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Thread: Chances of Tapping Artesian Well?

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    DIY Member Flipperman2a2w's Avatar
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    Default Chances of Tapping Artesian Well?

    I have a 2 bedroom vacation home in a mountain community in Western North Carolina. My well is about 4 years old, and yields approximately 3-4GPM. The water is extremely acidic and the iron content is off the charts- the highest the lab instruments could read was 20PPM, and ours is higher than that. The water comes out perfectly clear, but it tastes like you’re sucking on a piece of iron. We have an acid filter and an iron filter and have to replace the media every 4 trips. If we lived there full time, I imagine we would be replacing the media once a month or so (which would be quite expensive). Our flow rate isn’t enough to properly backwash the media, but we always have enough water for our uses. If someone is in the shower and you turn the kitchen faucet on, though, there is a noticeable drop in the amount of water coming out of the tap. The well tag says the yield should be 20GPM but, for some reason, it must have dropped significantly since the well was drilled.

    Well is 245 feet.
    Casing depth is 92 feet.
    Pump depth is 230 feet.
    Pump is a 3/4HP Berkley (10GPM).
    Flow rate used to be 20GPM, but is now 3-4GPM.

    Here’s my question. . .

    The neighbor’s artesian well (which has a flow rate of 200GPM- that’s two HUNDRED) is located approximately 150 feet from our well at approximately the same elevation. I believe his well depth is about 20-30 feet lower than ours, so what are the chances that we would hit the same aquifer by drilling deeper? Is the artesian aquifer like hitting something the size of a swimming pool, or would it be significantly smaller/larger than that?

    I know there’s no guarantee to what lies under the earth’s surface, but I’m just weighing my possibilities. Our driller has told me that they could go deeper with no guarantee and the possibility of ruining the well we currently have.

    After reading a bunch of the other posts here, though, I should probably just keep filtering and be happy with what I have. It’s just frustrating to be so close to the “goldmine” of water wells with such poor performance and quality from my own. . .

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    Flow rate used to be 20GPM, but is now 3-4GPM.
    What tests did you do to determine the current flow rate? If you are measuring through your plumbing, it could very well be that the iron has clogged your pipes. That happened to me... backwash GPM kept diminishing to the point it no longer worked. I had to snake the line to clear the iron.

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    DIY Member Flipperman2a2w's Avatar
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    Hmmm. . . I actually hadn't thought of that. I tested the flow rate at the kitchen faucet. I was at the well head and called my wife in the house on my cell phone. She started drawing water in a gallon jug from the faucet and I listened for the pump to kick on and timed it. With the calculation that I found online, I think we got somewhere around 3-4 GPM. That was during a fairly dry spell, but I don't think it's much different now.

    I have cut a few of the PEX supply lines underneath the house for various reasons over the past year (the original owner had a small sediment filter that was no longer being used, so I cut it out). The piping was discolored (red/orange) inside, but there wasn't any iron build-up. Should I think about trying to snake all the lines that lead up to the wellhead? Once the line leaves the house, it goes underground and uphill as a 3/4" PVC. Is it possible to snake a long run like that? Would iron build up in PVC or PEX that quickly over 4 or 5 years?

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Kitchen faucets have flow restrictors on the spout.
    I would be surprised if any faucet put out more then 3 gallons a minute.
    Many are restricted to 2.0 gallons.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Now, your solution is as simple as a good conversation. Artesian wells are like gold, and they don't give up their location very "well' pun intended.

    NO ONE needs 200 gpm, and he has no pump. So I'll bet he would love 20 bucks a month or so, for you to hook onto his with a good contract. I have 5 well shares, and generally no problems. Toss out all that iron removal debri!

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    DIY Member Flipperman2a2w's Avatar
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    Thanks so much, guys. It sounds like I need to check my flow rate again, at the very least. I suppose an outside faucet would not have any type of flow restriction?

    I've also thought about asking the neighbor, but he's in the process of selling his house. If he's able to sell, I guess it would just be another discussion with the new owner. . . I feel like people are really funny about their wells, but money is money. For some reason, I believe he does have a pump (which makes things a little more complicated). Everyone in the community says it's an artesian well, and he definitely gets 200 GPM.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    Thanks so much, guys. It sounds like I need to check my flow rate again, at the very least. I suppose an outside faucet would not have any type of flow restriction?

