If you've recently purchased a new property that includes an old capped well, you may be wondering whether it's worthwhile to get this well up and running again or whether you should stick with your city- or county-supplied water instead. Although maintaining a well can sometimes be a hassle, when it comes to off-grid living, nothing else stacks up; and even if you elect to continue purchasing water from your local utility, having your own backyard well as a backup can provide you with some much-needed peace of mind. Read on to learn more about the process of revitalizing an old well, as well as a few situations that may indicate your new home's well is beyond repair. 

How can you put an old well back into service? 

Even after a well has been capped and abandoned, it's not necessarily dead; water will continue to seep into the well through the aquifer unless steps are taken to seal the well from the outside soil. Because of this, your first step when deciding whether to restore your well should be to test the water for bacteria, minerals, and other impurities. In some cases, you may find that your well was capped for a reason (for example, if the groundwater is heavily polluted with lead, cadmium, or other heavy metals that can cause irreversible illness), making its uncapping a bad idea. In other cases, you may find that with a bit of water softening and some purification, your well's water quality will rival that of your favorite bottled water company. 

After you've tested the water quality, you'll then want to test its depth. In some cases, especially with old wells, the local climate may have changed significantly since the last time the well was used; relatively shallow wells may no longer be up to the task of providing a reliable water supply in drought-heavy areas. If you find that your well is only holding a foot or two of water, you may want to consider extending its depth before you put it back into service, since running a well pump in very shallow water is likely to burn your pump out in short order. 

Once you've ensured that your water is pure (or capable of purification) and that your well is a sufficient depth, you should be ready to contact a well contractor to get you back into service. 

What should you consider when deciding to restore an old capped well? 

In addition to considering factors like water quality and depth, you'll also want to give some thought to your family's lifestyle, budget, and other relevant considerations. If you've always longed to reduce your energy costs by going "off-grid," a well can be the perfect place to start; the relatively little amount of energy used by a well pump can often be absorbed by a single solar panel, allowing you to provide your home with fresh, clean water at no cost.  Even those who aren't interested in going fully off the grid may find some peace of mind in the knowledge that an interruption in the city or county water supply won't have nearly as much of an adverse effect as it would on a well-free family.  

On the other hand, if you don't have the discretionary budget to handle well repairs or maintenance (since well pumps rarely pick a convenient time to stop working) or have health considerations that make the consumption of well water unsafe, spending the time and money to put an old well back into service may not be the best investment. You'll want to consider these factors, as well as others unique to you and your family, before making the decision to revitalize your home's old well. 

Contact a company like County Pump & Supply Co if you're ready to install a well pump and provide your home with water from a well.