Many rural and some suburban properties are not hooked to vital grid systems, like the municipal water supply. You will need a well if this is the case at your home. When drawing up plans for your home with your home builder or contractor, you will need to decide what type of well you want. Wells fall into one of three categories. Understanding what these are is necessary so you can make an informed choice.
#1: Dug Wells
This is one of the shallowest and most time consuming options, so it's not a likely choice unless you are building a small cabin in the woods by yourself. These wells are dug by hand and they are only an option if there is an aquifer near the surface. The hole is dug below water level so that the well remains filled. The top few feet of the hole is usually lined with bricks or stone so that the edges don't crumble in, and then the top is protected by a small roof to keep debris out of the water. The water is then accessed with a hand pump, or you can create an old-fashioned access system with a winch and bucket.
#2: Driven Wells
This is another option that isn't suitable for most family homes, but can work well for small cabins or vacation dwellings. A driven well consists of a perforated pipe that is driven into the ground until it reaches a shallow groundwater aquifer. The water leaches into the pipe through the perforations, where it is then brought to the surface with a manual or powered pump. Since much of the water that enters a driven well is from recent ground and rain water, it is more prone to contamination from pesticides and other harmful chemicals. You will need a purifier that can remove the contaminants most likely to occur in your area.
#3: Drilled Wells
A drilled well is not a do it yourself option, but it is a popular and the most common choice for many new homes that are on well water. These narrow wells are some of the deepest, which means you can access an aquifer even if it is nowhere near the surface. In fact, drilled wells are usually hooked into multiple aquifers at varying depths, so there is a more reliable and consistent supply of water. A company like Patterson Well Drilling Inc. will use a drilling rig to put down the narrow well shaft in the area most likely to yield water. Once the well is drilled, a pump is installed, along with a pump house, to bring the water above ground and send it coursing through your home's plumbing system.