Teacher background information
What is bore water?
Bore water is groundwater which accumulates in aquifers from seepage of rain and rivers through layers of soil and rock. A water bore is a way of gaining access to these groundwater sources.
What is an aquifer?
An aquifer is formed through layers of sand or fractured rock in which the pore spaces or fractures are filled with water. These formations store and transmit large volumes of groundwater, which can be accessed by using a water pump.
Much of the Perth area is covered with sandy, porous soils. Most private wells (bores) are located within this shallow aquifer system, as are some Water Corporation bores that supply the Integrated Water Supply Scheme with drinking water. Perth wetlands are often an expression of the shallow aquifer, where the water table is visible in low-lying areas.
How is groundwater pumped?
The action of a water pump draws water from the soil and into the tube/pipe of the bore, from which it is pumped to the surface. Water can move through the soil because the soil is permeable (i.e. there are interconnected spaces between the soil particles).
As water is pumped, the groundwater level lowers. This demonstrates a conservation issue. It is important that groundwater is not pumped out faster than it can be replenished by rainfall. If the groundwater was over pumped, lakes would dry up and bores in the area would go dry.
Did you know?
In the Perth region, part of the Swan Coastal Plain, the superficial aquifer averages about 50 metres in thickness.