Are you thinking about installing a well?  It isn’t quite as simple as digging until you hit water.  Nowadays there are technological means to help you locate the most effective and economically efficient place to dig your well.  But how did it all get started?

Wells have been around for a long time.  From wood-lined wells, soakages, and stepwells to qanats, wells have existed in various forms since as early as 5090 BC.  It is no new revelation that the most effective way to attain clean water isn’t by looking up, it’s by digging down into the groundwater.  However, technology has not always been as efficient at locating our water sources for us—modern advances have made water drilling a lot more sophisticated than it used to be.  So how did those early civilizations manage to locate their water sources?


The term “diviners” refers to more than just a Margaret Lawrence novel; it’s actually been around for centuries.  It refers to the act of divination, whereby a certain individual is capable of locating subterraneous supplies of water using a forked stick (known as a divining rod).  The process, also known as dowsing, has also long been used as a means of locating veins of underground minerals as well.  Early on, many cultures simply dug down into the ground until they found clean water.  Australian Aborigines would cover the newly found source with spinifex to prevent contamination.  Others, however, would rely on a diviner to locate an underground water supply before beginning to dig.

What are our current water finding methods?

While there are still a few diviners, or dowsers, being used to locate water sources, modern technology has made significant advances, making water finding and drilling much more efficient and economical.  Now, water finding companies use seismoelectrics to locate groundwater supplies.  The seismoelectrical method generates electromagnetic fields within the ground using seismic waves.  This process measures hydraulic conductivity, and thus can measure the potential for groundwater flow.

Why is it important to find out all you can before you start drilling?

Water drilling can be pricy if you don’t have all the information you need before you get started.  You have to pay for the drilling, and most water well drillers require payment by the foot—whether they find water or not.  You want to make sure that you will not only find water when you drill, but also that your water source will be enough to support your needs.  Water surveying can map the transmissivity of water and can even estimate the yield, in either gallons per minute or litres per second, from the surface—without the need for pricy test wells.  If you are considering drilling a well, don’t pay the high prices for test wells, and don’t pay only to end up with an expensive dry well on your lawn.  Call a water surveyor first so you can start drilling without having to worry about whether or not you will hit water.

Here at American Water Surveyors, we use the world’s leading edge technology to assess both groundwater depths and yields.  Whether you are a real estate developer or a farmer, we can help you locate the most efficient location to drill your well.  Call us today, before you start drilling.  For more information about our services, check us out online or give us a call at 1-877-SEISMO1 (734-7661).