Reaching Aquifers with Shallow Well Drills

How can Lone Star Drills help with your shallow well drilling project?

Successful water well drilling projects rely on finding the right drill for the aquifer. The location and type of aquifer influence the depth and features of the water well drill required.

First, here’s an overview of what an aquifer is.


An aquifer is an area of underground water that usually comes from snow melt or rainwater. Unconfined aquifers are groundwater sources that are typically closer to the surface and aren’t confined by a layer of clay or silt. Confined aquifers are those that reside between layers of bedrock or harder rock formation.

While there are large drilling rigs for projects that require deeper drilling and stronger power, shallow well drills can generally reach an aquifer located within 400 feet of the surface. Here are the different types of shallow well drills and how to determine which is the best for your project.

Shallow Well Drilling

Shallow well drills range from small, free-standing drills to larger trailer-mounted drills. Free-standing options offer more maneuverability and ease-of-use and are preferred for wells close to the surface.

Hydraulic Water Well DrillFor wells at shallow depths up to 200 feet, Lone Star Drills offers the mechanical series, the LS100 and LS200, that offer easy, reliable operation. The mechanical water well drill line can bore through soft clay and sand. If you need to drill through asphalt, hard clay, frozen ground or rocky soil, the hydraulic water well drill line offers a better alternative. The free-standing LS200H+ and LS300H+ hydraulic drills can reach 300 feet and feature heavy-duty swivels and anchors for pushing through rugged rock formations.

Both the mechanical and hydraulic shallow well drill series provide easy maneuverability for shallow well drilling and offer viable options for reaching water close to the surface, where the aquifer sits above the bedrock layer.

The largest rigs from Lone Star Drills are trailer-mounted hydraulic drills. These high-powered rigs are capable of drilling up to 400 feet through a variety of soil and rock conditions. The biggest trailer-mounted rig is the LS400T+, which wields 9,000 pounds of pushdown force. The trailer-mounted, hydraulic drills offer a better choice for breaking through bedrock to reach a confined aquifer.

Breaking Through Bedrock

Down the Hole Hammer DrillWhile a confined aquifer can’t be reached as easily as an unconfined aquifer, Lone Star Drills’ trailer-mounted hydraulic water well drills offer the ability to power through bedrock with a little help from a down-the-hole (DTH) hammer. The DTH hammer breaks through tough rock formations, such as limestone, sandstone and quartzite, so the rig can continue drilling underneath that layer.

The trailer-mounted drills are more maneuverable than their larger counterparts because they don’t require a large truck for transport. Instead, they can be moved using a small truck or ATV.

Work with Professionals

No matter what shallow well drilling project you are planning, Lone Star Drills can help you find the best rig for your needs. Contact us today to discuss the best drill options for your shallow well drilling application.