Many people and households across the US usually consider drilling their own well as a mitigative measure against water shortages and access to clean, pure water for drinking. The ability to construct your own well depends on the region’s legal framework as well as the location of the underground water table.
It is possible to drill your own well on your property. You may, however, have to contact the local building department to find out any regulations to be followed. Some sites may be more suited to drilling your own well compared to other places depending on the location of the water table.
There are different rules and guidelines related to drilling your own well in different states. The county health departments in several states are tasked with site inspection, testing, and issuance of well-drilling permits.
Types Of Private Drinking Water Wells
When it comes to private wells, there are three different types:
- 1Dug/Bored Wells – These are simple holes dug in the ground using a backhoe or shovel. They usually have a large diameter and are relatively shallow. Dug wells are cased with bricks, stones, tiles, and other materials to prevent the walls from collapsing.
- 2Driven Wells – Driven wells are made by driving a pipe deep into the ground. These wells are also shallow and cased continuously to protect them from collapsing. These well, although cased, can easily be contaminated as they draw water from aquifers near the surface.
- 3Drilled Wells – Drilled wells are constructed using percussion or rotary-drilling machines. These wells are very deep and can be thousands of feet into the ground. A casing is usually installed to prevent collapsing. Compared to the first three, drilled wells have a lower risk of contamination as they draw water from the deepest underground water table. They are also cased continuously to prevent wall collapsing and contamination.
Key Considerations When Choosing Your Well's Location
When deciding to drill your own well, a key question you will have to answer is the location of the well.
A well should be located away from any potential source of contamination like near septic systems and sewer lines.
The well's location should be so that it directs rainwater away as this water usually picks harmful microbes and chemicals on the surface. This water may pool near the well and start seeping into your water, which may lead to health hazards.
The right construction methods largely depend on the groundwater and geologic conditions of the local area. Information concerning the suitable construction method can be obtained from your local health department, state water-well contractor licensing agency, or a water system professional in your area.
Below are factors to consider when selecting the perfect location to drill your well:
You need to scan the surrounding well to determine the best spot for your well, considering environmental factors like type of soil and the presence of possible sources of contamination.
Go for areas with silt, clay, and sand, as these soil formations help protect the well from curving in or mixing with contaminants. You will have to locate your well away from sewage tanks and other water bodies to prevent microbes, industrial and agricultural contaminants from seeping into the water.
The flow of underground water is a significant factor when drilling your well. Locating the well on raised/hilly ground helps to keep any groundwater away and protects the well from contaminants or flooding.
To determine the correct direction of groundwater flow, you may need to conduct an in-depth analysis of the groundwater in your area.
The depth of the well mainly depends on the geological features of the area. Areas with sand, clay, and silt may be easy to drill and reach the water table compared to rocky areas. It is the depth of the well that will determine the type of well to install.
Should You Drive or Drill a Well?
There are majorly two methods of digging a well. Below is a detailed overview of these methods:
Major Components of a Well
Below are major components found in a private well:
Why You May Need a Professional Well Drilling Service
Depending on several factors like depth of well, the geological makeup, and safety concerns, you may choose to drill the well yourself or hire a professional to do the job. However, drilling a well by yourself may present several challenges compared to hiring a professional, which may lead to satisfying outcomes, is convenient, and is more affordable.
Professional well-drilling services are able to handle any danger that may arise during drilling. For instance, some areas may be prone to sinkholes. Well-drilling technicians have the technical know-how as well as the equipment that helps them maintain their own safety as the well we that of your family after drilling.
Using well drilling services helps you save on supplies as well drilling technicians usually have their own equipment needed to complete the job. In addition, drilling professionals can recommend cost-effective and high-quality materials to complete your well. (Related: Well Drilling: The Homeowner's Cost Guide)
Your well also needs constant maintenance in order to maintain the quality of water. Well-drilling professionals are also maintenance experts who can offer insightful advice and proposals on maintaining your well to prolong its lifespan and maintain the water quality.
Professionals usually have the skills and equipment needed to locate the well in the right spot without causing much damage to your yard.
Many people and households in the US opt to have their own private wells to mitigate water shortages or due to poor quality of water supplied by the local authorities. Having your own well assures you of a continuous and uninterrupted supply of clean and healthy water.