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I was thinking of installing a shallow well. I like the thought of being able to use a 12 volt pump, hand backup. I am not running grid electric to the house only to the garage. That is why Iwas thinking a shallow well. House will be solar/ wind power with led lights, propane frigerator . freezer will be in garage ( ac). The land we have is higher than the surrounding land. It has a about a 5 ac flat then slopes gently down. The original homestead house was where we are going to build our new cabin/house. This is where the original dug well was. I know the deep wells are better but for the above reasons is why I want a shallow well. I seen some 12 deep well 12 volt pumps for $2500 . I can't see me spending that lol. So does anyone use a shallow well for there drinking supply? How do u like it? Tks benny
 

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Well a shallow well would be fine as long as it has potable water and enough of it. Shallow wells are much more susceptible to surface water contamination. A hand pump would be ideal imo but you could use a 12v pump no doubt if the lift wasn't great and low flow volume are not issues.
 

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Around here the soil is sand and the water table is close to the surface. There isn't much agriculture except grazing. Most people have shallow sand point wells and the water is very good.

With a sand point well you are sucking the water up. You rely on the water's attraction to itself to keep the column of water from separating. The maximum depth you can suck water up is 25 feet so that's the limit of the depth of your well. Deeper wells have submersible pumps. The pump goes down inside the well casing and pushes the water up.

If you have sandy soil, without rocks, you can hammer down a sand point well. You want to locate it so that the water table is close enough to the surface and the well won't be polluted by runoff from your septic/outhouse or the place you put the critters.

The county Health Dept. here provides free or low cost well water testing for coliform bacteria (found in poop) and nitrates (from fertilizer).

I suggest you consider running grid power to the well. Twelve volt pumps that can suck water up the 25 feet are about a grand and don't have a lot left to provide pressure. I have a 110 volt, 1/2 hp pump that comes with a pressure switch for $160. In Main you are going to have to build an insulated box around the well and heat it to keep it from freezing in the winter. Grid power is the best way to accomplish this.
 

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Tks for reply. I get what what your saying about the electric , I was just trying to eliminate the electric. I was going to build a well house over it. The well less Stroud ( survivor man ) built for his off grid homestead seemed so simple. I loved it. He's in Canada, if the world changed tomorrow he'd still have water.lol I'm trying to do things as simple as I can. Tks bBenny. PS you'll probly see me on here in a year saying I should have ran electric to my pump house!! Tks benny
 
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We looked at some land that had a 225' well running a solar pump. It took about 25 seconds for the water to begin coming, and after a minute had good pressure.

It's a thought.
 

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I have a piece of land that is totally off grid. Couldn't get grid power if I wanted it.

I am probably going to dig a root cellar into the side of a hill and put the well inside. If I construct the root cellar correctly and bury it deep enough, the well shouldn't freeze.
 

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I was thinking of installing a shallow well. I like the thought of being able to use a 12 volt pump, hand backup. So does anyone use a shallow well for there drinking supply? How do u like it? Tks benny
I have a shallow well, 52ft to the bottom, water was around 20ft. I used a 12 volt demand pump(like the ones in a camper/RV) with a 20 gallon pressure tank. Worked good, BUT after replacing the pump 3 times, I went to a 1/2hp 115 volt ac pump hooked to a 2500 watt inverter and a 60 gallon pressure tank, using 4 80 watt solar panels and 4 6 volt Golfcart batteries. I did have the batteries on a trailer so I could pull it to my on-grid shop 1/2 mile away to recharge if we had several cloudy days together. The pump has been in use over 10 years---no problems. The solar system and batteries has grown ALOT.
My 52ft well also has a hand pump, so I can save some battery power if I want during the non-freezing times.

I had the water tested to make sure it was safe to drink, it really has a good taste. I used the 60 gallon pressure tank so the pump does not have to start as often. If you have more than yourself that will be living in the house, you might consider 2 pressure tanks or/and a raised tank(non-freezing times) so water can free-flow into your home. The least amount of times that pump has to start---the better.

After washing my well down I did 90 degree the well pipe and run it about 100ft under ground so I could put the pump and tank under the house to protect it from freezing. I did travel some times a couple days during the week so I had my water set-up so I could completely drain the system if it was going to get below freezing while I was gone(no heat in the house while I was gone).
 

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You can also pump using a windmill if you have the wind.

The important part of a shallow well is that it is contained under an impervious layer. That is more important than the distance because it protects the aquifer from contamination.
 
