What Do I Do if My Private Water Well has Flooded?

What if my water well has flooded?

When your water well has become flooded or surface flood water enters the wellhead and goes down into the casing, your water could be contaminated with bacteria. Basement wells and wells located in pits can also flood and be contaminated.  When this happens, your well needs to be checked immediately. Bacteria and contaminants can still get in if the well seems to be fine.

If my water well has flooded, can I use the water?

If your well has flooded, DO NOT use the water:

  • To drink, cook or bathe,  try to use another essay writing services safe water source.  For example, bottled water or a neighbor’s well that hasn’t been  flooded. You can also boil water for 1 minute (in a rolling boil) before you use it if you don’t have access to other water sources.
  • Always wait until a licensed water-well contractor has looked at your well and the floodwater has been flushed or purged from the casing and then shocked, chlorinated and tested.

If my water well has flooded, what do I need to do to the well and pump?

When flood waters carry wood, animal and human waste, and other debris this can cause damage to the structure of the well and of course contaminate the well water.  Contact a licensed water-well contractor when the flood waters have gone down and get them to check your well system. The pump should be cleaned and any soil or sand should be removed. DO NOT attempt to turn on the pump if it has been in water. Make sure the wiring system has been checked by a qualified electrician or a licensed water-well contractor.  There is a risk of being electrocuted and also damaging the well and pump.

Do I need to have my well and plumbing disinfected?

If your well has become flooded, then the whole plumbing system connected to it needs to be shock chlorinated.  For more information about shock chlorination and how it works, call a licensed water-well contractor.

Do I need to have my well water tested?

Before you use your well again, have the water tested for bacteria.  You can get bottles and instructions for testing from a Public Health Office.


How do I protect my well from flooding in the future?

When the floodwater has stopped and the well is back to normal, check with a licensed water-well contractor for more information which may include:

  • Extending your well casing
  • Installing a flood-proof cap with an extended vent
  • Relocating your well
  • Upgrading pit wells

If you have any questions or concerns, call MacKinnon Water Solutions.

How to Plan for a Water Well

Installing a water well on your property takes some serious time, research, consideration, and planning. Adding a water well can significantly increase the value of your property while giving you quick access to clean drinking water. The best way to plan for a new water well is to understand the details and the scope of the job thoroughly. Read on to learn about what exactly goes into planning this large project and how to maximize its potential.

Take care of all legal prerequisites

Be sure to check with your local government to learn if your water well requires a well permit before drilling it. Reaching out to a well-drilling contractor is another option to learn about the legal requirements in your area. You will need to know what zoning and building laws you must follow and make arrangements accordingly to avoid any legal penalties. Your province may have local codes or regulations that are different from other provinces in the country.


Estimate how much water is “enough”

You should have a reasonable estimate of your water supply-demand. When drilling a well, it’s vital to ensure there will be enough water to allocate an ample amount to each family member. Avoiding dry holes and low-yielding wells are crucial. If you have a larger family, swimming pool, or warrant higher water consumption, you will require more than the average household. A general rule of thumb is that a home will use approximately 150-300 gallons of water per day for two to four people to meet basic water supply needs.


Avoiding disaster with low-yielding wells

While it’s not common, some holes may be dry. More often, low-yielding wells will be an issue. Low-yielding wells may be caused by geologic conditions or interference with other wells. Consult with your local drilling contractor as they should know your hometown area the best. They should be able to tell you if the material beneath the ground is suitable for obtaining a good water supply. Another good tip is to chat with your neighbors and ask them about the water quantity and quality in the area.


Scouting the perfect spot for your new water well

While you may want your water well in one spot, take a tour to determine the best place for drilling on your property. Be sure to avoid land slopes and poorly drained areas whenever possible. Water wells should be in a location that’s easily accessible for regular maintenance, repairs, cleaning, testing, and routine inspections, all of which will probably be necessary at some point. Be sure to remove any shrubs and trees away from the well; they can hinder the installation process. Also, always install water wells far away from septic systems and contaminates to avoid contamination. Placing your well at a higher elevation level than the surrounding areas will help to decrease possible pollution.

What is A Water Well Made of?

A large number of Canadians rely on water wells to provide them with their everyday water supply. What exactly are water wells made of? While many of us take our drinking water for granted, we forget how much goes into construction a water well. Most water wells obtaining groundwater for household use are comprised of many materials, with three being the most crucial.


