Types Water Wells

Types of Water Wells

Water well technology has evolved throughout history as humans have searched for reliable sources of water. Accessing clean, drinkable water is essential for human existence, yet it remains an issue in many parts of the world today. In response, there are various efforts to provide water solutions. With the growing global water crisis, accessing water through wells will become increasingly important. There are three types of water wells: dug, driven and drilled.

Understanding the types of water well systems can help organizations, governments and individuals determine where to invest precious resources in order to bring the best water well solution to an area plagued by the difficulties of having very little freshwater.

Dug wells were the first type of well created to access water. Hand-dug using whatever tools are available, these wells are the most primitive type but they are still used today in areas where drills are not available. Because these wells are dug with simple tools, they cannot reach very deep, perhaps 200 feet. They are also dangerous to construct because the walls can easily collapse, causing falling objects and the possibility of asphyxiation or other injury.

Driven wells are created with a hardened drive point and a perforated pipe, which is repeatedly hammered into the ground. Pipe sections are added when a new depth is reached to achieve further depths. Once groundwater is reached, the well is washed out and a pump installed. It’s a fairly simple process, but, like hand-dug wells, driven wells have limitations in depth and stability.

Drilled wells have, by far, the deepest capabilities as well as the most longevity and resistance to contamination because of their depth and the materials used to secure the bore hole.1 Ninety percent of drilled wells use a rotary machine drill to create the bore hole.

When an area doesn’t have ready access to clean water available, and people are forced to use contaminated surface water, the cycles of illness and poverty are nearly impossible to break. This makes the need for properly dug wells incredibly important to water-stressed areas.

Laul knew this cycle well. Stricken with typhoid, a waterborne illness, he spent his days in fever and pain. No doctor could cure what only clean water could bring. The village’s well was easily contaminated in the monsoon season and dried up during drought.

A father of five, Laul’s ongoing illness prevented him from working and drove his family further into poverty. Twenty-six million people a year contract typhoid, mostly from contaminated water sources. Children are the most vulnerable.2

Laul continued to suffer until one day news of a well brought hope. GFA pastor Kirk had been praying hard for a Jesus Well for Laul’s village, and they would soon receive one.

Jesus Wells are dug to depths of about 600 feet, which ensures that the weather, such as monsoons and droughts, doesn’t affect the well’s function or water cleanliness. The wells are installed with a heavy-duty hand pump that is easy to maintain and replace parts. Although its rubber seals will need to be replaced about every four years, the pump can function through 20 million cycles before requiring mechanical repair. This translates into a lifespan of approximately 20 years with eight hours of daily use.

Waterborne diseases no longer plague Laul’s village, which means people like Laul are healthy to work and provide for their families. By helping to end the cycle of illness, this clean water can help provide a clearer path out of poverty. Even more importantly, the Jesus Well demonstrates Christ’s love as people have the opportunity to taste of the Living Water.

The need for clean water in Asia and other parts of the world is a desperate one. It is difficult to imagine the huge water crisis that many suffer from on a daily basis, such as Laul and the people of his village before they received a Jesus Well. But there is hope. More than 30,000 Jesus Wells have been installed in villages that desperately need them. Many more people and communities still need this help.

Will you join us in bringing clean water to those who are suffering without it in Asia? Will you help build a water well for charity? For approximately $1,400, a Jesus Well can be drilled by a local worker and provide clean water for 300 people a day. Through myGFA, you can even set up a fundraiser and invite others to give with you. You can also provide clean water through giving for a BioSand water filter. And, of course, your prayers for more wells and hearts reached through them can add significantly to the work of GFA World. Give pure water and impact a village today!

Learn more about the global water crisis

1 Association), NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath (2013-10-29). Kitchen & Bath Residential Construction and Systems. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118711040.
2 Committee on Environmental Health; Committee on Infectious Diseases (2009). “Drinking water from private wells and risks to children”. Pediatrics. 123 (6): 1599–1605. doi:10.1542/peds.2009-0751. PMID 19482772.