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Letter Re: Easily Measuring Well’s Static Water Depth

Hello Hugh,

In a recent letter, the writer noted he did not know the static water depth of his well. This is easy to determine using a recording device and some free audio software.

1. Remove the cap from the well casing.

2. Clap your hands above the open hole, and listen for the repeated echos.

3. Use an audio recorder of some type to record the echos. Most phones can be loaded with audio recording apps.

4. Transfer the audio snippet to a PC, and use a free program, such as Audacity, to measure the time between two echos, in seconds.

5. Compute the depth with the following formula: depth=echotime * 560. For example: If the echo time is 0.12 seconds, then depth=0.12*560=67ft.

That’s it! There may be free Android or iPhone apps that allow you to do this all on the phone. Look for “oscilloscope” apps.

Many blessings, as we all prepare to rebuild our nation and our freedom. – One Ping Only in Virginia.

Hugh Responds: The engineer in me really likes your solution. However, you could also tie a wrench onto that 300ft fiberglass tape measure [1] that you bought and lower it into the well until you hear the water splash. Then continue to lower it until the wrench hits bottom. You then have the water depth and the well depth. In the very few instances where there is a well or water depth greater than 300 feet, your method works well. (No pun intended.)