Could an earthquake affect my water well?
It is well documented that earthquakes can have significant effects on water wells. The shaking associated with an earthquake may cause sand to plug a well screen, therefore reducing the volume of water that can be pumped. Conversely, the shaking can dislodge sand plugging a well screen and cause an increase in the volume of water that can be pumped from the well. Both of these phenomena have been widely reported from the epicentral areas of Ohio's larger earthquakes, including the 1937 Anna earthquakes and the 1986 Chardon earthquake. In some cases the well returns to its normal state but in others the well needs to be serviced to restore former production volume. Production spikes from oil and gas wells have been reported following a local earthquake. Very large earthquakes at great distances can also cause the water table to temporarily rise and fall when the long-period surface waves pass through the state. The 7.9-magnitude Denali, Alaska earthquake on November 3, 2002 caused water-level changes in some Ohio wells.