muddy well for christmas

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jobuck, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. jobuck

    jobuck New Member

    Messages:
    8
    We just moved into our new home (2 months ago) and suddenly 3 days ago our water went to pure mud. Our well is 170' deep, submersible pump is (was) at 150 feet. the water level is around 100 feet with about 55' feet of galv casing.

    I called a plumber...he pulled the pump and cut 25' off to try and get above the sludge.

    when we pulled the pump the waterline/rope/wire was COVERED with thick gooey mud from 58' down to 100' (where it was washed clean by the water level). For a couple days I could run the hydrant full blast for a couple hours and clear the water but that no longer works. We have not had any rain for 3 days, so if surface water did get around the casing why is it not clearing up. Could it be continually falling in.

    The original well driller is not being very helpful, and actually he quit answering my calls.
    The well is 6 months old with 2 months of use, I hate to spend another $2000-$3000 on a new one already, any ideas.
    thanks
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    The plumber had no idea what he was doing. If the well is pumping undesirable water, the pump will pick it up no matter where it's located in the well. Now if your well is a low producer, you will have more problems than if he had left it where it was.

    If you can't get any help from this shyster driller, check with your county or state. Whoever it is that regulates the well drillers. Then register a complaint. If this is a new house, call your builder. He should have to stand behind anything done in that new house for at least one year. If he is still using this guy, he would have far more leverage than you would over this guy.

    The reason I'm not offering any advice is that the well was good for two months and now is showing nasty water. I have no idea what is wrong, but I am sure the driller does.

    Good lluck,

    bob...
  3. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    You probably have a soft seem in the well that has dumped a lot of material into the bore hole. Either that or you have a poor seal where the casing is seated in the rock. I would shut the main off to the house and try runing a garden hose off the tank in the basement to see if you can't flush the material out of the well. I have seen it work before and it can sometimes take days before you see results. If your able to get a good reputable well company out there they will probably try flushing it at the well but for now i would run a hose from the tank, outside, and turn it on full blast. If that doesent work, you will need to get a well company that has a down hole camera. They can get video of the well to determine where the sediment is coming in. If its coming from where the casing is seated in the rock, then a seal can be installed to resolve the problem.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  4. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    I assume you are referring to a jaswell seal ? Does anyone have any idea what a ballpark figure might be to have a downhole camera run down the well if the drop-pipe & pump was already removed ? Probably to many variables to even guess ?
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  5. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    When i use my camera, i will pump the well and lower the water level beyond the casing so i can see if there is any water coming in at that point. If there isn't any water coming in there, i will keep lowering the water in order to inspect the natural water bearing zones. Sometimes i will have to pull the pump to remove the wire guides so the camera can get to where i want it to be. I usualy get around 500.00 for a camera inspection. Sometimes more depending on the depth of the well. If the jaswell seal has to be installed, i will try to go easy on the price of the inspection. The jaswell seal can also correct low ph!

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  6. jobuck

    jobuck New Member

    Messages:
    8
    thanks for the input

    just to reply:
    we bought the property from a realtor/developer and in the negotiations we had them pay for and drill the well. so the home builder had no dealing with the water system, I installed pump and lines myself. So really I guess I am on my own here.

    We are in rural wv, so no zoning laws or regulatory agency that I know of.
    If the driller wont return my calls and try to help, I may persue that later, as I feel he should be somewhat responsible. If that casing was down to "rock" I dont feel that all that mud should be on the pipe. I can understand a little muddy water seeping by the casing or grout but my toilet tank has 2 inches of mud settled in it.
    I cannot hear water running into my well (remember the slip was at 58' and my water level is at 100') so do you think it is still filling in or it is the pump just stirring up the sediment.
    Has anyone ever had the driller blow it out and live happily ever after?
    I hate to throw good money after bad, so should I drill a new well or try to save this one.

    I am sort of like "wv hillbilly" good water is hard to hit plus we make about 30 gallons a minute which is almost unheard of around here, many neighbors haul water.
    So even drilling over is a risk.
    thanks every one for your help and have a Merry Christmas
  7. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    If you don't mind my asking where are you in WV ? I now live in Doddridge Co. & have also lived in Upshur Co. & Monroe Co. I also looked up WV state regulations pertaining to the responsibilities of well drillers in WV . By law they are supposed to be registered , get a permit & file a log of the well with the health dept. I think I remembered that correctly . It's easy enough to look up the state regulations on the internet . Good luck with your problems .
  8. jobuck

    jobuck New Member

    Messages:
    8
    we live in pocahontas county, near Hillsboro.

    I did speak with the health dept guy today, he said we could file a complaint dont know if that would do anything. Really dont know for sure if the driller messed up at all.

    I have been pumping the well for six hours today and it still has mud, not clearing at all. I know for a fact it caved in at 58' but it should be clearing some by now I would think.
  9. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  10. jobuck

    jobuck New Member

    Messages:
    8
    sammy
    when the plummer pulled my pump, we laid it in the field. The first 57' of pipe was clean, at 58' the rope/pipe was covered with a thick mud (still clinging to the rope etc, I could scape it off and form a ball from it) it was that way down to 100' where it was obvious that was the standing water line.
    It looked like a mudslide just slid down the pipe starting at 58'.

    I spoke to the driller today and his records confirmed that he put in 58' of casing so the slip must have started just below the casing.
  11. jobuck

    jobuck New Member

    Messages:
    8
    sammy

    if the seal at the bottom of the casing is bad and the water entered during heavy rains last week shoud it not start clearing up soon or does it take the water much longer to perc thru to this depth. I just pictured surface water running down around the casing while it was raining ( we had two weeks of hard rain right before this problem)
    thanks
  12. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    It could be a while before that clears up and seeing the situation i couldn't put a time frame on it.It might not clear up at all. The soulution to your problem is a jaswell seal. I would have it installed sooner than later. Here in Massachusetts, i would get about 1400.00 to install it.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  13. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    It's the drillers responsibility!

