Many people live in areas that use wells so that homes can have running water. If you’re used to living in a city that has a different water system, you might not even be sure how water wells work.
Wells will certainly work differently than systems where the city provides the water for various houses. However, it’s not that complicated, and you’re going to be able to get the gist of it pretty quick.
Keep reading to learn more about how water wells work. You’ll be able to answer all of your burning questions about them, and it’ll be easier to feel confident about moving into a home that has one.
You’re probably familiar with how old-fashioned wells work because you see them in movies and TV shows quite often. They even show up in modern video games, and you see people going to the well to lower a bucket of water so that it can be filled with water.
This is how older wells worked in the past, and modern wells are quite a bit different than that. You’ll learn exactly how modern wells work in a bit, but first, you can learn a bit about the wells of the past.
People would dig deep into the earth so that they could find water. If the hole was dug deep enough, the water would fill the well so that it can be retrieved easily.
This is a very simple system that worked well for people for quite a long time. People throughout history utilized simple wells like this so that they could have reliable water sources.
Modern wells work a bit differently than what is described above. You aren’t going to have to go to the well to lower a bucket to get your water.
When a home has well water, it simply means that the water that is running through the pipes is supplied by a well. Wells are dug deep into the ground, and some will go as deep as 1,000 feet.
These wells allow water from aquifers to go through the pipes, and that’s how the homes are supplied with water. If you haven’t heard of aquifers before, you should just know that this is underground water that comes from layers of porous rock.
When professionals install these water wells for homes, they install pipe casing into the big hole that has been dug for the well. Typically, concrete or clay sealant is used to keep contaminants out, and the water can then safely travel through the casing to a well pump.
The well pump allows the water to enter your home by going through the pipes. There’s a pipe connection between the capped-off casing of the well and a pressure tank located somewhere in your home.
Many homes that have well water will find that the pressure tank is located in the basement, but it can be placed in other convenient spots. Not all homes have basements, but you just need to know that this is how the water is fed to your pipes so that you can do what you need to do.
Is Well Water Pure?
Have you ever heard someone say that they prefer well water because it’s pure and it comes from the earth? Well, parts of that statement are true, but you shouldn’t consider well water to be “pure.”
This is actually water that contains many other things, and you generally have to check well water to ensure that it’s safe to drink first. When you’re having a well dug for a home, professionals will need to test the water to see if it’s safe to use.
Sometimes it isn’t safe to drink or use due to having too many contaminants. Keep reading to learn a bit more about what well water actually is.
What Is Well Water?
If you’re concerned about whether well water is safe for you and your family, that’s absolutely normal. This is quite a bit different from city water and it doesn’t contain the same chemicals that help to ensure that water is safe to drink.
Well water comes from the earth and it’s actually rainwater that has seeped into the ground through the soil. You’ll find that well water is far more likely to come out as “hard water” due to containing things such as magnesium and calcium.
Many other contaminants can be found in well water, too, and you’ll want to be aware of the potential problems. Sometimes you might find arsenic, nitrates, iron, sulfur gas, and more in well water, but it depends on the area that you’re living in.
Many people find that well water performs poorly when compared to city water in certain ways. For example, well water that contains too many contaminants might not work well with certain soaps, and it could leave spots on your clothes when you’re laundering them.
It also might not taste as good as you would hope that it would. This isn’t always going to be the case, but well water might have problems like this.
That might make well water sound less than desirable, and it is in some ways. However, there are plenty of things that you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your household.
You Should Test Your Well Water Once Per Year
One of the best things that you can do to protect your home is to get your water tested. It’s advised that you get your well water tested once per year to see how things are going.
Having professionals come out to test your water will give you information about what’s in it You’ll be able to find out if there are high contaminant levels that you need to be concerned about.
If there are issues with your water, you’ll be able to take steps to address them. Without getting the water tested, you might never know that there is an issue that could harm your family or your house in some way.
