20 Jan 2014

Dangerous Water Contaminants

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Keeping Your Water Contaminant Free

Keeping Your Water Supply CleanThey are invisible to the naked eye and often difficult to test for without professional help. We’re talking about water contaminants that foul the water supply.  Municipalities constantly test for impurities at water treatment facilities. For private wells, however, the responsibility of finding, fixing and preventing these pollutants is on the owner.

Not all well water impurities are inherently dangerous. Some minerals actually improve the taste and quality of water. But homeowners should know which contaminants cause trouble, and be vigilant in making sure these things don’t infect their drinking water. Let’s take a look at some of these impurities and explain why they may be bad for you.

Types of Water Contaminants & Impurities

Microorganisms. Microscopic organisms include bacteria and viruses, and do sometimes appear in water. Shallower wells are more prone to contamination. Coliform bacteria are especially common and cause many illnesses. They often reach wells through runoff from farms, sewage plants, wild animals and other sources where waste is present. Water should be routinely tested and wells thoroughly cleaned to prevent the spread of microorganisms.

Heavy metals. Arsenic, lead and other heavy elements are naturally found in rocky soil. While not very common, heavy metal contamination can lead to a number of serious health problems, even death. Heavy metals enter wells when underground water flows through rocks and soil containing these materials. It is important to have well water tested annually by a certified drinking water laboratory.

Nitrates. Nitrates are commonly found in fertilizers. Therefore, rural wells in agriculture-rich areas face a higher risk of nitrate contamination, especially after heavy rain and flooding. Plants rely on nitrates for growth, and the leftover nitrates absorb into soil and leach into groundwater. Nitrates are especially harmful to babies, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.

Radionuclides. Radioactive elements include radon and uranium, and result from natural and manmade occurrences. Radionuclides are naturally found in rocks and soil, but waste that originates at power plants and medical facilities may also contribute to their presence in water supplies. Exposure to radiation is associated with a higher risk of cancer

Industrial products. All sorts of hazardous materials pose potential dangers to water supplies and wells. Petroleum products, cleaning chemicals and solvents, paints, landfill waste and other harmful substances can enter water supplies through accidental leaks and/or deliberate human activity. Depending on the material, health problems can range from minor to severe.

Regular Water Contaminant Treatment

In order to keep you and your family safe and your water supply clean, you must take regular care of your well. Again, it is up to you and only you to ensure your well is safe to use and your water is safe to drink. Regular testing, cleaning and professional analysis help maintain the highest quality water, and keep well components in good working order. C&J Well Company helps homeowners across central Indiana with everything from well digging and installation, to comprehensive maintenance and certified water testing.

For more information on keeping your water supply fresh and impurity-free, contact C&J to learn more about our expert well services.

03 Jan 2014

Water Contaminant Troubleshooting

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Protect Your Well From Water Contaminants

Water Contaminant Troubleshooting for Wells and Well Water

In one of our December blog articles, we talked about low well water yield and highlighted some of the common causes for falling water pressure in your home.

While issues like clogged well screens and sediment buildup are certainly frustrating, they are mechanical in nature and can be fixed by a handy homeowner or a professional contractor like C&J Well Company. What you really want to avoid is contamination in your water supply. Drinking organic or inorganic toxins can make a person sick, or worse.

Today, we’ll focus on some of the nasty stuff that can find its way into your water and describe where it comes from, and what it can do to you. Hopefully this emphasizes the importance of regular well maintenance and cleaning!

