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Shallow or dug water wells vs Drilled or pounded water wells pros and cons.

Dug or shallow water wells are wells that have either been dug by hand or with a big piece of machinery like an excavator or back hoe.  In the old days before pounding or drilling wells became popular all wells were dug wells. Deep (drilled or pounded) wells in the United states came into existence in the early 1800’s.

Many hand dug wells in the United States that were dug early in the colonial age are still around today and remain to be viable sources of water. These wells might have been dug by hand with a shovel and a bucket. It may have been a community, or a two man effort. With danger of cave-ins in mind, the well would have to have been big enough for one man to climb down into to work with a shovel and a bucket while the man on top would have had a rope to haul the debris up and to send the empty bucket back down.  These old hand dug wells would then have been lined with stone to keep the earth surrounding the well from caving in and to create an area for water storage. Once completed, water would have been extracted by lowering a bucket attached to a rope more than likely a pulley would have been attached to a frame above the well to make the job of getting water much easier. If the home owner is using a dug well for the household water supply a one line or a two line Jet pump with pressure tank is commonly used to feed the home. All dug wells utilize surface water.
Modern dug wells come in many variations, here in New Hampshire the most common are dug using heavy equipment to dig a deep hole and then to place  from three to six  3′ tall, 3′ to 4′ in diameter pre-formed concrete culvert pipe into place which can then be backfilled. These water wells can be successful or not depending on a variety of things, porosity of the soil, surface water saturation, soil contamination, rainfall/drought, water volume use requirements among others.
In New Hampshire dug wells may contain and  should be tested for, Flouride, Chloride, Nitrate, Nitrite, PH, Hardness, Sodium, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Lead, Total Coliform Bacteria, Arsenic total, Arsenic type 3, Arsenic type 5 and Radon in water. We expect all dug wells in New Hampshire to contain Acidic water and Coliform Bacteria. Comparatively while it is less likely than coliform bacteria they are far more likely than pounded and drilled wells to contain E-Coli bacteria.
Pounded wells are wells that have literally pounded into the earth. These water wells utilize much smaller diameter but much longer well casings, usually from two to eight inch in diameter, here in New Hampshire 6″ well casing are the most popular. Pounded wells can be a simple point with a two inch pipe and can be pounded by hand and are very labor intensive. These point wells are typically low volume and are usually pretty shallow (fifteen to 30 feet). A jet pump with a pressure tank is use to feed a small home or business if a point well is used. Most point wells utilize Surface water.
Pounded wells that have been pounded by using heavy equipment are deeper than point wells, usually no deeper than 200′. The well rig will set up for sometimes up to two or three weeks and pound a hole into the ground, breaking and pushing its way to ground water creating a cavity for storage. The well casing is then put in place.  There are still a few pounders here in New Hampshire but  have become less popular as more and more well contractors have gone to well drilling. A deep well submersible pump is generally placed towards the bottom of the well with a pressure tank in the home to pressurize and supply the home with water. Pounded wells deeper than thirty feet utilize ground water.
Drilled wells or Artesian or deep wells are far more common. Drilled wells are wells that have been literally drilled into the earth at varying depths with large truck mounted drill rigs. Here in New Hampshire we see drilled wells from 100 to 2000 feet deep.  While both extremes are uncommon you can expect your well to be somewhere in the middle. At McBride’s Water Advantage, most of the drilled wells we work in and around are 200 to 600 feet deep. Submersible pumps are generally used with a pressure tank inside the home to pressurize and provide water to the home, outbuildings and for irrigation. Drilled wells utilize ground water.
In New Hampshire drilled wells  should be tested for, Flouride, Chloride, Nitrate, Nitrite, PH, Hardness, Sodium, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Lead, Total Coliform Bacteria, Arsenic total, Arsenic type 3, Arsenic type 5 and Radon in water.
Drilled wells are far less time consuming (one to four days) to drill than pounded wells and in most cases are far deeper.  Both drilled and pounded wells case the top of the well off  to eliminate the possibility of surface water intrusion.
Key Words:
Surface water- Water that is found in the top 30′ of the earth. The vast majority of surface water in New Hampshire will                             have low ph and is known to be acidic. Surface water also has coliform bacteria,
Ground water- Water that is found below the top 30′ of the earth.
Coliform Bacteria- Bacteria found in all surface water.
Ecoli Bacteria-when present in water is generally due to human or animal fecal matter.
Low PH  – Acidic water
Acidic water –  Low ph
Shallow well Jet Pump – A single line pump that is either in a well house or in the home and not in the well. Can draw water from 25′ deep and above
Two line Jet Pump – A pump that is either in a well house or in the home and not in the well. Can draw water from 100′ deep and above
Submersible Pump – A pump that is actually set inside and deep in the well. The deeper the water, the bigger the pump size.
Pressure tank- a tank that when in service contains approximately 66% compressed air and 33% pressurized water. Pressure tanks are used in conjunction with well pumps, pressure switches, check, gate and ball valves to build and maintain pressure.
McBrides Water Advantage Certifications include, Radon in air and water measurement providers, licensed New Hampshire Pump Installers, Licensed Public water system operators, We provide superior water purification equipment with professional installation.
 Contact us at the office at (p) 603-736-4470, (f) 603-736-4474 or McBridesWater.com