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Thread: Question about driving/washing a shallow well

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    West Michigan

    Default Question about driving/washing a shallow well

    Looking for some help/advise regarding putting in my own well. Here is the story. About a year or so ago, in the middle of a pretty dry spell, I used an auger post hole digger to see if I could find water on my lot. I went down about nine or 10 feet, ran into somewhat coarse sand, and hit water. I left it at that, but checked the hole periodically off and on and there was always water in the bottom. I never did any more with it.

    Fast forward to today. I finally got back around to checking my would be well. Needless to say there is no water in the bottom, but from what I could tell, I have a pretty good start on my own personal sink hole. Looking down from the top, I have a hole about two feet deep. From there, there is an open cavern about a foot deep. I am unable to tell how big in diameter the cavern may be. From there, I have soil that has evidently caved in and filled in my “well”. I took a 10’ piece of ¾” PVC and pushed it through the soil and pulled it back out. The “plug” removed once again showed my coarse sand, but about nine feet down, my PVC would not go any further.

    Where do I go from here? As close to the top of my hole that the ground has caved in, is it safe to assume that at one point the water level was within three feet of the surface? I do have a sump “dug in” in my crawlspace. The majority of the time it is dry, but spring/fall, I do pump water out. I doubt I could re-auger a hole back down into my well and set a point, but given the fact I could push PVC about nine feet down, I may be able to drive a point no problem.

    At this time, I only plan on running one sprinkler on the end of the hose and possibly some drip irrigation, but given the amount of water I get into and can produce, I may eventually go with an irrigation system. I live in the city and don’t have a golf course size lot by any means, but just want to be able to water without hiking my bill to $300.00+ every quarter. My original plans were to try to install a 10 slot 2” x 10’ PVC point, and back when I first started the project, probably could have sunk this with no problem. Now with the “cave-in”, I am not sure where to go.

    Thanks in advance for any advise you may be able to provide.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC


    Here is good information on wells and pumps:
    www.IrrigationTutorials.com by Jess Stryker.
    I'm not a pro well man, just an old DIYer, but I've driven and plumbed my share of shallow wells.
    Check with your local Health Department for shallow well guidance in your area. You will need a permit anyway.
    Most shallow well pumps are good for 25' from the tip of the well point to the pump. Here, we get good water with "three joints and a point". Each joint is 5' galvanized 1.25" pipe threaded on both ends. The perforated well points come 3', 4', and 5'. I always go with the 5'.
    You can wash it down or you can drive it down. Just make certain that the couplings are as tight as you can get them.
    To drive a shallow well, you will need either a 6" 1.25" galvanized pipe nipple with couplings on both ends, or a Schedule 80 black heavy duty coupling, to drive with. Tighten it on as tight as you can get it, drive the sectiion, and then tighten a regular galvanized coupling on. Use several flat wraps of teflon tape wrapped clockwise only as the threaded end faces you for the final couplings.
    Good Luck!


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