I just came across this interesting article about wells, I would like to share it with you!
Water, a source of life….
While visiting your new country residence or cabin, you find out that the Municipality does not provide any water service, but the property has its own well. Outside urban centers, many properties are equipped with a well when it comes to drinking water. When purchasing your new property, you have to be able to make a distinction between the different types of wells and their consequences for you.
The surface well is supplied by running water near the surface of the ground – water being within the water table. It can be easily detected with the presence of a concrete pipe and a cover of about 24 to 36 inches of diameter on the ground surface. This type of well is quite easily accessible, its depth does not go beyond 25 to 30 feet. However, the depth being marginal could bring considerable risks of contamination. Soiled surface water can infiltrate the water table.
In addition, the water table being shallow, your water can be contaminated with the contribution of soiled water on long distances. The performance of a surface well depends on precipitations and weather conditions. Overflowing when the snow melts, the water table could practically dry up during summer heatwaves. Or, when the house requires more water, whenever you have guests, the quantity of water available could diminish considerably. Just think of the long showers your teenagers take. You will find this type of well in older constructions. The cover of the well must be more than 18 inches from the ground in order to avoid a possible contamination, must be easy to find and access in case of a break and must be accessible at all times.
This type of well has to be checked on a regular basis. We recommend a water test before purchasing a property equipped with a surface well.
Artesian well : a safe value
An artesian well is built by perforating a layer of waterproof dirt to access a water pressure expanse of water. Drilled wells are not all artesian wells but the use of the name designates all wells getting water from the depths of the ground. The artesian well is supplied either by water circulating in the faults of the rock or by water located in sand, gravel or under a layer of clay. The artesian well is usually very stable and reliable all year round as for quantity and quality of water. It isn’t rare that an artesian well reaches depths of more than 300 feet or 100 meters and has a 6 inch diameter. This type of well is sealed in the rock up to 30 feet in depth, then limiting its contamination from surface water. In addition to its reliability, the artesian well is a top choice because it is less vulnerable to bacterial contaminations as opposed to a surface well, or from water taken from a source.
When the drilling and the installation of the pump are done according to the rules, the infiltration from surface water in the well will not happen, which is favorable to the healthiness of your water all year round. This type of well is less subject to the variation of water supply, especially in times of heatwaves. In conclusion, two major advantages for this type of well : first, a healthier water and second, its reliability. The cover must be at more than 18 inches from the ground in order to avoid a possible contamination and must be accessible at all times as well.
The artesian well, because of its reliability, will always be perceived as a safe investment which will raise the value of a property, facilitate its sale and will qualify better for a mortgage loan with a bank.
The instant well or filtering headland
The instant well or sand headland is an economical way of getting water from the water table. All you have to do is sink a headland to the required depth. However, although cheaper, this type of well will be suitable only when the ground is composed mostly of sand or gravel. Waterproof ground layers or rock will stop the use of this technique. Also, the water supply of an instant well is very much random.
This type of harnessing is however more subject to drying up, coming from a lower water level in times of drought as opposed to a tubular well. You have to make sure that the well exceeds the ground surface from 30 cm or 12 inches. We strongly recommend a water test before purchasing a property equipped with this type of well.
How to identify the type of well
The artesian well, with its great depth, is equipped with a submarine pump installed directly in the well, so you will not see any pump in the house. If you find a pump in the property running on 100 volts, it will generally be a surface well or, more seldom, a filtering headland.
Before purchasing a new property, it is very important for you to define which type of well supplies the drinking water within its walls. Next, you have to be able to locate the well on the property and verify its installation. These factors will influence the quality and quantity of drinking water available. For all types of wells, we recommend the installation of a filter which will eliminate silt and dirt that could stain your clothes or block all devices or appliances using water, namely hot water tank, humidifier, coffee maker, washer, etc.
We cannot tell you enough of the great importance of having a water test done in the best conditions and with the right manipulations in order to have a good idea of the kind of water you will be drinking. A professional building inspector offers this kind of expertise.
A well specialist, who builds and maintains your well, will advise you on how to maintain it and will inform you of available treatments to make your water a good drinkable water for you and your family.
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