Is it a well? Can I use it?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by via media, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    I live in town and am on public water. There appears to be an old well near the back of the property. All I can see is a circle of red brick in the ground big enough for a person to fall into. It must be covered or blocked up because I can only get down about six inches before I hit dirt.

    - Is the opening too big to be a well? FWIW, the land was farm land until the 50s and my circle of mystery bricks sits very near an old fence line - I can still see the remains of the fence.
    - If it turns out to be a well, am I allowed to use it to water my garden, providing the water tests out safely?
    - Is it worth trying to excavate it? (I'm wondering if it's completely backfilled with dirt or just capped in some way.)

    Watering the garden currently involves lugging pails of water across half an acre, so using a well that sits near the garden would be a nice treat.

    /VM
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    why dont you run a hose instead of carrying water in a pail
     

  3. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    That's the most logical thing to do, mtman, but there's no spigot on the outside of the house. That means running a hose across two semi-finished rooms in the basement, through the garage, and then out half an acre.

    For now, I'm just tripling up on mulch in the garden :)

    /VM
     
  4. Yvonne's hubby

    Yvonne's hubby Murphy was an optimist ;) Staff Member

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    I dont know about the legals of that where you live, but if it were me I would do some research first. If the laws are such that you can then ask some of the older folks in the area if they know anything about it having been a well. sounds like it could have been or it may have been a cystern thats been filled in. Digging is the only real way to know fer sure.
     
  5. Ozarkguy

    Ozarkguy Well-Known Member

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    .

    Well congrats! It sounds like you might have come across an old hand dug well. :) Cities sometimes frown on these, so you might want to keep this under your hat. If it does turns out to be one, have the water tested and enjoy your FREE water as parts of our country have been in a drought for seven years!

    Check out this link, and if you've got an old hand dug well, you're in luck!

    Hand Dug Wells

    gotta love those hills.....

    Ozarkguy

    .
     
  6. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how big of a circle of bricks you have - if you would have said "just" big enough for a person to fall into - I would be thinking old well. If it's larger then that I would question if it wasn't the foundation for a cistren.

    If you have dirt from 6" down - for it to be a well, wouldn't have to be re-hand dug?

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you,
    Marlene
     
  7. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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  8. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could have been the site of a fancy outhouse!
     
  9. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    If it needs to be re-dug. I would think it MUCH easier to put in an outside spigot. Heck it would probably be easier to dig a line from the house to the garden.
     
  10. paden

    paden Well-Known Member

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    If it's a well sounds like it has been backfilled with dirt anyway. Maybe it's a fancy flower bed. I like the firepit idea also.
     
  11. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    That would be my guess - for burning trash.
     
  12. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It might be a well, but if it was done like all the ones on our farm---it might be a "Mess" to dig it out------Once we decided to fill them in----we throwed all the old wire, post, blocks---All the Trash around the area into the well-----then hauled dirt and filled it in. I think I would put a outside spiket in---might be easier. Good Luck!! Randy
     
  13. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    Thanks for your input everyone! I did some searching based on the information you gave me and it sounds like if it ever was a well, it's not any more. Apparently a lot of them get filled in when the ground shifts, liners crack, etc. (And I guess some end up full of Fire-Man's trash... :) )

    Maybe curiousity will get the better of me some day and I'll poke around in it. I'll let you know if I end up in China. :cool:

    /VM
     
  14. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    Well if you do make it to China, don't forget to bring back the recipe for Kung Pao Chicken. :p

    I was watching this thread because I've also got one of those round areas at the place I'm at now. Mine has a metal/iron ring that sticks up maybe 1 1/2", the lawnmower just clears it. The center is dirt filled and grass is growing on it but at one time there was something there-I still wonder what it was. :shrug:
     
  15. fernando

    fernando Well-Known Member

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    Used-to-be wells are very similar to ex-holes.
     
  16. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    *laughing* Good point, fernando :banana02:

    One order of Kung Pao Chicken, coming up! :dance:

    /VM
     
  17. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    1 pound sliced thinly or boneless chicken breasts in small bite size pieces
    1 tbsp. soy sauce
    1 tbsp. peanut oil
    1 tsp. rice wine
    1 can water chestnuts, chopped
    1/2 med. onion, chopped
    1 carrot, diced
    2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    (1 c.) 1 sm. bag peanuts (skinless kind)
    3 to 5 (or more for hotter) dried red chili peppers
    3 tbsp. peanut oil

    SAUCE:

    2 tsp. cornstarch
    1 1/2 tbsp. cold water
    3 tbsp. soy sauce
    2 tbsp. rice wine
    1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar
    1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. sugar
    2 tsp. sesame oil
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    1/4 tsp. ginger

    Combine all ingredients in bowl and set aside.

    Heat wok or deep skillet on high 15 seconds, add 3 tablespoons peanut oil and heat until hot about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low. Add chili peppers, cook stirring and pressing peppers against skillet until dark red (about 10 seconds). Add garlic, stir fry 10 seconds. Increase heat to high, add chicken 1/4 pound at a time, stir fry until white and all has been added. Add vegetables, carrots, celery, onions, water chestnuts, peanuts, each ingredient one at a time. Stir fry approximately 2 minutes or until crispy tender. Add sauce mixture, cook and stir until sauce thickens. Serve with rice.
     
  18. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Rose, and I didn't even have to wait for via to get back from her journey! :D
     
  19. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    I think I found an old well on our place, too. My brother has a well on his property in town. He is using the water for the garden and to flush the toilet. I don't think he is telling the city. He has been at his place for about 28 years, saved a lot on the water bill.