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Thread: Making an old well sanitary

  1. #31
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    You may find that the new well will produce enough water to supply both the orchard and your home. It is easier to maintain one well than two.

    sammy
    The only problem with this is that the demand for the orchard irrigation system is probably in the range of 50+ gpm (we have never really measured it). The pulse sprinklers that are used on a row of trees put out huge amounts of water and about 30 heads run on a row at one time. We normally run the existing well all night long to irrigate two rows of tress and then move the line between the next two rows, and so on. It would be challenging to calculate the total flow as the heads are so archaic that they have no flow ratings on them and the trunk line pipe that trasmits the water up the line leaks like a sive. I guess I could probably upgrade the piping to pvc and replace all of the heads. The only issue with this is that we normally leave the piping and heads out all year long in a pile and we get freezing temps in the winter that would destroy the pvc.

    If we wanted to do this what would happen if we were irrigating and our home had a large demand at the same time?

    Would we want to fill the old well with concrete or bentonite or something to actually plug it?
    Last edited by riverside67; 03-25-2009 at 03:14 PM.

  2. #32
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    One well influencing another is a possibility but the farther away that you drill the new well, the chances of that happening will decrease. The county says that you should have a 20' minimum distance from the old well but that is only the minimum. I see you have a lot of property so utilize the space and drill the new well as far away from the old one as possible, not just 20 feet. You also need to consider septic set backs.
    There is another well on our property, about 200 feet away from the existing, that is not a good producer. This is the only reason why I would attempt to locate the new one a minimum distance form the existing. Because I know the existing is into a great aquifer. The oil issue with the existing should remain consealed within that column and casing correct? The demand from the new well should not "pull" any of that oil through 20 feet of saturated soil and into the new well should it?

    Thanks
    Last edited by riverside67; 03-25-2009 at 04:48 PM.

  3. #33
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    Sammy,

    The existing well (in the picture above) was rotary drilled to an unknown depth (I'm currently looking for County records to determine the depth, but there may not be any) I know it was drilled because my father in law remembers that. The other existing well (the poor producer) I have no clue about except that he has told me it was a poor producer. It also lies about 50 feet from a nearby stream channel.

    The materials in the area are mostly alluvial in nature.

    If we drilled our new well, just 20 feet away from the existing and away from the poor producer, I'm sure it would be pulling from the same aquifer.
    Last edited by riverside67; 03-25-2009 at 06:24 PM.

  4. #34
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Riverside, I found this article (link below) at the NGWA web site. I used to belong to the Association, it is about rock bore wells and the cone of depression and at the end, the article specifically mentions a vertical turbine pump.

    With the volume of water you use for the orchard, I'd pay specific attention to the distance between wells.

    http://www.ngwa.org/public/gwbasics/..._aquifers.aspx

    I don't know the tolerance of apple trees for oil but if it were me, I'd get the oil out of the well or at least talk to the county extension office to find someone that might be able to tell me if there would be a problem.

    As the well is pumped down, the oil can migrate away from the well on top of the water as it moves away from the well, if it moves away, such as to another well nearby.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 03-25-2009 at 06:41 PM.
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  5. #35
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    I don't know the stats of the other well besides it is also a vert turbine and small, like probably 5hp or something.

    With water quality our primary concern we are also trying to keep costs down. If we can just drill another well and leave the one with the oil in it in place (and possibly use it to still water the orchard) then that would be our preferred route.

  6. #36
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    I am very familiar with hydrology as I am a degreed environmental scientist, have been working in the water industry for over 20 years and am certified in water treatment, water distribution and water reclaimation. I have studied cones of depression quite extensively.

    The important thing here is that the oil is not a contamination plume, but is instead confined to the pump column and possinly between the column and casing. The oil should be floating and maybe some sludge has dropped to the bottom of the well.

    The way I see it is even if I were to drill our new well in close proximity to the existing, let's say only 20 feet away, and the existing is pumping all night to irrigate the apple trees and the new one (of course) kicks on throughout that same night that even though the cones may overap, our demand would be so small (as compared to the 10hp pump) that we would not be drawing water towards our well but instead the 10hp's cone would affect the water levels in our well adversely. What I'm saying is I don't think we would be "drawing" any oily water towards our well. Instead the cones will overlap affecting the pumping water levels.

    The location I am thinking will be good for our new well will likely be about 40-50 feet away from the existing and will be at a slightly higher elevation.

    I will discuss this issue with the driller that is coming up to my place Saturday and will report the discussion.

