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  #1  
Old 11/13/12, 09:05 PM
 
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Does a Deep Water Secure Your Water Supply

Having a deep well ..250'..I have a false sense of security in clean safe water. I realize our generator would need to be used to pump it up for use if not electric available...but would it be safe and uncontaminated?? What do you all think. ??

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  #2  
Old 11/13/12, 09:10 PM
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Depends what's upstream. A lot of things can get that far surprisingly fast

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  #3  
Old 11/13/12, 09:15 PM
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It would be secure, only as long as you have fuel for the genny. I think if I were depending on a deep well, I'd have a bucket, rope, and pulleys... to at least get some water out...

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  #4  
Old 11/13/12, 09:46 PM
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I'd think if flood water went down inside your well head (from the top) - you might have contamination. Otherwise, if it's safe now, it should continue to be safe except for something changing.

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  #5  
Old 11/13/12, 11:54 PM
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Do you stock some containers of bleach for it?

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  #6  
Old 11/14/12, 05:49 AM
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our well is 220' . It has muddied once in the 20 years we have been here (we drilled the well). It is possible for it to become fouled. As others have mentioned, a rope, pulley and well bucket are necessary to use in a power outage, and clorox bleach to shock the well.

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  #7  
Old 11/14/12, 07:23 AM
 
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Yes, you have a false sense of security.

Although not common, it's quite possible for a well to become contaminated with anything from surface water to fracking fluids to naturally occurring minerals. That's one issue.

Your ability to get water from over 200' below is now dependent on electric power. That separate issue revolves around how long could you generate power if the grid went down and was gone a long time. Yes, you 'could' use a rope and well bucket, but when you think about it, how practical is it to replace your current water needs with a hand drawn bucket ? While you could probably get enough to drink, you SURE aren't gonna be taking a shower, flushing toilets or washing clothes that way unless somebody's full time job is hauling water up a gallon or two at a time.

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  #8  
Old 11/14/12, 08:30 AM
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A hand pump would be better than a bucket and Bison Pumps does make one for deep wells.

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  #9  
Old 11/14/12, 08:37 AM
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I don't know how realistic this is for your situation, but I love a water system that doesn't depend on electricity at all. Our water supply is gravity fed from the creek. Yes, it could be polluted, but we do have two large water tanks with about 40,000 gallons storage.

I love what Dorothy Ainsworthdid at her place in Oregon. She has a well, and a water tank she built herself. She has an old fashioned windmill. Because of this, she isn't dependent on electricity for her water at all.
windmills

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  #10  
Old 11/14/12, 09:05 AM
 
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What "quality" is your generator . . . ???
Good
Better
Best

Lots of folks have a very false sense of security with their $99.95 Super Duper El Cheapo generators .......
It screams, it pumps some water.....
Then Murphys law kicks in . . . . .a bang, a cloud of smoke, and said Cheapo is now a boat anchor . . . . . . .

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  #11  
Old 11/14/12, 09:46 AM
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which is why we like our back up - a sandpoint well with a hand pump.

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  #12  
Old 11/14/12, 10:03 AM
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Bison Pump, made in Maine. The well head is sealed, no contamination.

Bison Hand Water Pumps

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  #13  
Old 11/14/12, 10:08 AM
 
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I should have added in my above post;
Those cheapo **generators** are notorious for their bad / poor voltage regulation.
It is quite possible for one of those El Cheapos to damage / kill the water pump.........

Now that the cow pie has hit the fan and you have no water . . . . . . . . . . . . .


I really need to find a hand pump that will work to 80'........

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  #14  
Old 11/14/12, 10:29 AM
 
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solar (PV panel direct) driven water pumps are another option for the deep well. they don't pump alot of water fast, but a gallon or so a minute over several hours a day adds up fast.

I would suggest multiple options for water. Add in a cistern (below or above ground) sealed water tank that can be filled from either the well or rain-catch. Have a sand filter on hand to pre-filter the water and a ceramic filter to use for drinking water.

The shallow well (~20-25') would also be a good option if you have the right situation for it.

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  #15  
Old 11/14/12, 10:33 AM
 
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Get yearly water tests to make sure you don't have a problem. I would opt for a hand pump over a bucket, rope and pulley as a backup to your genny backup. Keeping the well sealed helps keep outside contaminants (think bird poop, etc) from getting into the well. Also, stock bleach for "shocking" the well.
I had a well drilled this year on our farm and will put in solar for the well pump next month. It is expensive but I've scrounged components from local solar suppliers that were reducing inventory or had overstocks. I plan to install a hand pump as a backup but that will have to wait until next year. Luckily the well's static water level is 25 feet with a 25 gallon per minute recharge rate so my hand pump will not need to go to deep.
Mike

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  #16  
Old 11/14/12, 10:56 AM
 
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I don't worry about water-300'well-exc diesel gen-no risk of contaimanation with hand pump for backup....and our old 50' shallow well that we sterilize every year.Recently bought 4-250g water storage barrels so we can fill and use those rather than use gen/well daily.

