Before i drill a new well

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titwrangler

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Heres the story, I have an 85' well at my house drilled in 1947, lived here for 6 years pumping seemingly endless amounts of water. Flash forward to now and my well runs dry every day on one of the wettest years on record. I replaced 25yr old seized pump with a 3/4 hp goulds submersible last year but other then that have had no issues. Pump was 50' underwater at that time. Now my water level refuses to rise more then 10ft above pump head, i tried to lower it but its 5 feet from the bottom. Needless to say my family is getting tired of the spongebaths, is there anything i can do to restore it? Ive considered hydrofracing with dry ice, but that looks super dangerous. Did the water table just drop? Do i have a hole in my well? I just dont know. Looking for ideas i guess, and fyi no leaks of any kind, replaced all my fixtures with low flows and installed a larger pressure tank for more water storage still no dice.

I have a clear video made with a go pro to the bottom of the well if anyone is interested, posted on youtube:
 

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It does look like the water table just dropped. It is a rock well so no casing to clog. Even if the cracks in the rock where the water comes from are clogged, the water will still leak through and eventually come back up to the high static level you had. But since it is not coming up anymore, I am afraid the water is just not there. May need to drill deeper to find more water.

In the meantime a larger pressure tank will just make the problem worse. Pressure tanks are not made for storage and will actually be seen as another demand for the pump to fill. Storage means storage, as with a cistern or storage tank. If the well will still make even 1 GPM that is 1440 gallons a day if you have a way to store it. You can run 3-4 houses off a 1 GPM well with enough storage.

Well feeding cistern with sub booster.jpg
 

titwrangler

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It does look like the water table just dropped. It is a rock well so no casing to clog. Even if the cracks in the rock where the water comes from are clogged, the water will still leak through and eventually come back up to the high static level you had. But since it is not coming up anymore, I am afraid the water is just not there. May need to drill deeper to find more water.

In the meantime a larger pressure tank will just make the problem worse. Pressure tanks are not made for storage and will actually be seen as another demand for the pump to fill. Storage means storage, as with a cistern or storage tank. If the well will still make even 1 GPM that is 1440 gallons a day if you have a way to store it. You can run 3-4 houses off a 1 GPM well with enough storage.

View attachment 94347
Unfortunately it takes an entire night to make 15 gallons, recovery rate is really slow now. Thanks fo the insight ive been leaning towards water table is lower, i got new neighbors and now im having trouble
 

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The same thing happens around here. They will take a cotton field that has 3-4 wells that make 100 GPM each and build 300 houses with a 20 GPM well each. Late in the summer many people will start having problems with wells pumping air and running dry. There is only so much water down there to use. It gets pulled down by 300 little straws sucking all the time compared to the 3-4 big straws that were only used as needed for irrigation.

I don't know where all these people are coming from. Elon says we have a population shortage? I think only the intelligent people or countries like Japan are not procreating. But that is a very small percentage of the total population.
 

titwrangler

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Ya elon gets way to much credit for things other people do but thats another issue entirely. I just got a quote today at 15k to drill a new well and that is freakin’ insane. Im out of options grasping at straws im even considering hydrofracing with dry ice. I know my wells not deep enough but i have to try something, I cannot drop that kind of cash right now. Dunno what to do really other then try the diy method and pray i dont kill myself and that it works. My well went from unlimited water to cant even flush a toilet meanwhile i find out the new house nextdoor has pump sitting at 390 ft and mines now in the air....
 

