Once the concrete pad is dry, the pump mechanism is carefully lowered into the hole and a hand pump is attached. The team makes note of how much water flows and ensures it is safe to drink.

As Wayne said actual depths in your area compiled in a database…..contact a well drilling company in your area and see if they have such a database…

Once the hole for the well is drilled, it has to be cased. This simply means putting a four inch diameter pipe down the hole to be the well. The first section of pipe is perforated to function as a well screen. A well point is placed on the end of this, to plug the end and guide the pipe through the hole, keeping the well screen from striking the bottom of the hole. The space around the pipe is filled in with pea gravel, with a cement cap to keep debris out of the well hole.

Requirements are 10-20 feet below static water level and 10 feet off the bottom…..

For best results, dug wells must be lined on the top part. This is referred to as casing of the hole. You simply line the top of the well with impermeable materials (usually bricks, stone masonry or concrete) to keep surface water from infiltrating/contaminating the well.

It has a 25+ year shelf life so you can buy one and have it just in case an emergency occurs…..or go ahead and install it as I did….

Because these new wells are completely sealed, the water stays clean and can be consumed without any treatment.

When it comes to groundwater exploration, you must know that excess rainwater infiltrates the soil and tends to accumulate beneath the earth’s surface in aquifers, which are zones of water saturation. Hence, a well is simply a hole dug into the respective aquifer, from which a certain portion can be pumped out and used for irrigation, to water your livestock, domestic purposes and what not.

After you find the proper location, go dig a test well in the “sweet spot”. See how deep you must go to hit water and try to measure the fill rate. Depending on your water needs and the fill rate, you’ll decide if you’ll dig the well in the respective location or not.

When there is only about 10 inches of pipe sticking above the ground, it’s time to add a section of pipe to the drill point. Remove the cap and install an internally threaded coupling. A good Teflon pipe joint compound must be applied to the threads to ensure that the well casing seals properly. Add pipe in five-foot sections, as any longer will put the top too high to be able to drive it. Don’t forget to put the cap onto the new section of pipe to protect the threads.

It is wise to use the best possible equipment. You will need a pump, a wellpoint (1 1/4 inches diameter recommended), lengths of galvanized steel riser pipe, couplings, a drive cap, and pipe-thread compound. Tools include an auger or a post-hole digger, a driving device and pipe wrenches.

You should also check with your local building department because depending on your location, you may require a building permit and also you must meet certain construction standards. It’s a good idea to contact your utility company too to make sure that you don’t start digging holes on top of gas pipes and the like.

So as Jim said the best scenario would be to have an existing well with pump and then build/install a solar power backup system with a manual or automatic transfer switch….

Thanks for the comprehensive well drilling guide, Chris! If something were to ever happen, it would be nice to know how to do this. Not everyone knows how to get clean access to water, but now I do! It would be nice to have a high-yield well in my yard; I wouldn't have a need for a water bill! Great article!

I need help. I have a 500 foot well recently had some work done on it. Something slipped 28 feet down and I can no longer put the pump all the way down the hole . How can I drill 28 feet down to clear the obstruction

This manual drilling method uses a small-diameter open-bottom bucket with angled teeth at the end to cut into the soil. The bucket is attached by a series of steel rods to a T-shaped handle at the top by which the bucket is rotated. As the bucket fills, it is lifted out and emptied. Additional rods are added as the hole gets deeper. Auguring is normally used for taking soil samples, but is has been marketed for use in shallow well construction.

But if nobody can observe you, then nobody knows what you are doing if you don't tell them.

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Shallow well, IMO I would have the water tested. Should a person pump out a hundred gallons then test? If potentially left untouched for months at a time, test as is AND after flush??

Things to Meditate Upon before Starting Your Well Endeavor

Check out FloJak and D.C. Works, great products and great people!…..

Low-yield wells may be enough for drinking, but if you dig a well for irrigation purposes, that’s another matter. There are scientific methods for finding the best spots for high-yield wells and generally speaking, high-yield wells are those that penetrate a fractured rock zone.

I suppose if your groundwater is shallow enough, you could still hand dig a well with a shovel and pick. But for most of us, we’re going to need to go deeper than practical to dig a well. We’re going to need to use some more complicated methods.

Where I live in rural Tennessee, I've seen both well and spring water contaminated with E. coli from human and livestock fecal matter. While most varieties are harmless (because both man and beast contain it in the intestines) there are those strains that are dangerous, especially to the young and the old. So, to have a suitable distance from population and livestock is a major consideration.

You can tell when you reach the water table, because you’ll hear a hollow “bong” when you strike the pipe. You can check how far into the water table you are by removing the cap off of the pipe and dropping a weighted string into the pipe. When it hits bottom, draw it back up and see how much of the string is wet. You want the well driven into the water table far enough that the entire well screen is in the water.

A pretty straightforward indicator of a shallow aquifer is that spot on your property that has green grass during the driest part of the year.

Wow, I had no idea that drilling wells could be such an exact science! I thought maybe I could take a weekend to dig a well for our yard, but now I am reconsidering this. The amount of tools I'd need to get...it might be better for me to just let a professional handle things. That way I'll know the job is done right too.

The simplest wells have traditionally been hand dug. That's right...by hand. They can be fifty or more feet deep and are used when ground water is generally abundant. These wells are extremely dangerous to build and have cost many lives of unskilled laborers. They are also often left uncovered and easily contaminated. They aren't always an ideal solution, but when properly installed they can be quite effective.

There are three important steps or procedures to follow for optimum results in well-digging: siting, drilling and testing the well.

In Central Kenya, just one example of how different geography can dramatically change the game, some wells must be over 900 feet deep. This introduces all kinds of challenge and expense.

To answer Dawns question.Get a cast iron hand pump.They are a bit expensive,along with another plastic pipe that is put in the well hole, but worth every penny.Cheap ones will break.

How to dig a well

In some instances a greater length of the wellpoint can be brought into contact with water-bearing sand by raising or lowering the assembly about 1 or 2 feet.

My grandparents had a well, and they were known for having really good water! Since then I've considered getting one in my future home, so this information was very interesting to me! If I can find either a company or someone to help me, I like the idea of having a Drilled Well. Thanks for all the help!

On the website www.howtodrillawell.com, you can buy a kit for drilling your own well. This kit uses air power to drive an air motor which is down the hole in the well, directly behind the drill bit. While a totally different concept than other well drilling methods, it is quite effective.

My grandpa's Well went dry this spring and he's trying to find a good company to help him dig deeper and re-establish the well. I had no idea that wells could go to 3,000 feet deep. I'll have to talk to my grandfather to see how deep his well is and if he can dig deeper.

I wanted a backup manual (hand pump) well on my property just in case the city water supply was interrupted due to various problems.

Pipe sections five to six feet long are generally used in driven wells. Make certain you use galvanized pipe and couplings with good clean threads free of defects. Couplings should be of the reamed and drifted (R & D) variety.

Even if you have a bare piece of land with nothing on it but a tent or trailer that nobody knows about, if its' if it's registered you might as well just 'advertise' your location for future intrusion either by government or anybody who checks the state well logs and locations.

Hi Rich! I recently bought a new home in a rather rural area. I have been considering installing a well for part of the home’s water source, and then potentially changing the entire house over to later as a way to save money in the long run. Your article is excellent and gave me some great ideas on how I can get started on supplying my home with well water.

An example of one of our project sites is in Western Kenya, where we fund a young NGO known as The Bridge Water Project. Many of the drillers on this team have had experience deep in a hang dug wells.