What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Springtails?
December 22, 2009
Here are some photos of what I found in my water well pressure tank. The tank has been installed on my private well for about ten years. The vinyl bag inside the tank had a leak which caused water to go from the bag into the tank which is normally only filled with air. Upon removal of the water well pressure tank I removed the bottom seal and dumped the remaining water which was dark and very smelly of stagnant water. I noticed these little guys moving around and was shocked they were alive. My water well is about 100′ deep and sealed from ground water run off to the best of my knowledge. I will have my water tested again to ensure there are no problems with water run off. I am wondering how did these little guys get inside a sealed pressure tank? I doubt they were pumped up from 100′ below ground.
I have some captured inside a bottle and have noticed in darkness they remain on top of the water but are not to active, upon exposing to sunlight they become quite active and jump like fleas do. I have never seen anything like it and am very curious as to what these little guys are. I did shoot a video but it’s very shaky at 45X holding the camera by hand. Any light you may shed on these would be very much appreciated
Thank you, Charles Senn
Olalla, Washington

Springtails

Springtails

Hi Charles,
We are generally reluctant to try to give exact species identifications on Springtails, but your specimens are probably Podura aquatica as evidenced by images on BugGuide which indicates:  “Range Europe, North America and Siberia  Habitat  Semi-aquatic. Often found floating on the surface of small bodies of standing water such as ponds, as well as on stream and pond banks.
We would not discount that they were pumped up from 100 feet below the surface.  Your well does have surface water after all.

Springtails

Springtails

Thank you for the prompt reply but I do disagree with your assessment
that my well has surface water as it’s sealed in 6″ steel casing welded
together all the way down to the aquifer. At the surface the well is
sealed from the ground with bentonite which is what they use around here
and it appears to be in great shape. But I would also have to assume
those guys got in there some how just not sure how. I hope you post my
response on your website and I really appreciate your help.
Thanks,
Charles Senn

Thanks for the clarification Charles.  Our vision of a well is something you drop a bucket into and then crank it to the surface.  Though we don’t fully understand the mechanics of your water system, we are certain you have Springtails.

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