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Old 08-08-2011, 05:42 AM
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bdc bdc is offline
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Well, I am scheduled to close next week on approx. 180acres, 6 acre stocked pond, 2400sq ft house, shop, and tons of deer and turkey. I went there today with an home inspector and while there he checked the water pressure from the well, by turning on all the faucets in the house full blast. The water initially had good pressure and did so for an hour....then all stopped. No more water. Inspector checked out the gear in the pump/and filter house, said everything appears to be in working order. about 30minutes later we had a small trickle of water resuming.

I don't know what the normal gpm of the well is, and I do know we haven't had rain in about a month and a half ( with temps above 100 every day for over a month).

My question to those who have experience with wells are:

1) Is it likely that we ran the well dry and it needs to replenish?

2) is it common to run out of water from dug wells for periods of time with heavy use?
3) Would this be a deal breaker as far as purchasing the land?

4) Is there a relatively easy fix, ie, deepening the well or adding another well and piping it into the filter system.

I am having a plumber go out there tomorrow to check water pressure again, if it is up to normal then I think I will go through with it. If not, well I'm not sure, but sure would like some input from some of you who may have experience with dug wells.

Disclaimer: Things I don't know: How deep the well is and how many gpm it is rated. I do know it's got a new jacuzzi well pump and all kinds of filters/purifiers on it (Membrane/chlorine/other stuff that I don't know anything about)

Thanks in advance for any constuctive input!!
bdc
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:21 AM
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In periods of drought wells can easily run out of water. The water table is lowered and there are various factors that help to further deplete it (large forests/population water demand). Digging the well deeper may work however it would depend on what you have below. If there is a lot of bedrock the water tables tend to be a bit higher, digging through the bedrock is very difficult and costly and may not yield more water. If the soil is generally dirt or clay in makeup the water table can run quite deep. About the only reliable thing you can do is get additional storage tanks that the water is pumped in slowly when your water levels are up therefore allowing you water when it's really needed. Where I grew up on the family property you couldn't do a load of wash during the day without depleting the water supply in the well during a period of several years drought. At night the well water came back up a bit as the trees release large amounts of stored water from the day back into the soil.

If it were me I would talk to the local well drilling company and see what they have to say about the wells in your area. Take a look at weather trends and hydrology reports in your area. They can tell you the trends over the years. Some places have several wells they draw from and depending upon the time of year will yield more water in periods of drought. If you have seasonal streams you may be able to create a small dam and fill a shallow pond for livestock or farming. Stock it with some fish and you will have an additional food source. Check to see if your zoning laws permit it. Hope this helps..........
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdc View Post
The water initially had good pressure and did so for an hour....then all stopped.

My question to those who have experience with wells are:

1) Is it likely that we ran the well dry and it needs to replenish?

2) is it common to run out of water from dug wells for periods of time with heavy use?
3) Would this be a deal breaker as far as purchasing the land?

4) Is there a relatively easy fix, ie, deepening the well or adding another well and piping it into the filter system.
This may be nothing to worry about. How often do you turn on all your faucets full blast for an hour?

1) Is it likely that we ran the well dry and it needs to replenish?

Yes.
And it is good to know how long it takes to fully replenish.

That plumber you are calling can probably do a test to determine the hourly capacity of the well. He'll basically pump it dry, while measuring the water pumped out, then let it refill for a time an pump it dry again.

2) is it common to run out of water from dug wells for periods of time with heavy use?
Not uncommon. Shallower the well the more common it is. Ask any neighbors, ask the previous owner.


3) Would this be a deal breaker as far as purchasing the land?
It doesn't sound like it to me. AT least not until you find out more about the well.
Are you in an area that is experiencing drought right now? If so you may consider it comforting to know that in the middle of a drought you still have water in your well.

4) Is there a relatively easy fix, ie, deepening the well or adding another well and piping it into the filter system.
Maybe. If you go that route, the second well needs to be as far from this on as you can put it.

Also it isn't uncommon for a dug well to build up sediment in the bottom. This is basically soil that flows in with the water and eventually fills the bottom of the well up. Any space filled with sediment is space that can't be filled with water. Going down to dig this out is called "cleaning" the well.

Deepening may be an option.


An idea to consider is to build a cistern or a water tank. The well will keep the cistern filled, and you use water from the cistern. That's the way it has been done for many years.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:30 AM
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Here in Texas we went the storage tank route for water storage on our homestead. It has been the best thing to not over tax our wells.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:21 PM
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I concur that the quickest, easiest, and cheapest fix is to add significant water storage to the system.

Ideally, a solar pump would keep the tank full, a little bit at a time, and a pressure pump would pull from the tank to feed the filter system and house.

And I think it near critical to have the storage for fire fighting purposes.

Deepening the existing well or drilling a new/additional well are possibilities, but from the general information given, I think adding the tank is a good idea, even if you do one or the other.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:33 PM
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See if your State requires the well to have been recorded. Many States do. If so you can obtain the Well Log. This has on it the name and license of the driller, location of well, soil log, depth and GPM the well can makeup. Now the GPM could change over time but most likely what is the case is that when the pump supplier installed the well pump it was over sized for the wells makeup rate.

My well is rated at 6-7 GPM makeup. It has installed a pump that supplies 5 GPM. This means I can pump 24 hours a day and never overdraw the well.
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