Water Wells

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by DrippingSprings, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    Having grown up getting water from a hand dug well I was looking to go that route with my new place. I considered all the details such as depth necessary, work involved etc. I finally figured what the heck I would try and drive one.

    I saw this on a website and thought I would try it. Well I sunk four of them using drive heads I made myself to save considerable money. I tried everything and the best I could ever get was 5gph(gallon perhour) Thats isnt much for me and three growing boys. So I went back to thinking of the hand dug or drilled well. I still couldnt convince myself to go that route. So I broke out notebook and went brain storming.

    I went to a hunting lodge in New Mexico and found my answer. A cistern

    I went home and started building. I figured I would rather err on the big side. I built a cistern out of cement blocks. I built it 10ftx16ft and eight ft deep. I used some stuff used to waterproof basements to seal it on the inside. Then I took an old swimming pool liner and cut it to fit and glued it over that on the inside. I built the top and lifted it into place with a boom on an old pulp wood truck I had. It took a few days to fill it from the driven well because I was having to haul it in plastic drums about a hundred feet from the well to the cistern. that got old fast. I bought some more 2 inch pipe and ran it from the well to the top of the cistern. I put a ft valve and a small pump on it. Now I just go out and when it gets about a third the way empty I just turn on the small electric pump and fill er up.

    Instead of running the water I was using through the top or dipping it out with a bucket etc. I put a row of five standard outdoor water faucets along the bottom of the cistern on the house side. The weight of the water pushs it through the food grade hosing and I have plenty of pressure. I use one for my sink. One for my shower. One for my toilet and the others for odd jobs. The water is always fresh as it is constantly being replaced by new water from the well.

    My next project is to establish some type of float valve to automatically turn on the pump as the water level warrants.

    What things have yall done similar to address the water issue?

    Also anyone here know the mathmatics to guesstmate about how many gallons I may be having in the cistern at full pool?
     
  2. ed/IL

    ed/IL Well-Known Member

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    7.481 GALLONS PER CUBIC FOOT. That is big. 10x16x8x7.481
     

  3. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    10 ft X 16 ft X 8 ft deep
    = 1280 square ft in tank X 7.48052 (number of liquid gallons per square foot)
    = 9575.0656 gallons

    Quite a water storage tank you built yourself!
     
  4. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    hey thanks for the numbers.

    well it sure didnt seem that much when I was building it lol. I was kinda thinking along the lines of having a bit of it freeze in the winter time as well. thinking of putting an aerator or something to keep freezing to a min. I guess i will find out this winter for sure lol
     
  5. Ozarkguy

    Ozarkguy Well-Known Member

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    Right HERE, of course!
  6. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    Depends on where in Alabama you are as to what you need to do to keep it from freezing. That much water is going to take a LOT of cold to freeze up. Around here (Anniston, Alabama area) we seem to only get that kind of cold (a week or more at or below freezing) every 10 to 15 years.
     
  7. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    I wouldn't give up on the well just yet. You will need to produce 1 to 2 gallons per minute minimum for a residence, and a driven well should be able to that.

    What size casing did you use? Driven wells use relatively small diameter casing, usually either 1 1/2" or 2" casing. You might try adding a second liner section to the casing string to increase flow, and you should use 2" casing.

    What screen size did you use? It may be that your screen size is too small. Consider a larger screen. It may also be that the screen became plugged while you were driving the well. There are ways to clear the screen if that occurred. You should lift the casing out and inspect the screen.

    How deep did you drive the well? Deeper wells tend to have more water, better quality water and are not affected by seasonal changes in water table level nearly as much as shallow wells. Depending on how deep you went, you might try going deeper.

    How are your neighbors doing with their wells? How deep did they go, and what is their production rate? You may find data on nearby wells on file with the county or state.
     
  8. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    Great replies!! I am in Winston County Daeve. Actually right oin the Cullman/Winston Cty line. The backside of my property is right oin the county line. I am between Jones Chapel and Addison. Yeah I looked at what I built and thought "man I hope thats enough water" lolololol I was almost afraid it wouldnt be enough lol.

    I used 2 inch and went 63 ft before stopping and I stopped every few feet to check for water. I had a fellow that has done a driven well that I should put some air pressure or a high pressure water hose down it to flush the screen and make a small cavity in the screen area. My screen is 4 ft long and has holes that look about 1/4".

    I am thinking maybe I might need to do some more drives to find a better source. All my efforts before were on the west side of my property. I found out from a neighboor there used to be an old homeplace on property right next to my east side and it had a hand dug well that was an excellent producer. I went and looked and found the old well and it has water upt to within twenty five feet of ground level. I tried buying that acre to no avail. Most people here have commercially drilled wells and they are DEEEEP. But I have always been told alot of times they go deeper than necessary.

    Thanks for the link on wells it looks promising.