October 3, 2023

Everything you need to know about artesian wells

Does your perfect property or dream cottage have an artesian well and septic tank? No need to panic! Read this article to learn the basics about artesian wells, from how they work to benefits and cost. We’ve got you covered!

Pure water in house

1. How do artesian wells work?

An artesian well is built by drilling into an impermeable layer of rock and sometimes a sand or gravel formation to bring water to the surface. Well depth varies depending on water flow in the water table aquifer, but it is usually between 50 and 70 metres.[1]

Surface wells, which are much shallower than artesian wells, are more prone to contamination from micro-organisms and fertilizer, as well as low water flow. Water from artesian wells is naturally filtered and less susceptible to contamination. Artesian wells also have a more consistent flow rate.[2]

2. What are the benefits of an artesian well?

In addition to increased property value and providing a stable water supply, artesian wells come with the following advantages:[3]

  • Good quality, naturally filtered drinking water
  • Minimal maintenance
  • No municipal water tax

Despite concerns to the contrary, artesian wells are also well suited to Quebec winters, as the pipes are located far enough underground that they don’t freeze.

If water supply during peak periods is an issue, hydrofracturing may be an option. During this process, water is injected into the bedrock under very high pressure to create fractures in the rock and clear away debris, allowing water to flow into your well at an increased rate.[4]

3. How much does an artesian well cost?

Before you decide to dig an artesian well, you’ll need to assess your water needs, which depend on several factors:[5]

  • Number of people living in the house
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Number of household appliances and how often they’re used
  • How much land needs watering
  • Whether there’s a swimming pool

As a general rule, digging a well costs between $8,400 and $12,000. The exact amount will depend on a variety of factors, including:[6]

  • Soil characteristics
  • Drill hole depth and diameter
  • Length of steel pipe required
  • Materials used
  • Additional services such as hydrofracturing
  • Well pump system

Buying a home with an artesian well may be a wise choice in the long run. It’s important to have the well inspected to ensure it is in good condition and that the water meets the standards set out in the Regulation respecting the quality of drinking water.[7] If necessary, check with your city or municipality to stay up to date with current regulations.

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See also:

Why have a septic tank inspected?

12 factors to consider when buying land to build a house

Buying land or a farm property: what you need to know

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