Burying a well tank

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cygnet, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. Cygnet

    Cygnet Guest

    This is a 5,000 gallon stainless steel tank roughly sixteen feet tall, on a community well system, currently serving five houses but with seven lots deeded to it.

    Issue is that in our summer weather, the water gets SO hot that we turn our hot water heaters off and use them for cold water, pumping hot water from the well. Really. (Water temp from the above ground tank is 105+ degrees in the summer.) While this saves on the electric bill, we're concerned about bacterial growth in the tank.

    The guys were discussing options to shade the tank, with the idea of building a very large cover over it. I'm thinking it might just be better and cheaper to bury the tank underground.

    Anyone have any comments on this? Feasability? Potential problems?

    This is in a very dry climate, and the water table is -/+ 470 feet down and the soil is pure sand.

    (Incidently, the well itself is borderline "thermal" -- the water out of it is about 70 degrees and highly mineralized.)

  2. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    is the tank for storage only or does it also provide pressure? will burying it lower pressure too much? has anyone taken temp samples at the depths you will be burying the tank? almost sounds like your well is more appropriate for home heating (70*) than for drinking water

  3. Tank's for storage only. We're pumping from 650 feet (with iirc 170 feet of water over the pump) but the water flow is fairly limited, something like 5gpm and the water draws down quickly, it's set to pump for thirty minutes and then shut off for 30 to allow the well to recover.

    BTW, something the guys figured out with this well -- the above-ground booster pump burnt out and it was like $900 to replace it. (Monster 2hp pump and it had been struggling to keep up with demand.). So for $180 we put a high-pressure sprinkler pump on it that is designed for golf courses and the like. We now have much higher water pressure for much less cost.

    Works for me ...


  4. Have you had the tank checked to see if your concern about bacterial growth is valid?

    Seems that water going from a 70º environment to a 105º+ environment would take care of (kill off) any bacterial that may be residing in the well water to start with, but a water test/culture will tell you for for sure, do a culture of the well water and the tank water.

    I think that I would look at some sort of wooden cooling tower set up to place around the outside of your 1500 gallon tank, should be cheaper that burying the thing and easier to work on the tank and plumbing if there is a problem in the future.