Did our neighbor screwup our shared welll?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by faradayinc, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. faradayinc

    faradayinc New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Chester, Ny
    We share a shallow well with our neighbor. As of last Sunday, the water has a terrible, manure like smell, to it. Coincidentally, that day, our neighbor had his plumber friend over to change his pump. He had told us that he was having trouble with his pump and also commented that he was thinking of changing the foot valve.

    The well is about halfway between our houses about 30 feet to each house. It is probably 40 feet deep and both homes have two pipes entering the well. The well cap is about 2 feet below grade.

    We are on good terms with this neighbor, but I don't want approach him about the well water without as much information as I can get. He has not said anything to us about it and that is VERY unlike him.

    We are concerned he tried to disinfect the well or perhaps tried to cleanup a clogged jet and introduced something into the well.

    It's been 4 days now and the water is still very bad. It does NOT smell like sulfur and has a bad taste.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

    PS Our house is for sale and this will really put a monkey wrench into our plans.
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,578
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    This would be my first concern. A well cap below grade is like having a drain for your yard, that flushes right into your well. Plus you can get all kinds of stuff in the well from pulling the pipe, laying it on the ground, then putting it back in the well. Unless your neighbor knows what he did, the only way to find out the problem is to do a water test. Then you will know what it is and how to fix it. Probably won't do much good to disinfect the well until you raise the well head above ground level.
  3. faradayinc

    faradayinc New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Chester, Ny
    Many thanks for your reply.

    The neighbors pump is in his house. He didn't pull the line or expose the well cap. He just changed the pump.
    Our thinking was that he may have done something else, unbeknown to us. He can be a sneaky type.
    When he made comments about the foot valve we started thinking he may have tried to do something from within the house to remedy the valve or maybe clean a jet?

    We plan on getting the water tested, but for what?
  4. faradayinc

    faradayinc New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Chester, Ny
    Our neighbor hasn't done anything but change the pump inside his house and the line never lost prime.

    Not to make it seem like we are on a a witch hunt but we have a "new" neighbor that has occupied an adjacent house about a month ago. This home has been vacant for 5 years and it has a big sulfur water problem. When they use water it really permeates the air. We also don't think their septic system is up to snuff.

    We did have significant rainfall the night before our well started misbehaving and we're now wondering if the rain and new neighbors activity has had an effect.

    We are going to dig down to the well cap, treat the well with shock chlorine and extend the casing above grade.

    One side note, when we took a 12 oz. water sample and added a spoonful of Clorox bleach to it, it turned a reddish color. I assume this indicates a high level of iron.
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