Lake or Well ?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by dmarple, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. dmarple

    dmarple New Member

    Messages:
    9
    We live on a lake. We had an irrigation system installed 3 years ago. We irrigate apx 1 acre with beds (13 zones). a 20 ft elevation difference form the lake to the front of the property. The source of water was the lake. The pump has now failed and we are looking at signifcant investment to replace the pump. My question is if there is a payout to using lake water vs well water ? Is it cheaper to pump out of the lake ? Do we save wear and tear on the well pump (installed in 2006) by pumping out of the lake ? Our well is apx 200 ft deep. There are no issues with regard to supply of water in either the well or the lake that I know of.

    Sure would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

    Thanks

    Dennis
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    No issues that you know of. There may be some you don't know of and it would be very wise to investigate the legality of pumping from a lake or from a well. I believe the federal and state regulations differ from state to state, but I'd be surprised if there aren't some restrictions, requirements, regulations, etc.. This doesn't address your question, but it might be important to know these things before worrying about a pump.
  3. dmarple

    dmarple New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Thanks - Yes the lake authority charges a $50 fee for a permit to pump from the lake - which we have.

    The well is also registerd and permitted. We are covered either way from those stand points.
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Lake water may have a little dirt or silt but, a lake pump should still last a long time. What caused the pump to fail? How is it controlled? A well pump will probably have the same problem.
  5. dmarple

    dmarple New Member

    Messages:
    9
    The pump failure is a source of much debate between me and the contractor. He says it must have been "mysterious" Debris.

    It is controlled with a Mascontrol as I wanted hose bibs up at the front of the property and that was one way to to get that to work. I believe the mascontol failed and and the pump deadheaded and caused the pump to overheat to the point where it created steam and runined the pump. There had been several occaisons in the past where it heated up enough to melt the PVC off the pump. We were never able to catch it in the act. When the pump was on, being used for irrigation, it operated normally and was not hot.

    I have spent more hours than I want to arguing with this guy but the bottom line is the system never worked.

    My original thoughts were it was cheaper to pump from the lake. Seems like power costs would be less but I have never been able to get my arms around that. Too many variables. Also I figured replacing a Lake pump would be alot cheaper than replacing a well pump. I didn't expect it to crater in 3 years though.
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You are just lucky your pump lasted that long. The Masscontrol is the all time worst thing you can do to a pump. Even just a small tank and pressure switch would have been better. The Masscontrol starts the pump at low pressure, then stops the pump 8 seconds after a no flow switch is activated. It has a built in pressure tank that holds about 1 tablespoon of water. So when you have a leak or small flow, the pump runs 8 seconds, then it is off for about 2 seconds, over and over and over again, until the pump is toast. It is not uncommon for pumps to last less than a week using a Masscontrol. I can assure you it was not a "debris" problem. It was a Masscontrol problem.

    I don't know how people can sell this kind of junk and stay in business. About every 5 years, Masscontrol shows up at the Water Well trade shows like it is something new. I guess it takes about 5 years for people to forget all the problems they had. Or maybe there is just a new batch of gullible people every 5 years.

    If you had used a Cycle Stop Valve, small tank, and pressure switch, that pump could have survived pumping lake water for 20 years. Some pump installers understand all of this, and some just don't have a clue.
  7. dmarple

    dmarple New Member

    Messages:
    9
    The old saying "live and learn" applies here.

    If there ere, theoretically, no limits to water useage either from the well or the lake, Does it make sense to have 2 systems or should I just run it off the well ? Thanks
  8. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    The pumping costs increase with the needed pressure.

    If you don't need full house pressure it would be more efficient to use the lake water and a low head pressure pump.

    On the other hand. If you need more than ~30PSI at the sprinklers, then you are better off using the well and a CSV followed by a tank and regular pressure control switch.

    Note: Figure an additional 15PSI to lift the water up the 20 feet from the lake and push it threw the pipes.
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Lake water is cheaper to pump because it is more shallow. Other than that it doesn't make any difference.
  10. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Sorry Bill I am slow at typing. Electric cost will probably be 20 to 40% more for the deep well pump. How much does your irrigation cost to run?
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I'll second the Masscontrol issue. I bought four of them to try out years ago. I installed two, took them back off in less than a week and threw all four away. That's how much I liked them.

    bob...
  12. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    For a Sprinkler System? I don't think your certification applies here.

    bob...
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