Posted by Timothy Harvard , on Oct, 2015
There are few natural resources as important to life as water. We use it for drinking, washing, cooling off and even running various industrial processes. If you are not fortunate enough to have a home or business next to a major body of water, you are likely getting your water from a well.
Wells do require a bit of construction and maintenance to be functional, and part of that is their requirement for a water well pipe. This pipe can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common are PVC and steel, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
The Need for a Pipe in a Well
If you were trying to get a single bucket of water from a well, you could just drill a deep hole, lower the bucket, fill it, raise it and move on to your next project. Of course, nobody drills a well for a single use—they want it to be available for years to come. The problem is that the weight of the earth pushing down from above will eventually cause the sides to close in, and the well will close.
In the past, the solution was to drill a wide well and create a brick wall around the sides, keeping the dirt back. Nowadays, this can be accomplished much more easily and with a smaller footprint by simply dropping a pipe into the well. Pipes not only serve to keep the sides from caving in, but they also keep the water free from contaminants that might reach in through the sides of the well.
People tend to like PVC pipes because they are relatively cheap, and they don’t rust. It is also light and easy to install. There are problems with PVC and other plastic materials as water well pipe, most notably that they are not as strong as steel, and they are much more susceptible to heat damage. Sometimes states and local regulations may dictate whether or not PVC can be used for a well, other times it is dictated by the depth of the well and the composition of the ground.
Steel Water Well Pipe
Steel pipe has the strength to go through many different ground materials, including hard rock, and the heat resistance to be used in a great variety of depths and pressures. It is less likely to fail in most situations and has the advantage of having been used for a very long time. Steel can rust, however, especially when not properly treated before installation.