how to dig a spring

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by patarini, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    Found a new spring on the hill -- about 40 feet above the house and 2-300 hundred yards away. Question is how do I get the water out? Should I drive a well pipe in it or should I dig it out somehow? Probally a stupid question but cant find any good answers! Can I hurt the spring if I try to dig there? Was thinking to dig just downslope, and try to start a siphon action to a hose -- any help please? Thanks in advance -- where I am from only wells I ever saw had big red hydrants on them! Thnx all!
     
  2. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i'd like to know this as well. i've run across some iffy info on the net, but have yet to find or talk to anyone who has actually done it, and can advise me.
     

  3. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Make sure it is an all weather spring and not seasonal.(seasonal meaning it only runs in the wet months) Might also test the water quality,if you'll be drinking it.Although if its really cold like 55degree in summer,i usually assume them safe around here.Nothing taste better! But consider how many chemicals are in the ground now days you may be better to have it tested.

    Ive seen pipes drove into the ground/springs.I think they did this to get pure water.If you let it puddle and get your water from that pool of water it might have bacteria in it.But now with that said my step father and several of his relatives grew up and are still using a spring that is just damed up with concrete blocks so the pump can sit in that pool of water.No pump house there.I have seen some that where dug out/down a little and a pump house built over them.These often have to be cleaned out every now and then or after every hard rain if the spring has any run off coming into it from farther up.

    If its above the house and you don't need much water pressure id try driving a pipe into it and let it gravity flow if its high enough above the house.

    I don't think you can mess them up no matter what you do (within reason or coarse).
     
  4. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Greetings from Montana! I have developed a couple of springs in the past so will tell you how i did it and then direct you to a site with real information! One of the springs we were able to carefully dig back into the hill until we found the direct water tube (where water is seen to be flowing from the hill -look like an invisible pipe is there) Once we found the tube we cleared away any black or smelly dirt from the area and then built a spring box into the hill just below the water source. that way the water runs down (through a pipe if you like) into the spring box which has another outlet on the oposite side. The spring box needs to be varmit proof and freeze proof if you are living where there is real winter. fill the spring box with some sand and washed gravel in the bottom and then close it up. When water level gets to where the other outlet is it will run downhill to your home or storage tanks.

    The other spring we developed was a seep spring, where water is slowly seeping out of the bedrock and there is not a single source to be found. For this type of spring we cleared out the yucky dirt etc and then dug a large hole, into the hole (which backed up to the seep) we put a culvert (steel) with holes drilled into it and placed it 8 feet below the level of the seep. Water ran into the hole and then passed into the culvert, which had various sizes of gravel around the outside over the holes areas. We then built a spring house around this culvert and pumped the water which collected in the culvert up hill to our home and storage tanks. Both kinds of springs work well but the up hill one with the water tube is sure more reliable! Be sure to get the water tested prior to consuming as animals may have been using the spring and it may need disinfecting! Now here is the link i promised!

    http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/publicat/wqwm/ag473-15.html

    http://www.lifewater.org/wfw/wfwindex.htm
     
  5. farmy

    farmy Well-Known Member

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    Where does one get water tested? I've been meaning to get our well water tested. Thanx
     
  6. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    some have tried to open the spring with a cat or a backhoe - works sometimes, sometimes seals the spring for good -
    digging by hand is tough work but is usually the most effective method - one thing to consider is, if you find the water to be of qualilty so poor you don't want to use it, where is that increased flow you've created going to go?
    sometimes harder to close a spring than to open it -
     
  7. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    Where does one get water tested? I've been meaning to get our well water tested. Thanx


    Any county extension agent can tell you.
     
  8. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Don't know if this will help at all, I am a dummy with this stuff. I can tell you though that our spring(which is 750 ft away, up on a hillwith about an 80 foot drop to here)was dug out with a back hoe. The engineer made a big pond and used the excess soil for a dam. A 2" perforated pipe extends into the pond about 8 ft. and it runs down to our place and is buried 2 ft deep from the pond to our perimeter fencing. The 2" pipe terminates at a gate valve and then 1" PVC pipe comes off of this and goes to faucets here and there around the property and to a stand pipe which bubbles up for the pond. It is gravity feed only.

    Although I do not drink this water I do use it to water the meadow, flowers and garden and for my ducks and dogs. So, there IS a good use for the water even though you are not drinking it yourself.

    Sorry I don't know more about this. Good luck with the project. :p

    :) LQ
     
  9. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the help -- one of these springs will be the new water supply so will get them all tested and use the best one! THnx again!
     
  10. sue currin

    sue currin Well-Known Member

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    We dug ours out by hand, then when we found where the water was coming out of the ground, We cut a 2 litter bottle in half, placed the top half over the spring and put cement around the bottle, this forces the water up through the opening and you can even screw a water hose on the bottle. It works great. good luck, nothing like spring water.