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close this bookWells Construction: Hand Dug and Hand Drilled (Peace Corps, 1980, 282 p.)
close this folderSection one: Planning
close this folderChapter 1: Introduction to wells planning
View the documentA. Overview
View the documentB. The need for adequate water supply
View the documentC. Involving the local community
View the documentD. Selecting the most appropriate water source
View the documentE. Site choice
View the documentF. Preventing water contamination
View the documentG. Types of wells
View the documentH. Well sections
View the documentI. Materials
View the documentJ. Tools and equipment
View the documentK. Sinking method
View the documentL. Preparation for construction
View the documentM. Planning

A. Overview

There is water at some depth almost everywhere beneath the earth's surface. A well is a dug or drilled hole that extends deep enough into the ground to reach water. Wells are usually circular and walled with stone, concrete or pipe to prevent the hole from caving in. They are sunk by digging or drilling through one or more layers of soil and rock to reach a layer that is at least partially full of water called an aquifer. The top of the aquifer, or the level beneath which the ground is saturated with water, is called the water table. In same areas there is more than one aquifer beneath the water table. Deep wells, such as those sunk by large motorized equipment, can reach and pull water from more than one aquifer at the same time. However, this manual will only discuss sinking wells to the first usable aquifer with hand-powered equipment.