    I've also thought about asking the neighbor, but he's in the process of selling his house. If he's able to sell, I guess it would just be another discussion with the new owner. . . I feel like people are really funny about their wells, but money is money. For some reason, I believe he does have a pump (which makes things a little more complicated). Everyone in the community says it's an artesian well, and he definitely gets 200 GPM.

    I guess your neighbor is wanting to sell you that well.

    200 GPM sounds a little fishy to me.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

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    DIY Junior Member Brokersdad's Avatar
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    I would look for clogged lines going from your pressure tank to your iron filter, and especially the head of the iron unit. I had the same water conditions for years, I had an air injector , iron filter then softner. Pressure dropped dramatically, it was the lines from the pressure tank to the iron unit was almost completely plugged off with built up rust. I ended up drilling a new well, went from about 18ppm clear water iron, terrible Ph to about 3.4 ppm iron and 7.2 ph. How deep was it before they hit bedrock on your well?

    As for hitting the same seem he has, i'll leave it to you whether you believe in well witching or not, but someone that can do it most likely could find the same seem that he is on and give you an idea where to drill..always a gamble of course
    Last edited by Brokersdad; 01-09-2012 at 04:03 PM.

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    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    The likelyhood of hitting the same artesian aquifer is slim. I'm not a supporter of dowsing but if I was going to drill a new well I would hire a qualified dowser to mark a location that leads to the neighbors artesian. A qualified (expert) dowser can locate an aquifer, determine the depth and some can determine the flow. Qualified dowsers are about as rare as good water. My wife was the vice president of the American Society of Dowsers in Vermont. Finding quality water is another matter.
    I would venture to say that unless your existing well is partially plugged with iron it still supplies nearly the same amount of water that it did origionally. The only way to know is to remove the pump then blow the well with air to test it and to redevelope and then test the well with air for flow. This would have to be done by a qualified drilling contractor.
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I would dowse my way over to his front door and get a meter for you on his well. Thats a PLUS to his new seller.

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    DIY Member Flipperman2a2w's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    I guess your neighbor is wanting to sell you that well.

    200 GPM sounds a little fishy to me.
    I thought that was a little high too, to be honest. The tag from the driller reads 200 GPM. He said water literally shot up out of the ground when they drilled his well and that they had to cap it off.

  12. #12
    DIY Member Flipperman2a2w's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brokersdad View Post
    I would look for clogged lines going from your pressure tank to your iron filter, and especially the head of the iron unit. I had the same water conditions for years, I had an air injector , iron filter then softner. Pressure dropped dramatically, it was the lines from the pressure tank to the iron unit was almost completely plugged off with built up rust. I ended up drilling a new well, went from about 18ppm clear water iron, terrible Ph to about 3.4 ppm iron and 7.2 ph. How deep was it before they hit bedrock on your well?

    As for hitting the same seem he has, I'll leave it to you whether you believe in well witching or not, but someone that can do it most likely could find the same seem that he is on and give you an idea where to drill..always a gamble of course
    I'll definitely have to see if there's a way to snake the line from the pressure tank to the house. It's a fairly long run that goes under a hillside, the driveway, etc. If there is a clog and our flow rate is actually closer to 20 GPM, I think I could better stomach the poor water quality.

    The trouble with drilling a new well is the way our 1 acre property is situated. The driveway is very steep and has an s curve, so the drilling rig would never be able to get down it. That really just leaves the area where our current well is located. We might be able to drill a new well near it, but I don't think we'd be far enough away to hit a new aquifer. I guess that just leaves the possibility of drilling deeper. . .

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    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    The tag from the driller reads 200 GPM. He said water literally shot up out of the ground when they drilled his well and that they had to cap it off.
    as far as what u could expect from a new well, I'd contact this driller and ask his opinion. we can make educated guesses but no one will know better than a good driller in your area.
    Last edited by justwater; 01-10-2012 at 04:56 PM.

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