According to the National Groundwater Association (NGWA), 44% of the U.S. population relies on groundwater, either from a public source or a private well, for its water. If you’re thinking about joining that percentage and constructing a residential well, there are few things you need to know:
1. Test Your Groundwater
It is very important that before you begin drinking groundwater, you test the hardness and the TDS level. Hard water could be associated with high levels of calcium and/or magnesium and TDS levels over 1000 mg/L could result in poor tasting water. Since 40-50% of water in the U.S. is impaired, meaning it is not suitable to drink, it is important to be sure your water is safe.
2. Know the Well You Want
According to wellowner.org, there are three kinds of wells: drilled wells, driven wells and dug wells.
Drilled wells are constructed by either cable tools or rotary-drilling machines. They can be drilled up more than 1,000 feet deep.
Driven wells are shallow wells, only around 30-50ft. They are constructed when a small-diameter pipe is driven into shallow water-bearing sand or gravel. These can be easily contaminated by nearby surface sources since they are not sealed with grouting material.
Hand-dug or bored wells are also relatively shallow wells. Bored wells go deeper beneath the water table than hand dug wells but they are both able to obtain water from less-permeable sources such as sand, salt or clay. Like driven wells, these wells are also susceptible to contamination.
3. Research Good Well Contractors
When constructing a well, it is important to find a good contractor. A quality well specialist will be licensed or certified, with the necessary water, skills and equipment. If they are part of the NGWA, either by membership or certification, that’s definitely a good sign in terms of credibility.
4. Research Permits
Your state may require a well permit. Research whether or not you need a permit before beginning well construction.
Well water may be well worth it to some people but it’s important to know what you’re getting into. If you do your research, you could end up with a well that would last quite some time.