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Thread: How useful will my well be for irrigation?

  1. #1

    Default How useful will my well be for irrigation?

    After much trial and tribulation, I've finally been able to pull water from my shallow brick well (15 feet deep, about 8.5 feet of standing water).

    I ran the pump last night for 4 hours, drowing my wife's flower bed. She wasn't as excited as I was. It pretty much emptied the well. It was late and I could see the footer valve just below the surface, so I stopped the test. I'd say there was another 1 to 2 feet of water left.

    The (unscientific) results are in...

    10 GPM for 4 hours.
    20 minutes = 1 foot of water drop.

    The total drop was about 7 feet.

    This morning I checked the well after it rested for 7.5 hours. It regained 5 feet, or approximately 1,000 gallons.

    I had hoped for a better recovery, but I have no idea what a typical irrigation system even uses for volume. I have one acre, including the house. Of course, much of that won't need watering. My dream is to have sprinklers for the front yard, at least, and soakers/sprayers for the planting areas.

    I'd love to hear any thoughts on how "well" my well might serve me, given the numbers from the test.


  2. #2


    SO 12 hours later, the water level's back up to normal. So the well recovered in somewhere between 7 - 12 hours.

    I know it would be much better to have a well that could supply x GPM w/o going down, but hopefully this will serve some purpose with the right zoning and scheduling.

  3. #3
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Default You're OK to irrigate!

    I would just suggest that you install a low pressure switch to shut the pump down in case of pressure loss or better yet install a Cycle Sensor by www.cyclestopvalves.com. You can purchase it online!

  4. #4


    I've done some reading today and, unless I'm messing this up, I'm starting to suspect this well won't be able to support irrigation of any meaningful use. This is depressing.

    The largest part of my lawn (12,600 sq-ft) would require 8,112 gallons of water for 1" of coverage. (1" = 624 gallons for 1,000 sq-ft, so 13 * 624 = 8,112).

    Roughly, the volume of my cistern (15' deep by 63" wide brick well with a water table of 7'). This comes out to 1,134 gallons, I believe. We're talking rough numbers, but my output test is about 300 gallons off. I asume that's because the well was replenishing during the draw down test.

    So, what's my point? Well, how on earth can I water a lawn that needs 8,100 gallons of water, with a well that produces 1,400 in 24 hours?

    So very sad.

  5. #5


    Not ideal, but as you had said, with the right zoning and scheduling it would work.

    You don't need to put 1" of water on you lawn each time you water.


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