What is the Difference between a Piezometer and a Groundwater Monitoring Well?

Monitoring for a Purpose

Do you need to monitor your groundwater? Lots of people do. If you do not monitor your groundwater, you will not know how it is doing. You will not know the rate at which it refills or the rate at which it recharges in the ground.

Depending on the type of business you have, it is vital for you to know about your groundwater supply. You want to find out everything you can about your groundwater so you’ll know how much you can pump out. If your groundwater supply is doing well, you will be able to pump more out. However, if your groundwater supply is poor, you may need to look elsewhere for groundwater.

If you need to monitor your groundwater, you will need to understand the difference between two measuring systems. Here, we explain the difference between piezometers and monitoring wells.

Difference Between Monitoring Wells and Piezometers

There are some differences between shallow monitoring and piezometers. They are both pipes that allow water to rise and fall as a way of measuring the level of groundwater. Shallow monitoring wells have breaks in the length of their pipes, which are below the ground. This allows them to access the groundwater. The shallow monitoring well measures the water pressure along the length of the entire pipe. Some people like the monitoring well for this reason. Other names for monitoring wells are observation wells, perforated pipes or open-sided wells.

Another way to measure groundwater is with a piezometer. Instead of measuring the level of groundwater throughout the entire pipe, piezometers measure groundwater at the bottom of the pipe. Another name for a piezometer is a cased well. It is important to understand the differences between monitoring wells and piezometers. Because, depending on what you want to measure, you will need a specific meter.


Monitoring wells extend through multiple layers of the soil. They may even extend through multiple layers of soil that have more than one layer of water. Monitoring wells cannot detect a perched water table, however. Many factors in the soil are better detected with groups of piezometers. For example, piezometers can detect the depth of the water pressure in the soil. They can also detect water flow and strata permeability. You may want to use this type of meter to get a picture of the groundwater. However, if you want an overall picture of the groundwater’s depth, it’s better for you to use a monitored well.

How to Get the Right Data

Aren’t sure what data you need? You may want to have an expert make sure you will not waste the information you have already collected. You will need to monitor changes in your groundwater. But monitoring changes means more than just monitoring the levels of groundwater. You also need to monitor the physical, biological, and chemical changes. You also want to make sure that collecting the data does not interfere with the groundwater itself.

Depending on what you need, you can install a specific type of well. There are individual monitoring wells, which have single measure screens. These are the most common. You can also have nested wells in several locations in the borehole. Clustered wells are also effective in monitoring and may be especially important for large levels of groundwater.

If you are looking for groundwater data, then you should give us a call. Contact All American Environmental in New Jersey. We would love to talk to you about the best ways to safely and effectively monitor your groundwater. Give us a call today.