This topic is a question that comes up once in a while. Usually it starts when a customer calls in and requests service for their existing well. We always ask whether it is a shallow well or a deep well. A lot of the time the answer we get is “I’m not sure, how can I tell the difference?
Sometimes it is with the size casing. If it is small diameter, such as 1-1/4” PVC, that would indicate it is a shallow “well point” as they are called. If it is 2″ or above, it very well could be a deep well. Larger casings may also be shallow wells. Some of the largest diameter wells are very shallow (bored wells). A 4″ PVC well may be constructed in the same manner as a 1-1/4″ well point, just much larger in screen size and much more expensive. Most do not drill larger diameter shallow wells due to cost. The advantage to a larger diameter may be flow or to enable the use of a submersible pump.
The advantage of drilling a small diameter well point is cost. Another is the fact that you may drill multiple wells and tie them into an above ground centrifugal-jet, end-suction type pump. This allows wells that produce less than 10 gpm to be utilized without the need for multiple pumps or low flow protection devices, which are needed when a submersible pump is installed on a shallow well.
If you have a well that you are not sure of the difference, we have nice instruments that will quickly tell us what the depth or problem is. Just give us a call and we will define/diagnose it for you!