How Much Does a Well Cost? (2022 Well Drilling Cost Guide)

With the rising cost of water bills and the concern around local drinking water treatment, it’s unsurprising if you’re considering installing a private well on your property.

There’s no denying that installing a complete well water system can help you save money in the long run. But what’s the upfront cost of a private well?

In this guide, we’ve shared everything you need to know about the average well drilling cost, including the cost of different well types, and the factors affecting the price to drill a well.

📊 Well Drilling Cost: Highlights

We go into detail about the different costs of drilling a well in this article. First, let’s begin with the highlights:

  • The average cost of drilling a 150-feet well is $5,300 to $9,200.
  • The overall price range for well drilling is $3,800 to $15,300.
  • The average drilling cost per foot is $25 to $65.
  • Shallow water wells are cheaper to drill than deep wells, costing $1,800 to $3,000 on average.
  • Wells take about one week to install and have a lifespan of around 40 years.
  • The well’s diameter, the soil conditions, the location, and the well’s distance to the house all affect the cost of the well.
Chart detailing well drilling costs by depth
Depth (Feet)4-Inch Diameter
PVC Casing
6-Inch Diameter
Steel Casing
8-Inch Diameter
Steel Casing
50$1,800$3,100$4,300
100$3,600$6,100$8,500
150$5,300$9,200$12,600
200$7,100$12,200$16,800
250$8,900$15,300$21,000
300$10,700$18,400$25,300
350$12,400$21,400$29,400
400$14,200$24,500$33,600

🔩 Cost of Well Components

The total average cost of installing a new well is determined by the cost of the individual components that make up the well system.

Well Casing

Well casing is essential in supporting the walls of the well and preventing debris and dirt from getting into the water. The cost of 25 feet of casing for an average well is $250 to $2,500, depending on the conditions of the soil.

There are three common types of well casing:

TypeDescriptionAverage Cost per Foot
Stainless Steel Pipe CasingStrongest and most durable casing$120
Galvanized Steel Pipe CasingRelatively strong and durable$30 – $55
PVC Pipe CasingLess durable and rigid$6

Steel pipe casing is required for wells that are located in a region that’s prone to earth disturbances and earthquakes.

Well Pump

The average cost of a well pump is $500 to $2,000. Factors affecting the cost of a well pump are:

  • Whether the pump is for a shallow or deep well
  • The power of the pump
  • Whether or not the pump is submersible
  • The degree of decline from the storage tank to the well

There are three common types of well pumps available today: shallow well jet pumps, convertible jet well pumps, and deep submersible well pumps.

TypeDescriptionAverage Cost
Shallow Well Jet PumpsDesigned for wells with a depth of
25 feet or less
$400 – $1,000
Deep Submersible Well PumpsDesigned for wells between
90 and 300 feet deep
$600 – $2,000
Convertible Jet Well PumpsDesigned for wells up to 90 feet deep$500 – $1,200

Well Storage Tank

A well storage tank, water tank, or pressure tank, stores well water in a pressured environment before delivering it around your home. A pressure tank provides you with an instant supply of water and reduces how often the pump switches on and off.

The average well water storage tank cost is $100 to $700. The cost of a well storage tank largely depends on the size of the tank. While a small 2-gallon tank may cost less than $100, a large 44-gallon tank may cost $800 or more.

Well Seals and Caps

The cost of a well seal or cap is $20 to $40. A seal or a cap is necessary to prevent contaminants from entering the well at ground level.

In a sealed well, the power and water lines flow through a gasket. In capped wells, the power and water lines are installed beneath the ground.

🧱 Cost Per Foot to Drill a Well

The average cost per foot to drill a well, for the drilling only, is $12 to $25. This cost depends on the type of well and the prices offered in your location. The overall cost per foot, including the cost of the well system itself, is $25 to $65.

Let’s look at the different types of wells and the average cost per foot of drilling them.