  7. #37
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    Cone of Depressions do not apply to Rock Bored Wells
    Here in my area of Florida, all the "real" wells (not surface water) wells are made in lime rock. Rock wells. We have a lot of Strawberry farms and lots of Orange Groves that have large wells with Submersible Turbine pumps on them. The cone of depression around one of these wells with a fairly large motor and pump can pull wells in the immediate area down in a big hurry. I have customers that call every time we have a freeze and the strawberrie guys are icing in the berries. Their pumps are running but not pumping. We have lowered some customers pumps as much as 84 feet and had them draw down that much further during a colder freeze.

    So the statement above does not make any sense to me. A cone of depression is just that. When you fire up a large pump, you will pull the water level down in the area surrounding that well. The further away, the less the depression, but nevertheless, it is still there.

    bob...

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    I am very familiar with hydrology as I am a degreed environmental scientist, have been working in the water industry for over 20 years and am certified in water treatment, water distribution and water reclaimation.
    Oh boy, now your scaring me. Here I thought you were a level headed homeowner with an apple orchard and instead your one of those environmental waccos.

    In reality, I tend to agree with you that this is not a plume and it's not really all that dangerous. It's not like we have 55 gallon barrells of the stuff buried all around your property. Chances are there aren't more than a few gallons in the well. "Hopefully"

    I would still try to get as much of the stuff out of that well as I could though. Just for the peace of mind it might allow you down the road.

    bob...

  9. #39
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    So the statement above does not make any sense to me.
    bob...

    Not sure which statement of mine you are referring to.

    I understand the way cones work...What I meant was that if the larger pump was running that it would affect the pumping level in the newer/smaller well. Hopefully not to the point of breaking suction, but that the smaller well would not "pull" the oil laden water from the larger well towards the smaller well.

  10. #40
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    Oh boy, now your scaring me. Here I thought you were a level headed homeowner with an apple orchard and instead your one of those environmental waccos.
    bob...
    LOL..Although I am a degreed scientist in the environmental field I am probably one of the most level headed and down to earth folks working in the area. I'm no wacko by any stretch of the imagination...

  11. #41
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    I would still try to get as much of the stuff out of that well as I could though. Just for the peace of mind it might allow you down the road.
    bob...
    This would mean pulling the pump, which we would like to avoid as it would only entail more costs to us. I may, however, attempt to flush the well to atmosphere some more.

    I'll bring this up to the driller this coming Saturday and see what he thinks.

    Thanks for all the great feedback guys!

  12. #42
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    I will also flush the existing well this weekend and get an idea of what it acually produces using the old "how long does it take to fill a 5 gallon bucket" method...

    This may not work very well as I know it will fill a bucket rather quickly but when it was flushing the other day the flow only filled the 4" discharge line about 50% full.

    There is a good chnce that the existing 10hp motor is overkill for this pump. There may be a good possibility that I could indeed serve the orchard irrigation system from the new well/pump if it produces enough capacity and has a large enough outlet. Currently the orchard irrigation system and open reservoir refill line is 3" steel.
    Last edited by riverside67; 03-26-2009 at 11:53 AM.

  13. #43
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Here's another link about the cone of depression. I don't know of any aquifers other than confined or unconfined but there will be rock bore type wells in either type aquifer. More will have a cone of depression than not. And they don't have to be in fractured rock or in New England, they'll be all over North America, as the posters here are.

    http://www.ngwa.org/public/gwbasics/..._aquifers.aspx

    Riverside, I didn't know you knew all about this stuff but, we don't know yet if there is a plume of this oil but we sure don't want to create one, which is fairly easy if your turbine pump draws the well down enough to let it out of this well. and the more the well is run, the more potential there is for that to happen.

    I suggest someone to bail or air lift or otherwise purge the well and pull it down to where a detergent could be used to wash down the inside of the casing/well and then purging again to get the oil out. That might be money well spent if compared to oil contamination in a new well or negatively effecting the orchard later.
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  14. #44
    Water system engineer riverside67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Riverside, I didn't know you knew all about this stuff .
    I know quite a bit about hydrology, but know very little about the operational intricacies of pumps and wells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I suggest someone to bail or air lift or otherwise purge the well and pull it down to where a detergent could be used to wash down the inside of the casing/well and then purging again to get the oil out. That might be money well spent if compared to oil contamination in a new well or negatively effecting the orchard later.
    So far the orchard has produced some awesome apples for like 40+ years being fed from this well. I don't think the trees mind what's coming out of the well.

  15. #45
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    Sammy, the limerock in Florida is so pourous that it's easy for a cone to be formed by a large pump and well. A 4" well here drilled to an average depth of around 150 feet will produce a full 4" column of water as if it had no restriction at all. It's not like granite or some of the other types of rock that sometimes can't even produce a good supply of humidity.

    bob...

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