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What is an Artesian Well?

The underground formations in which groundwater are held are called aquifers. There are two types: artesian (confined) aquifers and water table (unconfined) aquifers.

An artesian aquifer is distinguished by having both a lower and upper layer of impermeable rock, protecting the water from surface contaminants that could otherwise filter down through overlying soils.

An artesian well is a well that penetrates a confined aquifer. The water level in these wells will rise naturally due to the pressure created by the surrounding impermeable rock.

If the water pressure is great enough, the well will overflow.

McKenzie Mist rises from just such a formation. Our artesian well flows from a confined aquifer 280 feet below the surface. The aquifer is recharged with water from higher in the watershed, on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains.

McKenzie Mist constantly overflows from 280 feet deep, through solid volcanic basalt rock, at a temperature of 42 degrees.

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