A shallow well is a water well that is low in depth at around less than 50 ft in depth and that basically goes as deep as the water table and not further into the ground.
Shallow Wells have been used for many years as drinking water sources and as long as there's no contamination on the ground the shallow well is safe for drinking water.
Usually wells deeper than 50 feet are considered deep wells and any water well that is less than 50 feet deep is considered to be a shallow well.
A shallow water well can be a hand dug water well or a driven point water well.
Driven point water wells are always shallow wells because they cannot be driven any deeper than 40 to 50 feet in most places.
Also with a driven point water well you need a shallow well pump and those well pumps cannot pump water any deeper than 50 or so feet.
Hand well water pumps are also used sometimes on shallow point driven wells and you prime the pump with water to create suction.
Most home wells that are drilled today are drilled deeper than 50 feet and some as deep as 1,000 feet or even deeper depending on location.