Questions about a community water system

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by NcScZ, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. NcScZ

    NcScZ New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    NC
    I have some questions about a community system serving 5 houses. The system was built around 2006-2007. Due to the housing issues the developer never finished the subdivision and the contractor/builders/plumbers are unavailable to answer questions.

    The system has a drilled well with a submersible pump on a float switch feeding a 1500 gallon tank. The also has a submersible pump on a pressure switch. The main line from the tank is a 2" or 3" inside diameter poly pipe - looks like same size & type that is used for fiber optic cable except it is blue instead of orange. There is at least 1700 feet of main and possibly as much as 2600 feet. The 5 houses range from 50 to 200 feet off of the main. It is a mountainous area and the lowest point of the system is at least 100 vertical feet below the tank and the highest house is 50-70 vertical feet higher than the tank.

    Now the questions:
    1. What pressure switch should be used ? The one in use has no readable label and the gauge next to it has the needle loose under the glass so I cannot tell what the start/stop pressure at the tank is, but the water pressure at the highest house is acceptable.
    2. Should there be a pressure tank on the system ? I have always lived with a single family well and a pressure tank was required. How about on a system this size ? The in-tank pump does not seem to cycle excessively but I have not actually checked the frequency during a period of expected high usage. When the pump does start, it runs 3 or 4 minutes before it builds enough pressure to shut off.
    3. Since we have had a wet winter, the well is artesian. Water is seeping out of the hole in the casing that the power line for the submersible pump uses. The water flows down the well casing and under the fiberglass rock that covers itnad then out onto the ground. The property was previously a single family acreage and used a natural spring for water. The reservoir for the spring is about 50 feet uphill from the well and has a 2-3 gallons per minute out flow. The drilled well might have been overflowing for a while but it was not noticed until the pressure switch quit working during an extended freeze. When I was putting a heat tape on the switch I found a ice skating rink in a 20 foot circle around the well casing. Now that the ground has thawed it is not as obvious but it is still flowing. Does this need to have anything done or can it be left as is ?
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Well to get 50 PSI to the house that is 70’ higher, you will need to put in 80 PSI at the pump. But that means the house at the bottom of the 100’ drop will have 124 PSI. So you have to put in enough pressure for the houses up the hill, and use apressure reducing valve for any houses lower that have too much pressure. So my guess is your pressure switch is set at about 70/90 PSI.


    I can’t even imagine a pump with a pressure switch that doesn’t have a pressure tank. I guess that much line can expand a little. But it must not be a very large pump if it takes 3-4 minutes to charge up the line. Even with a Cycle Stop Valve I would use at least a 44 gallon size tank. Without a CSV the tank needs to be sized to store twice the GPM rate of the pump.

    If you can’t caulk the space between the wires and keep the well from overflowing, I would put in a pipe off the casing to get the overflow further away from the well. You don’t want it staying wet around the well head.
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,401
    Location:
    IL
    Maybe you could tap the water off for the house 100 ft down the hill before the pump.
  4. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    A company called wellbuster makes a very nice device to stop a flowing well. Maybe you have a buried pressure tank...I've also seen systems like this where they put a small pressure tank at each house and nothing visible near the well. Get a working pressure gauge and tell us what you have....also does anyone complain about their pressure? Might want to check it at each house; there may be a pressure reducing valve in place somewhere.
  5. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    624
    Location:
    NC
    I would find out who permitted the well. If the well falls under the guide lines of a public water supply you would contact one of the state offices. There will be plans of what was proposed or if changes were made. If the well was originally designed to have 15 or more service connections or serve 25 or more year-round residents, it is a public water supply.

    http://www.ncwater.org/pws/

    http://www.ncwater.org/?page=125

    If the well is not a public supply you should contact your county environmental health office.

    http://ehs.ncpublichealth.com/docs/ehsdir2014.pdf
  6. NcScZ

    NcScZ New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks to all that responded for the information.
  7. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    537
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Yeah, get the gov't involved. That's always the best option. ;)
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