It takes almost 40,000 gallons of water to make a new car and its 4 tires.
25% of New Englanders rely on private wells for their drinking water supply.
Learning Topic: Drinking Water Wells

Two of the most important aspects of private drinking water well protection are knowing where your well is located in your yard and what type of well you have. A well is a circular hole in the ground, placed into the aquifer and whichpumps water into our homes for our use.

There are 3 types of well construction. These include dug, driven, and drilled. We will look at these three construction types to help you better understand what type you may have.

A dug wellis an older form of well construction. These wells are dug into the sand and gravel deposits either by hand or by machine. These wells are typically shallow, 30 to 50 feet deep. They can be lined with any number of materials – field stone, brick, pre-cast concrete and are often 2 feet or more in diameter. A grouting material should be poured down along the outside of the well. The well should be tightly capped and should extend about a foot above the earth’s surface. If you open the well cap and look inside, you will very likely see the groundwater in the well. With a dug well, the pump is typically in the basement of the house.

A driven well is also placed into the sand and gravel deposits. A screened well point is driven by machine into the sand and gravel. These wells are often deeper than drilled wells. A 2 – 3 inch diameter pipe extends up from the well point. From the surface, a driven well can often look like a dug well in that it may have pre-cast concrete and cap around the wellhead. The well should be tightly capped and a grouting material should be poured down along the outside of the well between the casing and soil/bedrock.

When you lift the concrete cap, what you will find is something resembling this photo. The pump for a driven well may either be at the top of the wellhead or in the basement of the house.

A drilled well is drilled by machine in the bedrock. These wells can be 100 feet deep or more. The well is cased into the bedrock at least 5 feet and this casing is a 6 – 8” pipe, which should extend at least one foot above the earth’s surface. The well should be tightly capped and a grouting material should be poured down along the outside of the well between the casing and soil/bedrock.

For more information, visit: http://www.uri.edu/ce/wq/has/PDFs/Drinking.pdf

New England States Regulation

Throughout the New England states, private well construction is regulated, most often with standards and specifications set for this construction. It is important to check with your state drinking water agency to determine this. Well construction and siting are regulated throughout New England.

Connecticut Department of Public Health
http://www.dph.state.ct.us/BRS/Water/DWD_Regs/DWD_Regs.htm

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
http://www.des.state.nh.us/well_testing.htm

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/laws/policies.htm#pwg

Maine Department of Environmental Health
http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/eng/water/Templates/Private%20Wells/privatewells.htm

Vermont Department of Health
http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/water/safe_water.aspx

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/permits/privwell/index.htm

Web resources: