Basic Water Well System Description

What does a water well system include?

Residential water-well systems vary in the equipment used, and the amount of water produced. The most basic system in our area usually consists of

  • a bored well
  • a submersible pump and motor installed at the bottom of the well
  • a string of pipe to bring the water to the surface
  • wire to carry the electricity down to the pump
  • a pressure tank at the surface

The pressure tank allows the pump to run occasionally instead of every time a faucet is opened (figure 1). The basic system is often enhanced, either by necessity or for improved performance, with the addition of a storage tank, and a pressure (jet) pump (figure 2). Other equipment is also sometimes used, such as solar powered pumps, or constant pressure delivery systems. But the two drawings below represent the most common equipment combinations. Click on either drawing to view a larger version.


What powers the well?

Most properties in this area are served by grid power (the utility company), but there are a substantial number which use off-grid power systems, such as solar, wind, or engine-driven generators. Sometimes generators are used temporarily until permanent power is arranged.  A frequently asked question is how large a generator is required for that. For most residential wells, the generator size would be from 5 to 10 KW.

How much does a water well system cost?

Balance of System Costs

In order to price a system, we need to know the details of the site. That includes the well depth, static level, recovery rate, etc. if it’s an existing well, or an estimation of those figures if it’s a new well. But since most property purchasers ask for some idea of what costs to expect, here are some general guidelines – Once the well is drilled, package prices for the usual initial residential installations tend to start at about $1450. Deeper installations requiring steel pipe, larger pumps, and heavier wire, tend to start at about $2800. The addition of storage tanks, booster pumps etc. will add to those costs. Please be sure to contact us with your site details before budgeting for your installation.

The information on this page only covers the basics. Please click here to go to the FAQ page if you’d like to read on about water-well systems in more detail.