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Well water

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Motomom34, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    So we have had huge rains for the last 4 days. Extreme rain. My water is now coming out slightly colored and leaving dirt in the tub. The water is getting clearer but still not clear. We have stopped drinking the water and no laundry or dishes to try and let things settle.

    I have been researching this and find that I may have a seal issue or contamination or my well could be part of an underground stream and thus... muddy water.

    I have been preparing for just in case SHTF and always thought I had water covered. Shallow well, generator, plus looking into a flo-jack pump or just hauling out. With this muddy water now what? It has kind of thrown me a curve ball cause I thought I had that aspect covered but now I know I need a back up plan. I think I relied to heavily on the fact that my well was a good one and never thought I could not use it.
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I would think, a good water filter, would fill in, when the water quality is less than you would like. You might stop by a pool supply house, and pick up a water testing kit. You might also have the well tested, more for your peace of mind than anything else.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I suspect sediment getting into the aquifer somehow, or maybe down the well casing. Get it tested. Start als0 with a glass full, let it settle the sediment out and see what it looks like.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    I do need to get a testing kit. Our neighbors are not close but we have some a couple miles above and they say sh.. runs down hill. Tomorrow we are going to check out the well housing and I have been reading up on chlorinating the system. Some say have a professional do it but others say pour bleach in and do it yourself.

    I think I am just more shocked that one prep I thought I had covered may not be 100%. Or I didn't plan for all events concerning that prep.
  5. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    I'm on a well too and installed a large 3 filter housing right off the pressure tank while we were building the house. I'll find a link to it when i get back on my computer, but they are pretty common. First filter is a 50 micron sediment, then a 5 micron sediment, then the carbon block filter. I buy filters by the case, and only change them every 3 to 4 months. The filters are the 20"x4.5" size and commonly called "big blue".

    First filter catches the big stuff like sand, then the second one catches the smaller stuff and saves the more expensive carbon block filter which takes care of smells and taste. Every well is different so it's smart to get it tested to determine what you want to filter out.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  6. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Ghrit is most likely correct. Test and then reseal your well casing with a clay sealant. OTOH, if you have a hole someplace inside the well suction pipe then you may just be stirring up the well water by having a recirc within the well. If so then figure on pulling the well. If this is the problem then you can go to a PVC suction pipe. I did. Some of this can be checked by watching the well run times. A lot of cycles can mean a bad checkvalve or a bad foot valve.

    Motomom34 and chelloveck like this.
  7. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    The filters Harbin and others were referring to will clean up the clarity of the water but the remaining concern is if bacterial or viral contamination occurred along with the dirt ingress in your well water. Those filters will NOT remove the microbial contaminants. A UV sterilizing unit in line after the filters will take care of those issues. Test kit's at pool suppliers will test things like pH and chlorine levels but can not assess bacteria or viral issues or other contaminations like any heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, benzene, etc. You'll need to send a water sample to a lab for those assessments.

    Motomom34, Cruisin Sloth and ghrit like this.
  8. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    'Shallow well' may be the culprit.

    I was once - along time ago- a general contractor and have commissioned more than 100 wells for residential use. 99% of the people who hire a well driller (think building contractor) will pop the champagne corks as soon as they hit high flow water. The shallower the better from a cost savings perspective (less drilling, smaller pump, less wire). I would say (although I'm not a geo engineer) that anything less than 100 foot is susceptible to ground water infiltration. We always dug PAST the good flowing water to make sure we reached at least 250 feet and then left the pump 20 - 30 ft off the bottom.

    Remember, 'Builder Grade' is the cheapest (they) can get...

    So with a shallow well and a large deluge, you may get some mud in your pipes. I would be more concerned for the laundry than for the drinking ;)
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    We have two aquifiers. The first nets you a household flow and is at 100 feet and is only so so water. The second is at 400 feet and provides all the flow you can use in a Farm/Ranch use and has really good water. Money!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    I guess I need to get a well company out here. We know we have a good flow but now I wonder just how deep the well goes. About 2-3 years ago our old jet pump system finally gave out. The well people talked my husband into putting in a submersible pump because that was better or so they said. They said jet pumps were a thing of the past, no one knew how to fix them anymore. I haven't been impressed. I know my neighbor's well is at 200 ft and the people at the top of the hill had the drilling rig in their yard for a week or so. I wonder if I go a "builders grade well".

    Thanks for all the responses I have lots to think about and investigate.
  11. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja Jedi Bipolar WINNING M.L.F.

  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I do not have a well, but If I wanted to know how deep a hole was, I would use a fresh roll of heavy fishing line and a 1oz lead sinker. Making sure the well was off/unplugged. (so it is not attracted to the pump) and assuming there is room to pass by the pump in the well, I would drop the weight until it stops, then haul it up and measure the string. (I am assuming you have already checked all your paperwork first, and have found nothing useful.)
  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Paperwork??? We should have paperwork? I don't think we got paperwork, I don't even know who would have gave us some. Now theres a concept.
  14. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Usually, the county keeps well drilling records.
    In Michigan, well drillers have to keep a log and submit to county health department information regarding well size, location, depth, whether it was sealed, what grout was used, etc.

    You probably didn't get the info when you purchased the land but the county may have information regarding your well.

  15. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    I'm in Michigan too and have the same thing, in order to move in the county health dept had to give us the ok-that was the final thing we needed. They came out and wrote a pretty detailed report that included a drilling log from the well company. That's actually how we picked the company, i submitted paperwork to the health dept and was quietly warned the first company was known for shallow wells with sand/silt issues. I asked around and came back with new forms listing another contractor. The drilling log tells you at what depth they hit water, how deep they drilled, height of the pump, and how they sealed it. As Visu said, that might be the best place to start if you don't have any paperwork.
    Motomom34, HK_User and kellory like this.
  16. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Thanks for all the suggestions, advice and sharing of knowledge. This site is a treasure trove of intelligence.
    kellory likes this.
  17. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey++

    Jet pumps are used on wells less than 100 feet deep. They dont last as long but are cheaper and easier to replace. I have been told that it is good to bleach your well every year or so. Pour a gallon of unscented bleach thru one of the cap holes and recirculate water into the well. Leave it sit for an hour or so and pumps the well down watering the yard. This will take care of most bacteria build up in the well.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  18. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Our jet pump lasted over twenty years and I think we should have just got another one. It would have been so much cheaper. I will try the bleach thing. Because I am Miss Safety I will make sure to run the water for a while after. Don't want to get a burst of bleach. Actually our water goes to the tank then the house so the tank probably needs cleaning after our murky water.

    Good news. The rain has stopped and our water has cleared. I still want to get it tested and get the drilling records.
    kellory likes this.
  19. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    Last year I replaced the foot valve on my mom's well with a jet pump - the same pump that came with the house in 1961...

    I don't know where this fallacy of jet pumps not lasting came from, but I have not seen proof of it ;)

    @Motomom34 - definitely get the well checked. Surface water intrusion is a serious problem...if that is what it is.
    VisuTrac and HK_User like this.
  20. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Can't get much more simple than a jet pump and major wear parts are above ground.
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