What is a Well?
A well is a hole dug into the ground down to the water table, which is then used to extract water. Wells are a very traditional method of extracting ground water. The well may have to pass through several different layers of substrate before it meets the water table. The depth of the water table will be variable for each location.
A well is usually a brick lined hole that has been dug into the ground until it reaches water.
A well may be dug down until it reaches a water table, the level of standing water in a well will be dependent upon the static head of the ground water. If the static head is less than the depth of the well, then water will need to be extracted using a pump or, the good old fashioned way, using a bucket and rope!.
If the static head is greater than the depth of the well then, the well becomes an artesian well. Water will then naturally overflow the well and it will need to be capped.
Problems encountered with a well
Well water supplies may run dry or begin to produce a low yield.
The brick lining may collapse and block access to the water.
Drinking water from a well
It is not often that we find a well water supply that complies with statutory drinking water regulations straight from the ground. Wells may be quite ancient and may not be capped. Being uncapped means that there may be an ingress of animals (large and small) which then decompose causing bacterial contamination. At this point the water should be tested to determine what deviations there are from the prescribed standards. For peace of mind, an accredited laboratory should be used both to determine the condition of the raw water and then the treated water after the filtration equipment.
How deep is a Well?
Simply put, it will be as deep as the water table. Typically, well water supplies are usually between 10 and 50 foot deep.
What is the difference between a well and a Borehole?
A well is usually sunk by hand and will be relatively large in diameter. A borehole is drilled by machine and will be relatively small in diameter.
Can i share my well supply with my neighbour/s?
Well water supplies can be shared with multiple properties.
Do I need a water storage tank?
Depending on your water usage, a water storage tank may or may not be necessary.
Can i drink boiled well water?
Boiling well water will remove the microbial bacteria, however it will concentrate any mineral deposits such as sediment, heavy metals and pesticides that may be present.
How much water can a well produce per day?
A non-artesian well will require a submersible pump in order to supply water. Depending on the pump, a well can produce up to 20,000 litres a day without the need for an extract license. A licence is required if you draw more than 20,000 litres per day.
Can wells dry up?
Well water supplies can sometimes dry up during a drought or after a warm summer. Water quality may also vary from time to time sometimes due to prevailing weather, sometimes due to geographical disruption.