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Shallow well, 12v pump to a storage tank and another for pressure with small pressure tank, Neither runs much if you don't use much water. Put tank inside insulated building. A 200 gallon vertical tank uses very little floor space, the rest mounts to the wall. ground water temp keeps it from freezing....James
 

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Tks for reply. I get what what your saying about the electric , I was just trying to eliminate the electric. I was going to build a well house over it. The well less Stroud ( survivor man ) built for his off grid homestead seemed so simple. I loved it. He's in Canada, if the world changed tomorrow he'd still have water.lol I'm trying to do things as simple as I can. Tks bBenny. PS you'll probly see me on here in a year saying I should have ran electric to my pump house!! Tks benny
Gradually, you will learn that the simple life isn't simple. Generally, you don't get to choose shallow or deep well. You go where there is good water. If you have water free of coliforms at 25 feet, great. If not, hope you get good water 40 feet deeper. If the world changed today, and your shallow water gave you e Coli, way out in the boondocks, you'd still have diarrhea.
No one spends thousands on a good well and pump while there is a cheaper way to do it. To put it another way, you get what you pay for.
 

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I have a 50 foot hand driven 2" well pipe and a deep well jet pump in a well pit. I can buy a small hand pump cylinder and I am going to get one and the drop pipes and rods so I can set it up to hand pump. I also want to buy some steel and put up a windmill because I have hand pumps and pump jacks.
We usually have a breeze here and I will do some testing to see how big I need the blades to be.

Growing up we spent a lot of Sunday afternoon visits to an aunt's farm South of us a bit and that windmill was all they had. Theirs was hooked to a force pump and there was what looked like a 400 gallon tank up the tower a ways.
For Winter they had to either keep the water moving or plug in the freeze tape on the 3/4" pipe from the tank to the house.
It was like 60 pounds of water pressure at the faucet in the upstairs bathroom.

I have a very old force pump and I am considering a tank in the attic.
Actually two tanks in the attic because for one of them I could bring down a pair of one inch pipes and plumb them through the wood stove.
Pumping the water up to a raised tank means you do not need to pump it up to pressure.
I have a central hallway through 20 feet of my 40 foot long house and there is where I would place the tanks because of the strong walls below.
 

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To get 60 lbs pressure at GROUND level the tank would have to be mighty high....James
What they had in the tower was a tall skinny tank so the top of the tank was pretty far up from the upstairs bathroom. I have a 200 gallon tank that had been for gasoline at Mom's place and their tank was longer and bigger around so I am pretty sure it was the 400 gallons.

Probably 30 years ago I needed to change the pressure switch on my well pump. The one I bought I installed and didn't stay long enough to see it build up. I came in the house and it had just shut off so I opened the faucet and got a blast just like it used to be in Aunt Verona's upstairs bathroom faucet. I went back out there and had my sweet wife leave the water running and watched it cycle. It was right out of the package cycling at 40/60 so I turned it down to 25/40 where I like it to be.
 

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If you do have a shallow well, but sure and fence off a perimeter around it, so you can keep any critters from defecating near your well. Years ago, my grandparents made the mistake of allowing livestock to drink from a pond, fed by the same shallow well, fed by a spring... They had to move the livestock and draw a lot of water from the well before they could safely drink it again.
 

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We have used the original shallow well that was hand dug when our house was built, for over 15 years now. We use a hand pump and just pump water for the house and the horses daily. Of course, being in NY, we have never had it go dry because we get plenty of rain and snow. It has the best tasting water I have ever tasted. It is not in a building, out in the open all year. The well is covered and the pitcher pump sits on top on a wood platform. Maybe next year, my husband will be connecting to that well and piping it into the house. We will always keep the pitcher pump though. We have added more power to our system and can now run an electric pump for the water in the house.
 

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The cheap Chinese copy hand pumps only draw water 15 to 25 feet. However there is another way. You can get a hand pump that has the cylinder way down in your well, attached to a hand pump. You can go quite deep for water. Often these pumps are a closed system allowing you to pump water through a hose or plumbed to an attic storage tank.
A well can only supply the amount of water in the casing from the bottom of your pipe up to the water table, plus the amount that flows in. If your flow is slow, you need more "well pipe storage" Either larger diameter or deeper well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow thanks for all the advice. I got more than I expected. The way our property lays I think I'll be OK with the shallow well. I can keep the animals down hill from it. There used to be a dug well for drinking water there for a long time. I was told it was about 20 ft deep. After reading some of the replies I'm thinking about trying to put a 20 driven well at the bottom of it as well. With a 3 ft diameter caseing for the top 20 ft. I also got a price for a deep well from a local co that knows the area for $3100. That seems very reasonable to me.i thought it would be more than that. Not sure which way to go. Tks benny
 
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