How to select the right pump for boosting water from a shallow well

Learn about boosting water from a shallow well and what to consider to select the right pump for the job.

Shallow wells are defined as wells with a depth of up to 8 meters. A pump can be connected above the well to boost water into the home or garden above.

When selecting a pump for a shallow well, it is first and foremost important to consider the placement of the pump. The pump can either be submerged in the water or be dry-installed. The latter comes with the advantage of being easier to install, operate and maintain which is why this module will focus on this installation type. As a dry-installed pump will be placed above the shallow well with a negative inlet pressure, it must be self-priming. We also recommend fitting the pump with a non-return valve to avoid water running back into the well. This can be placed by the pump inlet or as a foot-valve at the bottom of the well. Pumps for shallow wells will often be installed outside, creating a need for robust pumps that can handle the harsh conditions, such as rain, dust and large temperature ranges.

As shallow well installations tend to contain air bubbles and dirt, we highly recommend choosing a pump with good air-handling capabilities and adding an inlet filter, that will protect the pump from any dirt that may have infiltrated the shallow well. In case the shallow well runs dry, we recommend selecting a pump with dry-run protection to prevent damage to the pump.

The pumps we recommend for boosting water from shallow wells are the Grundfos SCALA2, JET pump & booster or SCALA1. The SCALA1 and 2 both come with dry-run protection, self-priming functionality and built-in non-return valve, however we still recommend installing a foot-valve as well.

The JET pump has self-priming functionality and good air-handling capabilities. If selecting the pump with a pressure manager, it will also come with dry-run protection. However, the JET pump is not ideal for outdoors installations and it must be covered by a shed or a lean-to. 

Both the SCALA1 and 2 are also ideal for outdoors installation, while the SCALA1 excels in terms of air-handling capabilities as well as convenience due to the calendar function for garden irrigation.


Course overview

Modules: 6
Completion time
Completion time: 25 minutes
Difficulty level
Difficulty level: Basic