How to Drill a Water Well With Garden Hose

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Attach a jet pump to a shallow well you install yourself and get instant, free water.
Attach a jet pump to a shallow well you install yourself and get instant, free water. (Image: Italian water pump. Isolated on white. image by diter from Fotolia.com)

If you live in an area with a relatively high water table and your soil is relatively free of rocks, you can “jet” in a shallow well and have a source of water, free from the chemicals that treat drinking water from municipal water treatment facilities. Water from shallow wells is great for gardening and washing cars. Depending on the quality of the water, it can even be used as a source for drinking and washing in your home.

Things You'll Need

  • 20 feet 2-inch diameter steel pipe
  • 20 feet 1 1/4-inch diameter PVC pipe
  • Pipe wrenches
  • 1 1/4-inch PVC well point
  • Garden hose
  • PVC pipe cleaner
  • PVC pipe cement
  • Pipe fittings
  • Tractor with front loader
  • Chain
  • Shallow well jet pump
  • 1 1/4-inch check valve

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Assemble Pipes

Reduce the 2-inch threads on the end of the steel pipe down to smaller fittings, terminating in a female fitting sized to the standard male end threads of a garden hose. Use an assortment of pipe fittings for this. Include a pair of 90-degree elbows in this step so when the hose is attached, it will be running parallel to the length of steel pipe.

Swab one end of the PVC pipe and the inside of the end of the PVC well point that will attach to the pipe with PVC pipe-cleaning solvent, using the applicator attached to the lid of the can. Allow the cleaning solvent to dry completely.

Swab the cleaned ends of the pipe and well point with PVC cement, then insert the end of the pipe into the end of the well point with a rotating motion.

Hold the well point and pipe together for 30 seconds to allow the cement to set.

Jetting the Well

Attach a garden hose to the fitting on the end of the steel pipe and connect the other end of the hose to a water supply.

Raise the steel pipe to a vertical position and hold it there.

Turn on the water from the water hydrant, full force. Have a helper handle this.

Hold the pipe in a vertical position. Water will leak out at the bottom where the end contacts the soil and at first, air and bubbles will be forced out as the steel pipe fills with water. Once the pipe is completely full of water, the water pressure coming out the end of the pipe will begin to wash away the soil supporting the pipe and the weight of the pipe will cause it to start sinking into the ground.

Allow the pipe to sink downward. Apply additional downward pressure by hand as needed. Stop when all but a foot of the steel pipe has sunk into the ground. Shut off the water at the water source.

Installing the Well

Remove all the pipe fittings from the top of the steel pipe.

Lift the PVC pipe and well point to a vertical position and insert the well point into the top of the steel pipe jutting out of the ground.

Lower the PCV pipe/well point inside the pipe until it bottoms out. You will now have the steel pipe sunk almost all the way in the ground and approximately 4½ feet of PVC pipe extending up out of the steel pipe.

Remove Steel Pipe

Slide the steel pipe up off the PVC pipe by attaching a chain around the steel pipe and hooking the other end of the chain to the front loader on a tractor.

Hold the PVC pipe firmly in place as the tractor begins to extract the steel pipe. By the time the steel pipe is raised to the top of the PVC pipe, the PVC will be firm enough that the remainder of the steel pipe can be removed without pulling out the PVC.

Continue removing the steel pipe, repositioning the chain as needed until the pipe is completely up and off the PVC.

Attach the Pump

Plumb the PVC pipe as needed to attach it to a pump to pull the water out of the ground.

Include a check valve between the well point and the electric jet pump.

Attach an electric jet pump, prime the pump as per directions and start pumping water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Depending on the ground water table depth, you may be able to get plenty of water from the well with the point only a few feet under the surface. Going deeper ensures plenty of water during the dry part of the year and will likely result in higher-quality water.
  • Initially, the water coming from the well will be murky, but that will clear up quickly as the well is used.
  • Don't install a well destined to be used for drinking water within 50 feet of a septic system.
  • Before drinking the water, have the water lab-tested for bacteria and chemical contamination.

References

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