Wells and Groundwater in Alaska – Pros and Cons

Unlike some other parts of the United States, Alaska has abundant groundwater resources (pro). However, access by a drilling company to drill a well may be cost prohibitive or not an option (con). In addition, there are areas in Alaska where permafrost makes it impractical or impossible to have a well (con). In areas where wells can be drilled and are economical to do so, other issues such as contamination (e.g., leaking septic systems, oil spills, introduction of other environmental pollutants) can cause wells to become unsafe to use for drinking water or other uses (con). Although many aquifers in Alaska have not been tested or even discovered as of yet (con), the data suggests that the majority of the groundwater in Alaska requires minimal treatment in order to be safely consumed (pro). Owning a well requires periodic maintenance and water testing (con), however, well owners are not dependent on the city/borough for meeting their water needs (pro).

When considering to have a well installed at your home or when owning one in Alaska, the above should be taken into consideration. In addition, the cost of drilling a new well, the proximity of other wells, possible contamination sources, and water quality are all things to take into consideration before committing to having a well installed. For more information about water use, groundwater, and wells in Alaska, click on the following link:  https://dec.alaska.gov/eh/docs/dw/DWP/Groundwater%20fact%20sheet%202005.pdf


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