How Does A Well Work?

Luckily, the well systems of today work far more proficient than they have historically.

Usually, owners of wells do not have to lower a bucket in the well in order to transport water to wherever they need.

This is due to modernized plumbing systems which make the overall process far easier.

How Does A Well Work?

If you are used to having your water provided, you may not know how a well works or will work if you are moving to a more rural location.

You may also be wondering whether water that is taken from a well is considered to be safe or not.

Concerns regarding well water are valid.

However, knowing how to operate a well efficiently will provide you with a far better insight to and understanding of the process and the responsibilities of owning a well.

This is imperative because the quality of water contained within a well is largely dependent on your maintenance of the well itself.

Well Water And How It Relates To Your Home

Well water can be defined as groundwater that is untreated and has been stored in underground aquifers which usually consist of sediments of rock.

Wells can be drilled as much as 1000 feet into the ground/rock in order to access this water.

Pipe casing is also often installed into the hole, and is sealed with clay in order to protect the water against any harmful bacteria and contaminants.

Water is able to travel through this clay casing by using a pump.

The well system is then capped above the ground, and as the water comes into your home via the pipe that is connected between the well’s casing and your pressure tank.

It then becomes dispersed throughout your household.

Whilst some people may believe that well water is innately pure due to it deriving straight from the Earth, it is actually untreated rainwater that has traveled through the air, ground and soil.

Thus, it will require purifying once it reaches your home as it is likely to include other elements that can have a detrimental impact on your food, skin, health and clothes.

So, What Is In Well Water?

Well water is considered to be ‘hard water’, which means that it contains an abundance of minerals like magnesium and calcium.

Water that contains these minerals is undoubtedly a great thing.

However, these minerals can also lead to build-ups occurring within the pipe which can lead to substantial expenses in order to repair these pipes.

Hard water does not tend to perform well with detergents either and this can lead to spots forming on your dishes as well as things being far less clean than if you were to use softer water.

The water that derives from your well is also highly likely to be contaminated with chemicals like iron, arsenic, nitrates and sulfur gas.

Whilst many parts of the United States will not experience iron contamination, other areas provide iron filters due to the buildup of rust that can occur when water enters the home.

To avoid these issues from occurring, those who own a well should ensure that their water supply is regularly tested by a professional (at least once every year).

This is imperative to do as many contaminants are not easily detected via smell or sight and thus, you will need to ensure that you are protecting the health of yourself and your loved ones.

How Do I Prevent Contamination?

How Do I Prevent Contamination?

Asides from the contaminants that could be contained in your well water, you will also need to ensure that the casing of the well is maintained.

The chamber that holds the well pump should remain enclosed to ensure that the water supply remains as clean as possible.

Any cracks in the cover or casing of your well will lead to your water being exposed to harmful bacteria, insects or any rodents that will cause harmful bacteria to develop in the water.

Whilst having bacteria in your water supply isn’t entirely awful if you are just using it for showering or laundry purposes, it can still become an issue when you are using it for cleaning or cooking purposes.

This is because the E.coli contained within the water supply can lead to unpleasant bouts of diarrhea and stomach aches.

The only means of ascertaining whether you have harmful bacteria within your well is to have it tested by a professional every year.

If these results come back as positive for E.coli, try not to panic and there are many solutions.

For instance, a local expert in water supply will be able to use chlorine to shock the well appropriately.

You should also ensure that the well has been appropriately sealed once they have finished the shocking process in order to avoid further episodes of contamination.

Key Steps For Keeping Your Well Maintained

  • Always use a certified service to check your water supply and for any maintenance on the well itself.
  • Conduct regular testing on an annual basis or whenever you can detect any changes in your water supply with regard to odor, appearance and taste.
  • Ensure that any hazardous chemicals or contaminants are kept well away from the well.
  • Check the sealing of the well and the cover cap to ensure that it is thoroughly secured.
  • Ensure that any cap free part of the well is free of harmful debris and cake care when moving items around the well.

Further to this, there are also numerous products available that can provide you with peace of mind when drinking or washing using well water.

For instance, using a water softener will ensure that any excess minerals or contaminants are filtered out, ensuring that the cleaning process is made easier.

You can also use a filtration system that will be able to tackle the buildup of iron or chlorine within the water supply.

This will also inherently remove any unwanted stains or tastes from the water supply.

Finally, you can also use a reverse osmosis system that will ensure that you can wholly eliminate contaminants within the water supply.

It is important to note that this system is useful in transporting water from the well into your home, however, it does not treat the water supply itself.

Thus, using water testing is the best way to accurately diagnose any harmful bacteria within the water and ensure that you can overcome any challenges within your water supply.


To conclude, a well works by transferring water from the ground into a pump that can be channeled into your home or yard.

It is far easier to use a well than it used to be due to innovations in plumbing techniques.

However, you should ensure that you are sealing the walls of the well correctly and checking the water supply annually in order to ascertain whether there are any harmful contaminants within the well water.

Mike Noren