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What would you do re: water safety?

  • Lab test the water at the risk of the county telling me to cap it if the water is bad.

  • Test the water with a home kit and just be cautious with the use.

  • It's fine, just don't drink it.

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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! I just bought a property with an abandoned well and I had a well service come out to check it out. He determined it was about 18ft deep, it's adjacent to a creek line/pond, and the water table is up at the top of the well hole. He's thinking there's a 70% chance it pulls water. We're going to risk it and give it a shot! That being said, he's putting a used electric pump on for now (well is at the bottom of my acre) but I'm curious what you 'well' versed homesteaders might recommend going forward with such an itty-bitty well? Also, it's pretty close to the old septic that was collapsed about 10 years ago. Should I be worried about the water? I don't hope for potable, just for irrigation. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!!
 

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Hi all! I just bought a property with an abandoned well and I had a well service come out to check it out. He determined it was about 18ft deep, it's adjacent to a creek line/pond, and the water table is up at the top of the well hole. He's thinking there's a 70% chance it pulls water. We're going to risk it and give it a shot! That being said, he's putting a used electric pump on for now (well is at the bottom of my acre) but I'm curious what you 'well' versed homesteaders might recommend going forward with such an itty-bitty well? Also, it's pretty close to the old septic that was collapsed about 10 years ago. Should I be worried about the water? I don't hope for potable, just for irrigation. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!!
You should have it tested by the State. However no way to use if for your own drinking water. Should be able to use it for wate on the fields for crops etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You should have it tested by the State. However no way to use if for your own drinking water. Should be able to use it for wate on the fields for crops etc.
Yeah. That's all I'm hoping for. Fingers crossed. What would make it unfit for crops?
 

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I dont think it could test good at 18’ , in my area the farmers dig seeps , a big hole next to a stream river or lake as deep as they can dig them .
They drop in sections of 2‘ plastic pipe and back fill with 3/4 stone or bank run .
They spray the water
 

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Why would county tell you to cap it? If you have alternate drinking water and it isn't full of radon or kryptonite or something awful for your crops and the neighborhood air.
 

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Something to keep in mind, it might not be safe for root crops. Potatoes, carrots, anything that develops its fruit below the ground.
 

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Why would county tell you to cap it? If you have alternate drinking water and it isn't full of radon or kryptonite or something awful for your crops and the neighborhood air.
Here, when the municipal water system came everyone was forced to use the water system and cap their wells. Unpermitted wells also get capped. It would be pure stupidity for the OP to mention to any sort if official that there is such a well-- it's none of their business.
 

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For irrigation, I would consider just pumping it from the pond. As for testing, remember if it tests high in dissolved nitrates, you'll be pumping it onto fields that need nitrogen anyway. As for fecal contamination and E.coliform, you'll be pretty much in control of that by what drains down from above it from your own land, except for the creek--and the contamination may ebb and flow within the water table....in pools.

geo
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I
Why would county tell you to cap it? If you have alternate drinking water and it isn't full of radon or kryptonite or something awful for your crops and the neighborhood air.
Have no idea. Just something the well service guy mentioned might be an issue. I'm a homesteading infant so you'll have to forgive my ignorance.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For irrigation, I would consider just pumping it from the pond. As for testing, remember if it tests high in dissolved nitrates, you'll be pumping it onto fields that need nitrogen anyway. As for fecal contamination and E.coliform, you'll be pretty much in control of that by what drains down from above it from your own land, except for the creek--and the contamination may ebb and flow within the water table....in pools.

geo
The pond isn't mine unfortunately. I never thought of the nitrates. That makes a lot of sense.
 

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Here, when the municipal water system came everyone was forced to use the water system and cap their wells. Unpermitted wells also get capped. It would be pure stupidity for the OP to mention to any sort if official that there is such a well-- it's none of their business.
My thoughts exactly. Here, we can use whatever is grandfathered in. Many people have spring boxes, a box built around a spring seep, with a strainer in it, gravity fed into their house. Some might feed several houses, with deeded water rights to that spring box. Many wouldn't pass a state lab, but whoever has been drinking from that spring is not likely to get ill. A visitor might get a touch of the green apple two step.For crops or livestock, better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
 

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Unless I had it professionally tested, I would not drink out of an 18' deep well. I'm sure you can find a private lab somewhere that would test it without the community ever having any knowledge of it.
It would not worry me (tested or not) to use the water for gardening, washing cars, livestock drinking, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Unless I had it professionally tested, I would not drink out of an 18' deep well. I'm sure you can find a private lab somewhere that would test it without the community ever having any knowledge of it.
It would not worry me (tested or not) to use the water for gardening, washing cars, livestock drinking, etc.
Yeah. I don't wanna drink it. I just want to water things with it. It's close to an old collapsed septic so I just don't want to spray poo on my plants so to speak. Haha!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
How long since it collapsed?
According to the previous owner it hasn't been used in 20 years. I'm not actually sure it's collapsed. It may just be a simple shallow well they dug a long time ago. I know my area has lots of well regulations so I want to be careful not to set off the water police.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
According to the previous owner it hasn't been used in 20 years. I'm not actually sure it's collapsed. It may just be a simple shallow well they dug a long time ago. I know my area has lots of well regulations so I want to be careful not to set off the water police.
Oh. I'm realizing you mean the septic. It was pumped and collapsed by the engineer who installed the new one about 10 years ago.
 
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