1 foot of water or no water, you really don't have too many choices except for waiting for the water table to recover, maintaining a separate water storage tank that you would have water delivered to or drill a new well.

If you have a drilled well that can still recover water, you may have a biofouling problem that is limiting the flow of water in the well.  In this case you may be able to at least temporarily improve this flow and get through the drought.  This is the procedure.  Have potable water delivered to your well.  Before the water is added to the well, add both vinegar to lower the pH of the water then add either a well sanitizer product or preferably sodium hypochlorite (regular clorox) we recommend an NSF approved chlorine.  Circulate this mixture for 30-45 minutes and then add the delivered potable water until it reaches the top of the casing.  This will create a positive pressure on the well.  What this is doing is to effectively forcing the solution back into the water bearing zones in the well.  Hopefully this will begin to remove the biofoul that may be causing your problem.  If you are going to try this, check out our Disinfection and Testing Page or contact BMI for instructions on the proper mix of vinegar and chlorine.

New Regulations For The Water Well Industry In New York!

As of January 1, 2000, anyone obtaining water for economic use  is considered a well driller and must register with the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC).  Anyone who works on a well or well pump, new installations or repairs, is considered a well driller and must be registered.  The DEC has a registration system in place.  You can check that we are registered at  Soon all registered drillers will have to be certified and will carry an identification card.  The New York State Department of Health (DOH) have implemented new standard for water wells as of November 23, 2005. 

What this means to you:  By law your well driller or pump installer must be registered with the State of New York.  Barney Moravec, Inc. is.  Anyone that works on a well (including pump installations) for profit must be registered with DEC.  This law also requires the driller to be adequately insured.  And most importantly, your local code enforcement officer will be aware of these new regulations and has the authority to enforce them.  They can request the registration number of your driller and insurance certificate.  If they do not receive this information, they can stop work on your project or not issue a certificate of occupancy.  They can also request other information about the well that you may have to provide.

The drillers and pump installers at Barney Moravec, Inc. have already taken and passed the certification exams prior to 2003.  We are and always have been fully insured.  Our DEC Registration number is NYRD 10024.  This decal is posted on all of our equipment. 

Things To Consider...

If drilling a water well is a new step for you or even if it's old hat, there are many things that you may not have thought of in planning for your new well or in maintaining your existing well.  Barney Moravec, Inc. tries to be as informative as possible in order for you to make the best decision possible.  Here is a list of things to think about when trying to decide what to do with your situation:

Are You Drilling a New Water Well?   

  • Get an option to buy if possible!  If you don't own the land yet, don't buy it until you know it has a useable supply of water.  It's better to be out the cost of a well rather than owning a piece of property with no water on it.  This is a rare occurrence but better safe than sorry.
  • Where is the septic system going?  Keep the proper distances from the septic tank and leach lines (including neighbors).  New York State recommends that the well is located at least 50 feet from the septic tank and 100 feet from any leach line.  If you are forced to be down-gradient of the septic, they want the well to be at least 200 feet from any leach line.  For public systems it is always 200 feet.  Think about neighboring pasture areas too.  Notice:  the new DOH regulations have changed the way we evaluate separation distances.  The 50 and 100 foot rule is still in effect unless you have less than 50 feet of casing in your well and in that case you need to add 50% to the separation distances.  Unfortunately, you don't always know how much casing you will have in your well.  Therefore, in almost all cases, keep the well 150 feet away from the nearest leach line of the septic system.
  • Maintain Access!  Make sure there are no over-hanging wires or branches over the well site, now or 20 years from now.  If you are planning to build a pool or barn etc., make sure you can always work on the well.  If a pump ever fails you will need access.  Do not build over your well.
  • Can you get a rig to the location to drill?  You can't always put a drilling machine on a steep grade or a wet location.  Sometimes an area with a lot of topography or trees has to be leveled before a rig can get to the site.  You may first need us to conduct a free site inspection.  Selecting the best location may save time and money.
  • 8" vs. 6"  Do I need extra water storage in my new well or a separate storage system? When planning your new well, we will discuss your water requirements with you.  Depending on where you are planning to drill, you may want to consider a larger diameter well.  It is a geological fact that some areas do not produce a great deal of water.  If you happen to be in such an area, then a large diameter well may be a very prudent choice for you. For instance; a 6-inch diameter well contains 1.469 gal./ ft., an 8-inch well stores 2.611 gal. / ft..
    In some instances, a separate storage system is required.  This system can be installed in the ground or in a basement.  Remember, 1 gallon per minute doesn't seem like much water but in 24 hours it equals 1,440 gallons.  A normal household doesn't use that much water.
    The decision to go to an 8-inch well ultimately rests on you.  However, we won't recommend it unless it is the best choice for your location and planned use.  Cost becomes a factor also.  Essentially the difference between a 6-inch well and an 8-inch well is just over $700 per hundred feet of drilling.  Storage systems installed even by the owner will cost over $1,700 and up to $4,800 if someone else is paid to do it.  To us, an 8" well is an insurance policy in case you get a low producing well.
  • Do I need water for construction or analytical test?  For new construction we often install the well pump immediately after the well is drilled.  This allows for any testing required by the town building inspector and provides water for the contractor.  The contractor may charge for water if it isn't on site.
  • Are there any underground utilities on your property?  We routinely call Dig Safely New York formerly Underground Facilities Protective Organization (UFPO).  However, you may be aware of such underground services that we want to know about in case someone makes a mistake.  BY LAW the person or company that is conducting any excavation must notify Dig Safely New York (outside NYC and L.I.) at 1-800-962-7962.

Well Maintenance...It's Your Investment!  

  • Keep your well secure!  Make sure the cap is tight and has no cracks in it.  Kids love to drop things down holes and that will get very expensive.  Do not place potential contaminants near your well or up-gradient of your well.  Install a vermin-proof well cap that will keep the bugs out...we have them in stock and offer them on every well we drill.
  • Disinfect your well.  As a regular maintenance item, you should disinfect your well either annually or semi-annually.  We have a specific disinfection procedure with directions on the quantities of disinfection materials to be used (see our new Disinfection and Testing Page).  There is such a thing as too much chlorine.  In fact we are now using white vinegar as part of the process.  Disinfection not only cleans your well but helps control other things that can reduce the production capability of your well.  REMEMBER...MORE CHLORINE IS NOT BETTER.  You can actually put too much chlorine in your well and cause more problems than you already have.
  • Test Your Well.  Once you have a new well it is your responsibility to maintain it and care for it.  We provide literature for your to do just that including a handout on proper sampling of your well.  In addition, it is important to check your water by testing it 1 to 2 times a year for at least total bacteria and if there is a concern, nitrates.  This will give peace of mind and confidence in your water supply.  Nitrates should seriously be considered especially if the residence will have infants drinking the water.



When you're sick you go to a Doctor.  When you have questions about wells you should contact a water well professional.

Please call us.  There is so much incorrect information out there about wells.  The one fact we want you to remember is, that there is no better source of drinking water than water from a properly constructed well.  Additional information is available on excellent sites for the well owner from the National Well Owners Association at: