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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hubby is bringing home the company backhoe this weekend to dig a shallow water well 16' to 30' Now my ? is WHERE to dig? anyone know how to witch for water? dig in a low spot? :help: Please lol
 

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Now this is going to sound strange, (it did to me) I had a contractor friend come down to Colombia from Oregon with his water witching tools, (some welding rod) he walked our property and in certain areas the rods would move and come together, the faster and harder the rods come together is where the best water source is, He claims he has found water using this method before, I tried it, and the rods came together in the same spot. :shrug:

I have a water source and never dug a well, but kept the rods just in case.

Now, if anyone except this guy told me that, (this guy is a reputable builder and homesteader) I would have thought he belonged in a room with padded walls.

Good luck with your well.
 

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themamahen said:
Hubby is bringing home the company backhoe this weekend to dig a shallow water well 16' to 30' Now my ? is WHERE to dig? anyone know how to witch for water? dig in a low spot? :help: Please lol
Around here, one tends to find water in bottom land, while occasionally a spring is found higher up. The witch is a willow or sycamore branch in the shape of a letter "Y".

A witch can be made of 1/4 '' metal in the shape of an "L" also.

You will feel the witching where there is water. Practice around known areas of water.

Good luck.
 

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Some people can do the "water witching" and some can't. It works for my father-in-law and the wife, for me - they don't do a thing.

Hmmmmm, never heard of "digging" a water well using a backhoe before. Drilling is the only thing I have heard of. I would think digging with a backhoe would just make a huge mess, and even if you do hit water, how do you make a well out of the huge hole?
 

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I have an old Indian well on my property. Now a retention basin.

It was a large hole that got progressively smaller at the bottom (sorta like a funnel) with a path that wound around & around to the bottom.

Maybe thats the idea, Michael... ;)
 

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Never mind the how to find water question, how do you dig a water well with a backhoe. I've never heard of that.

Most backhoes wouldn't dig even the 16 feet depth you mentioned as the shallowest, let alone deeper. Perhaps a combination of backhoe, hand digging, and using the backhoe dug area for walling up the well?

I'm curious as to the "HOW", not at all saying that it can't be done.
 

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For fun one day my husband and I tried witching, or dowsing, using metal coat hangers cut and shaped into Ls. Turns out we can both do it!

So, I would go with the first post that says the faster and more "determined" the rods move, the better the source.

I don't think there's anything strange about it at all. It's an age-old technique, and goodness knows it's tried and true.

As for a backhoe - we have a dug well that we have 4' culverts lining and it's about 16' deep. I can completely see why you would use a backhoe. Dig as deep as you can with it, then hand-dig, then use the hoe to lower the rings into the hole. No mess, no fuss.

Good luck finding your water source!! Just go for it! :hobbyhors

leslie
 

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When I had a well drilled I asked the driller about witching. He said it doesn't work, you are just as likely to find water whether you witch or not. My brother's FIL hired a witcher, they hit water - at 800 feet.
 

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Well, lol, I had a well digger (driller) out to my place three years ago and I was amazed at the demonstration of witching. Those rods would cross like you would not believe. The well person (politically correct?) would have me come stand in a spot, then the well person would begin walking in another direction. I would be asked to place a stick where I was standing and to come stand where the well person now stood. This went on for several minutes, me placing a stick where I stood then going and standing where the well person stood placing another stick etc. THEN! All of a sudden the well person said, "There is a vein right here. Bring me a stick." Vein? I wish I had taken motion pictures of this!

I delayed the drilling of the well (money). Three years later the same well person came to my property. My house was framed in so it was time to think about a well. For three years I have hauled water in though I do have a spring fed pond. I never got ambitious enough to boil that pond water for drinking. This time I asked if the spot located three years earlier was absolutely necessary or if maybe the well could be drilled in an alternate location I had determined to be more practical for the location of the house. Once again the same ritual, witching for water! "There is a vein right here. Bring me a stick." Again I wished I had taken moving pictures, again I did not think about doing so. The process of witching is not something people see everyday. I doubt youngsters growing up in the big cities will ever see it unless someone programs a video game that includes witching, maybe some Harry Potter weirdness or such.

