well depth

Asked May 21, 2018, 12:25 PM EDT

Does the depth of the well affect the water quality?

Cass County Michigan

1 Response

Thank you for your inquiry.

Do you have a copy of your well log? If not, you can contact the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department to help you locate this record, which contains a listing of each of the layers and their depths, through which the well is constructed.

In general, soil type plays an important role in water quality, as the layers of sand , gravel and clay are critical in helping to filter and clean our groundwater which is the source of groundwater wells. There is no standard depth that wells should be constructed, and it is depth of well construction is highly variable based on where you are located in the state. This is due to geology being different depending on your location. In general, it is recommended that if possible, a well is constructed thorough
at least one clay layer, as if there is contamination, the clay layer will serve to slow the downward flow of the contamination. In certain areas of the state, where the soil tends to be sandy, which could allow contamination to travel down into the groundwater more rapidly, a greater depth might be recommended to provide added protection.

Another resource person who is more local to your region of the state is Beth Clawson, who is based in the Kalamazoo MSU Extension office, but previously had been housed in the Cass County office. You can contact her at: clawsonb@anr.msu.edu or 269-330-5554.

When constructing a well, it is really important to contact and consult your local /regional health department, as they will be familiar with the geology of your area, and will also be familiar with any specific water quality issues that you may face in your area which you might want to pay close attention to.

I also suggest you look at Chapter 10 of the Home-A-Syst Guide which gives a more in depth explanation about geology, and how these various layers, including clay, can help protect water quality, and that of your drinking water, in particular when constructing a new well. It also includes a quick assessment that you can complete to assess water quality risks that you may face with regard to your well.

This resource can be found can be found at the following link: