How can I find out how deep our well is?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by hengal, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. hengal

    hengal Well-Known Member

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    We've been here nine years. The house is over 100 years old and I have no idea how deep the well is. Are there some sort of public records of any sort that would be able to tell us this information? Sorry if this is a silly question, I don't know where else to start. Thanks :)
     
  2. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    You can tell how far to water by throwing a pebble in and counting the seconds until you hear a splash (as a well guy how many feet per second, because I don't know). As for how deep a well is? Unless you have it measured, I doubt that you are going to find any documentation out there that is 100 years old.

    Also, if anybody near by has an old well that knows how deep it is. Most people in the area have wells that are of a similar depth.

    donsgal
     

  3. Micahn

    Micahn Well-Known Member

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    well lets see. Does your well have a cap on top of it that can be taken off ? if so you could drop a string with something on the end and see how deep it is. No one would have any record of it anyplace.
     
  4. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Well-Known Member

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    The local drilling companies around here keep well logs and archive them. If you well is 100 years old you won't likely find that information. You could ask your nearby neighbors if they know how deep theirs are and get a good idea what you are dealing with or the same goes with the local drilling companies, maybe they have drilled in your area in recent years.
     
  5. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In MN the Dept of Health records well data and the local drillers have a pretty good idea of the wells too.

    You can pull the top of the well off and lower a string with a bobber on the end until it hit water.
     
  6. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    That works great! Done it lots of times. Use a fishing weight, lug nut, whatever. Then measure the string length.
     
  7. hengal

    hengal Well-Known Member

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    I hate to sound really stupid here, but there is no "opening" to the well. The "pump house" that it is enclosed in was built as an add on to the original house many years ago. Yes, we can get to the pump, but not the actual well opening. Thats a bad thing isn't it?
     
  8. sweetcountrygrl

    sweetcountrygrl Well-Known Member

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  9. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    LOL...the wells I dropped that string into were not registered anywhere in my state. They were put there years before registration was required....
     
  10. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah, I tie a brick on the end of a rope to test the depth of my bored well. It's easy to tell when it hits the water, and you just let it settle slowly until you feel it hit the bottom. Pull the rope up and measure from the bottom until the rope is dry. I usually have 20 feet or more of water reserves, but I've not tested it this year. I need to.
     
  11. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    hengal, the kind of pump you have will give you a clue as to the depth. Since you've said you can get to the pump, I assume you mean it's sitting outside of the well in the pump house. This alone tells you that the well is probably around 100 feet or less, any deeper and you'd have to use a submersible pump. If there are two pipes going into the well, then you have a jet type pump, if there is only one pipe you have a suction pump which is less than 25 feet or so.

    If you follow the pipes from the pump where do they go? There's gotta be a well someplace!
     
  12. Mountain Mick

    Mountain Mick Well-Known Member

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    Hi ,

    We use a heavy old steel bolt that I have drill a hole in and tried some heavy string cord to and every five feet I tied a red piece ribbon in a knot and every ten feet I tried a blue ribbon, at fifty feet a red and a blue ribbon and at a hundred feet I tried a yellow pieces of ribbon and at two hundred feet I tried a pieces of each colour. this just a guide but it may just help. I have got one that is a 1000feet long and one that is 500feet I also use them in marking out land blocks. just a glance and you can see OK Green with two reds and blue is 455feet. etc these are real nice rainy day jobs trying knots.
     
  13. hengal

    hengal Well-Known Member

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    Cfabe -

    Thats good information on the pipes - I didn't know that. I'll take a look at it tonight when I get home. And yes, the pump is sitting out in the open up against a wall. I am assuming the well "opening" is somehow behind that wall. Its very difficult to maneuver in there. Its not a very big room and the water softerner sits right next to the well pump.
    I appreciate the information. :)
     
  14. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    In Montana and Wyoming all wells are supposed to be registered. They have records as to depth, type, diameter, and production of them.
     
  15. watcher

    watcher de oppresso liber

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    You also have to remember one thing. How deep your well is is different than how deep the top of the water is. My current well was drilled to 180+ feet but the top of the water in it is about 10 feet from top.

    The only way I know of to find out how deep a well is, is by using a rope/string and weight.
     
  16. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    Talk to the old folks in the area. I wouldn't go strictly by how deep their wells are, though. That doesn't always hold true. But, I'd ask them if they know how deep YOUR well is. That was what daily talk was about for the men in those days. The old folk around here know how deep everyone's well is... also what year and season that so-and-so dug it or had it drilled.
     
  17. quadcam79

    quadcam79 technofarmer

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    do you happen to have any neighbors you dont like and a long rope? LOL, sorry I couldnt resist
     
  18. hengal

    hengal Well-Known Member

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    Well, we only have 1 neighbor, and no, fortunately they are just the greatest. LOL :)
     
  19. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    When we bought our place the previous owners told us the depth of the well. It was hand dug so the well drillers in the area had no knowledge of it. I had it worked on and the man who did the work measured it for me so now I know the true depth (which is not the depth the previous owners told us.)

    If anyone has worked on the well, they might know how deep it is, but if not then you'll have to either have it measured or measure it yourself. A rock on the end of a string will work. Keep in mind that any time a well is opened it can get contaminates in it. You might want to clean it after measuring.

    I wouldn't go on the depth of neighbors wells. In this area we have 4 wells within a mile of each other that measure from 33', 110', 190', & 390'. 2 wells can be drilled just a few feet from each other and have very different depths.
     
  20. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    If you've got a pump in the pump house that would be what is called a "shallow well" pump. Good chance you've got water at 35 feet or so.

    Quietely inquire at your county health dept. about any record of your well.
    I say quietely because many places with shallow wells are no longer legal.
    Yes our grand and wonderful rules and regulations have outlawed shallow wells many years ago. . . . . . .nasty ground water you know.
    You might also send off a water sample to be tested. If it comes back 'good' then 'shut up' and keep on using it as is.
    If it comes back as 'not good' . . . .then you'll have to spend lots of $$$$$$$$$$$

    good luck