a story of water

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by marvella, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    as a cost saving measure, i decided to use the existing well at the dw as a water source for the new house. the guys spent a day laying the line from the well to the house. i said i better go catch up some water, knowing every time someone works on a water source it has the potential to be down for days. jimmy said, don't worry about it, it will only be off about 5 minutes. he sounded awful confident so i said ok.

    5 days later, i was still without water. i don't mind living for long periods when i have to carry water, but i only like it if i get to choose to do it. it's not near as much fun if i have to.

    well guy finally showed up this morning (after the one that came by yesterday decided he didn't want to get his hands dirty) and dug up the wire that ran from the box to the well.

    $275 later, on a sunday morning, i can again flush. i mean, if i had planned i could at least have pulled out the sawdust buckets.

    anyway, having bought this place as a foreclosure i was never able to learn anything about the well. when i called the toll free state number, they said they had no record of the well. it's never had much pressure, the quality is really, really bad- so bad i have drinking water delivered. it reeks of sulphur, and if i leave a glassfull setting over night there is sediment in the bottom the next day. when they guy popped the top of the well, i learned it's only 150' deep, only 8 gpm, with a 1/2 hp pump. it's marginal at best.

    i knew this was a possibility, but wanted to save the cost if i could. i've worried that if i spend all that money i might end up with a well as bad as the one i have got now.


    i contracted to have a new well dug at the new house.

    so the whole point of this post is... would y'all please pray, send good wishes, wish me luck, toss some salt over your shoulder, line up the electrons of the universe... whatever it is your god convicts you to do...

    ...that i get a GOOD well, with sweet water. :angel:

    thanks.
     
  2. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Did you witch it to find the good water if there's any down there? Witching can also tell you how many gpm you'll get. I would not even consider drilling until the witching was done.
     

  3. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    good luck!
    Is hauling water an option?
     
  4. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess it just depends on the area, but in Western SD 8 gpm is far from marginal! I had 5 gpm at 375' and my friend lived for 15 years with 2 gpm and a heavy duty iron filter system. The water pressure depends on your pressure tank not pressure from the well. Good luck anyway.
     
  5. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I agree with you goatlady! Our almost ten grand well gives us a total of 8 oz per minute , we pump every day into our storage tanks a total of almost 200 gal we are thrilled to have this much water as before we hauled for over 5 years! Must be an eastern thing if 8 gpm wont do it? LOL Sis
     
  6. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    we are blessed with water in this place, so yes that is marginal. 10 gpm is considered minimal, according to contractor/builder guy.

    however, the issue is, i'm trying to run two households off the same well. sorry that wasn't clear. 8 oz an minute wouldn't even be a trickle if we pumped it uphill. as far as hauling water... i've lived carrying water for extended periods over the years. i'm getting to be an old woman who lives alone. i want hot running water in my house. :)

    spinner, witching isn't an option at this point. the terrain is quite rugged, and the septic is in place. anything left that is in the least bit level is now drain field. we talked about going into the mountain behind the house, but the trucks would have to drive over the drain filed to get in there. right now the choices are limited to wherever we can fit it in.

    still hopin' for good wishes, folks!
     
  7. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    it's not just the gpm, gl. it's the quality, it's the depth, it's the 1/2 hp pump... all those together is what makes it marginal, especially for 2 houses.
     
  8. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

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    Think cistern! :) 2 ways to do it. Set the well up to pump into a large cistern, almost constantly, float valve to turn the pump on and off. Use a big pump to pump to the house. Will greatly increase GPM!

    Other option is to forget the well and build a BIG cistern. You have to have enough storage to take the water when it comes and to carry you through dry periods. Here in central Illinois my cistern is 8000 gallons. Works great for me. In 16 years it has rarely been less than half full! Only hauled water once, when farmsitters let water run. It was much cheaper for me to build a big cistern (poured concrete) than to try and drill a new well or even fix the old well. Rainwater comes in from the gutters. It is very soft and isn't full of minerals. It can be cleaned up enough for drinking water.

    Kathie
     
  9. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I agree with the cistern idea, same as what we call the storage tanks, they are a total of 1200 gallons of stored water. we pump in every day what the well hole fills up to and we are only one house hold though we do pump the water a long ways up hill from the well hole. In our case the water issue requires pre planning for any large water uses so that we dont run out. We strive to keep the tanks topped of so that in an emergency (feb. when it is 20 below zero) we can put off pumping for a few days. I am sure you will find a plan that will work for both houses though I have visions of your well pump running almost constantly unless you store water somehow? sis
     
  10. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

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    Just tossed the salt over my shoulder! :) We had okay luck with our well... less than a 1/4 mile away they could have had supported a hotel. Who knew? :shrug:
     
  11. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    Marvela what makesit marginal other than quality? 8 gpm is 480 gallons an hournearly 12,000 a day surelythat is a plenty for two houses? I understand the quality issue but I think there are demineralisers that would hepl that not sure about cost though.
    If thats the sort of water you get there how will a diferent well help?
    Sonds like a nice semi load of water delivered to a cistern montly might be what you are looking for.
     
  12. e.alleg

    e.alleg Well-Known Member

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    8 gpm is a home-run if you ask me! I would start at square one and check the pressure tank bladder air pressure, check the pressure switch to make sure it is switching on and off at the proper pressures, I set mine at 40/60 or something like that. Also check and see if the pipes aren't clogged with sediment. A standard showerhead or sink faucet will only flow 3 gpm on full blast anyway so 8 gpm is more than enough. Our well produces 4 gpm and it's fine, we have lived with 5 gallons a day for a few months from a almost dried up well... that was bad, had to boil water on the stove to warm up the bath. Worst part of that was we were renting so we couldn't fix it. Still better than carrying it from the river I guess. Good luck with your problems.
     
  13. tamsam

    tamsam Well-Known Member

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    A large holding tank and a good water softner will work wonders. My ex inlaws in Fla had water so bad it would stink up the whole house just by turning on the water. Needless to say you smelled worst after a shower than before. They put in a water softner and took care of the problem. Not onlt was the water better but you didn't have to use nearly as much soap because the water was soft. Clothes didn't turn brown when washed any more. We have a trace of sulfur here ,it is really not enough to worry about but if I had somewhere to put one we would have a water softner here. Good luck with your water. Sam
     
  14. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    now i'm confused.

    why would a cistern or hauling water be better than a new well? :shrug:

    i made the decision based on what they guy who came to repair the well, and the builder, told me. they said at only 150' it is possible it could be contaminated by ag runoff. it tastes like it, it's undrinkable and i pay to have drinking water delivered. it's difficult, but not impossible, to find good water in the area. the older wells are pretty much as bad as mine, but two new neighbors got great water, by going deeper. the existing well, because of all these reasons, and because a 1/2 hp pump is barely adequate for the one house, really isn't fit for human consumption. so i should dig a cistern so i can store more of it? what part of what i wrote isn't clear? y'all have got me mightily confused.


    all i was really asking for was good wishes for the new well. oh well. :)

    y'all have a great day. :)
     
  15. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    GOOD LUCK ON THE NEW WELL!!!
    I think we were just trying to help its seemed like the old well was ok except for the smell from what you said.
    I thought that was the problem cause 8GPM sounded fine and a 1/2hp pump is usually fine too. Its also why I didnt see what a new well would change.
    What wasnt clear is what you adressed in your last post "two new neighbors got great water, by going deeper" that line makes a ton of diference between you doing something logical or not.
    Thats why I suggested the deminerliser or hauling water.If I hauled it Id get it from a supply I liked and thus take care of the smell and mineral situation.
    Honest just trying to help!
    GOOD LUCK WITH THE NEW WELL! :dance:
     
  16. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    we are 450 deep at 4 1/2 gal. per min. we never run it dry with a 1 hoarse pump we water garden and fill 2 water trough a day we have 350 feet of storage in the well
     
  17. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    thank you, fm. i know everyone was trying to be helpful. sometimes a longer post is tmi, so people just read what is relevent to them, and post on that.

    i may go down there with some copper rods, tho there really isn't a lot of choice where it's going. burn a little sage, some nag champa... LOL!! i keep thinking what a blessing a good well is to a homestead... fresh, sweet, cool water.... the hearth and the well are the heart of a home.
     
  18. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Dont know what part of AR you are. Here where I am, its known drilled wells are marginal at best. If you get 1 gal per minute you in tall cotton. You have to have a storage cistern adn let pump trickle water into cistern constantly with ball valve to cut it off if cistern gets full. I had a very good spring fed dug well and it used to not go dry but water table has lowered much with all developement so I now regularly go dry for couple months in summer. Though I have to say with your 450ft well, glad its not me if pump goes and has to be pulled. 150ft well is bad enough if one has to pull the pump. I've helped out people to do this too many times.

    Having water for summer garden is just a dream anymore. Not economical to haul water for gardening. Only way would be couple big cisterns and fill them in rainy part of the year when my old dug well stays pretty full.
     
  19. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    the people around here have 150 ft wells they hit water at that level took a gamble had him keep drilling it payed off we are in stone county
     
  20. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You may be able to rid your water of the sulfur smell by chlorinating the well and your indoor plumbing.