Water questions...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We are getting things priced out on the land and wells cost between $8-$9 a foot drilled...

    Average depths are supposedly 400'.

    Was quoted a year or two ago a price of around $5000 complete...

    Thats a LOT of money. :waa:

    Would the presence of streams/creeks give any indication of how deep a well might need to be?

    Could the streams/creeks be used in any fashion as a water source?

    I guess it could be for the gardens/livestock in the future but it is I imagine too risky for human use.

    The barn and house will both have metal roofs and we could set up a water catchment system I guess...any ideas what would be needed to do that?

    Seems this setting up a homestead is an expensive proposition... :D
     
  2. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    Oz it is probably cheaper to set up holding tanks and a chlorination system if your worried about water quality. You could also filter the water......household only if you want to save even more $$. Why drill if you have surface water to work with?
     

  3. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well that is my question...is it actually NEEDED?

    The streams in question are rather small but flow year round...

    It is all foreign to us...

    Also a water catchment system might be better at this point since it certainly rains enough up there..LOL

    I would REALLY like to have some sort of place set up for the hurricane season(I know it has already started but it normally is later in the season that it really affects us) and to simply get away to in the event of....

    any idea where I could find more info on this sort of thing?

    Thanks oz.
     
  4. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    Oz it is only needed it you want it. There are plenty of cities...of millions of people...who use surface water for their domestic water supply......you might need to treat it but not in every case. If you have a spring on the property close it off and use it for your water source...cheapest there is....I know if I had surface water I would never consider drilling....unless the overall water quality were absolute crap.

    How large are these streams and what is upstream of you? More information...try a university library or contact their extension specialists.
     
  5. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

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    we have a wet season spring at the highest point on our property in a natural glade formation - down on the far end of the property about 140 feet lower in elevation than the glade, where the stream naturally drains, there is a pond (has water year around)

    We are thinking that the pond has a seeping spring located under it and that is why it stays full year around....

    We plan to drill a shallow well by hand on the same elevation as the pond to test our theory BEFORE/IF we decide to hire a well driller..... and will use surface water (pond) for things if we can get it done by hand.
     
  6. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    The streams are quite small-3' across maybe...also not sure where the streams originate but I believe it is in a property in the same 'subdivision'...

    I just wonder why almost everyone drills a well in the area...

    thanks.
     
  7. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    Ask them! It may be a water rights issue.....in that you don;t have any rights to divert any of the water from the stream bed....or any number of other things.
     
  8. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Bit difficult to ask anyone-we live 350 miles away..LOL
     
  9. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    Is your deed 350 miles away? It will state if you have water rights or not....there are also these things called telephones...great for talking to people long-distance....like a well driller or your neighbors....a 350 mile drive (x2 RT) is still a cheap investment compared to plunking down 5K for a well....but you know all this so I doubt your quest for infor was that serious...do as you please...
     
  10. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    How much water do you plan to need? If you plan to water a large garden, that small stream might not be enough. If there is plenty of rain, you might have plenty, but during a dry year when you would need more, it might not be there.
    As I write this, I have sprinklers going on a 75 X 150 ft. pea patch that would be dead if it wasn't watered. Without a deep well, I couldn't water it.
    Talk to people closeby that have deep wells & ask how deep their wells are, & if the quality is good.
    We spent $5100 for our 350 ft. well in 1997, although there is a rural water supply line across our property. I wouldn't take 10 times that for it now. Dig the well if you can possibly afford it & if you think you will get good water.
    I hear that the next great "shortage" will be water.
     
  11. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    OD,we have no actual neighbors in the immediate area but I could contact the real estate office that is selling the lots.There are I think two homes actually built.
    I would think we could use the stream water for garden,etc but I am wondering about for us to use/drink...There is also a large creek(about 15' wide on the property line at the far end.


    BobK,no need to get huffy,simply trying answer your questions.
    Water rights aren't an issue here I don't think.
    I DID contact a well drilling company and THAT is where I got the estimate I quoted.
     
  12. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    You mean you don't even know if you have deeded water rights?........don't you know what you purchased? It would have been one of the first things I would have investigated before buying.
     
  13. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I once had the same problem oz. So I bought a drive point and sections of same pipe and drove a well with a large wooden mallet. They were telling me I would need to go down at least three hundred feet. Thing was there was an old homestead about two hundred yards away that had an old hand dug well 30 or so feet deep that always had water in it. I went down 24 feet and started encountering water. So I started using section of pvc pipe and some cloth mounted on the end to slosh for a lack of a better term to create a cavity at the drive point end. I had a brain storm and decided to do this for ten more feet. I used that for water with a ft valve etc until I could get my cistern built. I used the well to keep the cistern full and never had a shortage of water and my total cost was around 800 dollars. When I sold the place the first thing the new guy did was drill a well. He was told what I was and they went down right at 500 feet to get what I was getting at around 30.
     
