Private water systems (wells) are common in Maine and may not be able to furnish an unlimited supply of water in a short period of time. As water is drawn out of a well the water level generally drops. When withdrawal ceases, groundwater recharges the well and the water level rises. A typical household uses about 90 gallons per bedroom per day for basic sanitary purposes. This should ideally be available within a 4 hour period but certainly within a 24 hour period. The rate at which water flows into the well (the recharge rate) will determine how much water can be withdrawn day-in and day-out.
The depth and the static water level of the well are measured. A pressure transducer is lowered into the well and the water is partially drawn down. The transducer records the depletion and recharge rates of the well. The transducer is withdrawn from the well and connected to a computer. The computer downloads the data, and visually graphs the well’s performance. The recharge rate is then determined. The recharge rate and the well’s storage capacity are compared with the expected internal water demand of the home based upon the number of bedrooms. The well is judged as “adequate”, “limited”, or “severely limited”. An adequate flow provides enough supply for sanitary needs plus a surplus for watering the lawn, etc. A limited or severely limited flow may require careful management or storage to provide sufficient supply for basic sanitary needs.
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