What GPM Rate On Your Well Should Be Sufficient For Your Needs?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by stonecypher, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. stonecypher

    stonecypher Well-Known Member

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    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! :kissy:
     
  2. artificer

    artificer Well-Known Member

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    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
     

  3. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    3 1/2 GPM is minimal for a modern household without increased storage.
     
  5. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dont forget recovery rate. 100gpm isnt any good if it take 2 days before you can use the well again.
     
  6. ErinP

    ErinP Too many fat quarters... Supporter

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    I agree with Yucca. Any flow is fine so long as you have a storage tank and pump out of there...
     
  7. js2743

    js2743 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  9. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas Guest

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    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.
     
  10. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  11. piglady

    piglady Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  12. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    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.

    Cheers

    -Walter
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in the mountains of Vermont
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/
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