    I wouldn't mess with it. It's the drillers problem. File a complaint with the local health department that issued the well permit and the ground water regulator below:

    I'd start here:
    WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES
    Bureau for Public Health
    Office of Environmental Health Services
    Capitol and Washington Streets
    1 Davis Square, Suite 200
    Charleston, West Virginia 25301-1798
    Phone (304) 558-2981 Fax (304) 558-0691

    Well drillers have to be licensed to drill wells in West Virginia
    WV Contractors License #WV######
    WV Certification No. ###

    If they don't stand behind their work they can be heavely fined and possibly lose their drilling license.

    Also check with the National Ground Water Association www.ngwa.org to see if the contractor is a member and if he is certified by the NGWA. If he is and convicted of an improper drilling offence, he could loose his NGWA certification as well.

    You have a lot of options available to you but don't mess with it yourself or allow unqualified well or pump people mess with it as it could only damage your legal case.

    I can't think of anything that you could have done in installing your own pump that would or could have damaged your well.

    It sounds to me like the well casing wasn't set into a solid rock properly and the well driller probably knows this!

    It's still the drillers problem!
  14. jobuck

    jobuck New Member

    Messages:
    8
    thanks for the info porky

    I hope to have clean water and not need that info. but who knows, as I am starting to get aggravated at the catch 22 game.

    I did reach the driller's boss and he says anything we do is a gamble and told me to call his driller.
    I finally spoke to the driller -who is not the owner of the company. And he thinks we should put a liner and packer in. The catch is he wants me to remove the pitless adapter and pull the pump first. That means digging down 3 feet into the frozen ground and unhooking the water line.
    Is there no way to squeeze a packer/ seal past the pitless adapter??
  15. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    The pitless doesn't need to be removed but the pump does have to be pulled out. When pushing the seal in, you have to go easy as it is being pushed by the pitless so it doesn't tear. I usualy lube the side of the seal that is going to have contact with the pitless. Crisco works.

    Merry Christmas!
    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  16. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    Not trying to hijack the thread but since I too have given some thought as to having a jaswell seal installed in my well I have a couple questions . Everyone seems to agree the bottom of the casing should be in bedrock , correct ? Is there a specific distance below the bottom of the casing the seal should be installed ? If so why ? Should a seal also be installed on the top of the liner to eliminate the possibility of muddy water filling up between the liner & the casing & overflowing into the liner ?
  17. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    The casing needs to be installed into solid bedrock. The reason why he is getting muddy water is probably because the casing is installed in weathered rock and the water above the rock is perculating into the hole through the voids. Or they might not have grouted the hole properly.The seal should be installed below the bottom of the casing and into solid rock. That way the water just hits the seal and cant get by it.

    I usualy don't have to push the seal any farther than 10 to 15 feet beyond the casing. Regardless, a camera inpsection is necessary to determine where the seal should be placed. The video tells all. On some wells most of the water that the well is producing is coming in through that opening at the end of the casing and installing the seal cuts off a lot of the production. Knowing what the well originaly produced for water, and looking at how much water is coming in through that opening, you can get an idea as to how much the well will be producing once you are done. Sometimes you come across wells where 80 percent of the water is coming through that opening and instead of cutting off all the water the customer decides to treat the water rather having almost no water at all.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  18. jobuck

    jobuck New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Hey folks, me again

    Thanks for all your help, I wanted to keep you up-to-date and maybe someone else can benefit from my experience.

    It is now jan 13 and we still have no water (around a month).

    I have been getting the major runaround from my well company and it turns out Porky I did and will need the info you posted.

    Not mentioning any names, but if anyone is going to use Coffman Pump and Well out of Lewisburg, WV please check references first.

    First he had to order pipe, his rig is in the shop, it is too cold, ground is too soft etc etc.

    Last wednesday, I finally told him I think he is, in part, to blame for my problem and asked if he were willing to help with the cost and he said no.

    So I had the sanatarian contact another driller who will be here this morning (thats 3 days notice:D) and I will try and recoup my loss in small claims court:mad:.


    This is my observation, any other takes on it.

    I was there when the casing was set and the driller could not punch the last joint in. he was doing the math out loud and ended up leaving 2 feet above ground and cutting 2 feet off the last pipe. This left the casing length at 58'.

    His well completion report has limestone & voids from 47'-52' and limestone 52'-100'..

    I believe he did not case suffiently below the weathered rock(voids) and also per wv code a packer should have been installed when grouting through voids, howelse could he have grouted it properly.

    I did not see the grouting being done, but I assume he did do some as an empty grout bag was used to cover my well (thats right no well cap just a paper bag that blew off and left my well open for 4 months:eek:).

    From June to Oct, we had the driest period in recent history, and then we have been soaked every week since nov. I now hear a constant trickle in the well and surmise that this is the mud and water coming it at 58' contaminating the well.

    Also, I tried to look down the well with a mirror and the well is curved really badly, like I can only see about 10 feet. Is it possible the rigid steel casing could not bend enough to seat properly on the bottom, of the casing bore.

    thanks for your help.
  19. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    From my past experience with small claims court, don't waste your time or money. No doubt you will win, because he won't show up. Now it's your duty to try and collect the money with no help from the court system at all.

    bob...
  20. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
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