What Is an Artesian Well?

In an artesian well, water rises from the ground on its own, without need of a pump. The name comes from Artois, an area of France where this kind of well was first used. The Latin name for this region was Artesium.

Rainwater that soaks into the ground sinks into the earth until it reaches a layer of soft rock or sand. The water in this layer is under pressure from the rock layers above it.

So when a shaft is dug to the water-bearing layer, the water gushes up through the shaft to the surface, and can be used for drinking water.