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What is the difference between Artesian wells and other traditional types?

Waterfall, IdahoOne of the best parts of living in a largely rural state like Idaho is that you may be able to have your own well at your home instead of depending on the city or county for water.  You’ll be able to access fresh drinking water and, best of all, no water bills!  Well water is largely preferred over most any other type of water source for most homes, owing to the quality of water that you can get right in your home.  You’ll have no need for water purifiers or filters in your new Idaho home if you decide to purchase Idaho real estate with a well for water.

Your question then might be – what is the difference between artesian wells and other traditional types?

An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level in the well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached – this is an artesian well.  Water may even reach the ground surface if the natural pressure is high enough, in which case the well is called a flowing artesian well.  Fossil water aquifers can also be artesian if they are under sufficient pressure from the surrounding rocks.

In essence, an artesian well is formed because of pressure, rather than some of the other ways that a well can be formed, including digging and drilling.  For example, hand-dug wells are excavations with diameters large enough to fit one or more men with shovels digging down to below the water table, hence the term “hand-dug.”  Driven wells are simply created in unconsolidated material with a “well point,” which consists of a hardened drive point and a screen (perforated pipe).  The point is hammered into the ground with a tripod and “driver” with pipe sections added as needed.  When groundwater is found, the well is washed of sediment and a pump is installed.

Kathryn Albertson's ParkAnother popular type of well is a drilled well, which can be excavated by hand drilling methods or by machine drilling.  Drilled wells can get water from a much deeper level than dug wells - often up to several hundred meters.  Drilled wells with electric pumps are currently used throughout the world, typically in rural or sparsely populated areas, though many urban areas are supplied partly by municipal wells.  These types of wells are typically created using either top-head rotary style, table rotary, or cable tool drilling machines, all of which use drilling stems that are turned to create a cutting action in the formation, hence the term 'drilling'.

When you decide to purchase Idaho real estate and make Idaho your new home, you may have several selections about the type of well you choose or what you want for your home.  It’s important to know the facts so you can make an informed decision about the well you will decide on and use. Check out homes in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Eagle, and Kuna to find the perfect fit for you.

Kevin Hughes

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