Types of Water Contaminants

 

WHAT IT IS
WHERE IT COMES FROM
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU
Coliform bacteria Found naturally in the environment; also found in human and animal fecal waste Usually nothing, but coliform presence means harmful bacteria like E. Coli may be present
Cryptosporidium Fecal waste Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting
Giardia Fecal waste Gastrointestinal problems
Arsenic Found naturally in soil; also found in runoff from agricultural and industrial sources Skin damage; gastrointestinal problems; numbness; paralysis; vision problems
Nitrates Fertilizer runoff; sewage and septic leaks; soil erosion Several serious health risks, especially for babies
Lead Plumbing corrosion; improper disposal of lead-based paint; natural runoff Physical and mental disabilities in children; high blood pressure; kidney damage
Synthetic Organic Chemicals (SOCs) Herbicide and pesticide runoff; industrial chemical discharge; emissions from burning waste Increased risk of cancer; cardiovascular problems; organ failure; reproductive problems
Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs)

Runoff and leaking of gasoline, diesel and solvents; chemical spills Increased risk of cancer; cardiovascular problems; organ failure; reproductive problems
Radionuclides Natural decay and erosion of radioactive elements in the ground; improper disposal of radioactive materials Increased risk of cancer

 

Regular Well Maintenance Can Help Control Water Contaminants

What is the best way to protect yourself and your family from organic and inorganic pollutants in the water? Protect your well! Don’t ignore responsibilities like water quality testing (by an independent laboratory), regular well maintenance and disinfecting. If you rely on a well for your home’s water source, it is up to you to ensure that water is safe to drink.

For more information and assistance with water quality and proper well maintenance, contact C&J Well Co. to learn more today!

20 Dec 2013

Hidden Dangers of Old Wells

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Old Wells – Health & Safety Risks

Lassie saved Timmy from an Old Well
“What’s that Lassie? Timmy fell down the old well?”

Few of us can forget that innocent yet unintentionally funny quote from television’s Lassie. Thanks to one heck of a smart dog, little Timmy was rescued. That was just a TV show; in real life, old and abandoned wells pose equally real dangers.

How do you find and fix an old well?

It’s not always easy. The property you now own may have been bought and sold several times in the past, and the well you rely on for your private water supply may not be the only well that exists on your land. There are many ways to drill a well, with some techniques much safer than others. Well components and even the ground around them can become unstable and collapse. Unused wells can also collect pollutants like fertilizer and animal waste, which can then contaminate groundwater and spread to other sources of fresh water in an aquifer.

Locating Old Wells

In order to remedy any potential dangers, property owners should take the first and important step of finding abandoned wells on their land. There are a number of ways to locate these old wells, even if you didn’t dig them yourself:

  • Look for pipe ends that stick out of the ground.
  • Inspect small structures or buildings for evidence of past well houses.
  • Locate any unusual ground depressions on the property.
  • Check for ground connections beneath old, unused or damaged windmills.
  • If you rely on a utility for water, find out how water was supplied to your home before a connection was made to the utility.
  • Talk to previous landowners if possible, and review any surveys, maps or other property documents that still exist.

Hidden dangers of old wells New property owners should also speak with neighbors to learn any potential information about wells that previous owners may have operated in the past. The more details you can gather from all possible sources, the better.

After you have located any derelict wells on your property, the next step is to shut them down. Special precautions must be made with environmental officials, and regulations must be followed depending on where you live. For example, not all materials are approved for filling in an old well hole. Contact a professional well contractor like C&J Well Company in Indianapolis, for help with the process. C&J has the tools and experience to guide well owners through every step of proper decommissioning.

We can’t all have a Lassie at home to protect us from dangers. Keep your property safe for everyone and everything, by taking care of old and abandoned wells.

03 Dec 2013

Water Well Issues – Weak Well Pressure

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Common Water Well Issues

Water Well Issues & Weak Well Pressure

At C&J Well Company, we love wells. Water wells provide our customers with a constant supply of fresh, clean water, along with a sense of freedom from municipal water companies. C&J customers also enjoy the cost savings they get from having their own water.

All that said, water wells issues can arise since wells are not without their occasional troubles. Thankfully, almost everything that might happen to a private well can be remedied with a little know-how and some common sense. Many times, well owners find solutions to these problems without even having to give us a call.

Water Well Troubleshooting

Today, we’re going to look at one of the most common frustrations that people with water wells experience. We’ll also provide a list of  troubleshooting and techniques to fix the issue.

