Quick and Helpful Facts About Water Wells

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Facts about Well Water

Quick and Helpful Facts About Water Wells

There are three possible types of drinking water wells used in private residences, in homes like yours!

Dug/Bored Wells

There are dug/bored wells, which are holes dug by hand or backhoe, cased (lined) by stones, bricks, or other hard materials, and on average 10-30 feet deep. They are usually large and relatively shallow, and not completely lined. In fact, dug wells were some of the first water wells created and part of an interesting history of water wells.

Driven Wells

Driven wells are constructed by driving pipes into the ground, and are usually 30-50 feet in depth. These wells are completely cased, but can become easily contaminated because they draw water in from sources near the ground surface. Additionally, if or when groundwater is encountered while providing water to your home, then the well is typically washed of sediment and a pump is installed.

Drilled Wells

Drilled wells are dug with drilling or percussion machines, and can be up to thousands of feet in depth. They are also completely cased, and often have a lower risk of contamination because of their depth. This is a diagram that demonstrates these three types of wells:

type of wells

Common Well Water Terms

These are a few common terms that can help you to better understand your private well water system.

Well Casing

The well casing is a tube structure made of carbon steel, plastic, or stainless steel that helps to maintain the shape of the well openings and keeps dirt and other contaminants from entering the well.

Well Caps

Well caps are made of aluminum or plastic, and are placed on top of the well casing at the surface level to prevent dirt, insects, or other contaminants from entering the well.

Well Screens

Well screens are attached to the bottom of a well casing to prevent excess sediment from entering the space.

Pitless Adapter

A pitless adapter provides a sanitary and frost proof seal to be maintained between the connector (adapter) and the pipe carrying the water. It allows the pipe carrying water to stay below the frost line.

Well Pumps

There are two types of well pumps: jet pumps and submersible pumps. Jet pumps are usually used in shallow wells, less than 25 feet deep. They work by creating a suction from above ground to pull the water up from the bottom of the well. Submersible pumps are mostly used in deep wells, where they are placed inside of the well casing and connected to a power source above ground, allowing it to pump water up and out of the casing.

Sources:

https://www.epa.gov/privatewells/learn-about-private-water-wells

https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/gw_ruralhomeowner/

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