Government of New Brunswick

There are more than 100,000 private wells in New Brunswick, supplying drinking water for about 300,000 New Brunswickers.


In the old days, a water well was not much more than a hole in the ground, dug out by a person with a shovel. You may have seen pictures of an old-fashioned well. There might have been a bucket on a rope, for lifting out water, or a pump with a handle to operate by hand.


A modern well is drilled or dug with machines, and might go several hundred feet down into the ground. The hole must be deep enough to reach a good aquifer where groundwater is stored in large amounts.


A pump brings the water up through pipes from underground into your home. The well water goes into a pressure tank that is partly filled with air, which pushes against the water to create pressure. This water pressure forces the water up through pipes, and makes the water spurt out when you turn on a tap.

Inside the well, the drilled hole is lined with a metal or plastic piping (well casing) to keep out sand and soil. The top of this well casing sticks up above the ground, and a metal cap is put on top, so that surface run-off and dirt can't get in. This helps to keep the water safe for drinking.