Differences Between Shallow Well And Deep Well

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

A well is an excavation or structure that allows access to underground water. A shallow well is dug in the ground, while a deep well has more than 25 feet of pipe extending down into the aquifer. Deep wells are typically used for agricultural purposes and may have pumps installed on them whereas shallow wells are used for drinking water purposes. The process of drilling deep wells can be expensive because it requires specialized equipment, so many people choose to drill shallow wells instead. If you’re considering purchasing a new home with either type of well, then keep these differences in mind.

A well is a deep hole in the ground, dug for the purpose of drawing up water. It has been used as a source of clean water since ancient times and continues to be used today. There are two major types of wells: shallow wells and deep wells. A shallow well is typically less than 20 feet deep whereas a deep well can go down hundreds or thousands of feet depending on the desired level of access to groundwater. Both types have advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before you choose which type will work best for your situation. This blog post will explore some differences between shallow wells and deep wells so that you can make an informed decision when choosing where to drill your next water well.

Comparison Between Shallow Well And Deep well

Parameters of ComparisonShallow WellDeep well
Cost Cheap High cost 
Energy More energy Needless energy 
Rainwater Cannot store more rainwater Can store rainwater 
Pump Do not need a pump Need pump 
Sustain Short time sustain Long time sustain 

What Is Shallow Well?

Shallow wells are a great way to get fresh water, but they require a lot of work. A shallow well is created by digging about 20 feet down into the ground and then lining the hole with bricks or stones. The hole needs to be lined because once you hit the water you will need a container to collect it in. Water from this type of well tends to have high mineral content, which can make it taste bad if not treated properly before drinking. However, that does not mean that the water cannot be used for other purposes such as cooking and bathing. In fact, there are many people all over the world who rely on these types of wells for their sole source of clean water every day. 

A shallow well is a hand-dug water source, usually dug at the side of a hill. Shallow wells are usually less than deep and produce poorer quality water for drinking and irrigation compared to deeper wells. This type of well can also be referred to as a “pitless” or “open hole”. The main advantage of using this method over other methods is that it requires very little digging skills and the costs involved in digging are low. This makes it an ideal option for small communities with limited financial resources who want access to clean drinking water sources. A disadvantage of this system is that it does not allow groundwater levels to recharge easily because there isn’t enough depth below ground level which means they need constant maintenance by clearing out any sediment build-up.

What Is Deep Well?

Deep well is a type of drilling technology that allows people to access groundwater. The digging process starts with a hole being drilled deep into the ground and then vertically down. This is done by an oil rig, which is lowered onto the surface from a crane or helicopter. It’s important to maintain a level of caution when working with these rigs as they need to be anchored in place before any drilling begins, otherwise, it could cause damage on the surface. After this initial step has been completed, drilling continues until the water reaches the bottom of the hole and flows back up into what’s called an “aquifer.” In order for this technique to work properly though, there must also be enough pressure at that depth for fluid flow to occur upward through fractures in rocks and soil.

The deep well is the deepest known groundwater source in California. This water source was discovered by scientists who were studying California’s Central Valley Aquifer, which supplies 1/3 of Californian’s drinking water. The deep well is an important discovery because it provides additional information about how much water can be drawn from the aquifer before reaching a point where there isn’t enough recharge to support the existing wells. The deeper groundwater sources will also allow for more sustainable management of this precious resource, as they are less affected by rainfall and snowmelt runoff that typically affect surface waters.

10 Differences Between Shallow Well And Deep well

1. Shallow wells are cheaper to install and maintain.

2. Deep wells require less energy and water pressure for pumping, which means they use less electricity and can be installed in areas with low water pressure.

3. Deep well systems often have the ability to store rainwater or other sources of water during times of drought.

4. A deep well system is more likely to provide a consistent supply of water throughout the day, whereas shallow wells may fluctuate between periods of high or low output depending on how much demand there is at any given time.

5. A deep well has an average lifespan that’s twice as long as a shallow well because it doesn’t need replacement parts like pump seals or screens.

6. The cost for drilling a new deep well is usually higher than the cost for installing a new shallow one but you’ll save money in maintenance costs over time.

7. Deep wells require a pump to bring water up from the well.

8. A deep well can be drilled directly into an underground aquifer, while a shallow well has to rely on rainfall or other surface sources for its water supply.

9. The depth of a deep well is determined by how much water you need; shallow wells are typically installed in areas where there isn’t enough rainwater available.

10. Shallow wells have more risk of contamination because their screens may not filter out bacteria and minerals that could cause illness.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Shallow Well

1. Shallow wells are used in many developing countries.

2. Water from shallow wells is often contaminated with bacteria, sediment, or chemicals.

3. The majority of people living in rural areas use a well for their water source.

4. In the US, around 90% of homes have access to public drinking water services. 

5. Countries that rely on shallow wells may experience droughts during dry seasons due to limited groundwater reserves.

6. Wells can be constructed by hand if there is an appropriate location and materials available.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Deep well

1. Deep well is a new form of energy that has been developed in the last decade.

2. The deep well produces power by using the heat from the earth’s core, which is around 5000 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. A deep well can produce enough electricity to power over 500 homes. 

4. It takes on average 10 years for a deep well to produce an equivalent amount of electricity as one nuclear plant can produce in one year.

5. There are two types of wells – horizontal and vertical, with vertical being more common due to their cost-effectiveness.

6. The first commercial deep well was built in Texas in 2005 and since then there have been many more constructed worldwide including some in China, India, Germany, Canada, Poland, Mexico, and Argentina.


Deep wells are more expensive to drill than shallow ones, but they provide much better water for homes. They reach the groundwater at a greater depth and can therefore produce enough volume of water for all needs. Shallow wells only go down deep enough to tap into surface water sources like rivers or lakes, which may dry up during droughts or in other conditions when there is not adequate rainfall. From an economic standpoint, it’s important to note that these two types of well also differ in cost: drilling a deep well costs about $30 per foot while installing one with shallower access would be closer to $10-$15 per foot. The difference in price largely depends on how far you need your well drilled; if you don’t need the water right by your house, then it’s cheaper to install a shallow well.


Resource 01: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/environmental-health/piping/drinking-water/shallow-wells.aspx
Resource 02: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deep%20well

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