We’re talking about weak well pressure and lower water yield. Here’s what to do.

CAUSE PROBLEM SOLUTION
Accumulation of organic material (biofilm) in well screen or pump intake. Discolored, smelly water. Potentially hazardous organisms can damage well components and enter water supply. Follow proper well disinfection steps. Detailed instructions are available on C&J’s website.
Mineral deposits inside well. Build-up can encrust well components and fixtures inside home. Disinfect well with chlorine. Professional cleaning by C&J may be necessary to remove sediment.
Underground sediments clogging well screen. Lower water pressure in home. Dirty water with visible particulates. Sediment in water heater. Remove pump and flush well with water or air. C&J can clean screen and replace with new components if necessary.
Interference from nearby wells. Loss in water pressure and possible loss in well water level. Locate any wells nearby and reduce pump levels to avoid damage.
Well reaches end of lifespan. Borehole, well casing may collapse. Outdated materials fail. Water pressure falls to zero. Replace well components and/or materials. New borehole may be needed. Plug existing hole to prevent accidents and injuries.
Aquifer dries out (can be a temporary or permanent event). Complete loss of water pressure and water supply. Surrounding area may be affected by loss of water levels. Reduce water usage and pumping capacity. Drill a deeper well. Contact neighbors and DNR for more information on local water levels.
Faulty well system. Low water pressure despite adequate water level in well. Damaged or outdated pump. Leak in pipe or casing. Contact C&J Well Co. to schedule professional inspection of well and components.

 

Regular Well Maintenance Will Help Prevent Problems

Keeping on top of necessary maintenance like regular chlorination will greatly prevent problems to your water well. While this guide should help troubleshoot some of the common issues well owners encounter, it is not a comprehensive guide. Your problems may be different or unique. If you have any questions or need assistance with your water well, C&J Well Co. is happy to help!

15 Nov 2013

Water Softening Systems

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Investing in Water Softening has Advantages

When you hear the phrase “hard water,” something like ice might come to mind. But hard water comes out of a lot of faucets around central Indiana, and those folks are missing out on some important benefits. Luckily, C&J Well Company has a simple solution. The water softeners we install and service really do improve the taste, texture and functions of your average tap water.

 

Though the science behind softening water isn’t that hard to understand, we’ll save explaining how water softener systems work for another blog article. Today, we’ll focus on covering some of the most common benefits homeowners get when they add a softener to their water supply.

 

From better tasting, better feeling, better cleaning water that’s better on the environment, softened water is just, well…better.

Water Softening Household Benefits

Tap water that is treated through water softening has many household advantages over hard water. Some of these benefits are noticeable the first time you experience softened water, and include:

 

  • Softer skin and hair.

  • The ability to use smaller amounts of soaps and detergents.

  • Cleaner dishes with less streaking.

  • Less soap scum residue in the bathroom.

  • Fewer mineral deposits and softer laundry.

  • Less mineral buildup, which means longer appliance life.

  • Cleaner plumbing systems.

  • Water that heats faster for bathing and washing.

  • Better water pressure/flow through faucets and shower heads.

Environmental Benefits to Water Softening

Water softener technology is constantly improving, and new systems are much more eco-friendly than their predecessors. This environmental consciousness means far less waste from today’s softeners. Depending on the system you purchase, environmental benefits can include:

 

  • Better water heater efficiency and less maintenance.

  • Lower energy/utility costs.

  • Reduced need for cleaning showerheads and other components, which means fewer chemicals going down the drain.

  • Less mineral buildup (some studies have shown that potentially harmful pathogens may grow faster in the film left behind by hard water residue).

  • Longer-lasting appliances, which means less junk in landfills.

  • Better water pressure, which means shorter bathing and washing times.

 

C&J Water Softening Services

 

Water softeners can be used in residential and commercial settings, and there is a growing demand for applications in both fields. C&J Well Co. specializes in residential and commercial services, so talk to one of our representatives today for more information on how we can serve your home or business.

