What is a good flow rate from a well?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by canfossi, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

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    The people who are interested in buying my house want a flow rate done on my drilled well. Do a lot of people ask this when buying a house? I was wondering what a good average rate is (gpm)? Thanks Chris
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Anything above 3 GPM is adequate.
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Guess I'd want to know too, would not be uncommon to ask.

    I live in a water area, so more than 10 gallons is fine, 20 or better is real good. Four is acceptable, under that will work for a house but it would be a bit limiting & would be a 'problem' here. In some arid parts of the SW, I understand 1/2g or 1 gal is fine, at least it's water where it is hard to get any at all.

    So, it depends upon your location as to what is 'good' or 'bad'.

    My well is officially rated at 20g/ minute, but when I had trouble last summer & the diggers were repairing it, found out it actually supplies 50g/ minute, but is limited to 20 because of the size of the pipe coming up.

    --->Paul
     
  4. Jessikate

    Jessikate Well-Known Member

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    Here in Colorado it can range from 3-14 gpm. A wide range I know. Anything below 3 gpm and you will probably have to have a holding tank installed. Check with the company that drilled your well or your well permit and the gpm at driling should be listed - unless the Division of Water Resources in your area uses a "standard" form that states that pumping rates should not exceed a certain ammount.
     
  5. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    For a family of 4 anything above 1gpm is probably usable with maybe a 500 gallon holding tanks and proper controls on the well to keep it from pumping dry. 1gpm is still 1440 gallons per day. As others have said for use without a holding tank you want 3-4 gpm. Note that this measurement is the recovery rate of the well, not the rating of the pump. In my area it varies widely, some areas you're lucky to get 2gpm, some are 20+.
     
  6. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    So what is your flow rate? I assume you have at least used a five gallon bucket and done a timed test to see what it is? That will give a general rough idea.

    Mine is 35 gpm.
     
  7. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    Windy I would be interested to know how you measured your flow rate at 35gpm with a 5-gallon bucket.
     
  8. jgbndaudio

    jgbndaudio Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    My guess is that he filled the 5 gallon bucket in roughly 8.5 seconds. That would equate to roughly 35 gpm.


     
  9. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mine is 12.5 gpm, which is considered by the county to be enough for 2 residences. If someone ever buys the land next to me, they might want to buy into my well (I placed it near that edge of the property for just that eventuality.) Since the price of drilling a well here has gone up from $12,500 to over $20,000, I could sell 'em a half share in the well for $10,000, thereby almost covering my whole expenditure on it while they save 50%.

    O' course, then I'd have neighbours right next door. Hmmn...
     
  10. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    My well is 1/2 gpm. It is more than adequate for occupancy purposes. It is woefully inadequate for heavy lawn watering, irrigation, or stock watering purposes.

    Here is why it is fully adequate for occupancy purposes. My well is 262 feet deep. 6" drilled well. 110 feet through sand & clay soils. The remainder through solid granite. The static water level is around 25 feet. This means the water will fill up approx 237 feet of casing. This is around 100 gallons, which is just like a resevoir.
     
  11. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The well we had drilled on the place in Wyoming was right at 3 gpm ... 400 feet deep ... and was adequate for house, plus livestock and small garden, windbreak trees, etc.

    You couldn't turn it on full and get lots of pressure for watering a lawn but you could run it forever at just under 3 gpm ...
     
  12. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    flow rate is not the issue.
    static water level in the well and the recovery rate together make the difference.
    static level is how much water is in the well casing when the well is not in use.
    this is measured in gallons. the recovery rate is how many gpm the well makes when the pump starts drawing down.
    all this said a low recovery rate ,say 2-3 gpm with a high static level will work.
    however a low static level with 7 gpm can be a problem IE
    shower 2.5 gpm
    watering plants,washing car 5 gpm
    flush toilet 2.5 gpm
    dishwasher or clothes washer 3 gpm etc.
    you draw down the static then use more than the recovery and the pump cavitates and no water till the static comes back up.
    if you have 10-12 gallon recovery rate then you will be in great shape no matter what the static level is, hard to use more than that amount for an extendid time.
    are the buyer city filks, most city folks are water wasters, because there is no limit on ther supply. we have had to school many city folks on how to use the well correctly and limit the number of users working at any one time.
     
