Many people do not have an idea that water can be complex. There are various types that are available today. Sometimes, you can get overwhelmed and confused about what is the best type to use for the family.
One of the controversial water today is the artesian water. Know more about it in this article.
What is Artesian Water?
The term artesian is from a province in France named as Artois. In this place, it is stated that water wells were first used. Thus, it is a term used for the natural phenomenon.
Artesian water is the confined natural underground reservoir which contains water under positive pressure. The aquifer is the geologic layer of rocks or limestone that provides as the source of the artesian well.
Such aquifers are commonly found underneath the surface of the earth. This is where the preserve deposits and massive amounts of the finest water.
The majority of the artesian aquifers around the world are replenished non-stop by the groundwater and the rain. The water flows down from the porous substances. Examples of which are the gravel, rock, and sand. Around these porous substances are rock or other hard materials. As such, the water cannot escape and reach the ground level.
In general, the artesian groundwater is similar to any types of groundwater in your property. The difference is with regards to the process of how it gets to the surface.
The artesian well does not need a pump to push the water into the surface. This is because there is so much pressure in the aquifer. It pushes the water out without any assistance.
Artesian Well versus the Flowing Artesian Well
The artesian well connects into the confined aquifer. With this, the well water will rise on top of the aquifer. However, it will not reach the land surface.
Meanwhile, the flowing artesian well is a type of well that has been drilled into an aquifer. The pressure that is present on the aquifer will force the water underneath to rise above the land naturally even without the use of a pump.
It can flow on a continuous or intermittent basis. It can originate from the aquifers which occur from unconsolidated materials. Examples of which are the gravels, sand, or bedrock. The depths range from a few meters to thousand meters. Take note that all flowing wells can be considered as artesian wells. However, not all artesian wells are known as flowing wells.
The Reason of why wells flow
There can be two types of situations why the flowing artesian wells are found. These are the following:
- The aquifer is restricted by impermeable materials. Examples of which are the confined beds where the static water level is on top of the aquifer plus the surface of the land.
- There is no confinement on the aquifer. However, the static water level is above the surface of the land.
The conditions of the artesian water can be generated through various factors such as the topographical and geological controls.
With the geological controls, the water will rise above the ground due to the pressure restricted in the aquifer. If you drill a well from the surface of the land via the impervious layer, the pressure will lead to the rising of the water. As such, it will cause the flowing of the artesian well especially in areas where the pressure is great.
Whereas in topographical control cases, the hydraulic head is higher versus the surface of the land. Usually, this occurs at discharge areas at lower elevations which are found near the lakes and rivers around steep slopes.
With depth, the pressure of the groundwater increases especially in the discharge areas where it is controlled by the topography.
The Importance of Controlling or Stopping the Artesian Flow
Learning to control or stop the artesian wells will prevent the wastage of the groundwater. For example, if an artesian well is uncontrolled and it flows at 10 USgpm, it can waste around 14,400 gallons of water every day. Each year, it can waste around 5.25 million gallons of water. This is enough to supply four homes already.
Wasting water may decrease the confining pressure available in the aquifer. The well will no longer flow at a reduced rate and affect the springs and wells near it.
Whenever the groundwater breaks outside the well, it can possibly cause flooding, sinkhole, and damage to the area. One reason to control its flow is to prevent the groundwater from the aquifer to overlying aquifers. If the situation is not contained, the clay, gravel, silt, sand, and other fluids can possibly carry the artesian groundwater to the surface water. As such, the surface water’s quality will be affected.
Moreover, the flowing artesian wells can lead to erosion. The accumulated flowing water in the ponds can contribute to mosquito problems.
Determining the Artesian Conditions before Beginning to Drill
Before drilling a well, it is crucial to do a pre-drilling assessment. This will determine the range of the flow and the pressure which can be found during the drilling. With this, you can know if there are instances of flowing artesian condition which you can possibly encounter.
The pre-drilling activities include determining geological conditions, gathering information, knowing the static water levels, and any history of the artesian water in the area. You can obtain this information from the following:
- Checking the reports available from the local well constructions
- Reviewing the available hydrological reports
- Interview with the government’s environmental hydrogeologists
- Consultation with the professional hydrogeologists and drillers within the local area
If such information is currently unavailable, the person-in-charge of drilling the well must consider the proposed depth of the well in accordance with the geological and topographical information of the site.
Also, the electrical survey or the geophysical logs can be used to have a better understanding of the subsurface conditions.
Whenever there is limited information available, it is best to take some precautionary approach to the issue. Planning should be considered seriously, and one should assume that the flowing artesian conditions are always present.
Controlling the Artesian Flow from the Well
One can say that the flowing artesian well is under control when the entire flow is through the production casing up to the wellhead. Thereafter, one can stop the flow indefinitely without surface leakage on the ground’s surface. This can also prevent leakage into other aquifers near the well.
If the flow of the artesian well is controlled, it will not stop the flow or even dry up the well. This is true especially if the well is constructed properly.
