Is it possble to drill your well like this?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Jsncrso, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Jsncrso

    Jsncrso New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    OBX, NC
    Hey all. I recently drilled my own well to about 20' using the popular DIY method using a 3/4" water supply and a 2" PVC pipe drill. I live only a few feet above sea level on top of soft clay and consequently the water table is only about 8 feet below. While it literally takes me less than 10 minutes to drill to the 20' depth, that's as far as I can go. It seems that I hit a very soft and porous sandy layer and the water just disperses into the sand, essentially turning my drilling rig into an injection well. I plan on renting a 200GPM mud pump to continue down, but I'm afraid I'll have the same problem in 5-10 more feet.

    With that said, is it possible to reverse the pump to suction and essentially suck my drill down though the sand? I have a feeling I'll get further by pumping the sand out rather than pumping water into the sandy layer. Is this possible, or will the sand be to much for the pump to evacuate even at that small of a lift?

    I prefer to go deeper to reduce surface contaminants and improve water quality.

    Thanks!
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,933
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I assume you are jetting down with your 3/4" pipe but you don't describe the jet nozzle you are using. If most of the water streams don't shoot up into the 2" pipe, then it won't lift the coarse sand.

    If you are in a good water making aquifer, you could switch to using air to lift the sand.
  3. Jsncrso

    Jsncrso New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    OBX, NC
    I'm drilling with a 2 inch PVC pipe with teeth cut into the pipe as my drill point. The 3/4" is just the amount of water supply I'm using (I tapped into my county water main line coming into the house instead of the common water hose method to get more GPM).

    Anyway, the air method you describe is a good idea, but the water level drops several feet in the hole once I hit the sand layer so I'm not sure how much extra help the air would be (plus it sounds more expensive as I assume you need an air motor). I was hoping the mud pump could lift the sand out since it absorbs so much water, but the pump may push enough GPM where I'll be fine regardless. I haven't rented the pump yet, just curious if the method would work.
  4. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Member

    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    The only water you're going to be able to get in your area with your method, is in that 8-15' deep range.....then it will be a couple hundred feet of clay before the Castle Hayne formation that your local town wells are screened in. You will never maintain circulation in that sand without drilling fluid....you need to add bentonite...with good drilling fluid, the 3/4" connection would be enough water to drill a 6" hole; However, you can wash down a successful well fine with the methods you are using....just get a 5' well screen in to 15' total depth and you'll probably have a 50 gpm well. You should be able to drive it in. I wouldn't drink the water though....since it's so close to surface water.
  5. Jsncrso

    Jsncrso New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    OBX, NC
    Thanks for the reply. The county (Currituck) water department states "The Currituck County mainland water supply is drawn from 28 shallow wells and 3 deep wells located in Maple, NC. The fresh water shallow wells are 50-140 feet deep and the deep brackish wells are 185' deep; both well systems draw water from the Yorktown Aquifer" (I'm several miles west of Maple). I think I'm east enough that we don't have the clay that you mention, but geology is also not an absolute science. I would like to try bentonite but I'm not sure where to obtain any locally. I do agree that 20' is to shallow for a potable water supply. Originally it was for watering all of the farm animals but we had an $1800 water bill one month due to a large leak (we have 1200+ feet of 1" from the meter to the house that's buried 6 inches below the inside edge of a neighboring corn field!). It's still a hobby project right now but I would prefer not having to pay $70 a month for a water bill either.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  6. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I know you're area and you need to use a trash pump (gasoline pump) and some Bentonite mud from Noland; Ferguson or Turf and Garden in your area. Mix it with your drilling water (it won't mix easily, you may need to use a paint mixer and a battery powered drill), dig a small pit (or use a portable pan) and circulate the mud through your wash pipe until you reach the depth you want to go then install a 1-1/4" by 2' pvc screen (with a cap on the bottom) and 1-1/4" pvc pipe to the top. connect your trach pump to the 1-1/4" pipe and pump it until the water clears. Now you have a well. (NOTE): I suggest that you test it for chlorides (salt) content). If you have chlorides you have driller too deep. Move over some distance and drill again. Well Drilling in your area looks easy and is, however it is an art. Almost all drillers make a lot of mistakes before they become experienced. Important Note: Dare County requires a drilling permit even if you are drilling a well yourself. . . just saying!
  7. Jsncrso

    Jsncrso New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    OBX, NC
    Porky, thanks for the insight. That's about what I figured I had to do, and I'm glad you confirmed it. I'll have to swing by Noland and pick up a bag. Since this well is in Currituck, I don't need a permit ($400!) unless I use it for human consumption which I don't plan to do yet. Once I get it dug, I'll post a follow up here and let everyone know how it went.
  8. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    903
    Location:
    ct
    $400.00? Wow...I thought $150 was bad
  9. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    State Regulators have to make money too! Even if they have no knowledge of what it takes to drill a proper well.
  10. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    903
    Location:
    ct
    Truer words were never spoken
  11. Jsncrso

    Jsncrso New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    OBX, NC
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,159
    Location:
    IL
    I tried to look up their non-profit status, and I did not succeed.
  13. Jsncrso

    Jsncrso New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    OBX, NC
    I could very well be wrong. I'm assuming it's non-profit, but since I have not checked their status, it's only my opinion and could very well be a for profit company.

    Regardless, we are keeping the county water for our home for now and will use the well only for livestock watering, outside fixtures, and our future open loop geothermal system....at least until the next time it breaks and we are faced with another 2K water bill!
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