Is a water softener right for you? Give C&J a call and find out!

31 Oct 2013

Water Well Witching

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To celebrate Halloween, let’s talk about something downright spooky. Witchcraft has been around for nearly as long as mankind. Like ghouls and goblins, ghosts and vampires, witches cast a scary shadow on American culture. While the supernatural can be a controversial topic, here at C&J we want to discuss something equally divisive. It’s an old-school act to find water and other hidden objects, with a moniker that’s downright coven. Can you guess?

 

We’re talking about witchin’.

 

Dowsing, as witching is formally called, is a method of locating underground material. The target can be oil, natural gas, gold or other treasures, human remains and of course, ground water. Dowsing relies on two main resources to get the job done: divination and a dowsing rod. Dowsing rods are typically “Y” or “L” shaped twigs or wire dowels. Divination is a little bit harder to explain; think of it as a sort of psychic ability.

 

An ancient act, dowsing has been around for hundreds of years or more. No one really knows where it comes from, but throughout history, it has been passed down from generation to generation and is steeped in folklore.

 

Folks who believe in dowsing will carry a stick or rods in their hands and walk across a patch of land where they hope to find something valuable. Concentrating hard on that object, they believe the tools will automatically point to a spot where treasure is buried. Dowsing rods are said to act like an antenna, amplifying energy of said object.

 

The problem is, dowsing rarely – if ever – finds anything more than soil.

 

Countless scientific and independent studies never have found any definitive evidence that dowsing actually works. They point to strong knowledge of the land and old-fashioned luck as the likely reasons for success.

 

At C&J, we concur with the science. As professional well drillers, we don’t rely on spooky or funny business to locate water on your property. Instead, we invest in proven machinery, equipment and skillful employees, all trained to find water and build wells that meet our customers’ needs. No psychic skills necessary.

 

Witching, divining, doodle bugging – whatever you call it, dowsing has been around for a long time and it’s likely to stay. You may have even seen the practice featured on one of those recent oil reality shows. Just remember that drilling wells can be a lengthy and costly process, so trust the guys with the right tools to get the job done the first time, and not some supernatural swindler with a wooden stick.

 

17 Oct 2013

Geothermal Energy

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At C&J Well Co., we help lots of people with just about everything related to water wells. Most folks are familiar with these types of wells, but fewer know about underground geothermal systems and what they do. Geothermal digging is another specialty here at C&J, and we want to take some time to explain this renewable resource and how it can help your home.

What is geothermal?

Great question! Geothermal energy is a natural form of heating and cooling using the earth as your energy source. Just like your water well provides a source of natural water, a geothermal system from C&J provides a continuous supply of natural energy, in the form of heating and cooling for your home.

Underground, temperatures remain constant throughout the year, no matter how hot or cold it gets aboveground. This makes geothermal energy a wise and affordable choice for clean heating and cooling at home.

How do geothermal systems work?

Like water wells, geothermal systems are dug into the ground to extract what’s underneath. In this case, we are going after energy instead of water.  At C&J, we rely on two main types of geothermal systems: the closed loop and the open loop.

For closed loop systems, we dig a hole and install a geothermal heat pump and piping. Those pipes are then filled with antifreeze, which transfers ground heat to the pump and into your home.

Open loop systems need groundwater to work, so these applications can only be installed on properties with an existing water source. In open loops, the water pumped in to help heat or cool is then pumped back out. C&J has a number of applications for reusing this spent water.

Do I need a big property for geothermal?

The nice thing about geothermal systems is that they work on properties of all shapes and sizes. Closed loop systems can be installed horizontally or vertically, depending on the size of your yard. Even if your home is on a very small property, C&J has a geothermal solution for you.

Is geothermal heating & cooling more efficient than traditional methods?

Absolutely. Many homeowners we speak with are growing more mindful of the environment, and are always looking for better ways to be comfortable at home without causing a big impact on the earth. Geothermal heat pumps from C&J are among the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and green ways to heat and cool your home.