As a matter of fact, the opposite is true since the waste of the artesian water will cause a decrease in the artesian pressure. If you control the flow of the artesian well, it will prevent the unnecessary loss of the groundwater which comes from the aquifer.
Why Choose Artesian Water?
Nowadays, more people are considering the importance of drinking artesian water. The water is from the deep aquifers of the country. It reaches the land as it falls through the rocks and mountains for decades. As such, the water has a rich concentration of natural minerals. It is also considered to be free from contaminants. With this, many people choose the artesian water. This is true when they decide for safe and healthy bottled water for their family.
Now, here are the benefits of drinking artesian water:
Contains Natural Minerals
The artesian water is the type of water that the human body is designed to consume. It contains natural minerals which are just right for our health. Some of the minerals are:
- Calcium- Calcium is known essential for life. It is crucial for building and maintaining the bones. It prevents blood clot and makes the body healthy. It makes our muscles contract and our heart beating. 99% of calcium in our body is found in our teeth and bones.
- Fluoride- The artesian water has been proven to have traces of fluoride on it. Fluoride is beneficial to cause good dental health. However, the content is not as high as that in the tap water. As such, you must not worry about the potential health hazard the artesian water can cause to consumers.
- Electrolytes- Artesian water contains natural electrolytes. With this, it is beneficial in regulating the pH balance of the blood. The bicarbonate found in the electrolytes can regulate the pH levels of the blood. It avoids the blood from becoming too acidic and prevents you from feeling too tired.
Indeed, the artesian spring water has various benefits. Its awesome natural taste can make it one of the best alternatives for soda and other sugar-based drinks.
Always Opt for Genuine Artesian Water
It is best to opt for companies that use natural artesian water, whether for your office or home use. Choose companies that use water from the springs and bottle it directly. There are also suppliers that deliver water bottles using certified food-grade material.
Water Quality Concerns of Flowing Artesian Wells
In sum, the quality of the flowing artesian wells is excellent. But in some cases, there are artesian waters that have poor quality. It can cause a serious issue on the overlying aquifer plus the surface water.
The quality of the water can be affected by the depth of the well. For example, if artesian water is deeper flowing, it can have poor water quality versus shallower flowing well. The water from the bedrock formations like the deep sandstone formations can have arsenic content on them. This can lead to serious health problems in the long run. Thus, those artesian wells with poor water quality must be closed permanently.
Meanwhile, the majority of the problems with flowing artesian wells is due to improper construction of the well or improper discharge controls. For example, the corrosion of the casing plus leakage is possible due to the constant flow of the water. This is true if the water contains fine sand or if it is corrosive.
If the artesian water is corrosive, a pipe which is smaller in diameter can be installed in the well. This pipe can be made of corrosion-resistant material. It can be replaced periodically when it becomes corroded. Remember not to use the thin-wall casing when it comes to artesian wells.
Failure of the surface seal or the casing during construction can be costly. It can even result in the eruption of a large amount of sand, silt, clay, or gravel. It can cause unstable conditions and potential flooding to nearby structures. This is possible through subsidence and erosion which can harm the living area of the aquatic organisms.
The screens of the well can yield water withstand if it is not developed properly. This can be an issue if the flowing artesian well in an aquifer is shut-off. Then, the sand will clog and settle in the area and beneath the casing. As such, the screen size should be coarse to prevent the buildup of pressure in the aquifer. It must be noted as well that the well should be developed properly.
Experts do not recommend the use of the perforated casing in artesian wells. In some instances, the smell of unpleasant rotten egg is present. This can be controlled by stopping or reducing the flow of the artesian wells.
Key Issues to Take Note When Drilling a Flowing Artesian Well
It is challenging to construct flowing artesian wells with high flow rates and pressure. Those flowing wells that are drilled deep in the ground are less prone to developing flow problems. They are easier to deal with. In bedrock locations, the rock allows for the easy installation of the seal.
If you drill a well into a confined aquifer, you can potentially disturb the overlying geologic layer which provides a potential pathway to the pressurized movement of the artesian water. As such, the close the above portion of the artesian formation is to the surface of the ground, the more challenging it is to control the flow.
As such, it is best for the qualified well drillers to observe the condition of the flowing artesian water. Do this for one to two weeks after the construction. Check if there are any leakages outside or in between the casings.
Disinfecting the Artesian Wells
In general, the flowing wells are less prone to bacterial contamination due to the protected nature of the artesian aquifer. Also, the positive artesian pressure can minimize the entry of the contaminants into the well. The contaminants introduced at the process of drilling can be flushed out via continuous discharge of the water.
To disinfect the flowing well with the use of the chlorine, you can put a temporary casing extension above the piezometric level. This can increase the chlorine and stop the flow. If the chlorine solution can potentially harm the environment, then you can use a neutralizing agent. Examples of which is Vitamin C. This can inactivate chlorine, and it is affordable. The reaction time of the Vitamin C is also instantaneous.