At 100ft and deeper, you allow for maximum ground filtration to take place, remove impurities, and ensure the best water quality.
What is a well and why are they important?
It’s estimated that there are about 12 million homes (or 42 million people) in the United States that use well water .
A well is a place where drinking water can be drawn from. Sometimes wells are dug in the earth using tools like hand drills and shovels, while other times they are created by drilling into bedrock or another hard surface.
Wells are important because they can provide people with water in areas where other drinking sources may not be available, like during a natural disaster or if the public drinking system becomes contaminated.
Wells are most commonly used in rural areas because they are an independent drinking water supply that is not reliant on local infrastructure. They’re also used by farmers to irrigate crops and livestock feedlots.
Some people who live off-grid prefer to manage their own water supply.
How deep should a well be for drinking water?
For drinking water wells it’s best to be at least 100 feet deep so that surface contaminants cannot enter the well.
The average well depth for private homes is between 100 to 800 feet .
You may need a deeper or shallower well if your area has different geology than another region of the country. The depth of your well will also depend on the type of soil you have and if there are any rocks under the ground. Some rocks are impermeable and so will require the well to be drilled deeper.
You also need to make sure your well is drilled deep enough to still draw water when the water table is low.
The depth that private wells should be dug is governed by the state or local county health department, which will also provide a list of requirements for your drinking well before drilling begins.
The deeper you drill a well, the more minerals will be present. This may be good for health purposes but the water may be too hard. So you might need a water softener to avoid damage to your pipes and household appliances.
The Problem With Shallow Wells
A well is classed as shallow if it is less than 50 feet deep. Wells with a depth of less than 100 feet lack enough soil thickness to adsorb all of the contaminants seeping into the ground . This can result in poor water quality, finding black sediment in your water, discoloration, and other problems..
Shallow wells extract the water which is highest in the water table. This means that water can be vulnerable to surface water contamination from sources such as the disposal of animal wastes, motor oils, pesticides, or fertilizers.
Shallow wells should be tested at least once a year to ensure they are safe to drink.
We recommend My Tap Score’s Home Well Water Testing Kit. It tests for over 100 different chemicals and contaminants commonly found within wells.
And within one week of testing, you’ll get an easily-to-understand tap score report by email.
Deeper doesn’t always mean better water quality
The deeper you drill the more expensive it becomes. Depending on the soil composition, a well can be built for as little as $5000 but it could cost up to ten times more than that depending on what you are drilling through and whether you are drilling deep or not. We wrote an article all about the set-up and yearly costs of a well, so click here to find out how much you have to pay for well water.
A shallower well depth will generally produce higher yields while deeper wells require larger pump systems to draw water, which will result in increased operating costs per year since they need to capture lower-quality water from further beneath the surface. It also means that electricity bills will increase due to the extra power required to pump out groundwater from greater depths.
Consider a well water filter or a softener
If your home uses a well you should consider using a drinking water filtration system or a softener to improve your water quality. These systems can remove many of the contaminants that pose health concerns, like heavy metals and other minerals that are found in well water but not tap water.
Water Softeners: A water softener is basically a salt tank installed near your home’s plumbing system which will “soften” the local hard water supply by adding sodium ions to it.
This process makes the water feel better on the skin and taste better when drinking since most people prefer softer waters over harder ones; however softened drinking waters also have higher sodium content than unsalted drinking waters such as those from municipal sources so care should be taken if you already have high blood pressure or kidney problems.
Well Water Filters: Well water filters are designed to clean drinking water and remove harmful contaminants from your home’s well water. A well water filter is made up of a series of filters that remove sediment, rust particles, and other contaminants.
The first stage typically removes larger particulate matter such as dirt or sand down to about one micron in size; the second removes finer particles such as bacteria which are less than 0.04 microns wide.
If you depend on a private water well for your potable water, it’s best to make sure that the well depth is at least 100 feet. This will protect from contamination by surface pollutants such as motor oils, pesticides, or fertilizers.
A shallow well can be vulnerable to these contaminants and should be monitored closely for any changes in taste or smell.
The good news is that there are many types of filters available today which can help purify the dirtiest water so all you need to do is find one that suits your budget and lifestyle needs!
Check out our post on how to choose the best filter system if you want more information about this topic.