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(248) 627-3511
Call Us Today!
(248) 627-3511

What Are Water Systems

What is the typical water well system?

As a homeowner your private well is an important investment and your chief responsibility. Safe keeping your well is imperative in order to provide your family safe and healthy drinking water.  Because we value education, Fleming Well Drilling would like to guide you through a typical water well system.  We realize a well informed homeowner can make the best decision.
To locate your well a homeowner should know that their private well consists of two basic structures: outside of your home, usually within 100' from dwelling, and inside of your home, usually in your basement or crawl space. 
Outside the Home:  A borehole was drilled, a PVC/Steel casing inserted, then sealed with a well cap.  Any space between the casing and the borehole during construction was grouted. Inside the casing at the bottom is a screen, which causes a protected area for water to flow from the aquifer up to the pressure tank inside your home.  Drop pipe was lowered down into the casing with a pump attached which forces water up and into your home.
Inside the Home:  This is where the pressure tank is located that receives the water pumped from the tapped aquifer. This is also where the homeowner can locate the main water shut-off valve, the electrical power to the pump, and check the air pressure inside  the tank.

Below is a diagram of a water system, a list of definitions for further explanation is also provided.  The common well today is a 5" PVC casing.  State Law: all new wells require a  permit from your County Health Division before any well construction begins.

Aquifer: Underground layer of rock, sand, or gravel that contains reservoirs of groundwater in sufficient quantity to supply a well.
Borehole: A hole drilled into the ground for the purpose of constructing a well.
Casing: A Tubular structure placed in the drilled hole made of Steel or plastic pipe PVC installed while drilling a well to prevent collapse of the well borehole.  The casing also confines the ground water to its zone underground by preventing the entrance of contaminants; and to allow placement for a pump or pumping equipment.
Drilled wells: Constructed by a combination of jetting, driving, rotary or air.  Drilled wells are commonly 5 inches in diameter; but older wells may be 2 inches in diameter.
Dry hole:  An open borehole or cased borehole that does not produce water in sufficient quantity for the intended use.
Groundwater: Subsurface water in a zone of saturation. Naturally occurring from rain precipitation, when falling fills spaces between grains of soil or fractures in the bedrock.
Grout: Placement of cement or bentonite to seal the space between the outside of the well casing and the borehole or to seal an abandoned well from contaminants.
Pitless Adapter:  A device which provides access to the well and to the parts of the water supply system, while providing the well with a sanitary and frost-proof seal between the well casing and the water line running to the well system owner’s house. 
Pressure tank: A closed water and air storage container than has an effect on the water supply system pressure within a selected range.
Well Cap (seal):  A device used to cover the top of well casing pipe to prevent the entrance of contaminants into the top of the well casing. Well caps are usually aluminum or a thermoplastic, and include a vented screen so that the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the well casing may be equalized when water is pumped from the well.  The cap covering a well may be a small part of the overall household water well system, but it is an extremely important one.

Well Screen: a filtering device at the bottom of the casing in a sand or gravel aquifer used to keep excess sediments from entering the well. They attach to the bottom of the casing, allowing water to move through the well, while keeping out most gravel and sand.


Your water system should be...

Casing: PVC pipe which extends 12"+ above ground surface and be 25'+ deep.  It does not move about or have any open spaces around the casing. 
Well: Is properly isolated and 50'+ away from all (if close to lot line this could include your neighbors) septic systems, buried fuel tanks, etc.
Sampling Faucet:  Close to pressure tank and downward pointing, 8"+ above floor.
Borehole: Is sealed/grouted full length to prevent well and aquifer contamination.

Other Concerns about water systems...

Abandoned well:  A well which is no longer used, or is in such disrepair that its continued use for the purpose of obtaining  groundwater is impractical, or a threat to ground water resources, or possible health or safety hazard.  State law requires proper closing or plugging of an abandoned wells.  Plugging an unused water well can prevent contamination of drinking water, and can stop contaminants from reaching groundwater.
Water Well Contamination:  A biological, chemical, physical, or radiological component in water that is or may become injurious to the health, safety or welfare of the consumer.  Common causes can be manmade or natural occurring through the aquifer possibly by surface water entering into a poorly grouted casing, an improperly abandoned well, or leaking coming from underground fuel storage tanks, location of the well, distances from other potential contamination, groundwater flow, improper construction of the well water supply system, or leaching from pipes carrying the water.

Testing Your Water

  • Those who provide drinking water tests:
  • Oakland County Health Division, Pontiac, 248-858-1312
  • Lapeer County Water Program, Lapeer, 810-667-0392
  • Genesee County Environmental Health Division, Flint, (810) 257-3603.
  • State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Lansing, 517-335-8184
  • HHI Water Testing Laboratory, West Bloomfield, 248-683-1997
  • In-House Water Lab, Howell, 517-548-7363
  • Macomb Testing Service, Inc, Swartz Creek, 810-232-7579
  • Water Testing Service & Laboratories, Brand Blanc, 810-695-6763
  • Home Pro Systems, Inc, Flint, 800-653-6789 or 810-732-2255

Common Tests

Coliform; bacteria including Coliform. Coliform is usually harmless, although in high amounts are harmful and can cause disease.  Coliform originates from human or animal sewage. 
Partial Chemistry; fluoride, chloride, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, sodium, and iron.  Nitrate levels which are elevated can cause the greatest risks to infants, and pregnant mothers, including those who breast feed.  Levels above 10 mg/l (PPM) can cause infants and young children who suffer from a condition known as Methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome).  Affecting the bloods ability to absorb oxygen. Nitrate is naturally in ground water.  Generally found when farming, lawn fertilizers, and septic systems are within close proximity to the well.
Chloride is not generally considered to be a health concern, some evidence indicates that high chloride intake may pose a hazard to persons with heart or kidney disease.  Chloride is commonly associated with lakeshore wells, shallow wells, contaminates from septic tanks, and road salt.  Generally found in most common salts such as road salt, table salt and water-softener salt.
Arsenic; a naturally occurring heavy metal found in most major aquifers throughout Oakland County, although it does not appear to occur in very shallow (<40') wells. Arsenic is found usually at low levels and most compounds have no smell or special taste.  Michigan has several mineral deposits throughout the state that groundwater aquifers are flowing through.  Continued high levels can cause thickening and discoloration of the skin, and lead to skin cancers.  Some symptoms are; stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, numbness in the hands and feet.
Volatile Organics; often from leaking underground fuel storage tanks.