Making sense of flow rate tests

When you live in a big city, it’s easy to take water for granted, but living in a rural area, it’s another story. The majority of rural homes in Prince Edward County are served by shallow bored or blasted wells. These don’t tap into underground artesian water sources and depend largely on surface water instead.


This means the in the dry days of August, perhaps 1 in 10 wells will run dry. (This is not as big a problem as it would appear. The normal solution is to pay “George” the water delivery man to fill the well from his truck, using the well as a virtual holding tank.)

Before a lot can be severed and built, the owner must demonstrate a minimum water flow of 3 gallons per minute, but the devil is in the details.

A well that delivers way over 3 gallons per minute when the snow is melting and there’s water pooled everywhere can readily run low on water in the summer.

The picture at the top of this post shows a County property that tested near 10 gallons per minute in the spring when it was dug, but only a few gallons an hour the next summer….I should know, it’s mine.