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Without an aquifer, water comes from cracks in the rock. Water flows downhill and takes the path of least resistance. If someone close drills a deeper well, all the water will drain into the deeper well. Then it becomes a matter of who can afford to drill the deepest. Sorry.
 

titwrangler

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Well thanks for the info anyways i know im screwed its just hard to accept. Ill figure out something i have surface water all around me river out back lake out front its kind of ironic my well is dry. But maybe ill stick a pipe in the river at least i could do laundry and flush toilets. Im not drinking that though
 

titwrangler

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My neighbor recently got a new well drilled. It was $45k. $15k seems like a bargain in comparison.
My last well I had drilled was in 2008 at my first home which I built and it's the only job besides electrical I paid to have done it cost me $3,500. I know well drilling rigs are expensive but holy shit 45,000? I'd expect a hole to China for that. I live in Maine luckily water isn't scarce around here there is a pond or a lake every 50 yards and most well aren't very deep either they usually around 200 ft I hear out west you can get to some ridiculous depths before you find water guessing that's why it cost $45,000
 

Blue Oaks

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My last well I had drilled was in 2008 at my first home which I built and it's the only job besides electrical I paid to have done it cost me $3,500. I know well drilling rigs are expensive but holy shit 45,000? I'd expect a hole to China for that. I live in Maine luckily water isn't scarce around here there is a pond or a lake every 50 yards and most well aren't very deep either they usually around 200 ft I hear out west you can get to some ridiculous depths before you find water guessing that's why it cost $45,000

I think the well that was dug was about 450 feet. Heck, I paid about $4500 or so just to replace the pump/motor/piping just this year. Things are definitely more expensive out here in CA though.
 

joelcox

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I have a similar situation in my rural house. There's a well drilled in 1990, and it has never had any issues, but suddenly a few days ago, the water just disappeared. I can't figure out if I need a new well or if something is broken in mine. How can I check this?
 

titwrangler

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I have a similar situation in my rural house. There's a well drilled in 1990, and it has never had any issues, but suddenly a few days ago, the water just disappeared. I can't figure out if I need a new well or if something is broken in mine. How can I check this?
I used a go pro and a waterproof flashlight on a rope, its rare for a well to dry up check for leaks first your pressure tank should hold steady if your not using any water and should fill in a certain amount of time as well.If that checks out pull the pump out,(assuming youve tested that it runs) and get help if its 200ft+ they are fuckin heavy.

Also you have modern well, it should be way deeper then mine, check your well cap, depth and recharge rate should be stamped on the cap, my well was drilled in the the 1940s and only 85ft deep it stinks mines gone dry but with a well as shallow as mine the water table only had to drop 20ft and im screwed, they built a new house next door and stole my water. But yours SHOULD be at least 200ft id think


Edit: and im guessing from the context of your post you should hire somebody pulling the pump and replacing it isnt your average job, and on deeper wells the pump +line is very heavy, pros use a specialized truck with a big wheel on it to coil pipe up. Its totally doable on your own but if you dunno what your doing you should probably hire it out.
 
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Reach4

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I have a similar situation in my rural house. There's a well drilled in 1990, and it has never had any issues, but suddenly a few days ago, the water just disappeared. I can't figure out if I need a new well or if something is broken in mine. How can I check this?
Depends. do you have a pitless adapter, in which case you would have a well cap up top, and the water pipe would be hidden? In that case, start by removing the well cap and looking down. Either use a bright flashlight at night, or reflect the sun down the well during the day.

If you have a well seal, with a water pipe visible at the top, that is not an option.

Get the data for your well. If you don't have well data, your situation is not similar to titwrangler's. Also, you might identify what area you are in. MN would be less likely to be having the water table drop a lot vs somewhere else.
 
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joelcox

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Thank you for your advice; I really appreciate it and will give it a try. I also don't think the water should have disappeared. At first, it appeared with a slight delay, not like in my childhood, and then it just vanished. I recently inherited this house, and I don't know much about how everything is set up there.
 

titwrangler

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So if anyone is interested heres the resolution to my plight...New well was drilled 3 days ago, cost me 8000 but all they did was drill the hole im doing the rest. Heres the kicker, new neighbors called me said they discovered their well pump has been stuck on for at least 2 months straight! Blown line somewhere....so that was 2 days ago, and my old well is already recovering so ya i drilled a well for nothing
 
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