What is Groundwater?

Groundwater is the water that fills the small spaces between rock particles (sand, gravel, etc.) or cracks in solid rock.  Rain, melting snow, or surface water becomes groundwater by seeping into the ground and filling these spaces.  The top of the water-saturated zone is called the “water table.” When water seeps in from the surface and reaches the water table, it begins moving towards points where it will either flow vertically to a deeper aquifer layer or it will flow horizontally to a place where it can escape, such as wells, rivers, or lakes.Ground waterAn aquifer is any type of geologic material, such as sand or sandstone, which can supply water to wells or springs. Some areas may have multiple aquifers at different depths, if the local geology contains several layers of sand or bedrock that can store and transmit water. Contrary to popular belief, an aquifer is usually not an “underground river.” A better analogy is that an aquifer is an underground sponge, with water stored in the pore spaces between grains of rock or sand. Wells work by extracting water from those pore spaces and pumping that water to the land surface.

Show All Answers

1. What is Groundwater?
2. Where Does Your Drinking Water Come From?
3. Does the protection plan cover private wells?
4. How do I dispose of Household Hazardous Wastes?
5. How do lawn fertilizers/garden chemicals effect ground water?