 Want to save money and help save the environment at the same time? With geothermal energy, you can! Consider this investment in your own home, and talk to C&J today about the geothermal solutions that are right for you.

02 Oct 2013

Winterizing Water Well System

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Winterize Your Water Well

For homes that rely on well water, winter can be a time to pay extra attention to well and plumbing components, especially in areas that experience freezing temperatures like central Indiana.

Most folks who rely on wells for their home water supply won’t run into any major problems during winter, but it is best to know what to expect in order to prevent any situations from occurring. Common cold weather water problems with well systems include frozen pipes, pump issues and power loss. C&J Well Co. can assist with any kind of well maintenance or repair you may need. We also want to share a few tips that homeowners can do themselves before cold winter weather arrives.

Preventing Frozen Plumbing Pipes

Water wells are designed to access groundwater that rarely freezes. That’s why most of the components are underground, below the freeze line. Still, plumbing pipes have to come aboveground to enter your home. To keep these pipes from freezing, wrap them with pipe insulation or heat tape. If your pipes are protected by a crawl space or other structure that is attached to your home, insulate these walls, too. All of this material is available at your local home center.

Avoiding Well Water Pump Problems

Water well pumps are typically installed underground, in the hole dug to access groundwater. Sometimes, these pumps will be aboveground. Underground pumps are usually protected from the cold winter elements, but it never hurts to inspect your well hole and make sure it is properly sealed. For aboveground pumps, a small insulated well house (about the size of a dog house) with a flood light inside will help regulate temperatures and keep components from freezing. Easy building plans for these well houses can be found online.

 Dealing With Power (and Water Supply) Loss

One of the scariest things that can happen in wintertime is a loss of power at home. Losing power can mean a loss of critical water, too. Well owners rely on several methods to protect them and their water in the event of a power outage. Portable generators are used as a backup electrical supply, but need a steady flow of gasoline or diesel to keep them running. Emergency standby generators that run on natural gas are another option, but these systems tend to be much more expensive. Many homeowners store an emergency fresh water supply inside in the event of an extended power outage.

 

Staying safe and enjoying a constant fresh water supply from your well means taking some common sense steps before winter arrives. Contact C&J to learn more about your options for preventing winter well problems, and what you can do if a situation does occur.

 

17 Sep 2013

Well Drilling Equipment

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Tools of the Well Trade

At C&J Well Company, we like to dig holes. We’re pretty good at it, too. That’s because we employ some of the best people in the business and rely on some of the best equipment out there. Digging a hole is easy but when you’re after water for a well, precision and accuracy are key.

Check out some to the tools we use here at C&J.

Versa-Drill drilling rigs

 
As a central Indiana leader in well services, C&J supports local suppliers whenever possible. We use Versa-Drill brand rigs built by Laibe Corporation (link to: http://www.laibecorp.com), which is based right here in Indianapolis. Versa-Drills are the “Cadillacs” of drilling rigs and are an industry standard in our line of work.

Look for our big red trucks when you call C&J for your next well.

 

Diamond-tipped bits

If you have ever tried digging a hole more than a couple inches into the ground, you know how difficult it gets. Forget shovels; when it comes to well holes, diamonds are C&J’s best friend. Our drill bits are coated with diamond tips to help chew through the ground and reach an aquifer.

 

Highest-quality supplies

Well companies use all sorts of equipment and supplies to get the job done. Needless to say, some do a better job than others. At C&J, we only use the highest-quality supplies to ensure your well lasts as long as possible with as little maintenance as possible. For example, the well casings we install are made out of PVC instead of steel, to prevent rust build-up around the well pump.

We also use non-corrosive materials in our pitless adapters (which connects the pump to the underground pipes that lead into your home) and piping. We choose these materials because they provide lightweight, flexible well components that are more affordable for our customers. If these components ever do malfunction, replacement is much easier and cheaper to perform.


