Wells have been supplying safe drinking water for
mankind since the beginning of history. A water well
may be a Dug Well, Developed Spring, or a Drilled
Wells are perhaps the oldest method of extracting
groundwater for use. Years ago, people needing fresh
water would pick a suitable spot for a well, either
a wet area or a location that hopefully contained
water below ground, or in some cases an area that
was just plain easy digging.
large diameter hole was dug and lined with rocks to
depths of as much as 30 or more feet deep in hopes
of hitting a vein of water. If water was located,
sometimes it was groundwater from an aquifer but many
times the water was just surface water that would
collect in the hole and would be dependent upon precipitation
and seasonal conditions. Either way, well digging
was a hazardous job and hundreds of "Well Diggers"
met a tragic fate as the unstable hole collapsed around
Wells provide very little protection from surface
contamination and while there are literally thousands
of old dug wells in and around the Finger Lakes Region,
these wells cannot typically be relied upon as a safe
and consistent drinking water supply. In some cases,
a dug well may be the only means to get a useable
quantity or quality of water, their shallow nature,
and proximity to the surface require constant monitoring
or continuous treatment for disinfection.
Developed Spring is similar to a Dug Well in its construction
but this type of well makes use of a natural spring.
A spring is where a true aquifer of ground water is
released very close to the surface of the ground and
the water is actually flowing by artesian pressure.
In some cases, a developed spring can yield a very
high quantity and or quality of water but due to its
proximity to the surface, regular monitoring for safety
is recommended and treatment may be required or preferred
for disinfection. The water chemistry from springs
can vary and may contain high levels of hardness minerals.
Drilled well is the most common method of extracting
a consistently stable and safe drinking water supply
from deep within the aquifers of the earth. The average
drilled well in the finger lakes region is approximately
100 or so feet deep with a 6 inch diameter steel casing
to keep the bore hole open. Some wells have a larger
diameter for more storage and some are even as deep
as 300 feet. This heavy steel casing goes down the
well vertically until the driller hits rock. The casing
is driven into the rock to seal the well from contamination
from above and the drilling proceeds into the rock
in pursuit of an aquifer of useable water. This type
of well is known as a confined aquifer. An unconfined
aquifer is when water is located in sand and or gravel.
These types of wells may yield very high quantities
of water when properly installed with the correct
well screen and development.
a Dug Well, a properly installed drilled well may
provide a consistently stable yield of safe drinking
water for decades with very little maintenance required.
Fortunately New York State now requires Water Well
Drillers to be licensed, insured and certified professionals.
water from a drilled well has likely been safely stored
in the ground for thousands of years. In some cases,
the same materials in the earth that protect this
water may become dissolved in it and contribute to
elevated concentrations of minerals from the earth
or naturally occurring nuisance bacteria. Not all
well water needs treatment but in some cases, it is
required or desired. Health officials recommend that
you have your well water tested for potability at
least once a year.
you desire to have your water tested or treated, the
professionals at AquaSource are Certified Specialists
and have the experience to solve your water problems.
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