Deep well left open for 10 years!!!

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by just1poe, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. just1poe

    just1poe New Member

    I am building a new house on the site of an old farmhouse. The old house has not been lived in for at least 10 years. It has a 100 foot deep 6" well that has been wide open to the environment for at least that long.
    Here are some additional details:
    1. I have not yet tested the water for contaminates (I just assumed they would be there)
    2. This would be the sole water supply for the house
    3. I have a water softener to install
    4. There is water to within 60' of the top
    5. I plan to install a cistern as described in another thread

    My question is:
    How do I clean out the "critters" that have surely fallen in and died (mice, frogs, snakes, etc.)
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Land of Cheese
    Before you do anything, I call in a well company to determine what amount of water the well can actually produce. It might be inadequate for what you plan on using it for.

    I don't know any way the average property owner can remove vermin from a deep well. I believe most companies would test the water and determine how best to treat it in as per the test results.
  3. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Virginia Beach, VA
    Not a big problem!

    Run a PVC pipe to near the bottom and connect it to a 125 to 160cfm portable air compressor (trailer mounted). Turn the air on slowly at first, once the water and air unloads from the well you can turn on more air if you like.

    Be careful it will try to blow the PVC pipe out of the well until it unloads. Once it starts blowing air and water fairly steady it will blow everything out of the well. . . rocks, bugs, frogs, snakes and whatever!

    Once the well is reasonably clean you can check the well for flow by confining the water coming out of the well and measuring the water with a 5 or 6 gallon bucket and a stop watch. How long it takes in minutes/seconds to fill a 5 or 6 gallon bucket is how many gallons per minute the wells will supply.

    Then you can decide what size pump the well can handle.

    Once you have a pump installed I suggest that you mix a gallon of Bleach with 10 to 15 gallons of water and pour it in the well, then turn the pump on until you smell the water, then turn the pump off and let it set overnight. The next day pump the well until you no longer smell the Bleach then have the water tested for Coliform Bacteria by a state approved testing laboratory. The laboratory will advise you as to how they need the sample taken. If the water comes back as safe (which it probably will) you're good to go.
  4. just1poe

    just1poe New Member

    Thanks Guys!!!

    Thanks cacher chick,
    The well had previously supplied a large family so I am hoping with the cistern it will be adequate for my family of 3. I know I am "rolling the dice" on this one but the new well estimate was almost $3000 and I have built this house completely out of pocket and funds are now low.

    I figured testing the well with the host of critter that must be floating around down there would be useless. Testing after cleaning and disinfecting would at least let me know if the water was bad before it got to the well.

    Thanks Porky,
    I have a friend with one of the big industrial compressors and the PVC that was in the well originally, so this is so far a "free" fix. AWESOME!!!!
    I have a submersible pump from my father (he had it changed out and it turned out to not be the problem) to fill the cistern and I was going to use the original jet pump from the well to pressurize the house from the cistern.

    It may be a few weeks before I can try all this but I will let you know how it goes.

    Thanks again everyone for all your help!!!
  5. Robert444

    Robert444 New Member

    Monett, Missouri
    I've dug a fair amount of corner post holes over the years, and just letting them sit overnight I've found everything from mice, to moles to cats in them. I always rescue the critters and turn them loose, but in my experience if it CAN fall down a hole, it WILL.
  6. just1poe

    just1poe New Member

    I had better do this with my wife not around. If she sees a cat come flying out of this thing she will make me drill a new well anyway.

    I don't know if I want to see all the things that are going to come flying out.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The well does not exist in a vacuum. It is open to the water strata supplying it, so anything contaminating it is can also affect anyone else drawing from that same water strata.
  8. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Lubbock, Texas
    I have cleaned up open wells like this that have had 20' of compacted rabbits and other critters down there. Animals smell the water, lean over for a drink, and become fossils like in the tar pits. I used a big machine and a suction bailer to clean out the solid matter. Pumped, disinfected, and pumped some more to make a usable well. It takes a lot of work but it can be done.
  9. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Land of Cheese
    There's one of those phrases I alway wish I could use in a conversation! :p
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