If you ever visited a farm in your rural town, you must be wondering how their plumbing system is so efficiently connected to their well. The modern plumbing infrastructure has changed the way people use their wells. They no longer need to fetch a pale of water from the underground well and have their backs aching for a long time.
Well water has been in use since ancient times. The ways of using it have changed with changing times. Understanding exactly how well it works is a little more technical than it may seem outside. In this article, we will cover how well it works and how to keep it working efficiently.
What is a Well?
The majority of the population today must have seen a well in one of the conditions. But for us to understand the science behind these structures, let us learn the basics. A well is a structure created to access underground water from the earth’s crust. It is the oldest way of using groundwater from underground aquifers. Unlike the olden times, well water today is connected to the plumbing system of the entire house using pumps and electrical systems.
One might think that well water is pure and safe for drinking. However, there is more to it than what meets the eye.
How Does a Well Work?
As we know well is made to collect groundwater that can be used for daily consumption. Groundwater gets collected in the earth’s crust over time and is freely available at many places for use. To do this, one needs to drill as deep as 1,000 ft into the earth to reach the water. Once the hole is drilled deep enough, a pipe casing is installed, surrounded by clay or concrete sealant. This is done to prevent contaminants from entering the pipe. A pump is then installed in the well that pushes water through the casing. All the water is capped off as it reaches above the ground.
The collected water is now distributed throughout the home via a pressure tank. A pressure tank is usually installed in the basement. On one end, it is connected to the underground casing, and the other end is connected to the plumbing system.
How do wells get their water from underground rivers?
The earth has underground aquifers. Aquifers are made up of different materials, mainly permeable rocks, sand, gravel. It is interesting to learn how water reaches so deep inside. Rainwater and precipitation seep into the soil and enter these aquifers.
This water travels through large spaces between the rocks and other materials. It then finds its way into the larger water bodies like the ocean, sea, river, or lakes. It can often form a water body like a spring or river on its own.
Tips to Keep Your Well Working Properly
Inspecting a well can be tiresome and tedious. As a private owner, one may not know what issues are present in the well. Therefore hiring an expert to inspect the well is very important. This needs to be done at regular intervals to keep the well from malfunctioning and maintain the water quality at all times.
Keep Chemicals Away
Many traditional materials used every day may not seem harmful. But using them near well can cause a hazard. Items like chemicals used for cleaning, paints, oils used in vehicles, pesticides, wastes, and pollutants should be kept away from the well. It is advised to keep about 100 feet of the area around your well free from any potentially hazardous materials.
Check Well Cover Regularly
A well cover is very important to protect the well from damage. At all times, make sure that the well is properly attached to the casing and is in good condition. There shouldn’t be anything on top of it that could damage it. The well cover needs to be tightly sealed and should also be pest-proof. Any damage to the well cover can deteriorate the life of the equipment fit inside the well.
Don’t Try To Service Your Well
Keeping a well clean is a lot of hard work. Over time a well can face bacterial growth, debris, encrustations, water clogging. These issues cannot be solved without expertise. However, an expert, well-maintenance service provider will know the right solution to these problems. They will have the right set of tools and chemicals to damage the well and water quality.
Do wells need to be cleaned?
Just like any other water storage and distribution system, wells also need to be cleaned regularly. Cleaning the well will ensure the efficiency of the entire well system and help maintain the quality of water. Bacterial growth, oxidation of metals used in pipes/casing, clogging of the openings is the most common issues that one may face when they own a well.
How do wells not run out of water?
Well is built to use the underground water stored way below the surface level. Water in the underground aquifers has collected water over a period of time, and it keeps assimilating water with the regular precipitation on the soil. Hence, a well can typically last anywhere between 25 years to a century. Even if the well is unable to pull up water at a point, it can be drilled deeper to reach the water.
Only when a location is facing drought will the well run out of water completely.
Does rain fill your well?
In the olden days, the open wells were filled with rainwater. Today there are modern pieces of equipment that push the water directly from the underground to the faucets in the house. Thus the wells are generally closed with a cover to protect the entire system from degrading during rains.
This doesn’t mean rain doesn’t help in getting well water. During the rainy season, water falling on the soil will easily travel through the different layers of earth and reach the bottom-most layer and get collected. This helps in maintaining the water level.
If you enjoy a well just outside your home or are looking to buy a property with well water, you must know that owning a well comes with a lot of responsibilities. It does have life-long advantages, but just like any other thing, the benefits come at a cost. And with wells, this cost is your time and money both.