Water well drilling has been around for centuries. Although many people know what a well is, many less have actually seen one. In a world of urban sprawl, it may seem strange to consider water wells when you live in the city and simply have to turn on a tap. There are many types of water wells, however, depending on which continent you are looking at.

Australian Aboriginals used to use their hands to dig down through the desert sand until they reached mud, and eventually clear water. In order to preserve these spots of water, they would cover them up with wild grasses to protect them from the sun, bugs and dirt. In India, elaborate stepwells, which are literally wells that you must descend into via steps to fetch water, were also used to escape heat and add architectural beauty. Middle Eastern and Asian countries had more sophisticated water well drilling techniques that involved a series of wells joined by underwater canals. These were known as Qanats.

Beginning in the Iron Age, wells became very common features in civilized areas, and at this time, wells were typically lined with wood or wicker. Interestingly, the world’s oldest known wells were found in Cyprus and date back to 7500 BCE. Until modern wells, wells were dug by hand and required the water to be brought up from a varying degree of depths, most often using a bucket and a rope. As technology advanced, people discovered how to use gravity to bring water to the surface, which is how Qanats functioned. With modern water well drilling, we now have the benefit of technology that allows for pumps, and mechanical drilling that permits us to reach water aquifers at great depths.

Hand dug wells are still created today in places all around the world. They are cheap and effective and can be made by anyone, if the right spot is chosen. Driven water wells are also still created because of their cost-effectiveness. A driven well is created by hammering a pipe into the ground with a tripod and a driver. Importantly, no matter what sort of well is dug, it can always be cleaned up and encased to ensure it remains usable for lengthy periods of time.

Hand dug wells, for instance, can actually be quite deep and impressive. Although it is common to see a wallow type of ditch as the result of hand digging, the resulting well is largely dependent on the earth you are digging in. Sand, for example, is difficult to dig in and could require bracing to achieve any great depth, but dirt and clay would be much more manageable.

Water well drilling has been a necessity for people to survive, especially for those not located near convenient water sources, and thus its been a technology that despite rudimentary roots, has advanced incredibly throughout the centuries.

The history of water well drilling world-wide is as interesting as it is diverse. Each continent found ways around the unique challenges posed by their environment, and overcame them.

Save time and money by knowing where the water is before you drill your well.  Contact American Water Surveyors at:

Call: 877-SEISMO1 (734-7661) or 817-788-5716

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Email: info@wefindwater.com