The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that approximately 15 percent of Americans use private drinking water supplies. Shallow wells provide an economical water source in areas with a high water table. They are a popular solution as a source of water for domestic or irrigation purposes, especially in isolated areas which are not connected to a water grid. If you have a shallow aquifer --- also known as a water table --- you can reasonably expect to draw up to 5 gallons of water per minute. The depth of the water table must be within 10 to 15 feet from the surface for a shallow well to be viable.
Things You'll Need
- Riser pipe
- Drive couplings
- Post hole digger
- Pipe driver
- Carpenter's level
- Pipe wrenches
Choose a location for your shallow well. It must be at least a 100 feet from drain fields and animal yards and a 150 feet from any cesspools and dry wells to avoid contaminating the aquifer.
Dig or drill a hole up to a foot below the water table level with the posthole digger. Make the hole 1 or 2 inches wider than the wellpoint. The wellpoint is a perforated tube used to collect the water from the water-bearing sand.
Insert the wellpoint into the hole. Attach riser pipe sections to the wellpoint until the riser pipe. Attach a driving cap to the riser pipe to protect the threads and transmit the blow of the pipe driver. Use a pipe driver the well point down. Use a pipe wrench to ensure a tight connection.
Check that the wellpoint and riser pipe are completely vertical with your carpenter's plumb. Attach a hand-pitcher pump to the riser pipe.
Tips & Warnings
- Rub the openings of the wellpoint with a bar of soap to avoid clay and sand from entering.
- For safety reasons, you should seal and abandon any test holes or unsuccessful wells. Private wells are not regulated by the EPA and therefore may not have experts regularly checking the quality of the water. The owners of a shallow well must take precautions to protect their water supply.
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