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Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by TheJackBull, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. TheJackBull

    TheJackBull Monkey+

    In an attempt to plan for the worst and hope for the best I thought I should drill myself a well.
    I also wanted to do this as inexpensive as possible as it was a new thought and not super high up on my list of priorities.
    To be clear, this is for the garden. where I live we have a secondary water source from spring run off that is run by the Weber Basin Water Conservancy. They control the irrigation. this means that in drought years the water is rationed or turned on later in season and off earlier in the season.
    It would be expensive to water an acre with culinary water. So for the "just in case" I looked into it.
    Based on a few quick internet searches and youtubes it seemed that the cheapest way was to hook a hose up to some pvc or galvanized pipe and start hydro drilling.
    this worked well for about 40' then it got hard to clean out the well from the mud. I drove scrap 3" pvc pipe down to about 20' and that helped.
    long story short is that I cant seem to find the water table. Is there someone like the county or city that would know this? has anyone found a better way to build a well on a budget?

    Any advise on well drilling would be awesome.
  2. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    You didn't say what size PVC pipe that you are trying to wash in, but if you haven't hit water by the time you reach 25' you will need a casing large enough to drop a submersible or deep well jet. You can't suck water much more than 25' or it turns to vapor.

  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    There are a number of possible sources. The county, the irrigation district both should have that data. The state university almost certainly has hydrogeological maps and charts in the geology school.

    Be aware, that if irrigation is needed (not just made available) in your AO, it's an odds on bet that the water table is WAY down there. Also an odds on bet that there are some restrictions in place due to water rights regulations.

    Now, making an assumption that you are on city water, the city or provider will KNOW how deep it is. If you are on your own well for domestic water, the guy that drilled your well will have a pretty good idea, and if you can't find out who did it, any of the local drillers should be able to point you in the right direction.
  4. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    I would talk to the commercial well drilling people in your area, and ask them how deep you need to go to get water.
    Ganado likes this.
  5. TheJackBull

    TheJackBull Monkey+

    In order to hide this super secret well project I started near some trees. would the tap roots make finding water hard? should the well be away from the trees?
  6. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Talk to the old timers around you. They will know pretty much how deep to get what kind of water. Also keeps your name off the list of nosey bureaucrats wondering why you want that info. Here wells are regulated by county,city,and state. I can jet in a well at 20 ft. but it's contaminated by WWII and later gov. industry. Deeper safe water is about 180ft. and you're not going to do that deep without machinery.
  7. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    from Utah Division of Water Rights

    In the State of Utah, wells regulated by the State Engineer that are drilled to a depth of greater than 30 feet must be constructed by a currently licensed Utah Licensed Well Driller. Moreover, a Utah Licensed Well Driller or a Utah Licensed Pump Installer must perform installation and repair of pumps on wells regulated by the State Engineer (A person who installs or repairs a well pump on the person’s own property for the person’s own use is not required to have a pump installer's license).

    The State Engineer, through the Division of Water Rights, is responsible for licensing requirements and well construction criteria and the promulgation of the Administrative Rules for Water Well Drillers and Pump Installers. Specifically, the drilling, construction, deepening, repair, renovation, replacement, cleaning, development, abandonment, and pump installation/repair of the following well types, if greater than 30 feet deep, is regulated by the Administrative Rules for Water Wells and the applicable work must be completed by a licensed water well driller or licensed pump installer:

    • Private Water Production Wells (e.g., domestic, stockwater, irrigation, industrial, and commercial wells)
    • Public Water System Supply Wells
    • Recharge and Recovery Wells
    • Cathodic Protection Wells
    • Heating and Cooling Exchange Wells (Both closed-loop and open loop vertical systems)
    • Test Wells and Monitoring Wells, and Piezometers
    • Inclinometers and Dewatering Wells if they affect an established aquifer
  8. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    if you drill a well without a permit (or build a pond) in most of the western USA) you are setting yourself up for heavy fines.

    Unless you are going to case the well in a solid steel pipe to below the tree root level, never plant around trees or bushes. Those roots go for the well every time.

    Find a water witch and get them to locate for you. Most well drillers will know of a good water witch. They won't vouch for them but they do know them and will point you in the right direction if you ask. Be sure and ask the person you get to water witch how accurate they are on depth of the water. The good ones will tell you a percentage of the time they are right. They should tell you 85% or better or you shouldn't use them.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  9. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Dad taught me how to find water paralleling 2 coat hanger wire in an " L" shape aiming them strait ahead of me only slightly letting them sag a bit . It's hard to do if it's windy.
    You can probably find some you tube on the subject.
    It takes practice an patience, if you lack patience, forget it, you will only get frustrated.
    Any disturbance in the ground like a trench and some kind of pipe, clay sewer pipe, plastic or steel are creating iron collection in the disturbance.
    Stream beds are loaded with iron so it stands to reason that a horizontal loosely held iron wire will align it's self to the same under ground.
    Map out your property and walk perpendicular to the possible flow of water. note every place you get a disturbance and then look for a pattern . Streams fallow lines of least resistance , if there is a lot of zig zag there is a lot of hard material below .
    I have only found where water flows and don't have any experience in pockets of water.
    Ganado likes this.
  10. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    I think there is a great deal of variation in the depths of shallow wells in the same area. I tried drilling by hand with PVC and a hose. Did great down to 11 feet when I hit hard clay. Drilled a deep well in the same spot later and the first water sand was at 40 feet. Across the highway my father in law has a 25 foot dug well. I now have a 3" iron pipe hand rig with a real bit I am going to try again down by the creek and my garden. I have seen my father witch for water many times for people.
    Ganado likes this.
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