What does your Myrtle Beach Home Inspector look for?
This article is going to focus of the components of the well system, understanding how they work, and the importance of monitoring ground water quality.
First we will look at the Water Cycle. It is most important to understand that all the available fresh water on the planet only constitutes for 2.5% of the total amount of water on the planet.
Thankfully the atmosphere and our oceans provide us with an abundance of evaporation creating the necessary environment for condensation (clouds) which produce precipitation (rain, sleet, snow, hail etc.) enabling our ground water supply to consistently recharge itself.
This consistent recharging of the ground water supply (aquifer) is essential for the overall function of any well. If the water is not recharged the aquifer can run dry, thats why rain is so important for the function of a well system and in most cases the municipal water supply. Below is a another example of the recharge process and how a well casing (shaft) is integrated into the ground water supply.
Types of Wells
Now that we understand how the well casing is integrated into the ground water system we can look at the different types of wells available today.
Dug Wells- Are the shallowest of well types and are dug by machine or by hand. They are only suitable with an aquifer in very close proximity to the surface. These wells are typically open at the surface and are therefore the most likely to become contaminated.
Driven Wells- This closed type well are the most common, most practical and most affordable type of wells. Driven wells are made by driving a long narrow steel pipe with a screen at the tip into the ground by a force above (usually a pipe ram). They can go to a depth up to 100′ below the surface and used when the aquifer is within that range. When the aquifer is located a submersible jet-pipe assembly or submersible pump inside the pipe powered also by a surface pump gets water to the surface.
Drilled Wells- The most expensive type of well and are normally only used when the aquifer is very deep below the surface. Like it sounds, drilled wells like oil wells are drilled deep into the earth until the target or aquifer is located. When the aquifer is located a submersible pump is used inside the pipe to get water to the surface.
Private Water (Well) System above ground components
The 2 images below are the exact same system just with different view points. The first is an horizontal elevation view of what the system should look like and the 2nd image is a birds eye view.
How it works
All private water systems intended for consumption must have a filtration system installed with them to assist in the disinfection process prior to consumption. This is the case due to the fact that all of the following microorganisms or chemicals are found in all ground water and is also why ground water should be tested on a regular basis.
Finally, it is very important to understand that ground water should be considered not suitable for consumption until proper filtration, disinfection and testing has been done. This is exactly why our municipal fresh water provider takes all the necessary steps to ensure clean drinking water.
This experience was created by;
Certified Master Inspector
LAB Home Inspections LLC