Well Drilling Fun Facts

Here are some interesting facts about water and well drilling:

  • After oxygen, water is the most important necessity of mankind. You can live without food for thirty days, but you’re not likely to go more than a week without water.
  • Humans have been using wells to get their life sustaining water for over ten thousand years, but until about a hundred years ago, almost all wells were dug by hand.
  • In many cultures, whole communities would participate in the well drilling, or well digging process. Everybody would benefit, so everyone helped to establish the community water supply.
  • Most hand dug water wells were only a few feet across and perhaps twenty, to one or two hundred feet deep, but some were several thousand feet deep, and others were more than thirty feet across.
  • The Chinese are believed to have been using the percussion method of well drilling as much as four thousand years ago, and they were thousands of feet deep.
  • The first percussion driven wells in the United States were drilled in the early eighteen hundreds.
  • The first percussion driven well drilling in the United States was accomplished with man power, and later used horses.
  • Steam power was used for well drilling in the mid eighteen hundreds. As the industrial revolution progressed, well drilling transitioned to internal combustion engine power.
  • Although percussion well drilling is still used today, many well drilling companies are now using more efficient and quieter rotary drill bits.
  • Well drilling companies install casings or liners in wells to prevent the walls of the well from collapsing, and to minimize the chance of contaminants from entering the well pipe.
  • While water pumps can pump water up for hundreds of feet, they cannot lift water up that is much more than thirty feet below the pump. This is why hand pumps are only used on shallow wells, and deeper wells have electric pumps that are lowered into the well.
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