We Find Water

Water Wells in Texas

Blog pic2.pngIn Texas, 99 per cent of the drinking water for rural populations is supplied by groundwater. So what is groundwater and how does it relate to us? Groundwater is any water that is located under the surface of the earth. Geological formations underground called are called aquifers. Groundwater wells are wells that are drilled into the ground with pumps to extract the water from aquifers. This pumped water is then diverted (and sometimes filtered) to sources for its intended use.

The state of Texas has approximately 6,700 dams and reservoirs to supply water for its population of over 27 million people. This water supply not only keeps the state functioning, it also produces some pretty amazing facts.

  • Did you know that only 40 per cent of the water in Texas is surface water? These are lakes, streams and other above ground bodies of water. The other 60 per cent of the water in this State is groundwater. It has to be pumped to the surface to be used.
  • This groundwater is supplied by approximately 32 aquifers in Texas, however nine major aquifers supply approximately 97 per cent of the groundwater that is used. These nine aquifers are named Ogallala, Gulf Coast Aquifer, Edwards (Balcones Fault Zone), Carrizo-Wilcox, Trinity, Edwards-Trinity Plateau, Seymour, Hueco-Mesilla Bolson and Pecos Valley.
  • The largest use for groundwater in Texas is agriculture. Approximately 80 per cent of the groundwater is used for irrigating crops. Over 6 million acres of land in Texas is irrigated. Texas is the state with the highest amount of irrigation wells. The rest of the water is used for industrial use, livestock and, of course, public supply.
  • In 2005 Texas was only second to California in percentage of groundwater use, withdrawing over 10 million gallons of groundwater per day. While this seems like a high number, consider the fact that each American household uses approximately 100 gallons of water each day at home. A dishwasher alone requires about 12 gallons of water per use while handwashing dishes can use as much as 20 gallons.

Some private wells in Texas are regulated by their local groundwater conservation district. Abandoned wells are an environmental concern as well as a safety hazard. These wells give direct access to aquifers, greatly increasing the chance of water contamination. Abandoned wells are the responsibility of the landowner and they should be taken care off as soon as they are discovered.

Jessica McClure, was one of these cases. Her much-publicized rescue in 1987 resulted in a movie and a song being written about her. At 18 months old she fell 22 feet down a well in her aunt’s back yard. Rescuers worked nonstop for 58 hours to rescue her. Thankfully, she survived this traumatic ordeal.

Water wells in Texas are interesting, but when it comes to drilling a well, things get expensive. Well drillers get paid for every foot they drill– regardless of if they find water or not. Save yourself time, money and dry holes on your property by knowing where the water is before the well driller shows up. American Water Surveyors is the cost-effective and efficient solution to finding the location, depth and yield of groundwater on your property so when it’s time to drill a well, you don’t waste time or money. Contact us today to learn more.

March 27, 2016 at 10:12 am Comments (0)

How low can we go?

Blog pic2.pngWell drilling is still a widely used technique for tapping into fresh drinking water, even in the developed world. Lots of farms or rural homes rely on well water to supply their family and livestock with fresh, clean water. The interesting part is that the water table isn’t at a universal height/distance across the world. Depending on a variety of geographical variables, you may have to dig further, or not so much, to reach drinkable water.

What’s standard?

Most drinking wells range anywhere from 3-18 meters in depth. As mentioned, this entirely depends on the geography of any given area. It’s also important to note that you can’t simply drill down and find water anywhere. Drilling a successful well has to do with tapping into a natural aquifer – or a pocket of fresh water beneath the ground. Drilling a dry well, where no matter how much you dig you never hit water, is a possibility if you don’t do your research. Using a water surveying company is your best chance at discovering if you have a usable aquifer on your land that you can tap into, without drilling any costly dry or test wells.

Even deeper?

Yes, there are wells that go deeper than the standard. In fact, Mexico City is digging a mile deep well in order to access drinking water, claiming that many of their aquifers located closer to the surface have been polluted and are no longer salvageable. Although this is not norm, depending on your location, it is possible that you have a usable aquifer that simply exists at an extreme depth. Tapping into these aquifers and even finding them are jobs that calls for professional water surveyors.

Pressured aquifers

Not every aquifer is created equal. Some aquifers are found between layers of permeable rock such as shale or clay. In these situations, this cache of water is often pressurized. If you were tap such an aquifer regularly, water would literally explode up and out of your drilled well as it will naturally be forced out of its cavern by the high pressure it’s contained under. It is possible to drill these aquifers, but this requires a special approach. A well that would use this source of water is called an artesian well, and drilling one requires special equipment, know-how, and experience. It’s actually a lot like drilling for oil – with a giant explosive geyser once you hit it.

The moral of the story is that water can be found in aquifers at all sorts of depths. You may get lucky and be able to dig a shallower well, or you may find yourself seeking out drillers who specialize in extraordinary well depths. Who knows? Well, there are some people who will know. Water surveyors are specifically trained and experienced in located fresh water deposits underground. If you are looking to dig a new well, or simply discover if you have accessible fresh water under your land, contact American Water Surveyors. With our knowledge and expertise, you won’t waste time and money digging dry wells, and we can let you know if your waters location put you in a unique drilling situation or not.

March 18, 2016 at 9:21 am Comments (0)