Drilling a new well is an exciting step to take but also one that can bring with it a lot of responsibilities. Your first responsibility is to plan out the process carefully so you don't end up with a well that can't be used for drinking, goes dry every summer, or requires several treatments to make the water usable. Here are three important factors you'll need to start out with when you're trying to find the best spot on your property for a well.
Although drilling at a lower elevation (compared to the surrounding land) can make it easier to find groundwater, that doesn't necessarily mean you should drill your well in the lowest spot possible. In fact, you should avoid this for several reasons, such as:
- The lowest spot around may have surface water (such as a pond or river), and drilling a well near surface water encourages contaminants
- Even if you don't have surface water, the closer the water table is to the surface, the more likely it is that contaminants can seep through
- Gravity works against you as well; if your well is at a lower elevation than, say, your septic tank, it can more easily be contaminated
The best spot is not too high, but is still higher than nearby potential sources of contamination.
2. Distance from contaminants
Speaking of your septic tank, you really don't want your well anywhere near it. In fact, you should keep the two of them at least fifty feet apart. Other possible sources of contamination that you shouldn't situate your well near include things like:
- Any waste disposal (manure, landfills, etc.)
- Fuel, pesticide, or fertilizer tanks
3. Soil and rock specs
To make sure your well has a good chance of success, you'll want to take cues from the ground about whether water is near the surface (for example, by looking for willow trees). You can also predict how likely your well is to be a good one by looking at the composition of the dirt below the surface of the ground. Sand and gravel indicate that a high-yielding well is likely, while clay is a hint that you may need to use specific drilling tactics to improve the well's capabilities if you want it to turn out well.
These three factors can help you and your well-drilling team select the ideal location for your well-drilling attempt. Be sure to consult an expert in water well drilling from a company like Rippe Well Service INC, and follow all applicable well codes to improve your chances of success even more.