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How to Measure Static Water Level in Your Well?

Updated on March 12, 2022

3 Ways to Measure the Static Water Level in your Well

Steel Measuring Tapes

measuring tape for static level

A steel measuring tape can be used to measure static water level for shallow wells or deep wells with a maximum depth of 100 feet. A lead weight is attached to one end of the tape. Almost 10 feet of the tape is dried and coated with class chalk before each measurement.

The tape is then immersed in the water, and the point above the casing is noted down. The tape is then pulled up, and the wet point is noted. The actual depth is then determined from the top of the casing to the water level by deducting the wet mark (the immersed part of the tape) from the end, held at the top of the casing. The water level is then obtained by looking at the total depth of the water well. The difference in both the measurements is the static water level in the well.

Electric Sounder or Depth Gauges

E-Sounder gauge

An electric sounder gives accurate results compared to measuring tape but it is costly as you will need to hire a professional well driller. An electric sounder uses a weight attached to an insulated wire. The wire is immersed in your well. When the end of the wire touches the water in your well, the circuit is completed, and the ammeter starts to show a reading.

Once the current starts to flow, the distance is noted on the wire, and it is then taken out from the well. Once the wire is taken out, the distance can be measured with the help of measuring tape.

Air Line Method

Well drillers use an airline device to measure the static water level in the well. The airline device has two ways to tell you about the static water level. If the gauge is calibrated in feet, it will tell the exact level of water. If it shows reading in PSI, you can convert the reading to feet using a simple formula.

1 PSI= 2.31 Feet.

What is the Static Level?

The static water level is the water level in your well when it has not been pumped for at least 12 hours. It is the water level under normal and undisturbed conditions.

What’s the best time to measure the static level?

The best time to measure the static level in your well is when it has not been used for at least 12 hours.

Factors Affecting the Water Level in the Well

The following factors affect the water level in your well

  • Rainfall and drought
  • Water usage
  • Number of people obtaining water from the same underground source
  • Sediment level in your well
  • Well depth
  • Refilling speed
  • Changes in the volume of water
  • Changes in atmospheric pressure
  • Changes caused by the aquifer deformation.

Final Words

Once you know the static water level in your well, it will help you adjust your water usage and move the pump upward/downward.


  • Earl Rojo

    Earl Rojo has been a senior mechanic in well drilling and maintenance firms for 3 years. He is from Longview, Texas, and he loves sharing his experience with others. He frequently writes on various well water issues with a special focus on well maintenance and drinking water quality.

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