Illustration of well drilling costs per foot
TypeAverage Cost per Foot
4" Residential Well$25 – $45
6" Residential Well$35 – $65
8" Residential Well$70 – $100
Shallow Well$15 – $60
Geothermal Well$10 – $40
Agricultural or Irrigation Well$25 – $50
Artesian Well$30 – $85

Residential Wells

The cost to drill a residential well is $25 to $65 per foot. This equals a total cost of $3,500-$15,000, depending on the size, depth, and location of the well. This cost covers every expense, including drilling, and all the well components, including casing, a pump, initial water quality testing, a permit, and wiring.

ItemAverage Cost
Drilling$25 – $65 per foot
Well Casing$250 – $2,500
Well Pump$500 – $2,000
Well Storage Tank & Switch$450 – $1,500
Electrical Wirings$400 – $1,600
Permit$300 – $700
Well Water Testing$20 – $500
Water Treatment$700 – $4,500
Water Heater$900 – $1,900

Shallow Wells

Shallow wells cost $15 to $60 per foot, or between $1,800 and 3,000 for the complete well. Shallow wells are usually between 3 and 10 feet in diameter and 25 to 50 feet deep.

While shallow wells are cheaper than deep wells, they become easily contaminated and produce a varying yield, so they’re not the most sustainable investment.

Contractors drilling a shallow well

Geothermal Wells

The cost to drill a geothermal well is $10 to $40 per foot. A geothermal well is typically 100 to 500 feet deep and between 4 and 8 inches wide. The overall cost for a geothermal well, including the drilling and the components, is $3,500 to $5,000.

The cost of a vertical geothermal heat pump is $20,000 to $35,000 on average. This cost includes the material cost, the cost of transporting the equipment to the drilling site, and the cost to drill the well.

Geothermal wells use a drill rig to transfer heat to and from a property as a means of heating and cooling the property.

Contractor drilling a geothermal well

Sand Point Wells

Drilling a sand point well costs between $500 and $3,000 on average. Sand point wells are about 20 feet deep and 1 to 2 inches in diameter. These wells draw water from water-bearing sand, with hand pump and jet pump options.

If you hope to install your own well, a sand point well is the safest and easiest well that can be DIY installed. However, sand point wells don’t typically provide consistent water access or last long, and they only work with a shallow water table (average depth below 25 feet).

ItemAverage Cost
Sand Point Well Kit$250 – $500
Sand Point$40
Steel Down Pipe$90 – $140
Small Tank and Hand Pump$150 – $350
+ $150 installation cost
Pressure Tank and Jet Pump$300 – $650
+ $440 installation cost
Well Seal and Cap$25 – $45

Agricultural or Irrigation Wells

An irrigation or agricultural well costs between $25 and $50 per foot for just the drilling. A complete installation, including the components, is $85 to $110 per foot.

On average, a residential irrigation well costs $10,000 to $15,000 to dig. A commercial agricultural well with a high yield costs between $50,000 and $75,000 to drill, including the water pump.

Water flowing from irrigation well
TypeAverage Cost
Commercial Drilling and Pump$50,000 – $100,000
Residential Drilling and Pump$10,000 – $15,000
Pressure Storage Tank$500 – $3,000
Electrical Wirings$530 – $1,060
Permit $300 – $700

Artesian Wells

Artesian wells cost between $30 and $85 per foot. The total cost for this type of well is $5,000 to $15,000, including drilling to an average depth of 150-450 feet to find an aquifer, and the cost of casing.

Artesian wells are cheaper and lower maintenance to operate than other types of wells. Aquifers are highly pressurized environments, so water flows naturally into the well system without the need for electricity or a water pump.

Drilling an artesian well

🕳 Well and Septic System Cost

Rural, off-the-grid homes often require a septic system and a well, to dispose of wastewater and deliver fresh drinking water.

To install a well and septic system together, the overall cost is $7,000 to $20,000. Alone, a septic system costs $3,300 to $5,000.

