How to Determine a Water Well Site Location


water well drilling

8.9 million Canadians rely on groundwater from wells for their domestic use. In Alberta, that number is 23%.

Property owners need to take steps to ensure the water they get from their well is safe. Factors such as soil or proximity to animal pens and other commercial properties need to be considered. Determining a well's location is more than just convenience.

This article shares the important items you need to be aware of when locating the best well site.


Considerations for a New Well Site

When looking for a water well site, the first thought is to locate it as close as possible to where you need it. But that desired location may not be the best place.

Many well drillers offer consulting services to help you decide where to place your new well. They will explain the environmental and cultural factors to consider.


Environmental Factors

Soil type, location of restrooms or animal waste pits, and topography all impact a water well location. Where possible, locate your well at a higher elevation than the contaminant source. The groundwater and bacteria flow away from your well.

If your well needs to be below the washroom, the soil will filter out any harmful bacteria. Fine-grained soils like clay, silt, or fine sand filter harmful bacteria better than courser sand or gravel. If your soil is coarse, you will need to locate your well further away from the restroom than for finer-grained soil.

Other contaminants include surface water, streams, rivers, and ponds. Will your well location be underwater during a flood? If so, that is an area to avoid.


Cultural Factors

When locating a water well, human activities will also affect your decision. These include the proximity of existing wells and neighbouring industrial facilities. Be aware of underground pipes to avoid damaging services and equipment during drilling.

Do not place your well near overhead power lines. This will prevent contact and electrocution when installing or maintaining the water pump.


Make a Site Map

Sketching a simple map can help you determine where to put the well in relation to nearby considerations. Walk around the site with a well driller to check for soil type, contaminant sources, and topography. Draw the site and include man-made features and the slope of the ground. Mark the preferred location of the well and measure the distance between it and contamination sources and other objects.


Locate an Existing Well Site on Your Property

To find an existing well, locate where the cold water pipe comes into your building. The well is often on the same side. Search for well casings above ground or metal well covers at ground level on the property.

If you need help locating a well, call local well drillers to see if they drilled it. Municipal records may also show the well's location on your property.


Contact Your Local Water Well Driller

A well that provides safe and clean water is vital for a healthy home or thriving business. Contact the experts at Westar Drilling Ltd. to drill your new water well. We are a trusted drilling company in Central Alberta with over 30 years of experience.