It’s a common misconception that rain has a direct impact on the amount of water in residential wells. Over 95% of rainfall doesn’t go directly into your well or even stay on your property; it runs off into creeks, streams, and rivers, some of which become part of the area’s surface water supplies, or “reservoirs”. It is these sources that create and generate water-bearing aquifers, which supply all wells, assuming the aquifers are hydro-geologically “connected” to your residential well.
While your well is a 6” hole in the ground, it is not directly replenished by rainfall, as you might expect a cistern to function.
The rainfall that seeps into the ground on your property moves through the soil at a rate of only 10 feet per year. Since aquifers (where your well gets its water supply) are hundreds of feet below ground, it might take more than a decade for that rain to reach an aquifer or water-bearing strata! But that’s a good thing – as it slowly moves through the soil, the water chemistry changes and the water is purified of most surface contaminants.
So is rainfall still an important factor in your well? YES! Rainfall has a direct impact on the local water table, which may immediately impact your residential well if it is supplied by shallow aquifers. With less rain, or changes in aquifer structure, the well becomes non-water bearing – i.e. dry. Your well may not ‘fill up’ when it rains, but it does reap the indirect benefits.
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The Well Worth It Blog is all about residential wells, why we love them, and how to keep yours healthy and flowing clean, drinkable water for you and your family.