The well plays an important part in human history. Read on to learn about how water well technology develops over time.
Well History Origins
Well history first starts around 8,000 years ago in China, Israel, and India. In India, the wells were known as step wells. This name is due to the steps leading down to the water. During the Neolithic era, Chinese workers hand-dug wells. These wells had rows of logs lining the inside with a square casing at the top. Those are a very basic version of the wells we have today. The deepest hand-dug well is in Brighton, East Sussex. It is 1,285 feet deep – as deep as the Empire State Building is tall. It took workers four years of working 24/7 to accomplish. They kept digging until they hit underground water.
In 1808, the Ruffner brothers created a mechanical drilling machine. It was first used in Charleston, West Virginia to access water and salt from the Great Buffalo Lick. However, by the 1820s and 1830s, there is a new machine on the scene – the Auger Boring Machine. Subsequently, these machines for much deeper wells. They also protect the water from contamination thanks to the use of steel pipes. They were made from the first iteration of steel. Then, in 1908, Howard Hughes Sr. invented the roller cone drill bit. That led to rotary drilling technology to become the standard. That type of drill bit is still in use for many types of drilling today. Finally, in the 1940s, contractors invented portable drilling tools. That makes drilling much easier and that brings us to tools used today.
Contractors often drill modern drills with a drill rig on the back of a truck. There are still many ways to install wells. However, the most common installation method is to drill. Drilled wells require a drill rig. Contractors often mount drill rigs on trucks. Depending on the land where the well is being placed, different types of drill bits can be used. There are rotary drill bits that contractors use for chewing away at the rock. Percussion bits that smash the rock. If the ground is soft, use large auger bits. Drilled wells can be more than 1,000 feet deep. Wells that deep usually require a pump to ensure that water reaches the surface.
Types of Well Pumps
There are 3 major types of well pumps. The 3 types of well pumps are Shallow or Centrifugal pumps, Deep or Submersible pumps, and Convertible or Jet pumps.
Shallow pumps are as they sound. They are used in wells 25 feet deep or less. These pumps are typically found next to the well. They have a pipe that goes into the well then they generate enough suction to bring it into a home. Certainly, they are quite a reliable pump.
Deep pumps are used for depths typically around 100-300 feet. The difference between this pump and shallow or centrifugal pumps is that this one can be fully submerged. These pumps are typically the most popular form of well. They’re very strong and sturdy and need regular maintenance checks.
Jet pumps are known as convertible water pumps due to their versatility. They can be used up to 90 feet underground. As the name implies, jet pumps offer ‘jet power’ through the use of an ejector. This boosts the water pressure by creating a vacuum, pushing the water upwards at a faster and stronger pace. Jet pumps are very budget-friendly and powerful.