Please explain what an Artesian well is and how it works. : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Sorry Everyone. But I am new to this and need more info on what is an Artesian Well and how it works? I am moving into a home with one, and I do not have any idea of exactly what it is. Or How it works. How do I care for it? Is there anything we should or should not do to it, around it?

-- Jamie Ploger (, June 27, 2001


An artesian well is a deep drilled well through which water is forced upward under pressure. The water in an artesian well flows from an aquifer, which is a layer of very porous rock or sediment, usually sandstone, capable of holding and transmitting large quantities of water. The geologic conditions necessary for an artesian well are an inclined aquifer sandwiched between impervious rock layers above and below that trap water in it. Water enters the exposed edge of the aquifer at a high elevation and percolates downward through interconnected pore spaces. The water held in these spaces is under pressure because of the weight of water in the portion of the aquifer above it. If a well is drilled from the land surface through the overlying impervious layer into the aquifer, this pressure will cause the water to rise in the well. In areas where the slope of the aquifer is great enough, pressure will drive the water above ground level in a spectacular, permanent fountain. Artesian springs can occur in similar fashion where faults or cracks in the overlying impervious layer allow water to flow upward. Water from an artesian well or spring is usually cold and free of organic contaminants, making it desirable for drinking. Hope this helps.

-- Gary in Indiana (, June 27, 2001.

Gary explained that purty well right on the dot. I don't think you could add very much to that!

-- Russell Hays (, June 27, 2001.

Some artesian water - in Australia at least - can be heavily mineralised (salts). Otherwise, yes.

-- Don Armstrong (, June 27, 2001.

Do not disrupt the earth around the well area, an artesian well is a gift and if you dig, blast, or disturbe the area you could lose it!

-- mitch hearn (, June 27, 2001.

I certainly have learn alot myself and I have an artisan well. I believe it has alot of minerals like sulfur because I can smell the rotten egg if not used for awhile like out of town. I feel this well has a lot of water power, it not only supplies all the water to our house, smaller house on property and barn it water a large many crops including irrigation. I worry it will just go dry but I have never had a drop in pressure when alot of things are going on at one time with the water. The salts or minerals referred too are they harmful. I have had it tested about a year ago and it came out fine but do wonder what standard of testing. The water taste better than rural water not that clorine taste.

-- Debbie (, June 27, 2001.

Gary, thanks for the wonderful description!! I have one but never quite understood why it flowed. When we moved to this area we came from a part of Michigan where all the wells were deep so I was baffled as to why our well man was concerned when he didn't hit water by 60 feet as I was used to at least 120 feet. Most all the wells in this county are 60 feet. I feel it was a real gift that we didn't hit water at sixty because he kept going (at my insistence) to almost 100 feet, in hard rock and a wonderful flowing artesian.

-- diane (, June 27, 2001.

120'? Luuuucky! My well is 360'

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), June 27, 2001.

I would like to Thank you all for your information! Especially Gary! I learned alot from your postings. Thank you for your time and educational lessons. They are much appreciated. Jamie

-- Jamie Ploger (, June 27, 2001.

We have an artisian well. My husband said when they were drilling they hit water at 92ft and it gushed like an oil well , they drilled on 8 more feet and never hit solid ground. We do sometimes have a sulfur taste , diffinently stronger at times. I just made myself get used to it , we have a pump on the well but could get it to the house about a hundred feet but wouldn't have enough pressure. We have a over flow faucet on the well and it runs to a bathtub with a float on it for our goat water. My honey says I married him for that well, good water is sure important , who knows?? Sherry

-- sherry (, June 27, 2001.

They say never try to cap the artesian well to save the water because it might push out some place else and you could lose the artesian well, just let it run always. I seen one and another neighbor a hundred yards away drilled to get the same results but did not get the artesian well and he could not understand why not him.

-- Mary (, June 27, 2001.

Great explanation, Gary; that was the official geological explanation you gave. Many "common" folks only call a flowing artesian an artesian, so it helps to speak both lingos.

Mary, I totally disagree with letting the well run all the time. You may get away with it, depending on your aquifer, but generally speaking, you are basically draining the aquifer when you let it run. Cap it off. It will no more "go somewhere else" than it would have before you drilled the well, and pierced the aquaclude.


-- jumpoff joe (, July 02, 2001.

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