Well Permit Fees & Time Frame To Receive A Well Permit

The time frame to obtain a well permit is more than double at this time. The process is taking approximately 3 to 5 weeks for a well permit application to be received, reviewed and accepted.  In the past, the whole process from the time that the application was mailed out to receiving your permit back was approximately 2 weeks.  The cost on a well permit currently is $100. If you are planning on having your well drilled this summer, apply now, before the summer gets away from you. This delay could definitely put a “kink” in proceeding with your lot development plans for the summer. If you need any help with your permit, stop by the office, I’ll be glad to help you with the paperwork. — Debi Williams

Posted in Well Permits

All Well Testing Is Not Equal. Test The System

A lot of companies do well tests to verify well production but very few and none I know of locally do a system check.  The pump and pressure tank together with the various components that make up a water system are checked for quality and condition when we do a well test.  Additionally we note whether the system is suitable for the intended purpose.  We recently did a service call for a new homeowner;  he had just bought an existing home and was moving in but had no water!  His problem:  A frozen water line. The bigger problem was;  the water system was not designed for year around use.  The water line was too shallow to keep from freezing; a costly-unexpected fix. Certain parties in a real-estate transaction would prefer that we not mention the short comings of the water system but the prospective buyer who is paying for the test should be advised of potential problems. Well tests are done to protect the buyer from problems with the well; we go a few steps further to protect the buyer. — David Nequette

Posted in Well Tests

Frozen Water Or Sewer Lines A Problem?

A properly installed water line should not freeze.  However a cabin not used regularly that has a slow dripping faucet will build up ice in a sewer line slowly until plugging it.  A little known solution for this problem is a heat tape that installs inside the pipe.  Sounds crazy but they are available and they work!  Problem: The lines have to be thawed before the devices can be installed.  We do thaw water lines.  At this time we don’t thaw sewer lines; the two should never mix, use the same tools or even the same technician or service truck.  Call me pernickety but; the ass should never meet the glass, (water or beer).  If your pump quits due to a frozen line, turn it off  as the pump will continue to run (bad, very bad).  Always turn a pump off; when having a problem.  With more than a few years experience we can offer common sense solutions to most any problem related to mountain living; except cabin fever.  Please don’t call if  your wife can’t deal with the solitude.  — David Nequette

Posted in Frozen Lines

How Can I Save Money On A Service Call?

Anything that saves us time on the job saves you money — period. One of the main things is ‘access’ to the pressure tank and controls. Some are located in utility rooms full of stuff.  If we have to crawl over, clear an aisle or move your stuff,  that’s costing you money. Some pressure tanks are located in a home’s crawlspace. Many are full of rodent feces and bodies in various states of decay. Some have loose fiberglass and black-widows lying all around. Aside from being a health hazard to the service tech, it takes time to suit-up and dodge dead bodies, spiders and fiberglass. Well pits or houses with small doors, filthy conditions and no ladders are the biggest waste of time and money. A properly installed system with easy access is much less costly to service. We can do in minutes what has taken us hours to do on some jobs. We want to be efficient but it’s impossible when we have to fight certain conditions. Folks don’t see these places and don’t think of improving them but even a few minutes with a shop-vac can save you a lot of $$$. — David Nequette 

Posted in Save Money, Service Call Tips

What To Do When Your Pump Quits

Firstly and especially at this time of year, turn it OFF.  Why?  If the line is frozen your pump will continue to run against a dead head condition, this causes up-thrust of the pump impellers.  Most pumps cannot handle up-thrust without damage.  Most failure situations will only get worse if the pump is left on or if the fuses are replaced repeatedly.  NEXT:  Find the suspected problem and turn the pump on to test it,  if it does not pump, turn it off.  If you can’t find the problem, call a professional, as it is usually the least expensive route. Ninety percent of our service calls on pumps don’t require a new pump. It’s amazing how many do-it-yourselfers put in a new pump, only to find out the pump was not the problem (it has happened to more than one licensed professional too.)  Most issues are control box related or electrical in nature.  Even a lot of electricians don’t have the skills to trouble shoot a pump’s electrical system. The State of Colorado allows only Licensed Pump Installers to work on well pumps (with a homeowners exception).  Not even Licensed Well Drillers can work on pumps. — David Nequette

Posted in Pumps

Winter Drilling and …

Wells can be drilled year around.  Anything can be done, but at what expense. Freezing weather, short days, bad roads and snow-covered property create challenges.  Being one who prefers to drill with water in most all formations, this is limited by sub-freezing temperatures.  We use water to clean the well bore, to develop water sources and to keep formations with clays from sticking to the well bore and sealing off water sources.  Additionally we use water to control dust.  Many of you have seen what looked to be a forest fire and sometimes reported as such.  Only to find out later it was a drill rig creating this nasty dust.  It is not easy or inexpensive to control this dust.  Chances are if you have seen this, it WAS NOT me.  For years we have used water in an attempt to limit the environmental damage done by drilling dry.  Water and the use of it, is one of the things most commonly left behind in sub-freezing temperatures.                           — David Nequette

Posted in Winter Drilling

When To Use Pipe Insulation Or Not To Use . . .

