Well water – useful or dangerous?

Summer residents, tourists and those who are trying to get involved in rural life for a while are people who learn survival skills. The first thing they should take care of is the source of drinking water. And then an old well with delicious water comes to their rescue.

The people have known for a long time the refreshing effect of all kinds of lemonades – it is as useful as drinking syrup. Connoisseurs of such drinks run the risk of obesity and chemical poisoning. Water from the very heart of the earth – from a well – is quite another matter.

  • No one thinks that the problems from this liquid in their severity will exceed any risks of gaining a couple of extra pounds, and there may be more chemistry there than in the most terrible soda.


The first thing that catches the eye of the consumer is the packaging of the product. The original form of the container – a well – instantly wins the heart of every connoisseur of the pastoral genre. And after the process of extracting a bucket of cool liquid from the bowels of the earth, it is impossible to resist so as not to remove the sample directly from the tin dishes.

How often is such an action reproduced next to a specific well, and how long has a previous connoisseur of natural products generously smeared his own saliva and dirt from his palms on the edge of this bucket? Nobody can answer this question.

A.G. Venetsianov, “Meeting at the well” (fragment), 1843

But everyone knows how often and how thoroughly the bucket, shaft and chain were washed: no one has ever washed or disinfected all this equipment. Squeamish comrades can drink from their own palms to know for sure where they consumed the dirt.

If the well is located on a personal plot, hygiene is also not perfect. A canopy shelter and a modest leaky cover only protect the water reservoir from very large debris. Even an ordinary insect can not notice this and inherit it there with its unwashed paws.


Nature creates everything wisely. It saturates water with a variety of mineral additives. Choosing bottled mineral water in the store, everyone who is not indifferent to his health is interested in at least whether it is medical or canteen. But from an ancient source, any liquid can be drunk, attributing subsequent digestive problems to the consequences of a long life in the city.

Do you find the taste of the minerals in the well water pleasant? The amount of salts in water differs depending on the area, as well as the list of these same salts. Irregular consumption of liquids with an unknown composition can hardly be called useful. If the water is poor for such additives, it is too early to rejoice. A person gets a number of vital microelements from drinking, and prolonged intake of water deprived of them can negatively affect health.

Johann Marie Ten Kate,
Johann Marie Ten Kate, “Playing at the Well”


Few people dare to drink unboiled water from a river, or even from a puddle. She’s dirty. Now serve our prudent hero the same infernal mixture taken from the well. He will drink and praise, maybe he will also ask for supplements.

Is the purest liquid extracted from the bowels of the earth? It is impossible to find a well into which groundwater does not fall.

  • Everything that is used to cultivate agricultural land, that simple-minded peasants bury it in the ground, that splashes in a deep hole under a wooden building with a window in the shape of a heart on the site of a neighbor in the country, falls into a well.

The soil works like a mechanical filter, preventing large fragments from entering the cocktail so that the connoisseur of fresh water does not disdain.

Safety regulations

Those wishing to try themselves in the role of Robinsons should remember that all survival mentors urge to boil water before drinking it. This does not spoil the liquid, does not break its structure, does not destroy its molecules, because otherwise there would be nothing to drink after the procedure. Will “living water” turn into “dead water” after boiling? For microorganisms that can send a person to a hospital bed, or to the spirit world – yes.

B. P. Villevalde,
B. P. Villevalde, “Scene at the Well”, 1890

After boiling, look at the sides of the cookware. Whitish sediment – minerals that are dissolved in whatever you are drinking. No need to hope that they all went to clean up the kettle or the pot. Distillation of water – its complete purification from impurities – can be done using a moonshine still. Is it worth it, there will be more benefits? It’s easier to inquire about what exactly the water is rich in in the region where you get to know nature, or to grab a few bottles of drinking water with you.

  • It is better to refuse tasting the contents of wells located near industrial facilities, highways and areas where economic activities are conducted. It will not be possible to purify water from modern pollution using old-fashioned methods.

Belief in myth has already done a lot of trouble. The healthiness of the liquid from the village well is doubtful, especially since the local grandmother-storyteller cannot give guests adequate indications for its reception. Experimenting on yourself is dangerous. If you really want to open a cure from a well to the world, take a bottle of water to the city and give it for chemical analysis in the laboratories that do this.

If you believe that the ancestors knew some very important secret, and you really want to join their secrets, remember: they did everything to preserve their own life and health, listened to the opinion of modern experts, strictly forbade themselves and their fellow tribesmen to break the rules established by experts of their era.

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, Rebekah at the Well, 1735-1740
Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, Rebekah at the Well, 1735−1740

For centuries, people have been looking for ways to protect themselves from negative environmental factors. Modern people are so spoiled by civilization that they have forgotten the precepts of their ancestors and happily violate safety rules. Get back to basics!



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