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Planning to Get Your Own Water Well? 4 Things to Examine First

Planning to Get Your Own Water Well? 4 Things to Examine First
  • Opening Intro -

    Digging a water well on your property is a great way to save some money while improving your self-sufficiency, but there are quite a few variables to consider before you tackle this project.


Digging in the wrong place or without the proper testing could result in some expensive issues down the road.

Water Source

The most important step in this process is figuring out what type of water source is available in your location.

Your well’s location is going to have a huge impact on the amount of water that it produces and how clean the water is.

Luckily, the USGS has established thousands of test wells throughout the country, and they regularly monitor those wells for water production and germs.

All of that data can be found on their website or requested at a local USGS office.

If the water in your area is contaminated with heavy metals and other contaminants, you can include a filtration system with your well if you’re still set on having your own water-source.

Potential Contaminants

Once you have chosen a rough location for your well, you must then test the water and some of the surrounding soil.

Even though most residential water well pumps come with robust filtration systems, the area might have been contaminated with heavy metals or human waste.

The easiest way to test the water is to contact your state’s health department and request a testing kit. Most state healthy departments offer free or affordable testing, and they are going to look for contaminants such as radon, nitrites, and bacteria.

look for: stuff for water wellslook for: water testing kits

Local Zoning Laws

In addition to locating and testing the water source, you must also consider local zoning laws. While most property owners can legally dig their own wells, there might be quite a few city or state laws that regulate that type of project. In some areas, you must acquire a permit or license before a well is dug to a certain depth.

You will also need to make sure that there are no man-made structures under your property. This can include wires, piping, or underwater river redirects made by the city. If the water under your property was put there by the city, then they won’t let you build a well to tap into it.

Types of Wells

There are basically three types of residential wells to choose from, and each option comes with its own pros and cons. Bored wells are created with shovels or backhoes, and they tend to be relatively inexpensive as long as the water source isn’t too deep. A driven well is another inexpensive option that is made by forcing pipes into the ground, but that type of well usually doesn’t produce much water. For a deeper aquifer, you will most likely need to go with a drilled well that is made with a large rotary machine.

other valuable tips:

Once your well has been dug, you must continue to test your water as often as possible. Contaminants could eventually get into your water supply, and you need to catch those germs before they impact your family’s health.

It will also be important that you don’t contaminate your well yourself with pesticides and fertilizers in your yard. If you take good care of your well, then you won’t have to worry about the water you get from it.

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Image credit: water well by Pixabay

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About Author


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.