One less-publicized fact about Greensburg is that its home to the largest hand-dug well in the world. It was untouched by the disaster, and will likely remain a tourist attraction in the new and improved Greensburg. So that brings us to today's unlikely topic: Wells. That's right?good old-fashioned, water storing, bucket and pulley using wells. We're all (bad pun incoming) well-aware of them, but many of us rarely encounter, or have even seen a real, functional, operating well.
Despite this, a whopping 47 percent of Americans drink from groundwater sources?and that means a lot of wells. However, not all of them are the classic, stone-rimmed variety that we imagine when someone mentions the word. No, there are many types of wells: the aforementioned, stereotypical 'dug' wells, which are still in wide use today. The problem with dug wells is that it's difficult to prevent contamination, since you're getting your groundwater au natural.
'Driven' wells are made by driving a thin pipe into shallow water-bearing sand or gravel. Contamination is an issue for these as well, since they're so shallow?any dangerous substances that spill out above them are prone to trickle down into the water supply.
Finally, the most common kind of well today is the 'drilled' well, which is machine made and can be up to 1,000 feet deep. They're also the safest, as they're sealed-off with neat cement or grouting material and can be carefully regulated for contamination.
Wells may seem like an outdated topic when discussing today's green movement, but we're often inclined to forget how (here comes another one) well off we are here in the states. Take India?water and natural resource preservation education plays an important role in their current development. And we all know how important it is to keep our water green?it's worth paying attention to how we get, store, and use it.
This post was inspired by Planet Green's Greensburg.