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Groundwater and Aquifers


Water that falls to the earth in any form continues its journey through the water cycle in different ways. It may run off into the storm drain, end up in a stream, a lake or Puget Sound. Some of the water will soak into the ground to become groundwater. Gravity will pull the water down through the spaces between the rocks, gravel, clay and sand that are under the ground. The water will join another area filled with water under the ground, called an aquifer. This is an underground storage area for water.

The water is in the tiny spaces around the rocks, gravel, sand and even clay pieces. The top of this area is called the water table. The water table may be close to the surface of the ground or many feet below the surface. Groundwater is always moving. Sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly depending on the type of material in the aquifer. Groundwater is flowing toward a place to get to the surface like a stream, wetland, lake or Puget Sound.


For every 100 people in Kitsap County, 80 of them use groundwater that is pumped from wells. Groundwater is important and the groundwater that supplies our drinking water is restored by the rain, so when it isn't raining we all need to be extra careful about how much water we use and waste! Also polution is an important consideration. Any substances put onto the surface or below the surface of the ground have a possibility to enter the water table and be pumped up through a drinking water well.

Wells in Kitsap County are drilled into three types of aquifers. Unconfined, confined and perched.

Unconfined or water table aquifers are the upper most aquifer that recharges directly from the surface.

Confined aquifers, also called artesian aquifers, are found beneath airtight layers. Artesian wells in confined aquifers have pressure on them from the layers of silt and clay. Some artesian wells can flow freely to the ground because of the pressure in the aquifer.

Perched aquifers are confined aquifers that are formed on the top of clay deposits in the unconfined aquifer.

To better understand this process, you might want to... Make your own aquifer »

Wetlands »
Terrarium »
Water Cycle »
Groundwater »

Board Meeting: June 14, 2022, 9:00am

Board Meetings are held every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 9:00am. The meetings are held at our offices and are open to the public. For Minutes and Agendas from previous Board Meetings, visit our Archives

Board of Commissioners Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Zoom Link: TBD
Meeting ID: TBD

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