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Old 07/22/08, 08:50 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 116
Question What GPM Rate On Your Well Should Be Sufficient For Your Needs?

What's the lowest GPM rate on a property's well that should be accepted as sufficient for basic needs for a family of four? Now that we are researching GPM rates in our area in Oregon, we're hearing no more than 10 GPM is pretty standard around here. Is this enough, if we want a big garden, small livestock, a fish-farm operation, and other homesteading activities?

All comments and information would be gratefully appreciated! I grew up on a farm where the well went dry every summer, resulting in showers at the YMCA and filling water jugs at city spigots, so there's NO WAY I want to ever worry about having enough water again.

Thanks to all!
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Old 07/22/08, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 964
10gpm is 600 gallons in an hour. Average American uses about 150gal/day. Grown cattle 10gal/day. Don't know about the fish farming. 20 x 60 garden getting 1/2" of water would be 390 gallons, or a little more than a half hour of full flow.

Solar water pumps only put out about 2gpm. They run longer, however. The standard 10gpm pump should be more than enough, unless you want to
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Old 07/22/08, 09:46 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hill Country, Texas
Posts: 4,649
1/2 gal per minute gives you about 5000 gallons per week. You would need a tank to store the water in though,

I pump 150 gal + per minute from mine. I fill my 2500 gal storage tank in about 17 minutes.
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Old 07/22/08, 10:10 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,837
3 1/2 GPM is minimal for a modern household without increased storage.
If they can do it,
you know you can!
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Old 07/22/08, 10:15 PM
Gary in ohio's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,807
Dont forget recovery rate. 100gpm isnt any good if it take 2 days before you can use the well again.
Gary in Central Ohio
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Old 07/22/08, 10:48 PM
ErinP's Avatar
Too many fat quarters...
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SW Nebraska, NW Kansas
Posts: 8,545
I agree with Yucca. Any flow is fine so long as you have a storage tank and pump out of there...
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Old 07/22/08, 11:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: scott county, virginia
Posts: 845
if your pump was installed by the well drillers it was set up with the rate your well recovers. say for instance your well is only producing 7.5 gpm you wouldn't want a pump that pumps 10 gpm it would pump the well dry. the well its self will only let you take so much out per minute so you are at the mercy of the recovery rate it produces.
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Old 07/23/08, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 1,526
3-5 gpm for normal household usage. If you're willing to put in a storage tank and some more sophisticated pump controls you can use down to 0.5-1 gpm. 10gpm should be plenty even for modest farm use I would think. Not for large acerage irrigation of course but for watering a garden etc it should be okay. You may not be able to run 2 garden hoses while you take two showers and do laundry, but I bet that's rare to have happen.
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Old 07/23/08, 10:23 AM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
Even with drip irrigation a garden in my part of the county consumes a lot of water.

I don't know what a minimum flow requirement would be as I'm blessed with a 35 gallon per minute well. My pump shoots water out of a 2 inch line quite a ways when free flowing.
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Old 07/23/08, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 5,492
If you aren't trying to a whole lot with it 10gpm would be enough, especially if you use drip irrigation in the garden and/or orchard. We have an 8gpm well with a good recovery rate and are managing ok without any holding tanks.
Wags Ranch Nigerians

"The Constitution says to promote the general welfare, not to provide welfare!" ~ Lt. Col Allen West
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Old 07/23/08, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Texas
Posts: 948
When we put our well down years ago we told him we wanted it for two homes and 180 acres of animals. He said we needed 20. When he hit water, it measured 60. Never ran out of water yet and we pipe it all over these hills to have rotational grazing thanks to uncle sam. He said he was glad we told him up front because people are always calling him back out to increase it but it's not that easy after it's finished.
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Old 07/23/08, 12:38 PM
highlands's Avatar
Walter Jeffries
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Mountains of Vermont, Zone 3
Posts: 9,505
In August our spring gets down to 1/2 gallon a minute. We have a 100 gallon reservoir that it fills and that is plenty for our family needs. The overflow goes to our farm reservoir for the animals and gardens. At half a gallon a minute it's about 700 gallons a day which is enough. There are some other springs I would like to develop to get more flow.


Sugar Mountain Farm
in the mountains of Vermont
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