  13. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I don't believe that analogy at all that city Folk waste more water them County folk do. Heck I am on a well and I waste More water then Any city folk do I fill 3 1450 Gal tanks for my critters wash my cars I do not though water the lawn as I don't want to mow I would rather it burn up so I don;t have to mow. But I use water a lot I take VERY long showers. Even wash dishes under an open running facet wide open. I waste so much but I don';t care I don't PAY for the water as If I was Living in the city. So making that comparison I feel is unfair., When I did live in the city I used WAY less water because you HAVE TO PAY for it and the sewer,Because the amount of water used is also figured in how much the city charges for using the sewer system~! WAY too much money using lots of water if one lives in the city.. Water in the county other then using the electricity is basically free..ANd NO sewer charge at all~!!
     
  14. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    think of it this way...the more you waste the more will flow in to the rivers and the city folk will have more water. :clap:
     
  15. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    watering your critters is not wasting water. what i am talking about is watering a lawn and flowers every day. washing down driveways every weekend. kids running in sprinkelers every hot day. hosing down the roof to cool off the shingles !!! yes it happened. washing the siding down on a regular basis. filling 10 foot by 2 foot deep wading pools every day in the summer. washing small loads of clothes every day etc.
    I lived in a developement for many years, and this was the norm for most folks in the nieghborhood. keeping up with the jones' was more important than 50-100 bucks a month extra for water and sewer.
     
  16. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    Why wouldnt I want to do these things? seems like quite good Ideas. pretty lawn ,nice flowers, happy kids , more liveable house ,clean cloths ,whats wrong with these wonderfull things?
    How can you waste water ? Doesnt it cycle?
     
  17. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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    That will not give you an idea at all. I grew up drilling wells. When you hit the water vain, which sort of a small creek in the rock below the surffice dirt (which around here in Va. is usually 45' to 65' deep, before you hit rock) say you hit rock at 60' and drilled 125' total before you hit a vain of water. The pressure in the vain fills the well up somewhat. Acording to the lay of the land, I have had a 265' well fill up to within 25' of the ground level. We could bail it out fast enough to find out how much water was coming into it. That was with a churn drill type machine and not an air rig that is so popular today. They have pumps that will pull alot of water out, but on the well mentioned above, we were filling up 55 gal. drums in two to three minutes and the water level never changed. But what I was getting at, is that you can have several hundred gallons of storage in the well itself, before you ever get it down to where you can acually measure the amount coming into the well. A gallion a minute it plenty of water for any househould, "IF" there is enough storage in the well. With a small amount like this, you want to drill deeper to get that storage. A 6 5/8" ID well casing has a little over a gallion of storage for each foot of pipe. If you have a hundred feet of storage in the well and it is putting out a gallion a minute, it would take twenty minutes at five gallions per minute to take it out plus the well would have already supplied twenty more gallions during that time. Sometimes I get too technical, but that's me. sorry
     
  18. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My numbrs way up above were the flow rates of the well - what it could put out for 24 hours straight.... As we see some of tese erms get interchanged & confusing. :) Pulling out 5 gal or so only tests how big the pipe & pump are, you need to pump out for some time to empty the reserve in your casing pipe, and then seehow quickly water accumulates to get the flow rate.

    When my well has issues, the screen filled up with deposits & plugged - could pump out 60 gallons as alwys, but after that the pump would suck air & very slow water flow. Perhaps I was down to 2 g/m flow through the plugged screen. After the acid bath they gave it, he could not pump my well empty with his sluce, which would be around a 50 g/m flow. However, my pump & pipe size 'only' allows about 20 g/m for me.

    3-4 g is very doable, many livestock or watering large areas is questionable.

    10-20 g is great for livestock, sprinkling, etc.

    20-50 g is for many 100 head of livestock or the like.

    1/2 - 1 g works in arid areas with holding tank & watching what your needs are, but you will be a bit limited in what you can do.

    --->Paul
     
  19. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    obviously you just want to be a pain here. point is when you have city water you can turn on every water using device in your house and never run dry.

    with a well you need to run things based on your recovery rate and your available draw down. that is the point.

    YES this is america and you can do whatever you want, and have everything as you stated, but in the country with a well you might need to space out your usage etc., that is the POINt I am making. this is not a spitting contest between your chip on the shoulder and the facts as I am trying to state them.
    get over it.
     
  20. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Just my 2¢ : There is a difference between the "flow rate" that a well can supply on a sustainable basis and what your particular well pump will supply. The amount of water that your well has a potential to supply is based on the geology of the aquifer it is finished in, the length of its well screen, the diameter of the well and the head of water above the well screen. The amount of water that your pump is capable of supplying is based on its horsepower, the diameter of the impeller, height of water it has to pump, diameter and friction loss of the supply line, etc.

    The point is, when we're talking about rating wells, there are two rates: the potential well supply rate and the pump's rate.