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  #17  
Old 11/14/12, 11:02 AM
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I think if a 250' well is your only water source, you should consider a secondary source. I would worry less about contamination (you can always boil it) than being able to access it without power of any kind. Even hand pumps break.

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  #18  
Old 11/14/12, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim-mi View Post


I really need to find a hand pump that will work to 80'........
Jim you might look into the Bison pump.
After a lot of research over the last year, I am about to get one, as I have a deep well.

All I had to do was tell them the stats on the well and they came back with a quote and a list of what I needed.

They are very customer minded and very helpful, to me that a was a big plus.

Good luck getting a pump.
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  #19  
Old 11/14/12, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim-mi View Post
....I really need to find a hand pump that will work to 80'........
A cast iron Baker-Monitor hand pump like ours will work to 200 some feet below ground.
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  #20  
Old 11/14/12, 03:55 PM
 
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I went to that Bison site . . . good stuff . . .good way to go . . . . .$1800 .ouch.

Back to the OP; only a geologist can give a studied opinion about the filtering ability of all the different layers of sand / rock / clay etc. etc. for the water working its way down to the water table.
At my place I feel very good that 70' of mostly sand is going to do a darn good job of filtering........

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  #21  
Old 11/14/12, 04:53 PM
 
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Another hand pump that will work up to 350' is the Simple Pump. You can hand pump or they have a 12v motor for it. I've seem people run the pump off a battery that is charged by a small solar panel. It can be installed in your existing casing along with your existing elec pump.

Hand Water Pump or Motorized, by SIMPLE PUMP

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  #22  
Old 11/14/12, 07:31 PM
 
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We've had our Simple Pump several years now. Very easy to pump, well made, and I plumbed it into our existing sytem with a check valve so we can charge our pressure tank, supplying the house, or to just fill a bucket.

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  #23  
Old 11/14/12, 08:11 PM
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don't forget that earth quakes can break wells,
and 250 foot is not that deep

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  #24  
Old 11/14/12, 09:10 PM
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I have a deep well but know at some point fuel will run out and then no generator to pump it up. I have a 5 acre pond with endless water and therefore have a katadyn large filter to use surface water when the time comes. It filters mud puddles in Africa so should be great on clear pond water though I know it has fish poo and giardia from the crazy beavers and probably a host of other nasties. I'll add a few drops of bleach just in case.

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  #25  
Old 11/15/12, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnAndy View Post
Yes, you have a false sense of security.

Although not common, it's quite possible for a well to become contaminated with anything from surface water to fracking fluids to naturally occurring minerals. That's one issue.

Your ability to get water from over 200' below is now dependent on electric power. That separate issue revolves around how long could you generate power if the grid went down and was gone a long time. Yes, you 'could' use a rope and well bucket, but when you think about it, how practical is it to replace your current water needs with a hand drawn bucket ? While you could probably get enough to drink, you SURE aren't gonna be taking a shower, flushing toilets or washing clothes that way unless somebody's full time job is hauling water up a gallon or two at a time.
Go without water for a single day (one day in the desert was enough for me) and any other usage besides drinking, aren't important.... we might, right now, in our comfortable lives, think they are... but when it comes down to it, no.......

I daresay few of our 'lifestyles' will survive a TEOTWAWKI...
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  #26  
Old 11/15/12, 10:34 PM
 
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Your well may be a few hundred feet deep but the water level in your well will be much higher. You may only need to go down 30 - 50 feet to hit water in the well casing.

No need to buy a hand pump. All you need is a check valve on the end of a long pipe. The pipe could be a section of 1" grey pvc. Hang on to the pipe and plunge it up and down and it will act like a pump.

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  #27  
Old 11/16/12, 12:46 PM
 
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Yes, you have a false sense of security.
Your power supply may disappear.
your pump or pipe may break.
The aquifer may get contaminated.
Someone or ones may overuse and draw down your aquifer if oversight and regulation disappears.
Two is one and one is none.

What gives you security is shallow water, rainwater. Deep wells are a luxury.

You have had all the advice you need in this thread.
A stream is good.
Ponds are good.
Roofwater storage in tanks, overflow to cisterns, is best. Even better if you have a secondary source for backup and untreated (stock drinking, garden irrigation) use.
If you use flush toilets rather than composting or sawdust toilets, draw pond or streamwater to flush them rather than your pure drinking-quality roofwater. Even so, make backup provisions for (let's say) a sawdust toilet and a bale of peat-moss out in the garden toolshed.