After seeing a local TV news reporter promoting the use of pipe insulation as a cure for frozen pipes, I thought I should address the issue. Pipe insulation, if used improperly, can make things much worse!  For instance, pipes too close to outside walls that need extra warmth should not be enclosed in insulation as the insulation will keep the warmth of the home from reaching the pipe.  Instead, insulate the space between the wall and the pipe.  Be sure to seal any air leaks thoroughly. Additionally, pipes under the house will not benefit from insulation unless they are heat taped.  The use of heat tape should be a last resort because it can be a fire hazard.  If possible, insulate the outer walls of a crawlspace and seal all air leaks.  The heat that radiates down through the floor will keep the pipes from freezing. Remember, insulation is a double edge sword that can keep pipes cold as well as warm.  One real use for pipe insulation is to keep the hot water warm or cold water cold.David Nequette        

Posted in Freeze-Ups, Heat Tape, Pipe Insulation

Well Seals, Styles, Types and Uses

It is required that all wells have a cap/seal that is gasketed to prevent water and insect entry and vented to allow the well to breathe.  The gasket or seal and screened vent should be tight enough to prevent insects from entering. In the past, a simple cap was allowed and used by some. These caps were able to keep out all but the smallest rodents but are an open door for insects.  Built of cast aluminum and held in place by set screws with no seal, they are inexpensive and should not be used for a permanent seal. I have seen many wells in the past during service calls that did not have well seals on them.  Some wells were covered with a board, some with a steel plate, others had rags stuffed down the hole.  Most all of these had dead rodents in the well and YES, people were drinking the water.  One man after seeing body parts on the pipe, wire and a hair plugged intake screen, still didn’t want to have a seal installed???  Even now the cost of a seal is below $60. — David Nequette

Posted in Caps, Gaskets, Insects, Seals

Power Outages And Equipment Damage

Power outages can happen year round and are hard on any electrical appliance or apparatus that is turned on at the time. Power outages are sometimes preceded by fluctuations, dips or short outages.  These voltage surges or spikes are detrimental to TV’s, well pumps, etc.  One of the most damaging times for equipment is the split second that power is restored. As a protective measure at the first sign of an outage, I turn off the main breaker and wait for power to be restored.  With the main breaker off turn the remaining breakers off.  To monitor the return of power leave one breaker on that powers only a fan or lights and turn the main breaker on. When power is restored wait a few minutes, then turn on the remaining breakers, one at a time. These simple steps save your appliances from ‘small heart attacks’.  Additionally we can install surge arresters to protect your pump and appliances.  These help for the times you can’t be there. Protect your pump for as little as $59. — David Nequette

Posted in Breakers, Equipment Damage, Main Breaker, Power Outages

Things To Consider When Leaving Home . . .

When leaving your home for vacation you may want to consider the following: Turn off the power to your pump and either close the main water valve or drain the pressure tank (unless of course your neighbor needs to water your horses). Turn off your hot water heater or set it to pilot if it’s gas (it’s easier than “off” and re-lighting it). Set your house heat to the lowest setting,  just enough to keep things from freezing or your plants from dying. Make sure non-essential electrical items are turned off.  You may also want to stash your valuables.  Above all, don’t forget the trash!!!  I just love to come back to stinky trash or rotten goods in the refrigerator. If you have to leave your water on,  make sure that you don’t have a dripping faucet or leaky toilet, as these often lead to frozen sewer lines. You may also want to check your clothes washer (things get hectic and forgotten when leaving on vacation).                        –– David Nequette

Posted in Proper Planning

Contact Us

105 CR 241
P.O. Box 186
Westcliffe, CO 81252

Phone: (719) 783-3000
Email: nequettedrilling@gmail.com

FREE ESTIMATES for Drilling,
Water Systems & Excavations

  • Water Well Drilling
  • Well Fracturing
  • Septic Systems
  • General Excavation
  • Complete Water Systems
  • Site Planning Consultation

Information Packages Available

Driving Directions:

  • From State Hwy 96 in Westcliffe
  • Turn North on 3rd St
    (State Hwy 69)
  • Go 1/4 mile to County Rd 241
    (at fairgrounds)
  • Turn right and take immediate left into parking lot

License #1043
Bonded & Insured
40+ Years Experience