The size, depth, and type of septic tank, and the septic system’s absorption field, affect the cost of septic system drilling. The soil absorption system and the underground tank are two of the most significant costs of well and septic system installation.

🔂 Cost to Redrill an Existing Well

Redrilling an existing well costs between $35 and $85 per foot. Overall, the cost of redrilling a well is $3,000 to $6,000 – very similar to the cost of drilling a new well.

You may not need to entirely redrill an existing well to access water, and redrilling a well doesn’t guarantee that it will yield more water.

If your well is more than 200 feet deep, speak to your local well contractor about hydrofracturing, which involves using highly pressurized water to break up rock at the bottom of the well, creating new pathways for water to enter the aquifer. This can be used to increase water flow and costs $1,250 to $3,000 on average.

📝 Factors Affecting the Cost to Drill a Well

We’ve listed all the most important factors affecting the cost of the well drilling process below.

The Depth of the Well

The depth of the well is one of the most significant factors affecting the cost of drilling. The deeper the well, the more work that is required to drill the well, the more materials that are needed for the well, and the more structural support is required to keep the well stable.

The average well is between 100 and 500 feet deep. Shallow water wells are only about 25 to 50 feet deep, which is why they’re much cheaper to drill than deep wells. However, shallow wells are known to dry out during droughts and are more prone to E.coli or coliform contamination, while deep wells are far less likely to become contaminated and provide a consistent yield of water, regardless of the season.

So, while the cost of a deep well is more expensive than the cost of shallow water wells, deep wells tend to be worth the extra investment due to their safety and water yield benefits.

Deep WellShallow Well
100 to 500 feet deep25 to 50 feet deep
3 to 10 feet diameter4 to 6 feet diameter
Easily get's dry and contaminated with chloroform or E.coliDoesn't easily get dry, has more yield, and can remain uncontaminated if installed according to regulations

Your Location

Different states have different well drilling costs. These are determined by the state’s water levels and soil conditions, and the cost of living in the state.

Idaho, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Nebraska have some of the cheapest average costs for drilling a well, with prices starting at $25 or $26 per foot. The most expensive states to drill a well are Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, with prices starting at $30 or more per foot.

StateAverage Cost per Foot
Alabama$28 – $60
Alaska$35 – $75
Arizona$28 – $59
Arkansas$26 – $58
California$31 – $66
Colorado$29 – $63
Connecticut$31 – $67
Delaware$30 – $64
District of Columbia$32 – $70
Florida$27 – $59
Georgia$28 – $60
Hawaii$34 – $74
Idaho$26 – $56
Illinois$30 – $64
Indiana$28 – $60
Iowa$28 – $60
Kansas$29 – $62
Kentucky$28 – $60
Louisiana$29 – $62
Maine$28 – $60
Maryland$30 – $63
Massachusetts$32 – $70
Michigan$29 – $63
Minnesota$29 – $62
Mississippi$26 – $59
Missouri$28 – $60
Montana$28 – $60
Nebraska$25 – $57
Nevada$29 – $63
New Hampshire$29 – $62
New Jersey$31 – $68
New Mexico$25 – $57
New York$31 – $66
North Carolina$28 – $60
North Dakota$30 – $65
Ohio$29 – $62
Oklahoma$28 – $59
Oregon$28 – $60
Pennsylvania$29 – $62
Rhode Island$30 – $65
South Carolina$29 – $62
South Dakota$27 – $59
Tennessee$28 – $60
Texas$29 – $63
Utah$28 – $60
Vermont$28 – $59
Virginia$28 – $60
Washington$29 – $62
West Virginia$28 – $59
Wisconsin$28 – $61
Wyoming$28 – $61

Local Geology

Your local geology affects your ground conditions, and the difficulty of drilling a well due to these conditions. The more complex and time-consuming the drilling process, the more expensive the cost of drilling.

Different regions have different ground materials. Clay, sand, rock, and soil all require different drilling processes and have different difficulty levels.

