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Which Is Better: Deep Wells vs. Shallow Wells

Approximately 13 million American homes receive their water from well systems, many of which are placed in rural areas. Water viability is essential for any property, but how will you know which type of well to dig?

There are many variables to consider with deep wells vs shallow wells. From cost, to flow levels, to drought conditions, to water quality, is there a clear answer? Read on to find out.

Shallow Wells

If you have a water source close to the surface of the ground, you may be a candidate for a shallow well. A professional driller can check your water table to figure out the depth to which the well should be dug, from 25-50 feet. They must calculate the low point of the underlying water table over the entire year, factoring in any drought conditions.

The benefits of shallow wells is that they are less expensive due to lower labor and material costs. Your well pump for this setup is not submersible, which means it must be placed above ground in well housing. Fortunately, this means it is easier to access and service should any maintenance be needed.

Also, shallow wells can have lower levels of naturally occurring components, like magnesium and calcium (hard water culprits) as well as manganese and iron. It’s also possible for deeper wells to have higher levels of radioactivity than their shallower counterparts, depending on the local geology. However, this isn’t always the case in Arizona. Talk to your water well professional about the water quality in your local area.

One of the downsides of shallow wells is that they tend to carry a higher risk of running dry, especially in arid climates. Drought-prone areas can experience a sustained lowering of the water table over the course of years, which means a shallow well may eventually be too shallow to reach the water.

Also, their proximity to the surface means they are prone to contamination from fertilized fields, septic systems, and other human activities and land uses. Shallow wells must be occasionally treated and inspected to make sure the water is clean.

Deep Wells

If you don’t have a water source close to the surface or your property sits on rocky geography, you may have to look into deep wells. These wells tap into a water table deep underground, as far down as 1000 feet. Deep wells have higher protections against potential surface contaminants.

There are some drawbacks to deep water wells. Their pumps are submerged, which potentially means raising it up from hundreds of feet below in order to service any problems. They also cost significantly more to construct, needing much more labor and heavier equipment. However, if your well is not drilled deep enough, you can run into much more expensive problems later on, making them more cost-effective in the long run.

Deeper wells usually mean more minerals in your water. This can be annoying, but you can easily fix the problem with the installation of a water softener.

There are benefits to drilling a deep water well. Deep wells are not as susceptible to drought or water supply issues as their shallower cousins since their depth typically extends down below the receding water levels.

The equipment involved in these types of wells is less visible than with shallow wells, which require an above-ground well housing to contain the well pump.

Their water tends to last longer and require less monitoring for quality. In fact, properly constructed deep wells typically offer a much higher level of protection from bacterial contaminants near the surface. This is because there is a longer path to the surface. The longer water is subsurface, the better chance any bacteria will get trapped by rock and sediment or die off before reaching the surface.

Deep Wells Vs. Shallow Wells: Which Is Best?

The correct answer to the question about deep wells vs. shallow wells will vary depending on the needs of your property and the size of your budget.

While deep wells are more protected against drought and contaminants, they also carry a higher price tag. You may have excellent resources for many shallow wells on your property that would cost you less to have placed.

Your best option is to contact a professional like Empire Pump Corporation. Partner with a professional who can survey your land and help determine the best options for water resources available to you.

A skilled well contractor can evaluate the risks and benefits and come up with a solution that fits your property and your budget. Get started with your Free Price Quote today.


Pump It Up Pump Services is a top shallow well repair company in Phoenix

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