  14. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    That is because YOU live in a state where it is an issue...

    Where we live(and where we bought our land) it is not.

    Edit to add this is directed at BobK....

    Thanks for the info Drippingsprings... :D
     
  15. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    Oz water rights are a issue everywhere LOL...what is to prevent your upstream neighbor from damming the creek or diverting so much water that the downstream folks have little to none? Would you have any legal recourse to prevent this from happening? Or do your downstream neighbors have any rights preventing you from doing the same....you need to establish these aspects before you go any further...
     
  16. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    We have a large creek on our property. The county/state has laws against diverting any flow from it, which is what I would love to do for some fun projects. So I won't. It could get noticed by someone.

    Technically, the county also has restrictions on tapping springs. But what they cannot see........
     
  17. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

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    JMHO! But I wouldn't use stream water for drinking. You might get something set up that works and the water is safe and then something happens upstream. If the water doesn't turn purple you'll never know that there has been a change! My livestock drink from a creek. 4 years ago a factory upstream had a spill. THREE WEEKS later I was notified and told to keep the animals out until the water cleared. That took 6 more weeks. Glad I wasn't drinking it!

    I have an old well at my house. I used it for the first 4 years. Iron stains, hard water, and not much of it. I built a cistern when I built the house. Cost $1600 in 1990 for 8000 gallon cistern made of poured concrete. The top was level with the ground, it was my patio! Rain water from the gutters is the water source. Since that time I've watered up to 13 horses and water for the house (1 person) without running dry. I don't water the garden or wash the car. But the water is soft and a little bleach everytime it rains makes it safe (I work in the water industry and can test it). I can open the cistern and know how much is in storage. And it's free!

    Kathie
     
  18. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You seem to have a double - edged sword, you try to be joking & tivial with your replies, but you are asking a seroius question, and then don't know or 'I think' the replies.... No big deal, but don't be surprised by some of the replies you get either ok? :)

    Most natural streams in the USA are not to be altered any more. Depends on how your local folks acutally _enforce_ such rules, but the rules are there. Man-made ditches are controlled by those who dug them & can not be altered either.

    In my county in my state you need a deep well that meets code before you can build a dwelling. Shallow wells are not outright banned, but you can't build one to meet 'code' any more..... Surface water is not allowed for drinking. Among other things, mercury from coal burning. There are restrictions on the fish you can safely eat....

    If these rules are not actually enforced in your area, ponder on it:

    Surface water runs off the surface upstream of you. Any farming, any milling, any mining going on upstream? All flows by.

    For a small creek, perhaps you control most of the water shed, or it is currently not developed. But you say housing lots are moving in right? Folks go nuts fertilizing their lawns there like everywhere else? Dandilion killers put on 3x a year?

    Any rabbits or birds or deer, you have some poo floating along by. The water _at least_ would need to be treated for consumption.

    Catching it on the roof - great for soft water for washing - all grey water uses! But for drinking, you run into bird poo, dust from roads, rotting tree leaves, and so on. Still needs to be treated.

    Look into the costs of a treatment deal. And the ongoing costs of supplies & maintaining it.

    The deep well starts to look a lot better. Sure would help resale if that is ever a concern.

    Have you even checked the code in your county to see if you can get by without a deep well? Seems you haven't checked much else on the water issue. I would imagine your state is like mine & property rights are not so divided up on water, mineral, etc. rights, but is all or nothing. However the states & counties have really started clamping down on 'owning' natural resources such as flowing water, and if push comes to shove you really, really need to know which way your local govt points on this topic....

    --->Paul
     
  19. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

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    Good luck to you. They told us they only had to go 90 ft.; turned out to be l70 and the THIRD time was the charm. You don't always find water - sometimes hit dry hole and sometimes you're stuck with that drilling. Please, please ask questions of everyone around and get a reputable driller. They charged us for 2 drillings - not the first - and on last we asked for water witcher. Hey don't laugh we found one and he hit the dang water. This thing cost us over $6000 with pump. Be very carefullll - wascally wabbits out there....If there are any filling stations, convenience stores or towns nearby TALK to people. Bother neighbors, anything. You are right; you're talking about a heck of an investment. Would no way recommend creek water - not dependable and evend with water tested results could change sooner or later down the line. That was my brother's luck.
     
  20. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

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    Oz, I would ask the neighbors and the real estate people if they are locals. Meaning lived there a long time. Drilling is expensive but is usually better than surface water. That being said, in WV alot of times you drill and get salt water. Because of gas and minerals. So we are planning on boxing in a spring that runs year round and then pumping it up to the house.
    BobK, Oz is right, water rights are not an inssue here in the Southeast like they are out west. We don't have to pay to get water to run to our properties like they do out in Colorado. So you don't buy water rights here. It's right of ways that are the problem here alot :)