Drilling through clay, sand, or soft soil is easiest, and will cost slightly less than average or bang-on the average drilling cost. Drilling through rocky soil will cost slightly higher than the average drilling cost, and drilling through solid rock is the most expensive.

Distance to Property

The closer your well is installed to your property, the fewer materials will be needed to transport water from the well to your property’s plumbing system. The average cost of a main water line is $30-$60 per foot. If you need to install a solar-powered pump, this costs around $2,000, and a power line costs about $1,500.

Different states have different rules on where you should locate a well, but the general regulations state that the well should be:

✅ Between 5 and 10 feet from your property line
✅ At least 50 feet away from a septic tank or septic system
✅ At least 100 feet away from utility lines and a septic tank drain field

Required Well Permits

To legally install a well deeper than 2 feet on your property, you’ll most likely need a well permit. The cost of a well permit depends on your region. In general, expect to pay $300 to $700 for a permit.

Well permits are essential to ensure that your well has been constructed in compliance with your local regulations. You should secure a permit before you begin drilling your well. Your local authority should provide information on how to apply for a well permit, and how much a permit costs in your area.

📈 Ongoing Costs of Owning a Well

Well Water Testing

Testing your well water is one of the essential annual maintenance costs in owning a well. As a private well owner, you’re responsible for ensuring that your water is safe to drink. To do this, you need to test your water to find out what it contains, then treat your water as necessary (more on the cost of water treatment later).

The National Ground Water Association and Environmental Protection Agency recommend that you test your well water at least once a year for total dissolved solids, nitrates, total coliform bacteria, and pH levels. You can test your water in one of two ways:

  • With a DIY water test, costing $20-$100 per year. DIY tests are quick and convenient, but we don’t recommend them for well water as they’re not thorough or 100% accurate.
  • With a laboratory water test, costing $150-$500 per year. Laboratory water testing is more expensive than DIY testing, but provides much more detailed reports about what your water contains.
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Well Inspections

To ensure your well water system is in good working order, you should get your well inspected once a year by a local contractor. Your contractor will inspect the well for cleanliness and mechanical problems, and advise you on any steps you may need to take following the inspection.

The cost of a well inspection is $300 to $500. This depends on the contractor’s rates and the services offered during the inspection (such as water testing or cleaning).

Repairs and Maintenance

Alongside water testing and well inspections, you’ll need to repair and maintain your well as recommended by your contractor.

The typical price range for repairing a well is $927 – $2,503. The exact cost of well maintenance or repairs depends on which component you need to work on. A well pump system is one of the most expensive items to repair or replace.

Water Treatment

If testing indicates that your well water system is contaminated with metals, chemicals, microorganisms, or other impurities, you’ll need to factor in the cost of water treatment.

The initial cost of a water treatment system is $700-$4,500. It just depends on the type of system that you need, and whether you need multiple systems to treat several water quality issues.

As a general guide:

System TypeAverage Cost
Water Softener$800 – $2,500
Whole Home Water Filter System$700 – $2,200
UV Purifier$800 – $1,200
Sediment Filter$50 – $400
Point of Use Filter$200 – $650

The ongoing cost of owning a well water treatment system is $0-$150 per year, depending on the type of system and the maintenance required. Systems like UV purifiers and oxidation systems require minimal annual maintenance, while multi-stage cartridge filtration systems may require three or more filter changes per year.

🆚 Private Wells Vs Municipal Water

Wondering how much money you can save from using a well for your drinking water rather than using a municipal water supply?

The initial investment in a well system is high. However, once you’ve paid for the new system installation, you’ll only need to pay for yearly maintenance and water testing, which, for a new, properly constructed well, should cost less than $350. You’ll also need to pay the electricity cost of operating the electric pump, which should be low if you have a decent water tank.

In comparison, a household that uses around 12,000 gallons of water per month can expect to pay about $850 per year for their water bill. So, a private well can help you to save at least $500 per year.

