How Does a Well Work?
What Is A Well you ask, and how does it work? Basically, a well is a hole that has been drilled into the ground so you access water contained in an aquifer. A pipe and a pump are then used to pull water out of the ground, and a screen will then filter out unwanted particles that could clog the pipe.
how wells work to give us water
How Does Water get into a Well?
Most wells don’t get their water from underground rivers like we would probably think, but instead wells get the water from aquifers. Aquifers are layers of rock and soil that have water flowing through their small pores. For the most part, there aren’t these giant caves under the earth’s surface containing violent rivers of water flowing rapidly through them. Quite the opposite! Instead, groundwater drips very slowly and gently right through the small spaces within rocks, between rocks, and even between loose materials such as gravel and sand.
If you were to go and dig a hole into the ground and it ended above the water table (this is the boundary between unsaturated ground and water-saturated ground), the water at this depth is still stuck to pieces of rock and soil, so that means that only a small amount of water would empty out into your hole. Now, if you dug a hole that was deep enough that it would stop below the water table, the water in the wet ground would be pulled down by gravity into the vacant space that is at the bottom of your hole. In this case, your hole will then fill up with water that drips out of all the holes from inside the rocks.
Another part of the answer is how one gets the water up out of the well to the surface. If you have an artesian well, the water will naturally rise up into the well because of pressurizing forces that take action below the Earth. With all other types of wells, collecting water into the well requires some kind of pumping action. The pumping device that is used to drive water to the well can be either electrical or mechanical.
How does a well get water for us to drink and use?
How Many Years does a Water Well Last?
Needing to replace your water well? Depending on the type of equipment and model it is, well pumps can usually last between 8 to 15 years. However, there are many factors and circumstances that can contribute to the premature expiration of a well pump.
Now, the average lifespan of a well is anywhere between 30-50 years; others might say between 25-100. There’s no way to give an exact answer, they can last shorter or longer depending on different circumstances. If the well you are purchasing is over the 20-year mark when buying a home, you should probably factor in replacing the parts that are commonly known to fail so you can budget accordingly. However, it’s easier to calculate a reliable estimate of your well’s life expectancy if you know more about the type of well and conditions where the well might be located.
Is Well Water Safe to Drink?
If the water in your home comes from a community well or private well, then probably not. What you would need to do in this case is use bottled water or boil the water for drinking. Water Wells have a higher risk of becoming corrupted with a wide variety of bacteria. If there are any contaminated bacteria’s in your water it can lead to many health problems, such as neurological disorders, reproductive issues, and gastrointestinal illness. Young children, Infants, women who are pregnant, the elderly, and people with a weaker immune system could be at higher risk for getting sick after drinking any amount of well water that’s contaminated.
What Diseases can you get from Well Water?
Even though the United States has some of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, many sources of drinking water can still be contaminated through naturally occurring minerals and chemicals. Contamination of your private wells cannot only impact the household that is being served by the well, but can also impact other households nearby using the same aquifer.
If you are an Owner of a private well, you are responsible for ensuring that the water is safe from any contamination. Private wells need to be checked for cleanliness every year, as well as mechanical problems and any presence of coliform bacteria, nitrates, and all other contaminants of local concern.
Top Causes of Outbreaks in Wells include:
- Campylobacter, E. coli
- Hepatitis A
- Salmonella, Cryptosporidium
- Arsenic, Gasoline, Nitrate, Phenol, Selenium
Should you Filter your Well Water?
Wells can be a cost efficient source of water; this can save you money on your water bill. Even with this benefit it can come with a cost. Well water needs to be filtered and purified to constantly maintain high quality. If you don’t properly filter your water, it could make you sick! However, filtering your well water won’t necessarily take out every waterborne pathogen, but filtering can greatly reduce the probability for contamination, such as dirt pollutants and sediment, disease carrying bacterium, and heavy metals or rust. Unfiltered well water can also have a very repulsive color, bad taste, and strong odor. So to say that you should filter your well water would be a big understatement!