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What is Artesian Well Water?

Four generations of experience installing, maintaining and
repairing wells throughout Utah and Wyoming.
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Many water drinkers believe that artesian well water – sometimes called spring water — is superior in quality and a better choice for consumption. But is paying extra for a fancy pedigree actually worth the extra cost?

Artesian well water

As it turns out, artesian water isn’t really all that different from what flows from your taps at home, if you have a residential water well.

Where Does Artesian Water Come From?

Just as they do above the ground, lakes and rivers exist deep below the earth’s surface. These underground sources are commonly called aquifers, and sometimes they don’t flow all that easily.

When an aquifer is sandwiched between layers of impermeable rock, such as shale or clay, it has no way to escape. Aquifers confined in this manner are said to be under hydrostatic — or artesian — pressure.

If you tap into one of these aquifers, pressure pushes the water up to the surface, creating a flowing well. Natural springs and geysers form in the same way, as a crack in the impermeable rock can allow water to rise to the surface on its own, without the aquifer being tapped by man.

So, in other words, artesian water is that which rises to the surface by virtue of hydrostatic pressure rather than a manual or mechanical pump.

Where Does Your Residential Well Water Come From?

Your residential well also draws from an aquifer underground. So what’s the difference? The aquifer you’ll be tapping into isn’t confined under pressure. Consequently, you must have assistance to bring it to the surface.

When your residential well is drilled, the water won’t naturally come rushing to the surface on its own, as it would if you tapped into an aquifer under artesian pressure. So, you’ll need to rely on a mechanical pump to bring it up from beneath the ground.

Should You Switch to Drinking Artesian Well Water?

Again, what’s the difference? Why is artesian water thought to be so much better than that you pump out yourself?

The attraction – essentially a perception created by great marketing – comes from the idea that artesian aquifers provide natural filtration. As the groundwater travels at high pressure to the surface, it flows through permeable rock, which filters out contaminants and adds minerals. Many people believe that this creates a cleaner, better taste.

Back in the Middle Ages, when the first artesian wells were drilled, this filtration was quite valuable as it made the well water safer to drink. These days, residential well water is just as safe and great-tasting, as impurities can be easily removed with a barrier filter or through biological or chemical processes.

Chemically and physically, artesian aquifer groundwater isn’t significantly different than that sourced from any other aquifer. So, deciding on whether or not to switch to a bottled artesian brand simply comes down to cost.

Once your residential well is drilled, your well water is free. Depending upon the brand, a single bottle of artesian water can cost $2 or more. You do the math. Does it really make sense to buy bottled simply because it springs up from the earth on its own?

The professional team at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, serving homeowners throughout Utah and Wyoming, can answer all of your questions and assist you in making an informed choice. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about well water.