Keep in mind that old wells and septic systems incur expensive maintenance, repair, and replacement costs. Every 20 or 30 years, you’ll need to replace the water tank, pump, screen, and casing, which will set you back around $10,000.

Municipal water vs well water supply
Monthly PaymentPrivate WellMunicipal Water
Water (12,000 – 24,000 gallons)$0$25 – $45
Maintenance$10 – $20$0
Electricity$3.50$0
Loan (15 years, optional)$60 – $145$0

🆚 DIY Construction Vs Hiring a Professional

Installing a well yourself has the potential to be cheaper than hiring a professional. However, the cost estimates for DIY installation of a deep well aren’t too different from the costs of a professional installation.

As well as paying $100-$150 per foot for pipes, tubing, and casing, you’ll also need to pay between $600 and $800 per day to rent a drill rig. Plus, you’ll need to pay for surveys, permits, and everything else required to legally drill your well.

Hiring a well drilling company might be the more expensive option, but it guarantees that your well will be properly installed, safe to use, and built to last. This will help you to save money on long-term expenses.

❔ Should you Drill a Well?

The benefits of instilling a complete water well system at your property are obvious: you’ll have access to a constant water supply without being reliant on a municipal water system. Once you’ve invested in a well, you’ll only have to spend money on annual testing and necessary well maintenance – no more monthly municipal water bill.

However, despite their benefits, wells aren’t for everyone. The upfront cost to drill a well is simply too high for some people. Many homeowners choose to drill a well only after paying off their other, more important, investments, such as mortgages and student loans. Make sure you’re in the financial position to pay up to $10,000 – or perhaps even more – on well drilling before you agree to anything.

If you’re interested in drilling a well, contact several well drilling companies in your area. Ask one or two contractors to survey your potential drill site and draw up a quote for the complete drilling job (including the cost of the pressure tank, the pump, and the casing). You’re not obliged to commit to a service after receiving a quote, so this is a good way to find out the cost to drill a well on your property without the pressure of following through.

Installing a shallow well pump

🧠 Well Drilling Cost: FAQs

How much should I budget for a well?

You should budget at least $5,300 to $9,200 for drilling a deep well, or $1,800 to $3,000 to drill a shallow well. Some wells cost up to $15,000. Factors affecting the cost of a well include your geographical location, the well’s depth, the well’s distance to your property, and the cost of permits.

What’s the minimum cost to drill a well?

Tallying up all the included costs, the minimum cost to drill a well is $1,750. This cost assumes that the well is a shallow well. Deep well drilling costs at least $5,000.

How deep is the average well?

The average well is between 100 and 500 feet deep. Some wells are up to 800 feet deep. Rarely, wells are dug to 1,000 feet deep or deeper.

How much does it cost to dig a 200 ft well?

The cost of digging a 200 feet well is $5,000 to $10,000.

How much is a 400 foot well?

The cost of a 400 feet well is about $7,000 to $13,000.

How much does it cost to dig a 500 foot well?

It costs about $8,000 to $15,000 to dig a 500 foot well.

How much does it cost to hook up a well?

The cost of hooking up a well is about $5,300 to $9,200. The cost may be higher than this, depending on your region and your requirements. Speak to a local contractor to get an accurate estimation of the cost to drill a well in your area.

Can I drill my own well?

Yes, you can drill your own shallow well. However, you shouldn’t attempt to drill a deep well for drinking water without professional support. There are tens of safety hazards involved in digging a deep hole, and a poorly constructed well could crack or collapse. For safety and peace of mind, leave deep well drilling to the experts.

Why is drilling a well so expensive?

Drilling a well costs a lot of money because you’re paying for expensive well components, several days of labor, and all the processes and parts required to make the well system operational.

What are the labor costs of well drilling?

There isn’t a set labor cost for drilling a well. Contractors may charge an hourly fee of $50-$150 and add this separately to the list of expenses, or the labor cost may be factored into the overall cost.