Shallow vs. Deep Well Jet Pumps

Shallow vs. Deep Well Jet Pumps

Shallow vs. Deep Well Jet Pumps

Jet pumps are considered one of the two most popular types of pumps used for private well systems and low flow irrigation applications. This solution is popular in areas with high water tables and warm climates. The pump itself is mounted above ground and typically used to lift water out of the ground through a suction pipe. In order to efficiently get water from point A to B, properly sizing the pump is very important. One of the main considerations when sizing a jet pump is the well conditions, particularly its size and depth.

Jet pumps can either be installed in shallow or deep wells. The difference between the two is the location of the jet ejector (nozzle and venturi). For instance, the shallow well jet ejector is located in the housing of the pump or attached to the face of the pump. A deep well jet ejector is located in the well. The deep well jet ejector works in the same manner as the shallow well application as water is supplied to the jet ejector under pressure from the pump. The jet ejector then returns the water plus an additional supply from the well to a level where the jet pump can lift it the rest of the way by suction. Below is a summary and visual representation on how shallow and deep well jet pump applications compare to each other:

Shallow Wells

Deep Wells


  • Can typically pump water from 0’ to 25’ deep
  • The jet ejector (nozzle and venturi) is located in the pump housing




  • Can typically pump water from over 25’ to 120’ water depth
  • The jet ejector (nozzle and venturi) is typically located in the well below the water level


In order to meet system requirements, the well should produce an adequate supply of water and the selected pumping system must be able to produce the required capacity and pressure under the conditions of operation. Therefore, selecting the correct jet pump system based off your specific well application involves calculating factors such as the depth of water and capacities in gallons per minute (GPM) at the discharge pressure (PSI). With A.Y. McDonald, this information is organized and placed in the appropriate chart(s), which are located in the Pump product catalog. This helps determine the best shallow well or deep well pump product series option. To learn how to read these charts, take the A.Y. McDonald University (AYU) e-learning course called ‘Shallow vs. Deep Well Pumps’.

If you’re looking for a jet pump and not sure where to start, put your trust in A.Y. McDonald’s product experts in order to find the solution for you. For all questions regarding the difference between shallow and deep well applications, call our customer service department at 1-800-292-2737 or fill out a contact form on