 

This is just a short list of the many tools we use to provide you high-quality, long-lasting wells. Besides home water wells, C&J also drills and builds specialty wells for geothermal, pond, irrigation and other applications. Learn more about our equipment and see us in action by watching well drilling videos on our website.

And don’t forget to contact C&J Well Company for all of your well drilling and water treatment needs!

16 Aug 2013

Water Well Cleaning

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disinfecting and cleaning your water well

Water Well Cleaning & Disinfecting: Two Different Duties

You regularly test your water quality and disinfect your well using chlorine bleach. Great! But do you know that disinfecting your well and cleaning it are two distinct tasks every water well owner should do?

At C&J, we get that question a lot. While well cleaning and well disinfecting are both important, they are not the same thing. In an earlier blog post we detailed the steps homeowners can take to properly disinfect their wells. Check out that disinfecting your well article here. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps for properly cleaning a well.

While we encourage homeowners to disinfect their wells themselves, well cleaning is much more challenging and labor intensive. For that reason, C&J encourages owners to hire an expert to clean their wells for them.

Give us a call at (317) 566-2079 to learn more.

When to clean a water well

Well cleaning, when done properly, extends the life of a water well and its components, and helps make well water safer to drink. There are several warning signs that a water well needs to be cleaned. These include:

  • Well water coming out of the taps that is cloudy or contains foreign matter.

  • Water that has a funny taste or smell.

  • Falling well capacity and water pressure.

  • Routine water testing that is positive for bacteria or other harmful materials.

If any of these warning signs are present, especially after a routine disinfection cycle, it is most likely time for a professional water well cleaning. Ignoring these signs can cause costly damage to the well and create health hazards for people and animals.

How to clean water wells

Besides biological contamination, encrustation is another common cause of a malfunctioning well. Build-ups of deposits on key well components like screens, pumps and casings are difficult to remove, and these parts are easily damaged by someone not experienced with their handling.

Professional well cleaning starts with removing the underground workings of the well. After these pieces are removed and individually cleaned, the well itself is cleaned. There are different techniques for loosening debris and crust from the well. Processes include:

  • Air, where high-pressure lines are inserted and debris is literally blown out the top of the well head.

  • Water, which is used in the same fashion as air.

  • Ultrasonic, using sound waves at extremely high frequencies to agitate the water and break free debris.

  • Manual cleaning, where wire brushes and other tools are used to loosen and remove debris from well surfaces.

Different kinds of chemicals can also be used to dissolve contaminants, but certain chemicals can cause more damage or even destroy a well depending on its age and materials used in its construction.

At C&J, we rely on highly pressurized air to remove sediment built up inside your well. The air pressure creates a cavity which lifts the loosened debris and blasts it out the top of your well without causing any damage to your well’s components. This process also revitalizes your screen so that you get better water pressure into your home once the well is reassembled. You can learn more about our professional cleaning and other services by visiting the C&J website, or calling our main office at (317) 566-2079.

Don’t ignore the warning signs of your well. Call C&J today!

*Loans provided by EnerBank USA, Member FDIC, (1245 Brickyard Rd., Suite 600, Salt Lake City, UT 84106) on approved credit, for a limited time. Repayment term is 60 months. 6.99% fixed APR. Minimum loan amounts apply. The first monthly payment will be due 30 days after the loan closes.
*Loans provided by EnerBank USA, Member FDIC, (1245 Brickyard Rd., Suite 600, Salt Lake City, UT 84106) on approved credit, for a limited time. Repayment terms vary from 24 to 132 months. Interest waived if repaid in 365 days. 18.58% fixed APR, effective as of January 1, 2019, subject to change. Interest starts accruing when the loan closes.
*Loans provided by EnerBank USA, Member FDIC, (1245 Brickyard Rd., Suite 600, Salt Lake City, UT 84106) on approved credit, for a limited time. Repayment terms vary from 12 to 144 months depending on loan amount. 8.99% to 12.99% fixed APR, based on creditworthiness, subject to change. The first monthly payment will be due 30 days from the date of application and monthly thereafter.