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How to Decide Where to Drill a Water Well

When you make the decision to drill a water well, you might assume that deciding where to drill it will be the easiest part. However, you shouldn't underestimate this decision. There are several things you need to keep in mind when finding the perfect place for your water well, as well as certain decisions that need to be made before you start drilling.


Make sure it's legal to drill a water well on your property. The first step is ensuring that the well will be drilled within your property line. Next, contact your city government and speak with the department that handles zoning and permits. Your property needs to be properly zoned for a water well, and you may need to fill out papers and pay a fee to receive a permit.

Choose an area that has sufficient water under the ground. To find out where the best area is to drill a well, you'll need to consult geologic reports, geophysical maps, topographic maps and similar resources. Certain government agencies, such as the U.S. Geological Survey, or your local library can help you find and interpret these types of documents.

Choose an area that is not prone to flooding. If you haven't lived on your property long, consult with other people in your area who've recently drilled water wells, as well as your local government, to find out if your area is prone to flooding.

Be sure your water well is close enough to other structures on your property that it's convenient to use. For example, if you plan to use the water well from your home, make sure all your family members can physically walk the distance to the water well in all types of weather. If you're using it in conjunction with another structure, such as a barn, it should be as close to the structure as possible.

Decide on an area to drill the water well that's an appropriate distance away from contamination sites, such as garbage dumps, animal pens, septic tanks and cesspools. For example, the well should be drilled at least 100 meters away from a garbage dump. Check with your city government for regulations about contamination sites.

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