The low-volume, constant run (during daylight) solar pump from a deep well can be used to fill tanks, so you can get by; but you don't live more than two or three days without water, and you're crazy if you limit yourself to only one source that's susceptible to mechanical failure. Even a backup pump from a single source is not enough. If fact, your sanity is dubious even if you have backup sources that are sufficient only for minimum drinking water.

Read the posts in this thread and take them to heart.

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  #28  
Old 11/16/12, 01:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnAndy View Post
Yes, you have a false sense of security.

Although not common, it's quite possible for a well to become contaminated with anything from surface water to fracking fluids to naturally occurring minerals. That's one issue.

Your ability to get water from over 200' below is now dependent on electric power. That separate issue revolves around how long could you generate power if the grid went down and was gone a long time. Yes, you 'could' use a rope and well bucket, but when you think about it, how practical is it to replace your current water needs with a hand drawn bucket ? While you could probably get enough to drink, you SURE aren't gonna be taking a shower, flushing toilets or washing clothes that way unless somebody's full time job is hauling water up a gallon or two at a time.
We have our pump on solar power.
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  #29  
Old 11/16/12, 02:13 PM
 
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Helena,
You are correct that you could have a false sense of security about your water. Other than getting it to the surface, there is always the danger of aquifer contamination. Your risk of contamination depends on many things. First the extent of the aquifer that you draw from, its size depth and location relative position to potential sources of contamination. Second the geology of the area and its premiability to the aquifer you are drawing from, including whether or not it is prone to swift flow of aquifers such as in karst, and whether it is prone to fractures that allow pathways for surfiace or shallow spills to get into the aquifer, and even the types of soil and their permiability down to bedrock. Active oil and/or gas well installation, particularly using hydraulic fracturing is another source of aquifer contamination. You can learn a lot by looking at geological and gorundwater studies conducted in and around your county by your state's Geological Survey, a state agency. Pay particular attention to wellhead protection evaluations and other aquifer related studies, which often identify threats to aquifers used for drinking water. Also, state university geological departments often do research on geology and aquifers in various areas of their states. Usually professors on the geology department are open to telling about their departments studies and helping locate copies of studies or often sumarizing study results for you verbally. Lastly, you can often tell a lot by just looking at at topographic maps and driving around and getting familiar with your area. For instance, a 250 foot well at my home would mean a perched aquifer, that is a seperate aquifer since I am roughly 1000 feet above the river a mile from my house. I could then guesstimate the enitre potential recharge area of this aquifer just by following the 750' topographic contour on US Geological Survey 7.5 minute quadrangle maps. Then I can go look at the manufacturing, gas stations and shops in that area which would be primary suspects for contamination. If I have none or very few, my chances of contamination are lower. If I have a lot of housing and/or farming using termaticides/heavy pesticide usage then my chances of aquifer contamination are higher, particulatly since I live in an active Karst area. Ect. This can help you determin how secure your water supply is lacking any professional studies.

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  #30  
Old 11/17/12, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wogglebug View Post
Yes, you have a false sense of security.
Your power supply may disappear.
your pump or pipe may break.
The aquifer may get contaminated.
Someone or ones may overuse and draw down your aquifer if oversight and regulation disappears.
Two is one and one is none.

What gives you security is shallow water, rainwater. Deep wells are a luxury.

You have had all the advice you need in this thread.
A stream is good.
Ponds are good.
Roofwater storage in tanks, overflow to cisterns, is best. Even better if you have a secondary source for backup and untreated (stock drinking, garden irrigation) use.
If you use flush toilets rather than composting or sawdust toilets, draw pond or streamwater to flush them rather than your pure drinking-quality roofwater. Even so, make backup provisions for (let's say) a sawdust toilet and a bale of peat-moss out in the garden toolshed.

The low-volume, constant run (during daylight) solar pump from a deep well can be used to fill tanks, so you can get by; but you don't live more than two or three days without water, and you're crazy if you limit yourself to only one
source that's susceptible to mechanical failure. Even a backup pump from a single source is not enough. If fact, your sanity is dubious even if you have backup sources that are sufficient only for minimum drinking water.

Read the posts in this thread and take them to heart.

That advice is great where there is surface water and shallow water tables. Its useless out here. Deep wells and storage tanks are our only option in the desert. Rain barrels only work when it rains. We get less than 10 in a yr here. The rain barrels usually have more sand than water. I need to look into the simple pump and get or make a couple of well buckets and lots of rope. The water in our well starts at 130 foot or so. Our pump is at 250ft.
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