If you’re not sure where your tap water comes from, the chances of it coming from a well are quite high. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 35% of the US population (more than 100 million people) receives their water from public supply wells. However, many don’t realize that their water comes from wells as it first travels through municipal water treatment facilities.
Still, 15% of Americans (over 43 million people) get their water straight from private wells.
If you are one of these millions of people living with well water or are considering moving somewhere that relies on private wells, you may have questions. This article will cover the basics of domestic water wells and answer three of the most common questions about living with well water.
How Do Private Water Wells Work?
While around half of the American water supply is drawn from wells of some sort, many people only consider themselves to be living with well water if they use a private well. Three basic types of domestic water wells are found in the United States. Usually, the type of well you have is dictated by the local geography and water table. Many wells are ‘cased’ with a metal or plastic lining that protects them from collapse or contamination.
These types of wells are the easiest to install. Dug wells are holes dug into the ground, either by hand with a shovel or using a backhoe. They are lined with stones, brick, tile, or other materials to stabilize them. Dug wells have relatively large diameters, are shallow (often between 10 and 30 feet deep), and are usually not fully cased.
These wells are constructed by driving pipe into the ground. Like bored wells, Driven wells are usually shallow (30 to 50 feet deep), but unlike bored wells, they are fully cased. However, driven wells can still be contaminated somewhat easily because they draw water from aquifers near the surface.
Drilled wells are the deepest kind of wells. They are constructed by percussion or rotary-drilling machines and can be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of feet deep. Drilled wells are fully cased and are generally considered to have a lower risk of contamination due to the depth of the water sources they draw from.
Common Questions About Living With Well Water
If you either have a water well on your property or are considering moving outside of more heavily urbanized areas, it’s important to have the answers to some of the most common questions about living with well water.
Question 1 – Are Private Wells Becoming More or Less Common?
As we mentioned above, about 43 million Americans currently live with well water. A 2019 study supported by the USGS found that the number of Americans getting their water from domestic wells increased slightly in recent years. However, the overall proportion of the population with well water decreased steadily over the last 50 years as people moved from rural to urban areas.
Question 2 – Can I Increase Well Water Pressure?
Low water pressure is one of the most common challenges households face using domestic well water. While this issue may be prevalent, there are ways of increasing your water pressure. Wells rely on pumps to create water pressure by utilizing compressed air or atmospheric pressure.
If your home’s water flow is lower than you want it to be, adjusting your pressure tank, installing a supplemental ‘booster’ tank, or upgrading to a higher-capacity pump are all common remedies. Those looking for an even more reliable solution may choose to replace their pump with a Constant Pressure System, which constantly adjusts to maintain peak water pressures at all times.
Question 3 – Why Does My Well Water Smell?
As we mentioned above, different types of wells can contain different types of water contamination. Certain elements, such as sulfur or hydrogen sulfide gas, often leave the water with a distinct ‘rotten egg’ smell and taste. While not as harmful as other types of water contamination, strong-smelling or tasting water can be an issue that makes drinking water, showering, and laundry an unpleasant experience.
According to the USGS, 20% of domestic wells in the United States are contaminated in some way. This contamination comes in many forms and is usually the cause of the smell mentioned above.
The best way to fix smelly tap water or avoid any other forms of contamination is to install a home water treatment system. Home water treatment systems can be comprised of multiple stages that remove grit, bacteria, and other particles and elements from your water. As a result, it makes your water safer, clearer, and better tasting.
Domestic Water Treatment With The Science of Water
Whether your water comes from a domestic well, public well, or another source, ensuring your drinking water is safe and tastes great is essential to maintaining good health. With the right home filtration system, you can ensure that your tap water is clean and delicious every time.
We assess and install water filtration systems at The Science of Water to meet your unique needs. Using filtration technology backed by NASA and the EPA, our advanced water systems purify your water supply to the highest standard. Whatever you’re looking for in a water filtration system, we can help you enjoy tap water in your home that’s clear of contaminants and safe to drink.
We even offer free water quality testing and consultations. When you need answers about the safety of your local water supply, our technicians can assess your situation for waterborne threats and recommend the perfect filtration system to suit your needs and budget.
Don’t settle for dirty tap water that tastes terrible and risks your health. Get your water tested today to protect your household with pure, clean water that can be relied on. For more information about The Science of Water or to book your free water test, just get in touch with our team today!