You see, many of the contaminants in well water can’t be seen visually, and you might not be able to smell that anything is off either. Be vigilant and ensure that you get your well water checked from time to time to err on the side of caution.
It’s Also Important to Maintain Your Well Casing
It’s also going to be very important to keep your well in good physical condition. Over many years, it’s possible that a well could sustain some damage or deteriorate if you don’t look after it.
Any cracks that appear in your well casing or cover could wind up exposing the well to more contaminants. Cracks might allow insects to get into the well, and you could even wind up having rodents get in there. Needless to say, this could cause you many health problems, and you might wind up having bacteria grow in the well.
You should keep an eye on the condition of your well to prevent problems like this from happening. If you are proactive about things, you should be able to get any cracks or other issues fixed expediently.
If you did find any cracks, you should test your well for bacteria to see if anything bad happened. Even if your well does test positive for bacteria, it’s going to be possible to fix things.
You can get local professionals to come out to your home to treat your well. They can use chlorine to eliminate bacteria in a similar fashion to how people keep pools safe to use.
After this is handled, you just have to work to make sure that the well is sealed tightly. You want to prevent any bacteria issues from popping up moving forward.
Keep the Well Cap Free of Debris
One good tip to keep in mind is that you should keep debris away from your well cap. You should know where your well cap is located on the property so that you can look after it.
If you don’t take care of the area around the well cap properly, you’re going to be more likely to encounter issues. This means that you must take care when you’re mowing around that area, too.
Do your best to keep the area around the well cap mowed and free of weeds or other types of plant debris. Don’t let piles of wood or other things clutter up the area either.
This should be an area of your property that you check regularly to ensure that nothing is amiss. Once you get into the habit of doing this, it’s not going to seem like a big deal at all.
What If Your Skin Feels Itchy?
Sadly, some people wind up having bad experiences when using well water. If you’re noticing that your skin feels itchier than usual, it might be because you have hard water and you’ve been showering with that water.
Hard water can make you feel really itchy and it can also have a negative impact on your hair. Your hair might be a bit lifeless or limp if you’ve been washing your hair using hard water.
This doesn’t mean that you’re in danger or anything like that, though. It’s just an inconvenience that can make you uncomfortable.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t take care of the issue as soon as you can. You actually have a very good option that can help you to solve a hard water problem.
Water filters are going to be very useful if you want to use well water for various things in your home. Some people have whole-house water filters installed so that the well water won’t be an issue.
You can install filters that will ensure that contaminants are filtered out of the water before you drink it. These same filters can keep contaminants away so that they don’t get in the clothes that you’re trying to wash.
Overall, it’s going to be worthwhile to invest in a good water filter for your home if you’re concerned about well water in any way. These filters can solve many of the problems that you’ll experience while using well water.
It’ll allow you to get water from the tap and have it taste really good. You’ll also be able to have a much more pleasant showering experience if you choose to buy a professional-grade water filter.
The best water filters can solve your hard water problem, and this will make it feel like using well water is no problem at all. You won’t need to worry about dry skin or hair issues moving forward.
Of course, not everyone has a bad experience with well water. Some people find it to be just fine, and it isn’t necessarily going to be hard water 100% of the time.
Even so, it’s true that well water has more contaminants than city water. This means that water filtration is a good thing to look into if you plan on drinking it.
The benefits of water filtration make the cost well worth it, but it’s up to you to decide which route to take. If you’re fine with your well water the way that it is, then it should be okay so long as you’re taking the right safety precautions.
Be Smart About Things
Be smart about things and you shouldn’t have any problems using well water. It does take a bit more thought than city water, but it can be just as safe with the right level of diligence.
Many people make well water so much better to use by buying filtration systems, but you can also be safe by just testing your water every so often. If you do the things that a responsible homeowner should do, you won’t have as much to worry about when it comes to your well.
Hopefully, this information has helped you to understand how water wells work and what to expect when it comes to using it in your home. Now you’ll be able to have a better experience due to understanding what you should be doing.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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