It is no secret how important water is for the daily lives of all living beings in the world. Without water, humans, animals, and plants would not be able to survive. Humans especially need water to do their day-to-day tasks. We need it to cook our food, wash our hands, do our laundry, and other things that will help us function as individuals in our society.
Because water is essential for us to live, people found ways to make sure that we will be supplied with water every single day. Back in the earlier years, manually dug wells were utilized for people to be able to water their crops. Nowadays, the technological advancements in the modern era combined with various tools made it possible for other well types to exist. These wells can even supply clean and fresh water straight to the faucets in our homes.
How close should multiple wells be to each other?
Water can be expensive, and some areas may not be able to get clean water from commercial water supply companies. Because of this, there are many places in the United States who opt to have water wells installed on their properties instead. By doing this, they will be able to enjoy lower water bills and can ensure that the water they are consuming is fresh, safe, and clean.
Wells are often found in rural areas in the country. Residential homeowners find it easier and more convenient to have a private well drilled to be used for their supply. For people who do not have one yet, the best thing to do is to contact a professional contractor, as they will need to hire an expert that will not only know how to drill a functional well but also about the provisions and laws that needs to be followed before installing a well in a particular area.
One of the important things an owner should know before having a well installed in their property is that wells are not recommended to be placed in close proximity to each other. In fact, depending on the place you live, there will be an average distance that should be observed between two wells.
This would mean that you have to be careful before having a well drilled on your property. If there is already a working well in the area that is very close to where you will place it, you should expect the newer well to be drilled in an area that will be further from your preferred site. For example, if you live in North Carolina, the ideal minimum horizontal separation between two wells should be at least 100 feet from each other. The numbers will differ from each state.
Reasons why you should not place wells too close to each other
There are several reasons why having two wells placed too close to each other are generally not recommended. Some of these can cause:
- Increased possibility of contamination.
The water from wells is most likely taken from groundwater that s near your area. For example, if you live in a place that is near a lake, there is a high chance that your well will tap its supply from the specified body of water, or from a group of rocks that are called aquifers.
When two wells are placed closely with each other, the water from one well may affect the other. For example, there may be an instance where your well and your neighbor’s are drilled too closely that the minimum horizontal distance set was not followed. If your neighbor’s well will be contaminated by bacteria and chemicals, there is a huge chance that your well will be affected too. This happens because, as mentioned above, wells tap out their supply mainly from aquifers. When a well in a residential property is contaminated by bacteria or chemicals either due to the main supply itself or for other reasons, it will be possible to have a widespread problem with not just these two wells but also the other wells in the community.
Also, there is no guarantee that you or your neighbor is practicing proper maintenance for your wells, and may even be using chemicals such as herbicides on either of your lawns. To keep it safe, have a talk with your neighbor about their wells for both of your benefits.
If you suspect that your well may have been contaminated by another water source being too close then it may be in your best interest to get your water inspected to make sure it hasn't been affected.
- Issues with the water filtering process and water yield.
When two wells are too close to each other, this may also affect the water’s filtering process. This happens because getting water from aquifers (water-bearing rocks that can also be a supply of water for wells) may be too much for its capacity, especially when the well that will be installed were not drilled properly. If this is the case, it will be harder for your well pump to get water, which could possibly hasten the water filtering process. This can result in cloudy and sometimes unsafe water.
Also, there are instances when a newly installed well that was placed near an existing well has affected the water supply of the old well. Though this is not always the case, the newer well may tap on the water supply more effectively, causing the existing well to have a decreased water yield.