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The concept of a well is integral to human civilization, serving as a reliable water source for drinking, irrigation, agriculture, and various other needs. Wells tap into underground water reserves and are designed to provide access to these essential resources. In this article, find out the answer to: how does a well work? But also what a well is, different types of wells, and maintenance.

What is a Well?

A well is a structure created by digging or drilling into the ground to access water in underground aquifers. The purpose of a well is to extract water from these subsurface reservoirs for use in domestic, agricultural, industrial, or environmental activities.

Types of Wells

There are several types of wells, including:

  • Dug Wells: These are the oldest form of wells, manually excavated to below the water table and often lined with stones or bricks to prevent collapse.
  • Driven Wells: They are constructed by driving pipes into the ground, suitable for shallow aquifers where the water table is near the surface.
  • Drilled Wells: Created using rotary drilling machines that can reach great depths, drilled wells can tap into deeper aquifers and yield a more reliable water supply.

How Does a Well Work?

A well operates by providing a passage to underground water. When the well reaches an aquifer, water fills the well to the level of the water table. A pump is then used to lift water from the well for consumption.

This is a well and it uses a pump to work.

Materials that Make Up a Well

There are wells that consist of several materials – the following are the most common:

  • Casing: A tube in the well shaft that prevents the well walls from collapsing and keeps out contaminants.
  • Screen: A filtration device at the bottom of the well casing that allows water in while keeping out sediment.
  • Pump: A mechanical device for lifting water from the well to the surface.

Well Contamination

Now that you can answer the question about how does a well work, it is important to know about contamination. It can occur from various sources, such as seepage of waste products, chemicals from agricultural runoff, or naturally occurring substances like radon. It’s crucial to monitor water quality regularly to ensure safety. If you do find you may have a contaminated well, it is important to call a professional to check it out.

Maintaining Your Well

Just like with most home components, a well needs regular TLC. Regular maintenance includes:

  • Periodic testing of water quality.
  • Regular inspection of the well’s physical condition and its components.
  • Ensuring the area surrounding the well is free from potential contaminants.

Reach out to a professional company that does well inspections to help you maintain your well so it will work for many years to come.

A pump on the well will work to lift the water for for consumption.

More Information About Wells

Knowing about how a well works is important. It is also important to know more about wells and their longevity. They can last for decades or centuries, but some may also only last for a few years. It is a good idea to read up on how to get the most years out of the well and factors to consider.

Another is fluoride. It is important to have fluoride in water as it helps strengthen tooth enamel and ward off cavities and tooth decay. The good news is it is found in well water as well as tap water. The fluoride comes from the rainwater going into the soil and picks up the minerals.

Lastly, if you have a septic tank, it is important to know where the lid is. If you aren’t sure, follow the plans that should come with the home to see the location. The other alternative is following the sewer pipe in the yard.

When Do I Call a Professional?

Knowing how a well works and taking care of it can be too much for a homeowner. You should seek professional assistance when you notice changes in water quality or flow. It is also important to reach out to a professional if you see damage to any part of the well system. Lastly, contacting a professional is best for regular maintenance or when sanitization is due.


Wells are a vital part of our infrastructure, providing access to one of life’s necessities: clean water. Understanding the types, functionality, and maintenance of wells is paramount for ensuring a safe and sustainable water supply. Whether for personal use or community service, the proper management of wells is a responsibility that warrants attention and care. This is a great time to reach out to RedFish Inspections for a well inspection in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas.

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