The well was not cheap. We had a "big hole" well drilled ( yes a drilling rig) that was lined with 30" concrete tiles. At 45' the well person stopped and showed me water squirting out the side of the hole that looked to be about the diameter of a pencil. The well person said that was enough water to water 100 head of cattle each day! I thought , wow, are we gonna stop there, it sounded good to me. But no, the well person said he was still in sand ( obviously he was in sand from the looks of the pile of sand out of the hole) and wanted to go deeper because the well person knew there was clay down there somewhere. The clay would prove to be more stable for supporting the tiles as it was explained to me. So 33 feet later we had the bottom of the well! 78 feet of concrete tiles with the outside of the tiles lined with pea gravel in order to keep sand filtered out. It was not "cheap" but I feel good about long term water supply. I have had friends come to my place that have lived in the area all their lives ( I am a newbie trying to get the heck off the grid!) telling me the water is "spring water". It does taste good, no iron taste and most importantly no chlorine, gag, taste like big city water. I don't care about the lack of fluoride "scare" we hear about these days for I have already lost a good number of my natural teeth and I have drank fluoride treated water for many years in the big city.

Just my experience with a "witcher" . I had a blast with it though in my area I think one would find water anywhere. Funny sometimes deep wells don't do the trick so people have to go back to the old way, big hole wells.
 

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The February 2003 edition of Acres, USA, A Voice for Eco-Agriculture has a very interesting article called "Milking Water from the Hills" I saved it but it's a pdf and I dont know how to post it here. Basically, the guy near Austin Texas digs a shallow ditch, lines it with gravel, inserts a 4" pvc field line, covers it and water begins to flow.

The article says you can learn more at [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank MOST of you for your advice and experiences with witching, we wont be putting in a pump house exc. YET but the water here is nasty there is always BOIL notices and the gentleman who takes care of the water supply is "Tipsy" most of the time and scares me, We do have filtration on the house, but hubby is thinking about getting our own water supply here. will try the willow and welding rod both are avaiable i will update this post after the weekend Wish me luck WOOHOOOOOO
 

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Our well driller used the swung cat method of finding where to drill. Grab a cat by the tail, swing it around your head 6 and 2/3 times, then let go. Where it lands is where you dig. Its 27% more accurate than witching with willow, 32% better than witching with iron.
 

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Christiaan, Would feral cats be better for use in virgin bush areas - if you could catch one? Does it matter which breed of cat you use?
 

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My wife can witch buried cables and such. Used her to find the phone line and she marked exactly where the utility guy did when he came the next day. She found where the line runs from our LP tank to the house. She was a buried cable locator for a couple of years and picked it up from one of her mentors. Never had her look for water though.
 

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I don't believe that witching for water with welding rods or willow branch. If you have a very thin willow Y stick, you can get the end to point down by lightly twisting the "handle" parts. Makes it look like it is bending towards water. If you walk down hill, you tend to tip the welding rods down and that causes them to swing together, as does a saloon door.
I think the cat idea is just mean and also doesn't work. However, I know for a fact that headless chickens can locate water. I've seen it happen many times. Right after you chop a chicken's head off, simply release the headless chicken. It is drawn to water nearly every time. For me that water is often a puddle in the driveway, under the truck. Since I already have a good water well, chicken witching is more of a nusense to the butchering process than profound mystical event.
 

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js2743 said:
i wanna see a picture of this back hoe. it must have a really long arm to dig that deep. i think you would be better off with some really long post hole diggers lol
It depends on geography. When I was in New Orleans, the city (pre-Katrina) wa already below sea level. Water was literally oozing from the cracks in some of the sidewalks. It would run off into the sewer which would be pumped out over the levies.

Artisian wells can be dug only a few inches and water will squirt high into the air!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artesian_aquifer
 

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haypoint said:
I don't believe that witching for water with welding rods or willow branch. If you have a very thin willow Y stick, you can get the end to point down by lightly twisting the "handle" parts. Makes it look like it is bending towards water. If you walk down hill...
Just because you can't do it doesn't mean it isn't possible. :) If you've ever had it work for you in your own hands, you know you're not making it do it. If you've ever dug in the place the rods indicated, and found water, you'd know it was for for real.

What's that saying about minds being like parachutes? lol
leslie
 
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