Old well cleaning help: Farming Ranching Agriculture  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review Old well cleaning help: Farming Ranching Agriculture -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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 05-09-2003, 09:50 Post: 54569
IHcubman



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 Old well cleaning help

We have recently bought some farmland and we are building our home there. We built a barn last year and now I am building our house. I know this project is down the road some, but I try to think about long-term goals for the farm (keeps me sane when I start to get overwhelmed with building the house). Some of the old timers in the area told me that they remembered an old well on the property. Well, (no pun intended) I finally found it. It is near an old overgrown pond/swampy area. The well is about 4 square and is filled right to the top; in fact it often overflows the (crumbling) cement walls. I took an old branch and tried to determine the depth and Id guess it to be around 10 deep. Because the boards covering the well have long rotted away, the well is pretty mucked up with old leaves and debris. We hope to eventually erect some greenhouses in the area and the well would be great for watering the plants without taxing the house well. Does anyone have any ideas or experience in mucking out an old well? How could I easily shore-up or rebuild the walls? Could I put in a pre-cast cement pipe or something to line it?






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 05-09-2003, 10:11 Post: 54571
slowrev



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 Old well cleaning help

I would get some LARGE corrugated perforated plastic drain pipe and put down in it and fill up around it with gravel, then rent a trash pump and suck out the muck. put a concrete cover or well box over it for safety. but that is just me. I hope you don't plan on drinking out of it.






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 05-09-2003, 10:42 Post: 54574
IHcubman



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 Old well cleaning help

Sounds like a good idea to me too. I only plan to use the well for irrigation purposes, not for drinking. Don't need to contract some form of "Beaver fever"!






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 05-09-2003, 13:11 Post: 54579
SELou
2003-05-09 00:00:00
Post: 54579
 Old well cleaning help

First, about using concrete pipe for a well liner. I have a 70' deep well that is lined with 36" concrete pipe segments. Works well, don't know if the bottom segments are drilled or not. The pump power cable and discharge pipe is drilled into a pipe segment about 2' below the ground surface. It is capped with a concrete cap. We do not use it for potable water, due to pasture animals keeping the E-coli count too high.

To clean out your existing well, you may want to look at using an air-lift pump. They are cheap to make and use, just need some PVC pipe and an air compressor. Don't even need electricity. There are several places on the web that show how these are build. I've used them up to 6" in diameter and 500' deep, and they can lift a huge amount of water and muck. Give it a try.






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 05-09-2003, 15:56 Post: 54584
slowrev



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 Old well cleaning help

The air lift pump thingy sounds like a good idea. How big of a compressor do you need ?






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 05-09-2003, 16:38 Post: 54587
AC5ZO

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 Old well cleaning help

The compressor size depends on how deep you are going. If you are only going 10 to 15 ft, then a 2 HP compressor should be adequate. These work by making bubbles that push water and muck up through the pipe. You inject bubbles near the lower end of the larger pipe at high pressure. The flow up through the pipe will carry the stuff out.

Any compressor with a good tank will give you adequate flow for a short period. At deeper levels more power is required for supplying a continuous flow of air at higher pressure. These really work best when you can keep up the flow continously and the entire column of bubbles and water provide a powerful suction.






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 05-10-2003, 08:32 Post: 54609
TomG

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 Old well cleaning help

What we did for a similar well (minus the livestock) at our camp was to put a half-tile and cover above ground and parge the ground-level joints between the tiles with mortar. A previous owner did use the water for drinking but we don't-even though it tested 0-0 last summer.

There was a feed line to the old house cut into the casing about 3' down. The feed line ran through clay tile (that ironically used to drain a lot of water from the well to the cellar during the spring. I broke into the clay tile about 5' from the well, build a wood platform and put in new feed line to a hand pump on the platform. Other people drill a hold in a cover and install a hand pump.

There's enough flow from the well for our needs so I haven't bothered vacuuming the bottom. If it's only 10' deep, a rental trash pump probably has enough lift to do some vacuuming. The water flow from a fairly shallow drilled well in the Township improved a lot after a 1,000 gallons was pumped from the township water tanker was pumped in at the bottom. The water tanker is for fire fighting, but its pump doesn't quite produce enough pressure to call it a fire truck. I'm not sure how good an idea that is but it's something that was done to test the pump the recently acquired tanker.

There are often quite a few environmental regs about such things. Unused wells are supposed be filled many places and sometimes doing what seems like maintenance may require the whole thing to be brought up to current codes. You might consider checking around quietly to see if regs in your area apply to what you're thinking of doing.






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 05-10-2003, 21:25 Post: 54628
slowrev



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 Old well cleaning help

AC5Z0,
Thanks for the info, I understand the principle I used to keep tropical fish and many of the filters, etc work by the same principle. I just had not thought to use on a large scale I guess.






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 05-12-2003, 09:28 Post: 54721
AC5ZO

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If you are not going to use the water for drinking and it is only a few feet deep, wouldn't a septic tank pumping truck be able to clear away the deposited sediment?






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