Published on: 2.12.2019

Information produced by Finnish Environment Institute

Let’s build a well!

Thousands of wells are sunk in Finland every year. What should you take into consideration when you start planning a new well?

The first step is considering if building a well is actually necessary: if the property can be connected to a water distribution network, no well is needed.

You should enlist expert help when planning a well. Groundwater, soil and bedrock studies will show what type of a well would be the best choice for the property. You can also ask the authorities of your municipality about any groundwater studies conducted in the area before. No permit is needed to build a well on your own land.

Three out of four wells currently in use are traditional dug wells excavated into the ground. A suitable location for a dug well can be found by looking at the local topography and soil and groundwater properties. The risk of groundwater contamination must also be accounted for: the well must be dug at a sufficient distance from roads, livestock housing and wastewater systems.

A well can also be drilled into the bedrock, typically to a depth of 20 to 70 metres, to abstract water flowing in bedrock cracks and fracture zones. In some areas, bedrock groundwater may contain such substances as arsenic or radon, and these risks should be investigated before drilling the well.

Image: Vastavalo