What do you know about your well?
Here are the major components of a residential water well and how they work together to bring you safe, potable water.
This covering completely surrounds the well line all the way down to the aquifer. Water from a deep well aquifer is normally pure and drinkable (see #4 for more) because it has been filtered through many layers of earth. The casing protects your water as it travels up through unsanitary layers so that you get safe, drinkable water at your tap. The casing is protected at the top, visible in your yard, with a covering, or cap that is secured by screws. Inside the cap should be a screen that keeps insects and other contaminants from entering the well line. Contaminated water could be a sign that your well casing is damaged or broken.
2. Storage Tank
This holds your water after it has been pumped to the surface. Bladder tanks provide consistent pressure and are less likely to become waterlogged than the older captive air tanks. If you are replacing your storage tank, it is recommended to have a bladder tank installed. If the water flow at your tap is diminished or pulsating, have your storage tank inspected.
Deep well pumps are underground, and push your water to the surface. Shallow well pumps are on the surface, in a well house, a basement utility room, or outside in your yard. Because they pull rather than push water, they are less efficient than deep well pumps. See the shallow well pump below, and a deep well, submersible pump is pictured near the check valve in #5.
4. Filtration System
All wells are equipped with a filtration device, located at the base of the water line, that filter out sand and debris. In addition, John and Ben recommend an additional post-pump, whole house reverse osmosis water filtration system. A post-pump system will address iron, sulfur, and other possible contaminants, and give you confidence that the water you're drinking is clean and pure.
5. Check Valve
This valve, located deep in your water line, prevents water that has been pumped to the surface from flowing back down before you can use it. If your pump is running constantly, your check valve might have seized open. If there is no water pressure, the valve could have seized closed.