How To Measure Your Well and Static Water Level

First WaterBoyCheck your static water level

The easiest way to check your static (resting) water level is to tie a small weight (such as a metal nut) to a string, and lower it into the well. First, flip off the electric breaker, and remove the well cap, which is usually held by 3 bolts.

For the most accurate reading, turn off the pump for at least two hours before checking the level. Lower the weight into the well, and then mark the string with tape, a knot, or marker when the weight reaches the water level.  You will hear the weight hit the water (a bloop sound), and you will feel a slight slack in the string tension.

Your static water level will be higher than the depth of the drilled well.  For instance, our well is drilled to 245′, but the water comes up to 80′ from the surface.

Once you know the static water level, that will give you an idea what type of pump to put in.  And, just in case, a well bucket is a sure way to get water in a long-term emergency. Buckets work at any depth without electricity.

Measure your well casing

To determine the inside diameter of your well and the size of bucket you’ll need, flip off the electric breaker and then remove the cap, which is usually held by 3 bolts. A simple hand wrench will do.

flashlight in a well


You will see wires and the water pipe, either PVC or iron. Shine a light into the well.

well with a liner





If your well has a  4″ liner, you will see it down about 3 feet into the well. The photo shows a well with a liner, which looks like a shiny ring on the photo. This well also has a pit-less adapter and a strap to hold up the well liner.  The pump must be removed from this well before a bucket can be used.


measure you well

Measure the inside diameter of the well pipe. It will be anywhere from 4-8 inches.

A 6-inch well without a liner can use a 4-inch or smaller bucket, although we recommend the largest size because it holds more water. If you have a 4″ liner, you will need the 3-inch slim-line bucket.

To use a WaterBoy Well Bucket

  • In drilled wells, have the pump and drop pipe removed if one is installed.
  • Measure the static water level as explained above.
  • To avoid contaminating the well or water drawn from the well, do not rest the bucket bottom on the ground before or during use. Keep hands away from the water discharge area and do not allow the rope to pick up soil during use.
  • The bucket can be sanitized with a weak bleach/water solution before use.
  • Attach the well bucket securely to a strong braided (not twisted) polypropylene rope or wire cable more than long enough to reach the water (at least 10 feet longer than the static water level, plus about 20 extra feet at the surface for tying off, looping through a pulley, etc.). If raising the bucket by hand, use 1/2” inch rope or larger. If using a windlass, a smaller diameter rope or wire cable can be used.

WaterBoy bucket rope

  • Secure the end of the rope to a stationary object such as a tripod or post so it is not accidentally dropped down the well.
  • It is easiest to lower and raise the bucket with a pulley system with a sturdy tripod, although not necessary. A windlass is best for deep wells.

WaterBoy bucket and tripod

  • Slowly lower the bucket into the well (Do not let unit freefall) until reaching the water. Lower the bucket about 5 feet into the water. The bucket will fill automatically as it is submerged, and then seal as it is raised.
  • Retrieve the bucket slowly by hoisting it up by hand, pulley, windlass or whatever method was employed. Do not jerk up the well bucket.
  • Once at the surface, position the bucket over a clean container. Grasp the handle and pull up on the thumb-lever. When the bucket is empty, release the thumb-lever. The bottom seal will then close and the bucket is ready to be lowered into the well again. Repeat as necessary.
  • Drain all water from the bucket before storing in a clean, dry area.

Using a WaterBoy Well Bucket





bucket instructions






WaterBoy bucket instructions

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