Water Wells 101: what you need to know
Groundwater is almost everywhere, supplying drinking water for over 50% of the United States and is an important component in many industrial processes. Groundwater is a source of recharge for lakes, rivers, and wetlands. The water table may be deep or shallow; may rise or fall depending on many factors such as; heavy rains or melting snow and heavy pumping of groundwater.
A Well is a pipe in the ground that fills with groundwater. This water can be brought to the surface by a pump. Shallow wells may go dry if the water table falls below the bottom of the well. Some wells, called artesian wells, do not need a pump because of natural pressures that force the water up and out of the well.
Saturated Zone is the area where water fills the aquifer, whereas the top of this zone is called the Water Table. The water table may be located only a foot below the ground’s surface or it can sit hundreds of feet down.
Aquifers are usually made of gravel, sand, sandstone, or fractured rock, like basalt. Water can move through these materials because they have large connected spaces that make them permeable. Water in aquifers can be brought to the surface naturally through a spring.
Groundwater Flow depends on the size of spaces that are between the soil and rock and how they are connected, which can be extracted through a well drilled into the aquifer and pumped out.