The 3 most important materials needed to build a water well:


  1. Well Casing

Modern household wells are lined with sturdy steel piping or well casing. Other common materials or older well casing may be made from black or galvanized steel or concrete. The well casing is what keeps the well open and serves as the pathway for bringing up water from the earth to the surface. It’s usually around 4 to 6 inches in diameter. It prevents any soil, dangerous contaminants, leakage from surrounding formations, and rock from entering the well.


  1. Grout

If a well is made using the rotary drilling method, there will be a space in between the bare hole and the well casing, called the annular space. Leaving the annular space open means risking contaminants entering the well. Grout, which is a unique mixture of cement, bentonite, or concrete, is used to fill in the empty areas. To ensure a well is fully sealed, the grout should be pumped into the well’s annular space. A grout pipe or tremie pipe is the best way to ensure the grout is reaching all the way down to the bottom of the annular space between the casing and the borehole. Grout should be continually poured into the gap until it comes to the surface.


  1. Well Screen

A well screen is usually found at the bottom of the casing and is essential for keeping sand and gravel out of the well. A well screen works like a sieve or strainer for the water well. Water can move through the screen freely while it catches any sand and gravel that may be trying to make its way into the water supply. Screens can be made from a few different materials, the most common today being stainless steel and slotted PVC pipe. The size of the screen will depend on the size of the unwanted particles trying to enter the well. Many water well owners will use a gravel pack as well. It’s placed around the side of the screen, between the screen and the borehole wall, or outside of the well screen. Gravel packs are best for keeping fine sediment, like sand, from clogging the filter.

How Often Do I Need To Test My Drinking Water?

Testing of a residential well begins before one buys a house, and should continue throughout the possession of that home. In general, your well should be tested each spring for mechanical issues, while your water should be tested for contaminants at least once a year.

The rate of change in rural well water quality often decreases over time, so you can test less often following the initial testing.

A standard test should check for the presence of bacteria, nitrates and nitrites as these elements can seriously affect the health of you and your family if left untreated.

Be sure to check the quality of your well water as you become aware of any of the following issues:

  • a visible change in quality including cloudy water
  • a funny taste to your well water
  • elevated levels of contaminants in previous well water tests
  • if you have recently drilled our updated your rural well
  • industrial land use nearby
  • chemical use nearby such as at a construction site

For more information about testing your well water — or rural well — please contact us.

photo of woman using reverse osmosis tap

Reverse Osmosis: Purified Water in Your Home

Nothing is more important to your family’s health then a ready supply of purified water. Recommended consumption for the average person is 1.5 to 2.5 litres of water daily to replace fluids and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, alcohol and soft drinks are diuretics that actually dehydrate the body meaning they use more water to process than they provide.

Drinking Reverse Osmosis (RO) purified water is the best way to stay hydrated! It’s one of the most convenient, affordable, environmentally sound alternatives to bottled water.

While untreated tap water can contain a broad range of impurities and contaminants, an RO system tackles the broadest spectrum of water impurities possible including sodium, heavy metals and chlorine/chloramines. RO filtration also reduces impurities such as bacteria, viruses, pesticides and odours, while dissolving metals like lead, arsenic and iron.

Advantages of Reverse Osmosis

  • Green Technology: uses no energy
  • Healthy, Safe Water: filters out up to 99% of contaminants
  • Better Tasting Water: removes contaminants / nuisances affecting taste, look and smell
  • Worry-Free Care: no cleaning or handling required; pollutants are flushed down the drain
  • Affordable: 10x cheaper than bottled water and pitcher filters


plan of mackinnon complete water treatment system

Complete Water Treatment

Whether your water comes from a municipal supply or private well, or you live in an area with water restrictions MacKinnon Water Solutions can install a complete water treatment system customized to meet your needs. The LE Series whole Home water Solution includes:

le reverse osmosis brochure

Download Brochure:
LE Reverse Osmosis System

photo of jamie mackinnon and david innes installing airwell unit

Jamie MacKinnon Debuts Airwell on Holmes & Holmes

Set your PVR to record Jamie MacKinnon’s television debut on Episode 6 of Holmes + Holmes, Sunday November 11 2018 at 10pm EST.

Jamie stars alongside David Innes, Director of Sales of Radon Environmental, sharing the story of Airwell’s innovative technology in mitigating the negative health affects of radon.

You can’t see, smell or taste it, but radon is most likely present in the air that you breathe — and if you’re on a residential well — in the water you drink.

Across North America, radon is a naturally occurring gas formed as a byproduct of the breakdown of uranium in the rock and soil. As they dissipate, radon molecules get trapped in the air and water that surround us.

Fortunately, for those of us living in Renfrew County ON, radon levels remain very low as the small amount of gas that does escape gets highly diluted in the surrounding atmosphere.

However, if you are on well water there’s a 100% chance that you do have radon, so it’s wise to know the levels you’re living with. Long-term exposure to excessive radon levels can increase your chance of developing lung cancer.

Health Canada’s policy is that all Canadian homes should be tested for radon, so that homeowners can mitigate against its effects when levels are above the action guideline.

The only way to know if you have elevated levels of radon in your home or water is to use a do-it-yourself radon test kit.

If your radon test results are of concern, thanks to Airwell technology mitigation against negative effects need not be difficult or costly.

MacKinnon Water Solutions was a lead partner in the development of the patented Airwell system, which treats residential groundwater like mother nature intended, infusing your aquifer with a safe and cleansing supply of atmospheric oxygen.

Thanks to its high performance design, Airwell removes all radon BEFORE the well water enters your home. Its patented design sustains a down-the-well process, where groundwater is recirculated, oxidized and purified indefinitely without debilitating scaling or biofouling.

Designed specifically for residential well water systems, Airwell is automatic, maintenance free and requires no costly chemicals, thereby keeping operating costs to a minimum when compared to standard aeration systems.

In collaboration with Radon Environmental, MacKinnon Water Solutions installs, repairs, maintains and services Airwell systems for homes and businesses throughout Ontario, Quebec and the USA.

photo of jamie and rob mackinnon with the archie watt award

MacKinnon Water Solutions Wins 2018 OGWA Award

Local business owners Rob and Jamie MacKinnon of MacKinnon Water Solutions in Pembroke, are the 2018 recipients of the sixteenth Archie Watt Award for Excellence in Sustaining Groundwater Resources. The presentation was made at the annual Ontario Ground Water Association (OGWA) convention, held in Ottawa this past March.

Rob and Jamie were recognized by the OGWA for their many years of professional dedication and ongoing work in sustaining groundwater resources.

In presenting the award, OGWA Executive Director Craig Stainton noted that “Rob and Jamie MacKinnon, through their conduct have proven themselves as most worthy recipients of this award.”

Jamie and Rob are second generation owners of MacKinnon Water Solutions, proudly building on the family business established in 1970 by their parents, Bill and Ann.

Our parents taught us to always aim for 100% customer satisfaction. We’re very proud to be seen in the community as a trustworthy and respected family owned company. Now, to be recognized by our industry peers — well, it’s all very rewarding.”


Originally established with a focus on rural well drilling, over the last 48 years the MacKinnon’s have expanded the business to also offer expertise in well upgrades and pressure systems, environmentally friendly water treatment, and geothermal for heating and cooling.

Employing about a dozen full-time staff year round, the MacKinnon Water Solutions commercial operation is located in Pembroke on the B-Line at Trans Canada Hwy 17. From here they service customers throughout the Upper Ottawa Valley, from Stonecliffe through to Arnprior, in communities throughout the Madawaska and Bonnechere Valleys, and over on the Quebec side.

“It’s been very rewarding to build on the solid base that our parents established,” says younger brother Jamie. “We’re continually looking at how to leverage our expertise, so that we can offer new technologies to better service our customers. For instance, the XS drilling system we use has reinvented the well drilling sector in this region.”

“We’re a growing business,” says Rob, “but we’re local, and still small enough to care. That’s important to us.”

The OGWA was created in 1952 as a not-for-profit organization to facilitate collaboration among various sectors of the groundwater industry with a goal to ensure delivery of safe, clean water throughout the province.

The Archie Watt Award was established by the OGWA in 2002 in recognition of Mr Watt, who wrote the Well Water Act in 1947 and is known as the grandfather of groundwater in Ontario. The Archie Watt trophy is on permanent display at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough.