What is an Artesian Spring or an Artesian well

Some consider the artesian well or spring the most potable and pure water available. What makes this type of water so different then those from other sources? The wells come from an aquifer. There are many large running rivers or aquifers all over the earth. These run deep in the ground and filter the water naturally.

An aquifer is formed from a layer of sediment and very porous rock. Usually the rock is some form of sandstone. Sandstone is able to capture and transfer large amounts of water. Artesian wells are the remnants of water that are caught or stored between layers of rock. Essentially water can not penetrate all rock so gravity and rock density determine the path. The water follows the path of least resistance until the pressure becomes so great that something must move. When the pressure from the ground water above becomes so strong the artesian springs and wells are forced to the surface or to fill large caverns. They can come through faults and softer layers of sediment.

Water from an artesian well or spring is considered a most favorable form of potable water. Generally is very cold and free from contaminants as it has been protected through many layers of rock.

In North America large numbers of sandstone aquifers helps to produce a very rich source of artesian wells. In parts of Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Saskatchewan the water rites on the aquifers mean money and power to those who control them. They provide much of the water forthe farm belts of the dryer Great Plains region.

Many east coast cities receive their water supplies from aquifers and artesian wells that are exposed along the edge of the Piedmont and weave down the Atlantic Coast.

The largest artesian system known at this time is captured under nearly all of Eastern and Southern Australia.

Artesian wells are some times over exploited because the water is easily available. Eventually if this happens pollutants reach the base aquifer and then all the water is contaminated.

Artesian springs and well are very valuable and people are constantly fighting over water rites and when and how to tap into the aquifers. For example, much of the water that supplies Las Vegas is from an aquifer and artesian wells that are centered in Utah, and piped into Nevada. The court battles have continued year after year.

It is important that we protect our natural resources of the earth and this applies to our aquifers, and artesian wells and springs. Our resource of potable water is becoming harder to find in nature and man made remedies are some times expensive and not terribly effective.