Well Drilling


Prairie State Water Systems Inc. has been providing quality well drilling to the collar counties of Chicago for over 50 years. Using reputable and quality products enables us to provide you with the best water well for any application.  We utilize a variety of drilling methods, to ensure that your shallow or deep well provides the water you require.

Some things to keep in mind………..Keep your well visible. You don’t want it being hit by vehicles nor do you want to use chemicals near it. Illinois enjoys a generous supply of groundwater, although it is not always evenly distributed. Depth to aquifers also will vary. Interestingly, variation can occur at distances of a few feet. Illinois is fortunate to have an abundance of geological information on file at the State Water Survey and the State Geological Survey. This data comes from water well construction logs submitted by the water well construction, records to back before 1890.

Setbacks – (minimum distances for owner occupied residences)

about-us-01Common setbacks that separate a water well from potential contaminant sources are as follows:

  • Septic tank – 50 ft
  • Barnyard or animal confinement lot – 50 ft
  • Manure piles – 75 ft
  • Pits, crawl spaces or basements – 5 ft
  • Lakes, ponds or streams – 25 ft
  • Closed-loop ( geothermal ) wells ( neighboring ) – 75 ft or 200 ft

Typical Construction Method for Domestic Water Well

Drilled water wells are the most common form of water well construction in Illinois. The underlying geology
( bedrock or sand / gravel ) will change slightly the materials in construction.

Drilled Well Typical Characteristics

  • 4 to 6 inches in diameter
  • 125 – 300 feet deep ( but can be as much as 1000 ft )
  • Drilling method either rotary or cable tool
  • PVC or steel casing

Bedrock (consolidated formation)

Water will shave the PVC or steel water well casing firmly set into the bedrock, which seals off all the geological material above the bedrock. No well screen is needed.

well-drillSand and Gravel (unconsolidated formation)

Water wells are cased with either PVC or steel; casing the entire depth of the borehole and finished into the sand and gravel aquifer with a wells screen, which allows water to pass through while holding back sand and gravel particles in the aquifer. The drillers will analyze the drill cuttings to determine the appropriate size screen and placement.

Water Well Construction

Well Drilling Photo-old days

The water well casing on all water wells must extend a minimum of 8 inches above finished grade and be finished with an Illinois approved well cap or seal that is water tight, vermin proof, vented and removable only with tools. The annular space between the water well casing and borehole must then be pressure grouted in place to provide a watertight seal against surface contaminants entering the well.
Over the years, water well design has improved to reflect advances in technology and our understanding of potential pathways of contamination. The Illinois Water Well Construction Code, established in 1959, and the Illinois Water Well Pump Installation Code, established in 1972, is periodically modified to reflect industry advancements. The Illinois Dept. of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health, oversees private, semi-private and non-community well systems. Individuals that construct or service water well systems must be licensed in Illinois and attend continuing education services.

Illinois requires a water well permit to construct or modify a water well and sometimes to seal on (varies by county). The permit is issued by the local health department upon payment of the appropriate fee and submission of a completed permit application.

Generally, the licensed contractor applies for the permit on behalf of the well owner since the licensed contractor must sign the water well permit application. After the water well is completed, the licensed contractor must complete a Construction Report and submit it to the health department. You should be provided with a copy of both these documents. Keep them along with any of the water well documents and service records you are given as they provide important information should you require service.