Home ยป How Do Well Drillers Find Water?

How Do Well Drillers Find Water?

Updated on May 31, 2021

When you are planning to drill a water well at your property, the first and most important thing to consider is the drilling site. You have to make sure that the site you select has a huge water potential. A well driller can help you do this. State licensed drillers have the ground knowledge and experience. They can give a more accurate estimate as compared to water witches. In this article, we will study how well drillers find water for drilling a well?

How do Hydrogeologists (Well Drillers) locate Water?

When a state gives licenses to a well driller, it makes sure that the individual/company has the ground knowledge, required machinery, and the personnel to drill water wells. Well drillers start the process by checking out the geological maps. They also have the experience of drilling hundreds of wells in their area and are aware of the underground dynamics. The geological maps tell us about the type, quality, and quantity of rocks underneath the property, and from this, the drillers can guess which place is best for drilling the well.

The specific shape, formation, and physical appearance of the rocks tell the drillers that how much water it contains. It also tells an estimate on how much time/effort and money will be needed to drill a hole at that particular place.

The topography and formation of the rocks are also used to identify water flow, refilling capacity, recovery rate, and discharge points. The formation does not tell anything about the water quality. Using this information, a well driller can conclude which place is suitable for drilling a well and which must be avoided.

Neighborhood well drillers have knowledge of the area and results of the recent drilling activities. Some well drillers also keep a record of all the wells drilled in the vicinity, how much water was found, and the water quality. This information helps in calculating the probability of drilling success.

With the help of the knowledge and experience, a well driller will be able to find the characteristics of your land and the rocks underneath it, previous drilling results, and the flow of underground water movement.

How do Water Witches find Water?

how to identify ground water

Water witching, dowsing, and divining are the different names given to the ancient practice of finding water for drilling a well. Some people practice this technique and try to find out the water underneath. These people use a forked stick, pendulum, or a pair of L-shaped rods that move in a certain direction to indicate water. The reason behind this concept is that the area containing underground water has some forces, and the tools respond to these forces.


How to choose the best well driller?

Your water well’s efficiency and performance depend directly on the experience and working skills of the well driller. If you are planning to hire a well contractor, make sure you check the state licenses for the services they are offering and ensure they are bonded with property damage insurance. Don’t forget to ask for references and recommendations. Discuss your water needs with the contractor and review the agreement in detail. You must also get quotations from other well drillers who meet the criteria and pick the most affordable one.

What things do I need to take care of while drilling a well on my property?

You must ensure that all the drilling activities are legal and approved by local authorities.

Are water witches reliable?

Water witching, dowsing, and diving are superstitious things and have no place in the modern scientific world. Such activities may tell you about water presence underneath the ground, but it will be a coincidence.

Final Words

The dowsing technique has shown good potential sometimes, but its success rate is not more than hiring professional drillers. You may be interested in getting a second opinion before you start the drilling process. If you live in a state with rugged geology like California, water witches will not work for you.

Important: [Guide] Working with Contractors for Well Construction


  • Earl Rojo

    Earl Rojo has been a senior mechanic in well drilling and maintenance firms for 3 years. He is from Longview, Texas, and he loves sharing his experience with others. He frequently writes on various well water issues with a special focus on well maintenance and drinking water quality.

Leave a Comment