Types of Water Wells

The “watering hole” is an important location in most societies. Whether it be the water cooler at work or the community well, water sources bring people together. There are various types of water wells around the world—each type having pros and cons.

Here are the four basic types of water wells


Dug Well

Digging a well by hand is the way wells have traditionally been constructed. When the water table is shallow, this type of well can still work in modern times. Oftentimes, these wells are lined with tiles, bricks or stones to keep them from collapsing. On the downside, dug wells can’t be very deep since the hole keeps filling with water as the digging occurs. Additionally, dug wells are not a good source of drinking water since contamination from surface water is likely to occur.

Bored Well

A bored well, usually with a depth of 50-100 feet, is made using a boring machine. Concrete is generally used to line the well. This type of well is susceptible to contamination as well as running dry during seasons of drought if the water table drops below the bottom of the well. Learn more about a borewell.

Driven-point Well

These wells, sometimes called sand-point wells, are constructed by driving a small pipe into soft earth to a depth of about 50 feet. The pipe is driven into the ground with high water pressure. Oftentimes, a screen is installed at the bottom as a filter. Like the dug and bored wells, a driven-point well has significant drawbacks because it can only access shallow water and contamination is possible.

Drilled Well

This category of wells often encompasses all the other types of wells, most of which require a drill rig that is mounted on a large truck. The large rotary or auger bits chip away at the ground and rock. These wells can be very deep, sometimes over 1000 feet, which makes it possible to access water even during very dry times and seasons of drought. Pumps are used to bring the water to the surface.

GFA World has been serving the people of Asia since 1979, and one avenue of this service has been drilling wells called “Jesus Wells.”


This type of water well system is offered to villages that do not have access to clean drinking water. The wells are drilled as deep as necessary to provide clean water through the drought seasons. Each well is installed with a heavy-duty handpump, most being the India Mark II model, which was designed through a joint effort of several world service organizations. The pump is capable of operating for 20 years or more when used for approximately 8 hours per day.

The need is great! Over 785 million people worldwide lack access to a basic water source.2 They are forced to walk miles to access clean water, or risk waterborne illnesses that result from drinking contaminated water.

A well can be donated through GFA World for only $1400, and that well will provide clean water for an entire village. Many of these villagers currently walk miles for clean water; a Jesus Well would rescue them from that burden. Each Jesus Well can provide water to an average of 300 people for about 10-20 years. We use local labor and materials, which keep the costs low and stimulates the local economy. By using local labor and materials, our wells often cost 7 times less than wells installed by other organizations.

Jesus Wells are maintained by the local church in that community. The pastor or church people are given the responsibility for maintaining the well and making it accessible to all people—no matter their race, religion, income level, and so on. Through this well, the church is able to show Christ’s compassion to their community in a tangible way.

In one village in south Asia, it becomes scorching hot during the dry season—sometimes even 114 degrees F, with not much reprieve at night. Many wells dry up during this hot drought season, causing villagers in the lower social classes to resort to drinking muddy water from nearby water sources. This water is contaminated with livestock waste.

Will you join us in reaching the people of Asia and Africa through water well drilling, and build a water well for charity? Your investment of any amount helps us provide clean, fresh water to people who need it most.

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1 “Drilling a well inside the river.” Ahmedabbas8. Wikimedia. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Drilling_a_hand_dug_well_inside_the_river_04.jpg
2 “Drinking Water Fact Sheet.” World Health Organization. 2019. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water