Deep well issues with slowing refill rates and lowering static head

Users who are viewing this thread

Hardyh

Member
Messages
45
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Location
BC, Canada
I've been troubleshooting a five year old well and have noticed what seemed like a slowing of the refill rate in the last year or two. I've also noticed a drop in the static head level since it was installed. When drilled we had a static head of 40ft and a refill rate of about an hour, I just had the same drilling company come back and take some measurements - it seems like our static is now more like 150-180ft and the refill rate is at least twice what it was before. We had originally drilled to 300ft with the pump sitting down at 290ft and the driller recorded 2gpm (which is low to average for the area). So in the mean time I am in the process of adding storage tanks to reduce the likelihood of running the well dry.
As far as I can tell our longer term options are drill deeper or pressure-frack. I mapped out the wells in our area and it does seem that the majority of the wells that have been steady producers around here are about 50 to 100ft deeper than ours (I wish the driller had pointed that out originally). They also offer pressure fracking services. There is a record of only one done in our immediate area but the yield did improve quite a bit, although that particular well is about 150ft deeper than ours.

I have an acquaintance who swears that fracking a water well uses harmful chemicals and renders the well useless for years but I have a hard time believing that - any input from those with experience? He also suggested removing a lot of trees from the property that might be affecting the yield, again would they have that much effect on a well that deep?

And in the end, are we better off drilling another 100ft or so or trying the fracking? Our substrate is listed as midsize shale after 40ft.
On the same property (but quite a distance away) we have a 26ft shallow well that has been going fine this whole time and has been for about 40 years.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,072
Reaction score
4,492
Points
113
Location
IL
Another option is to use a cistern/tank in a non-freezing place-- usually the basement. The well pump would be controlled by a float switch, and you should have an electronic device to shut the well pump down for a while if the well was sucked dry.

Another pump, called the pressure pump, would supply the water to the house.

There are downsides to a cistern/tank, but this may be the cheaper option. https://www.plastic-mart.com/category/109/vertical-tanks These are tanks made to go thru the basement door: https://www.plastic-mart.com/category/39/doorway-water-tanks

I also would not believe the acquaintance's opinion in this matter.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
14,746
Reaction score
1,336
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
Since the well only made 2 GPM originally, I would already have a cistern storage tank and booster pump. 2 GPM is 2800 gallons a day if you can store it. You can fill the cistern slowly for a long time, and use the water at any rate needed for the amount of time the house needs water.

Fracking works better in deeper wells. They use chemicals fracking for oil, but only water when working on water wells as far as i know. Just ask. I would probably try the fracking and drill a new well if that didn't work. There is really no guarantee the new well will be any better.

If the well won't give you some stored water it is best to just go directly to the cistern and use a float switch as in the first drawing. But if the well has even 50-100 gallons of storage you can set it up where you can get water directly from the well, and/or the cistern as needed, as in the second drawing. Being able to get water from both sources also gives you some back up .

Well feeding cistern with sub booster.jpg

Well feeding house and cistern with sub booster.jpg
 

Hardyh

Member
Messages
45
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Location
BC, Canada
Another option is to use a cistern/tank in a non-freezing place-- usually the basement. The well pump would be controlled by a float switch, and you should have an electronic device to shut the well pump down for a while if the well was sucked dry.

Another pump, called the pressure pump, would supply the water to the house.

There are downsides to a cistern/tank, but this may be the cheaper option. https://www.plastic-mart.com/category/109/vertical-tanks These are tanks made to go thru the basement door: https://www.plastic-mart.com/category/39/doorway-water-tanks

I also would not believe the acquaintance's opinion in this matter.
The tank is what we're going to do for now anyways, it will be outside in a 'tank room' but we're going to redirect just enough heat to it to prevent freezing. Another neat trick I noticed someone else around here do is add a 'circulating branch' to the tank output side - anytime the second pump (in this case a jet pump) turns on it also spits out water back into the top of the tank, the circulation seems to slow down any freezing that would otherwise happen with still water.

My bigger question was whether there is a clear winner between deepening the well or fracking the well and if anyone has gone through either of these - I think the price will be roughly similar. Would reaching the well down further into the same zone as our better-yield neighbors' wells even do anything to improve the refill rate?
 

Hardyh

Member
Messages
45
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Location
BC, Canada
Fracking works better in deeper wells.
Would our 300ft depth count or do you mean deeper than that?

In your experience do people who deepen their wells by 100ft or so improve the yield or does it just make a bit more storage space down there?
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
14,746
Reaction score
1,336
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
It depends on where the water is coming in from. If deepening another 100' will get you into another water bearing formation that yields another 1-3 GPM it might be the way to go. But if your just getting another 150 gallons of storage from the extra depth, I would spend the money on fracking the known water zone.
 

Hardyh

Member
Messages
45
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Location
BC, Canada
Ok thank you, would a driller be able to tell if digging deeper would reach such a formation? There are only a couple of drillers in our area and they should know the aquifers by now - our driller specifically has also done two neighbors up the hill and our provincial well records are all public and pretty detailed. He should be able to estimate the required depth based on the other producing wells in the area shouldn't he?
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
14,746
Reaction score
1,336
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
Ok thank you, would a driller be able to tell if digging deeper would reach such a formation? There are only a couple of drillers in our area and they should know the aquifers by now - our driller specifically has also done two neighbors up the hill and our provincial well records are all public and pretty detailed. He should be able to estimate the required depth based on the other producing wells in the area shouldn't he?
Someone who has drilled in the area is your best resource for information. But every well can still be different from one location to the next. Those records should show you where they hit water bearing formations as they go down.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks