Soliciting ideas for ground up design for new well and water tanks on a hillside

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Blue Oaks

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Guys,

As mentioned in my other thread, I may be bidding on the property next door in January 2023. The owner owes back taxes and the county is going to auction it off. No buildings are on the property, but there's a power line down to maybe a breaker panel.

Property details: It's approx 4 acres, with about 150 feet along the road, and something like 1100 feet up and over a steep hill (full of poison oak).

What I'm thinking: I'd buy the property at auction, drill a well down by the street where all the other homes along the road have their wells. I'd have my friend who's a Bobcat master cut a large, level pad approx 100-140 vertical feet above the well for water tanks. I'd ideally put QTY=3, 5000 GAL tanks on the pad. I'd trench straight down the hill from the pad to the well for a water supply line up, and a much larger water line down. I think my neighbor on the other side has essentially the same setup- the county requires a LOT of water volume if I were to build a house or ADU on the property, and I'd like to do it only once. I *think* the pipe is 5" coming down, and his is galvanized. Not a trivial expense, but again it's always best to do it right/best the first time.

Bonus: I'd trench over from the new tanks to my existing tanks I moved up the hill a year and a half ago. My well produces very little water this time of year, and being able to open a ball valve and replenish my tanks in short order is very appealing to me.

Details: Since it'd be a ground up design, I'd like to run power up to the tanks in addition to the float switch. The run would be quite long, maybe 400 feet of wiring? Would it be best to run a 240V set of wires, and have a small shed up there with a breaker panel to step is down to 120V for things like a wi-fi water level gauge, etc? I likely won't be able to see the tanks from the house like I can my current ones, so a remote monitoring system would be ideal.

Known Unknowns: Well controller, mostly. I think my well guy will have a solid recommendation. Well pump will have to pump water up the 400-500 feet to ground level, then an additional 100-140 feet to the well. I'm sure the well guy will have a recommendation here.

Input solicited: In addition to the question regarding running power to the top, what else are "nice to haves" and any other "need to haves" that I'm missing? Like I stated, I'd like to do it right the first time.

Andy in Morgan Hill
 

Reach4

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"100-140 vertical feet above the well for water tanks. ". Nice. No need for a pressure pump.

You are thinking of a building with a subpanel by the tanks. You will run wires to the pump from there, and have some float switches involved in turning the pump on and off. I think a 5 gpm 1-1/2 HP pump would do the job. Of course you will want to know how far down you are going before selecting the pump.

1 inch SIDR pipe could be used from the well to the tanks if you have a separate up-pipe from the pipe to the house.

Nice to have might be a yard hydrant.

The control box can be at the well.
 

Blue Oaks

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Thanks. To be clear, I'd have a main panel at the well site, and only run wires to the tanks for the float switch and a subpanel just to have power up there. The main panel would feed the controller at the well. I definitely will want to have at least one hydrant. I need to find out what the county requirements are for pressure, volume/flow, and capacity in the event that a house is built.
 

Blue Oaks

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"Well" I'll be... I just walked over to scout out the property that's going up for auction, and there's a dilapidated well house, a well, a controller, and a pressure tank. Everything seems rusty and hasn't worked in years and years, but there is definitely a well there. I'll get some pictures and post them up.
 

Blue Oaks

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There's actually some galvanized lines up above the well area on a flat spot where it was "developed" at one time.

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Blue Oaks

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"Well," the auction is set for Jan 14 and I'm guessing the deteriorating economy and rising interest rates bode "well" for a lower winning bid. If anyone is interested, here's the link to the County Fire requirements for water storage in the Wildland Urban Interface Fire Area of Santa Clara County. https://stgenpln.blob.core.windows.net/document/FMO_NoPurveyor_Brochure.pdf

Since the property is only 150 feet wide, it's highly likely any future house will be within 50 feet of a property line, so going to ensure I'm covering the numbers plus the 50% add per the above link. I think 20k gallons on the hill at the new site is what I'll do, provided I get the property. I'd place four 5k tanks on a pad, again waaaaay up the hill haha.

Looks like 4" pipe, and likely PVC is ok. Still maybe $3/ft for the main 4" pipe down. I'll probably suck it up and go schedule 80 again. I think inch or inch and a quarter will be fine for the feed line going up. Total materials cost for the project will likely be in the $20k range, but should add that amount to the property value. I'll have the requisite wharf hydrant down at the bottom, along with a 2" spigot of some type, as well as probably one or two more spigots along the route up the hill for use in a fire, or irrigation of some landscaping.

I'm still not sure at all what if any 120 or 240 volt wiring I'll run up the hill, and how far. That will most likely be a game time decision once I own the property and have my buddy with the bobcat with tracks carve the road up, the path for the piping down, and the flat areas for the tanks and maybe a "vista point" somewhere.

I'm getting excited. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
 

Blue Oaks

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Here's a very crude top view of my place labeled 1, and the property next door labeled 2.

Elevation increases as you move up and to the left in the picture. The new tanks will be higher than my existing tanks

The two light blue circle-ish marks are my current water tanks I put on the hill. The four circle-ish marks on parcel 2 is approx where I'd put the new tanks. The yellow line marks the approx path of the pipe I'll put in between to periodically replenish my house's tanks. Finally, the purple line is about where the piping would go up from the well and back down near the street.

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Blue Oaks

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I emailed the county and asked if the property auction was on for Jan and she replied, no- check back in early Jan. <sigh...>

Looking at pipe and tank pricing, my $20k materials estimate seems low at this point. The last project only involved trenching the additional distance up the hill. The well next door all the way to the tank locations might be 500 feet or more, depending on the eventual route.
 
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