How Does Well Water Work? Your Complete Guide

Well water has been an important water source for nearly ten thousand years. That said, many of us don’t think about wells anymore because, well, we don’t have to.

Cities have different water systems that don’t require people to tap the water from the earth. Wells are still a viable way to get your water, though, and many people have wells for their home water.

How does well water work? We’re going to look at that question today, giving you some insight into how well work as well as the benefits of using one. Let’s get started.

How Does Well Water Work?

Well water exists in aquifers that sit underneath the ground. The water table sits at different distances from the surface, but most places have a reservoir of water the exists down below.

It’s not as if there’s a big pool of water sitting down there, though. Instead, it’s an amalgamation of rainwater, dirt, sediment, and more. In some instances, companies have to drill hundreds of feet down into the earth to reach the water aquifer.

When the water table is deep down and more drilling is needed, the water well drilling cost increases. A hole gets dug down to the groundwater aquifer and a pipe runs through that hole. The pipe is reinforced with clay or concrete to ensure that contaminants don’t enter through the soil.

At the bottom of the pipe, a gravel screen protects the entryway from large sediment and debris. The bottom of the pipe sits a few feet below the top of the water table, allowing a reserve of water to sit dormant in the pipe.

A few feet of water moves through the gravel screen and rises above the submersible pump. This pump has to be submerged in water completely in order to function.

Pumping and Home Entry

The submersible pump connects with a pipe that runs up about halfway up the well. It turns off toward your house and runs through the ground into the basement in most cases.

In the basement, a pressure tank waits to receive the water and heat it, cool it, or do anything else with it that needs to be done. From there, the water waits to get used in your faucets, showers, toilets, and more.

Well Water Safety

Well water is what’s referred to as “hard water.” That means that it contains minerals and might have a particular flavor that reflects those minerals.

It makes sense, considering that well water is rainwater that ran its way deep into the ground. It’s bound to pick up a few different things on its journey into the groundwater aquifer. The gravel screen or filter at the base of the well isn’t powerful enough to remove all of those things.

In most cases, though, the contaminants aren’t things that hurt humans. They might actually be good to take in, depending on where you live. The most common minerals in water are calcium and magnesium.

The well could also contain things like iron, arsenic, sulfur gas, and different things that can be harmful in large amounts. Home water filters can do the trick to sift those things out and leave you with clean water, though.

That said, people get used to the taste of hard water and come to enjoy the flavor in a lot of cases. The difficult thing about additional minerals in your water, though, is that it has consequences on your plumbing and your home appliances.

Hard Water Consequences

The minerals in hard tend to build up in the pipes of your home. In fact, any appliance or system that uses your well water is liable to get mineral deposits that wear through your systems.

Pipes can burst or become useless, and home appliances might have internal issues as a result of mineral deposits. You’ll also find that soap doesn’t interact with hard water very well.

It leaves mineral spots on dishes and cups and doesn’t do a great job of cleaning. It still works for these things, but the appearance isn’t up to par with what someone with soft water might experience.

Inspection and Management Checklist

If you’re someone who owns a well, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re keeping your water safe. First, make sure that you’re working with professionals any time you have to do any maintenance.

The state of your well has a direct impact on the health and wellness of your family, and amateurs have a way of creating more issues. So, find a well repair person that you trust and stick to them.

Further, make sure you conduct a test on your water quality every year. Add tests to that schedule if you notice your water starts to taste different in any way.

You can reinforce your water safety by making sure that you don’t have any devices with hazardous chemicals or gasses near the well. One way that contaminants enter wells is through the cap.

A well cap is the first defence against animals, bugs, and different pollutants that might find their way down there. Animals that crawl into a well and die, for example, are a big hazard to the quality of your water. Make sure that your cap is well screwed on.

It’s also important to keep the cap at least six inches above the ground. You should be able to keep your well safe with the management tips above. So long as it’s installed correctly and maintained, you’ll have a great water source for yourself.

Want to Learn More About Wells?

If you’re still wondering “how does well water work,” we’re here to help. Hopefully, the ideas above gave you a good idea of wells and the way they operate, but there’s more to learn if you’re interested.

Those who are looking to install a well of their own might have a lot more questions. Explore our site for more insights into well water filter system ideas, installation costs, and much more.