How Do I Know Where To Dig a Well [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Shoeless
08-22-2012, 07:59
So Mr. Shoe and I are thinking of digging a shallow well (25 feet is as deep as shallow well pump will work apparently) and installing an old fashioned hand pump at the mountain house in case of emergencies. We're NOT on city water now... we are on a community well, but of course if the power goes out, the well pumps won't work so we'll all be out of water.

I'm watching these cool videos of how to drill your own well using a mud pump. It's ingenious really. But my question is... how do I know WHERE on my property to begin drilling to avoid stuff like electrical lines, existing water lines, etc.

I know where my septic tank sits, (it's downhill from my house), so I'm thinking if I go to the back side of the property I will probably avoid most everything else but how can I be sure. Any tips for me?

Thanks!
Shoeless

bobby_w
08-22-2012, 08:16
Start here. ULS (http://www.unitedlocating.com/default.asp)

ChuteTheMall
08-22-2012, 08:21
Call Miss Utility so you don't bust a gas line, then go here:

http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Dowsing-or-Divining-Rods

:poke:

BR549
08-22-2012, 09:41
Consult a well service and/or geologist.

Dial 811 to have utilities marked.

Modify/build a manual pump to be powered by a bicycle or motorized vehicle or generator.

kirgi08
08-22-2012, 11:15
You can add a hand pump to use if you have a power failure.We live in Buncombe so our well is at 250-300ft.'08.

Carry16
08-22-2012, 12:54
I'm on a shared well - 450 feet down. My suggestion - buy a generator and find out how to connect it to your well in an emergency. I've run ours many times. I have a Honda EU6500is generator and our pump is 3 hp 240v.

I have been told that while I may be able to get some water with a shallow well, it will not be good water. That's why we're at 450 feet.

Shoeless
08-22-2012, 13:26
I'm on a shared well - 450 feet down. My suggestion - buy a generator and find out how to connect it to your well in an emergency. I've run ours many times. I have a Honda EU6500is generator and our pump is 3 hp 240v.

I have been told that while I may be able to get some water with a shallow well, it will not be good water. That's why we're at 450 feet.

We can't afford to have a deep well dug by a well company, which would give us potable water. (They just quoted me six grand this morning when I emailed...) Which is why I'm thinking a shallow water well with a hand pump at the top for emergency water. Yes the water from a shallow well isn't drinkable but I'm thinking maybe we could boil or purify it once we get it out of the ground?

I also believe there may be underground springs too -- not sure if those are potable or not. This is all new to me so I'm learning a lot!

Thank you!!
Shoeless

Carry16
08-22-2012, 14:42
collect rainwater in barrels or some of those 275 gallon totes that ae on Craig's List all the time. Use that water to flush toilets, clean clothes, etc during outages. Store potable water in 55 gallon poly barrels - still need to filter or purify when using, but will last some time. Still, a generator is the way to go in IMHO.

Shoeless
08-22-2012, 14:48
collect rainwater in barrels or some of those 275 gallon totes that ae on Craig's List all the time. Use that water to flush toilets, clean clothes, etc during outages. Store potable water in 55 gallon poly barrels - still need to filter or purify when using, but will last some time. Still, a generator is the way to go in IMHO.

SMART! Rain water is a great answer either in addition to, or instead of a shallow well and in the absence of our regular community well water. I'm not sure what 275 gallon totes you are referring to but I'll see if I can find out about them.

I'm probably going to get a Berkey water purifying system like Ranger recommended too. That seems really straightforward and smart thing to have on hand.

Still researching triple-fuel generators to see what we can afford to put in. I'd love to have an automatic standby model as opposed to a rolling portable model but I have to be open-minded and realistic about the money part.

THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Shoeless

Breadman03
08-22-2012, 14:57
We can't afford to have a deep well dug by a well company, which would give us potable water. (They just quoted me six grand this morning when I emailed...) Which is why I'm thinking a shallow water well with a hand pump at the top for emergency water. Yes the water from a shallow well isn't drinkable but I'm thinking maybe we could boil or purify it once we get it out of the ground?

I also believe there may be underground springs too -- not sure if those are potable or not. This is all new to me so I'm learning a lot!

Thank you!!
Shoeless

How about mixing your plan between a generator (or a pedal powered pump) for drinking water and a hand pump for your bathing, laundry, and other needs.

Breadman03
08-22-2012, 14:59
I also read about a person installing a 500 gallon holding tank above the level of their 1st floor faucets, allowing gravity to provide flow during outages.

Shoeless
08-22-2012, 15:16
How about mixing your plan between a generator (or a pedal powered pump) for drinking water and a hand pump for your bathing, laundry, and other needs.


I'm not sure what you mean... a shallow well (25 - 40 feet) will not give me clean drinking water no matter whether I hand pump it or use a generator to pump it out. Can you clarify?

Thanks!!
Shoeless

Hummer
08-22-2012, 16:05
I also read about a person installing a 500 gallon holding tank above the level of their 1st floor faucets, allowing gravity to provide flow during outages.

This is what I was thinking of as a way to store your potable community water. Just plumb the holding tank into the water line into your house. There are a few ways it can be done, best to work with a plumber. If it can be mounted higher than your faucets, all you need is the tank installed inline. Otherwise, it can use a float system to refill the tank, and a pump and pressure tank to deliver water to your faucets (in which case you'll also need a generator in a power outage.) You'll need to find or make a space for it but a 350 or 500 gal. tank can provide a lot of water until electricity is restored. The best part is, no hand pumping or hauling buckets required.

Ruble Noon
08-22-2012, 16:43
We can't afford to have a deep well dug by a well company, which would give us potable water. (They just quoted me six grand this morning when I emailed...) Which is why I'm thinking a shallow water well with a hand pump at the top for emergency water. Yes the water from a shallow well isn't drinkable but I'm thinking maybe we could boil or purify it once we get it out of the ground?

I also believe there may be underground springs too -- not sure if those are potable or not. This is all new to me so I'm learning a lot!

Thank you!!
Shoeless

Don't be so sure about that. I have a neighbor that has a 30' deep well for irrigation and the water tests better than the 80' deep well for his home.

Carry16
08-22-2012, 17:01
These are the totes: http://springfield.craigslist.org/grd/3156717116.html

racerford
08-22-2012, 18:01
I recommend digging the well right above underground water.

To avoid underground stuff dial the number for you area. If you see those orange posts sticking up (identifies a gas line)they usually have the 800 number on it.