Shallow Wells: A Method To Provide Clean Water To The Underprivileged

2119 words - 8 pages

Shallow water wells that are built properly, can benefit millions of people worldwide. Shallow wells give access to clean drinking water, or water that can be made potable. The focus of this paper will be about getting, filtering, purifying, and finally drinking water. There will also be a discussion of the different methods of accomplishing each step. This paper is all about our most valuable resource, water, and making it fit to drink.
Obtaining Water & Dehydration
There are several methods to obtaining water. These range from groundwater such as lakes and ponds, to flowing streams and rainwater. No matter your situation, water is abundant, about 70% of the world’s surface is covered by water (The USGS Water Science School, 2013). It is also important that you know how to filter or purify your water, or you can risk getting waterborne pathogens, viruses, and parasites. In order to keep your body functioning properly the body requires between one and seven liters of water per day to avoid dehydration, and five gallons of water a day can serve an entire household (Vivian, 2000), (Rodney Rhoades, 2003). The human body contains from 55%-78% water depending on body size, and it takes about three days without water to cause death, although some have gone eight to ten days (Utz, 2009), (Binns, 2012). Knowing these things is important for survival because you will have a better understanding of your priorities. Remember, even though you have access to water does not mean that it is safe to drink.
In some areas around the world, getting water is just as hard as for other people to purify dirty water. In coastal regions there is plenty of water, but it is all from the ocean and it is too salinized to drink. One of the oldest and most effective ways of getting water is to build a well. The main source of a well is an aquifer or a water table. Which is an underground layer of permeable soil such as sand or gravel (Black River Environmental Health, 2012). Wells can provide people plenty of water depending on how they are dug and where. A well is usually considered shallow if it is less than 50 feet deep (Black River Environmental Health, 2012). If you can successfully make a shallow well, you have access to water.
A shallow water well can be a great resource for many people. You can bore a well by simply digging until you reach water. However, a dug well can be converted to a driven well by driving a well point with a well screen into the well (Black River Environmental Health, 2012). A well point is a perforated tube that is driven into the ground and a well screen needs to sit at the bottom of the well, a pump is placed in the well screen and sucks in water (Willis, Drill Your Own Well Series - Introduction, 2013). Long ago, this technology was not available to anybody. Historically, after a well was dug it was lined with stones, bricks, tile, or other materials to prevent collapse. It was also covered with a cap which was usually...

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