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Old 09-20-2010, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 1,601,828 times
Reputation: 1399
Default Drilling Your Own Backyard Well

Since we had a manual pump on a private well when I was growing up on the farm, I'm familiar with its workings but I admit to being mechanically-challenged in reproducing one of my OWN.

So I've been trying to decide on an EASY way to tap my local groundwater without paying an arm and a leg to a professional well driller. (Yes, I'm even toying with the idea of doing it on the sly -- oh, okay, maybe not. If you don't get the right permit, then I guess they could make you dig it up, ha, ha.)

Has anyone dug their own well and installed a manual pump? What do you think of the process as demonstrated on these two intriguing sites? Could it really be this simple to do?

How to Drill Your Own Water Well

Water Well Helpline

Excerpt: "If you can drive a nail into a board, you have the skills to augment your water supply. Drilling companies charge thousands of dollars to tap ground water sources that you can often reach yourself with a few common tools and about two weekends of work.

Methods ranging from digging to blasting are used to reach the underground layer of fresh water that lies beneath dry land. Most of these are too technical, expensive, or dangerous for the average person. However, at the turn of the century the U.S. Army developed a fast, effective method to provide bivouacking troops with water that did not involve a lot of expensive, cumbersome equipment. Soldiers simply drove a pipe into the ground with a sledgehammer until they reached the aquifer. Subsequently, it has proven to be ideal for supplying water to homesteads, second homes, and remote villages in developing nations."
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:31 PM
 
2,495 posts, read 1,335,751 times
Reputation: 2151
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecypher5413 View Post
Since we had a manual pump on a private well when I was growing up on the farm, I'm familiar with its workings but I admit to being mechanically-challenged in reproducing one of my OWN.

So I've been trying to decide on an EASY way to tap my local groundwater without paying an arm and a leg to a professional well driller. (Yes, I'm even toying with the idea of doing it on the sly -- oh, okay, maybe not. If you don't get the right permit, then I guess they could make you dig it up, ha, ha.)

Has anyone dug their own well and installed a manual pump? What do you think of the process as demonstrated on these two intriguing sites? Could it really be this simple to do?

How to Drill Your Own Water Well

Water Well Helpline



Methods ranging from digging to blasting are used to reach the underground layer of fresh water that lies beneath dry land. Most of these are too technical, expensive, or dangerous for the average person. However, at the turn of the century the U.S. Army developed a fast, effective method to provide bivouacking troops with water that did not involve a lot of expensive, cumbersome equipment. Soldiers simply drove a pipe into the ground with a sledgehammer until they reached the aquifer. Subsequently, it has proven to be ideal for supplying water to homesteads, second homes, and remote villages in developing nations."

My father once told me, "if it involves plumbing or electricity; call a professional and save yourself the extra cost of him undoing your damage"

I'm sorry, but by this logic,
Quote:
Excerpt: "If you can drive a nail into a board, you have the skills to augment your water supply. Drilling companies charge thousands of dollars to tap ground water sources that you can often reach yourself with a few common tools and about two weekends of work.
Youre asking for trouble. Let me rewrite that for a different area of expertise:

"If you can fillet a fish, you have the skills to perform your own reconstructive surgery. Plastic surgeons charge thousands of dollars to reconstruct the bone, muscle, and skin of the face or other body areas you can often do yourself with a few common tools (and a hand mirror is optional though recommended) and about two weekends of work"

Theres a reason well diggers cost alot; it requires specialized equipment and experience, I'd just set up a rainwater capture system to augment water supplies if feasible in your climate.

isn't an average depth for a well something like 200ft? Thats a pretty long hand auger to have just laying around in the shed.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:54 PM
 
549 posts, read 1,132,286 times
Reputation: 720
This might interest you -
hand dug well | Nicaragua Living
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
1,361 posts, read 1,363,863 times
Reputation: 1429
How "well" do you know your local ground? If you have that information you'll know if you have an easy or difficult job at hand.
A hand dug well is surface water that is easily contaminated. However, there is a really easy way to do a well and set up mother natures filtration. pm me privately; it's too long to get going here.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
1,361 posts, read 1,363,863 times
Reputation: 1429
Default I've seen "water diviners" work

Quote:
Originally Posted by teachertype View Post
This might interest you -
hand dug well | Nicaragua Living
good information; What the old man used was a pair of "divining rods". I saw it as a kid in Ontario, Canada. All the rural farmers, from several different areas of the world, would not drill without calling the local "diviner"!

Yes, I know. It's something to do with magnetics in the ground. Some people have it; most don't. Divining can be done with almost any two pieces of similar material. Go figure!

It's a good place to start!
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:28 PM
Status: "Save a life; carry a gun." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
4,873 posts, read 3,815,916 times
Reputation: 7553
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedwightguy View Post
good information; What the old man used was a pair of "divining rods". I saw it as a kid in Ontario, Canada. All the rural farmers, from several different areas of the world, would not drill without calling the local "diviner"!

Yes, I know. It's something to do with magnetics in the ground. Some people have it; most don't. Divining can be done with almost any two pieces of similar material. Go figure!

It's a good place to start!
Water witches ply their trade in Wyoming. They use a couple of sticks. They find water. But that doesn't mean anyone can do it. Surgeons use a few sharp knives. That doesn't mean that an ameteur can remove a brain tumor if he has the same tools.

There is no scientific basis for divining. But it does work. It's part native ability, and part experience. I think the going rate here is about $200. That's very cheap if the well is likely to be 250' or deeper as most are.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,654 posts, read 27,573,754 times
Reputation: 8682
Our water table in this area is very shallow. A hand-pump well can be installed with a 10-foot deep hole.

Years ago I assisted drilled wells in California using a Deeprock well drilling setup, and going as deep as 200 foot. It worked fine.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:50 AM
Status: "Are you a technophiliac zombie?" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
6,662 posts, read 5,370,902 times
Reputation: 6277
I don't have the reference right now, but if you search YouTube for hand dug wells, there is a great series of videos of a guy in South America who drills wells by hand. I'm not talking grabbing a shovel and digging a surface well. He actually drills a well (a pipe/casing) like power drillers do it, only he has simple hand-operated (with a couple of helpers) machinery and hand-built boom/tower. It's a very interesting video. It shows the whole process until he hits water.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:58 AM
Status: "Save a life; carry a gun." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
4,873 posts, read 3,815,916 times
Reputation: 7553
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Our water table in this area is very shallow. A hand-pump well can be installed with a 10-foot deep hole.
Ground water at that shallow depth is close enough to the surface to have all sorts of contaminants. I don't think that you'd do well drinking it. I was once in a cave in central Indiana. A pipe came down through the cave and went right through a stream to a lower depth. There was plenty of water at that level; but the well users had chosen to go deeper.

Last edited by Happy in Wyoming; 09-21-2010 at 09:07 AM..
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,654 posts, read 27,573,754 times
Reputation: 8682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
Ground water at that shallow depth is close enough to the surface to have all sorts of contaminants. I don't think that you'd do well drinking it. I was once in a cave in central Indiana. A pipe came down through the cave and went right through a stream to a lower depth. There was plenty of water at that level; but the well users had chosen to go deeper.
Shallow wells fed the peoples of this planet for centuries, before the technology was developed to pump from deeper depths.

I see homes around here that use handpumps on shallow wells.

Millions of people have done 'well' drinking shallow water.

If you have a problem with it then get a reverse-osmosis filter.
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