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Well Digging 101: What to Know Before Digging a Well

For most people water is just a commodity that is expected to be in their home. It’s hard to imagine that the luxury of having water with a turn of a knob, is not shared by everyone. In many rural locations, water isn’t as easily accessible, and usually a responsibility of the homeowner to create. In most of these instances, a private well is needed. If the duty of creating a private well seems like a daunting task, these basic well digging tips can provide significant help to your well project.

How To Find the Best Place for Well Digging

If you are embarking on digging a well on your own, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s expensive.  That’s why you want to make sure you do the job right. The first question you need to confirm before you start digging is to decide where is the best place to dig is?

Environmental Factors: 

  • Underlying Geology: Before digging, it is important to confirm the underlying geology of the land. In most cases, the land should be suitable for drilling and producing water. However, if the ground is mostly made up of rock, the ground may not be porous enough to allow water to flow.
  • Surface Waters: When building a well that is near-surface water (streams, rivers and ponds) it is important to keep in mind that these waters may contain biological, agricultural, or industrial contamination and should be considered before placing a well in the area.
  • Flooded Areas: Avoid flooded areas, as accessibility and contamination may be a factor.
  • Waste: Avoid latrines and other places where human and animal waste is concentrated. This helps prevent the introduction of disease-causing pathogens from entering the well water.
  • Industrial Facilities:  Avoid places near industrial facilities or garbage dumps. These areas may produce harmful chemical discharge into the soil and groundwater.

Cultural Factors:

  • Location: Accessibility and convenience of the well location will play a big factor in overall health of the people using the well.  Placing the well close enough to your home encourages more water drinking and better hygiene. 
  • Sacred Areas: Verify that the land is not a spiritual area or sacred land before you start digging.
  • Proximity To Other Wells: Put enough distance between wells that are close in proximity to each other. Putting them too close together may reduce water availability.


Before you start drilling, it is extremely beneficial to do research into the location you have designated for your well. The  U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides data about groundwater, including an atlas of the country that shows all the aquifers. This can be immensely helpful in deciding where the best place to drill is and place your well in.

How to Tell You If You Have Well Problems

After all the work and money spent, it’s important to make sure your well is running properly. 

  • Health Tests: Your local health department can help you select specific tests to check your drinking water to determine the health and safety of your water supply.
  • Faucets Sputtering: If you turn on your faucet and you’re met with a blast of air and short bursts of water, it may mean something is not right with your well pump. 
  • Electricity Bill: One of the first places you will see if the well is running properly is your electricity bill. If the bill is gradually increasing, it can be the first sign that the well pump is failing.
  • Taste, Smell, Look: Is your water a murky or muddy color, or not tasting right? This is a great indicator that there may be a pump issue that needs to be looked into.

Call The Professionals!

At the end of the day, no matter how much effort you put into your well, issues and problems may arise. Therefore, the best thing you can do is hire a professional service that can take care of the problem quickly and accurately. With Mosman Well Works, we not only make it a priority to make sure your water is safe, but we take great pride in tackling any challenging job. We strive to provide you with the superior service, honesty, and dependability you expect. Contact us today for more information or to get a quote on your well project.