A Good Source of Water?
The Water Well

Before building my own home, I certainly had no thought of a water well. I did not even consider the water supply to my house. The water was supplied by the city. It was always there, and the quality was assured, (to some degree, more on this later) by the municipality that supplied it.

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When I found the land to build my home, having a good source of water was one of the things that became very important. I live in the south where water wells, are the primary source for water, in the rural areas.

In many areas of the country, prior to buying property, you need to do some research on the typical depth that you will hit a good source of water. In some areas it is very expensive to drill a water well because of the excessive depths, or even if you will hit water at all may be in question.

My wife and I have looked at property in many areas and done research on those areas. For instance in New Mexico near Ruidoso, the typical depth was over 1000 feet to hit water. It was not unusual in that area for a well to cost in excess of $10,000.

In one area of Colorado it was not how deep you went down, to hit water, but if you hit water at all. Many people that lived in rural areas had their water delivered by truck. Others drilled a well and hit water. This proposition sounded pretty scary to me.

I said all the above to encourage you to do your research on your area. You may live in the city now, with a great source of water, and want to move in a rural area that you may have to supply your own. One thing that we have done in the past is find a good realtor in the area. They can give you good information and point you in the right direction.

This is covered in the Buying Land Page.

Now you have done your research, and have a piece of land picked out. You are going to need a company to drill your well. I would suggest you do your research, and find a good qualified company. You can go to the Contracor Page

Now would be a good time for me to give you a couple of good links to learn a little about the water well. The first one is about How a Well Works. This is a good pictorial view of the water well and how it works.

The next link is to U.S. Geological Survey's Water Science for Schools World Wide Web site. The site is primarily designed for education. Don't let the format fool you it is an excellent source of knowledge about the water well.

Now you know a little about wells, and have a good idea, how you are going to find a contractor to drill your well. What happens once it is drilled and ready for you to use. How can you make sure the water is safe for bathing, and drinking? For this I need to share a little of my experience.

When we bought our property, it already had a well on it. Yippee, you say, great, one less thing to buy, right? Well sort off. I have include a couple of pictures below.

Water Well
Water Well

Doesn't sound so appealing now that you have looked at the water well, does it? Remember when the house is finished we are supposed to drink the water out of that thing, YUK!

When we bought the property, the owner had bought it from another guy, who had developed it in 1980 something. The best I could figure, is the well was close to 20 years old. That meant it had been sitting there for all those years, without being used. At this point, I was more than a little concerned about water quality.

So I did what I have told you no less than 100 times on this page, my Research. I first found a qualified well contractor, and asked him what to do. He told me to have the electrician hook it up and see if it would pump. Sounded rather scientific to me.

So after throwing out all the bugs and spiders, in the controller, and the pressure switch the electrician hooked it up, and we turned the water well pump on. What came out of the well was less than comforting. It was many shades of YUK!

I then called the well contractor back and him that it pumped. I then asked him how to disinfect it. He told me to pour 3 gallons of Clorox down the well and let it sit a few hours, and then pump it for a good while to clear all the Clorox out.

After doing this I called the county heath department, concerning water quality. They informed me of a water-testing program they had for drinking water. I had the water tested, and they passed it. They only tested for bacteria that are present in well water, found in fecal matter. This is the main source of well pollution. This is due to Septic Systems that pollute ground water. I also sent a sample to an independent commercial lab and had it tested for other pollutants. It came back trace on some pollutants. These were associated with agricultural fertilizers.

Now would be an excellent time for you to review the EPA's website about drinking water from household wells.

Ok, we have tested our water from our water well, and it is safe, or is it? I was told that it showed no present danger, to human health. But what happens in the future? At this point, I needed assurance that my water would be safe for drinking always.

I installed a under sink Reverse Osmosis water filtration system, that insures my water quality remains high. Once per year, I change the filters, and the cellulose membrane. The cost to operate the unit is minimal. The water quality is outstanding.

For many years, when I was on city water, I used water filtration, and reverse osmosis systems, to improve my water quality. You can of course buy you water, but quality is still an issue. Water Bottlers are only responsible to maintain the minimum standard set by the municipalities. Beyond that standard, your guess is as good as mine.

I would strongly suggest for your families health, and yours you review the following website. They offer quality water filtration systems, and excellent advice on what you will need.

Aquasana Sun Water Systems

Since the writing of this page my well pump failed and I had to have it replaced. I took pictures of the entire process. I learned a lot about how wells work.

Go have a look on the How to Work on a Water Well Pump page.

For more information on Water Wells Go to the Water Well Knowledge Center.

For more Information on Building Your Own Home Go to Our Building Knowledge Center.

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