The Artesian Well

The Artesian Well


THE ARTESIAN WELL Consider the wonder that is the artesian well.
Once drilled, it flows endlessly without ceasing, bringing cool water from deep within the earth
to thirsty cows, thirsty people, thirsty land. Myth tells us that once the flow has been
called forth it may never be tampered with,
or its source of pure water will be lost to us forever.
This is only partially correct. It is true that an artesian well should never
be capped. Once stopped up, the pressure will build
until the walls of the well cave in on themselves too far below the ground for anyone to ever
find or fix. If this doesn’t happen, then the bore will
freeze up in winter due to stagnation and lack of motion.
The only safe way to stop an artesian well is to fill it from top to bottom with concrete. This, of course, is irreversible,
but it does preserve the aquifer for future use. Someone else may want
to drill another well nearby, and you should consider
that person even as you walk away. But how can you maintain your well
without being subjected to the full deluge? While the flow may never be shut off,
it may be reduced, with the aid of a simple device, to something approaching one gallon per minute. This seems like such a small, insubstantial
number, but take time to consider it carefully–
one milk jug full of water every minute for the rest of your life!
I hope you have a good idea of how to channel that flow.
I hope you have an endless supply of thirsty cows, thirsty people, thirsty land.

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