Water Well Real Estate FAQ's - What is an Artesian Well?

What is an artesian well?

What Does Artesian Well Mean When Buying a New Home?

We've all seen or heard the advertisements by bottled water companies touting the “benefits” of artesian water. It makes for a great advertising campaign, but it really has nothing to do with the quality of the water. In fact, artesian water is chemically no different than regular spring or well water. What makes a well an artesian well, is the geology of the aquifer and the way water comes to the surface.

So What Is An Artesian Well?

An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer that contains groundwater under positive pressure. The water is commonly held in an area surrounded non-permeable rock. As the water collects, because it cannot escape into the surrounding area, it is “pressurized.” This pressure causes the water in the well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached. If the pressure is strong enough, the water may even reach the surface. In this instance, it is referred to as a flowing artesian well.

Artesian wells received their name from the town of Artois in France, which was the old Roman city of Artesium. During the Middle Ages, the region around Artesium was where the best know flowing wells were drilled. The level to which water rises in tightly cased wells drilled into artesian aquifers is called the potentiometric surface.

The Difference Between Artesian and Conventional Water Wells

Conventional wells are created by drilling or digging into an existing aquifer. Traditional wells can be shallow, and dug by hand, or drilled deep into the bedrock using a hardened “well-point” which consists of a drive point and a screen (perforated pipe). The point is hammered or drilled into the ground, and pipe sections are added as needed. When groundwater is found, the well is flushed of sediment, the pump and plumbing are installed to push water to the home's plumbing system, and the well is chlorinated to eliminate any possible contamination. A drilled well can reach hundreds of feet into the ground until it reaches the water table, much deeper than a dug well or artesian well.

An artesian well is formed by the pressure present within the aquifer. Depending on the amount of pressure, an artesian well may not need to be drilled as deeply based on the potentiometric surface level of the water. When an artesian aquifer is tapped by a well, the pressure will push the water from deep in the aquifer up into the well; the final level is reached when the water reaches its hydrostatic equilibrium. Depending on the water contents and pressure of the artesian aquifer, an artesian well can provide you with plentiful supplies of water at a relatively low cost as the water well will not need to extend hundreds of feet underground. In fact, if the pressure is strong enough, the water will be pushed all the way to the surface creating a flowing artesian well.

If you need a new well drilled or need well services like hydrofracturing or water filtration, contact the experts at Skillings & Sons. (800) 441-6281 INFO@SKILLINGSANDSONS.COM