According to a recent FierceEnergy report, Ben Hill County is slated to receive eight new water wells, an $81,200 project, to provide at least a dozen households with clean water. With the aid of Water Well Trust, a nonprofit advocate of clean water supply for households, the project is expected to save the county more than $500,000 in retrofitting their old water infrastructure.
Unlike major metropolitan areas such as Athens, most far-flung counties like Ben Hill, which flank Georgia’s major highways, don’t have an advanced plumbing system. Some municipalities are lucky to have a lake or river close by, but not Ben Hill. Wide, open plains stretch out as far as the eyes can see, with the nearest water source miles away.
In the county’s case, it has to rely on underground sources to supply homes and buildings with potable water. Some precipitation seeps into the ground and settles in natural aquifers, which—according to the EPA—are mostly sand, clay, and rock. This water can be drawn out by wells, which are not necessarily the wells with buckets made popular by history.
The Modern Well
While today’s wells haven’t changed much in design, conveniences such as pumps and pipes make drawing groundwater easier. In addition, modern wells are capped to protect water from creatures that may seek refuge deep in the well. Instead of the classic brick-and-mortar, PVC piping is the material of choice.
Depth is the most flexible variable in building a well. Groundwater can be hundreds of feet deep, but seasonal fluctuations can make wells either fill up or come up short, according to American Ground Water Trust. Other variables that affect well depth are the presence of multiple aquifers, low-yield rock formations, and risk of contamination.
As much of the well structure lies below the surface, it takes a special well service in Athens, GA to fix or maintain, let alone inspect, the well. For instance, the well screen at the bottom will need replacement after constant filtering. To enhance filtering capability, a gravel pack can be wrapped around the screen.
More common is the problem of the water not coming up in the first place. Normally, this can be attributed to lack of power for the submersible pump, but other issues can warrant the expertise of a plumber in Athens, GA like Athens Plumbing & Well Service on site. A household in a city with a systematic sewage system and a working well exemplifies the importance of groundwater.
(Source: “WWT encourages wells over aging water infrastructure,” FierceEnergy, June 27, 2014)