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Artesian wells are named after the town of Artois in France, where the first one was drilled in 1126. The technique used was percussion drilling in which a rod with a hard iron cutting edge is placed in the bore hole and repeatedly struck with a hammer.

The name is now applied to wells of reasonable depth that produce water without the need for pumping.
This first artesian well was dug by the Carthusian monks. The bore was only a few inches in diameter, but the well penetrated strata impermeable to water reaching a lower layer of strata containing water under pressure. The water rose in the bore hole and flowed spontaneously out of it.
by Plinius September 05, 2005
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