stump grinding and well problem? Help!!

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Raffiecat, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Raffiecat

    Raffiecat New Member

    Hi and thank you in advance for your advice. I have been searching for answers to this problem and can't find any advice.

    This morning we had a stump ground out. It was directly behind our well pump in a fenced in area. The tree man had to back the truck and grinder right beside the pump (the thingy sticking out of the ground. Is that the pump?). Anyway It's been several hours since the work has been done and I have very brown water. Is this because the area has been disturbed?

    The other, and bigger, problem is that I have very week water pressure. It's fine when I turn the water on, but it dies within a few minutes. I need to know if this is a sign of major damage, or just a disturbance that will fix itself if I leave it alone. Really, I need to know if I should call my tree man and a repair man right away, or wait a day.

    Oh I hope someone can help me.
    Thank you again!
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    New Hampshire
    If the thingy sticking out of the ground is about 6" diameter then you have a deep well with a submersible pump. If there was a lot of sinking in the ground then it could have damaged the pipe that runs underground from the well to the house. If that is the case it won't fix itself. It this is what you have then that is the well casing sticking out of the ground and the well is way down below the water level.

    If the thingy sticking out of the ground is 2 or 3 ft in diameter then you probably have a shallow well and the load could have damaged the the well or the pipe. If this is the case then you should have a pump in your house or basement.

    Someone needs to look into the top of that thing to see if any damage is apparent. They next thing is to dig down below the frost line in the area adjacent to the thingy sticking out of the ground to see what needs repair.

    I don't know what your arrangement was with the tree man but he should have known not to run so close to the well. He might feel some responsiblity to fix it.

    Come back and tell us what you fine about the kind of pump and well and you may get some more suggestions.
  3. Raffiecat

    Raffiecat New Member

    Thank you!! The thingy is about 6 inches in diameter and sticks up about a foot. Just checked the water pressure and it's still bad, so my hopes of something fixing itself are dashed (I thought they would be, but was hopeful)

    so I need to call the tree guy, and the repair man!

    Knowing nothing about wells or trees, I'm very surprised that the tree guy didn't warn me about any of this.

    It'll be an interesting phone conversation. It sure doesn't sound like any of this is cheap!!

    Thanks again!
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes, and my guess would be that possibly the pitless adapter and maybe even the pipe going to the house have been damaged, and that dirt has entered the well through a fractured casing ... and I would say the stump man is obligated to pay for the could-be-expensive repair.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2007
  5. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    A heavy truck over a plastic line in a position with a rock just under the pipe , with soft ground above can make a 1" line into a 1/4" line very nicely. Seen this many times.
  6. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    I'm going to defend the stump man, unless he was told that was a well head and the ground was soft and was given other instructions on how to get to where the stump was he is blameless. If the ground was soft enought to sink and cause damage to the pipe, it may have already been leaking and therefore caused the soft ground.

  7. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    While delivering lumber to job sites many years ago, I once, er, actually twice, stuck a front tire of my truck through the top of a septic tank. Nobody had told me those little pipes sticking up out of the ground were anything significant and that I needed to stay much farther away ... yet my employer still had to pay.

    Would a stump man not already be accustomed to watching out so as not to get his equipment stuck?

    Is the customer truly supposed to know more about how the pro should get to and do his or her job?!

    I am not a suer person, yet I do believe even pros should be held accountable for their mistakes even if/when made during a beginner's learning curve.
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Riverview, Fl.
    I disagree, if the homeowner knows there is a septic tank, oil tank, well pit or any other kind of underground appliance, the contractor should be told of such perils. Otherwise, it could be seen as a bait situation. Maybe you needed a new septic so you let this poor schmuck bury his truck in it then to add to his problems, let him buy you a new septic system.

    When the homeowner says "bring the truck in here and park it over here" or whatever the conversation, he should be responsible.

    Isn't anyone responsible for their actions these days? Maybe that's why these Lawyers are all doing so well.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A 6" thingy sticking up out of the ground does not mean there is a deep well with a submersible pump in it... It could be a shallow well with either a submersible or deep or shallow well jet pump setup too. But the thingy could be a part of a septic system too.

    I agree with Speedbump, homeowners have a responsibility to know and THINK. But today... we're spittin' in the wind. Before I drove into someones yard I always asked the person what is where and if they said they didn't know, I told them I didn't either and I was not responsible for damage; do you want me to drive in there or do you want to find someone else to fix your problem. Like that counted for future legal problems huh. Judges and magistrates don't think or know about anything under their grass anymore than many homeowners! lol

    As to finding out what is wrong, call a well driller or pump guy that is willing to dig down to the water line leaving the well casing (that thingy) going to the house and they can find and fix the line that seems to be broken due to the truck parking next to the well or the line being nicked by the stump grinder. Hopefully the truck didn't hit the casing.
  10. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    So then, and especially if knowledge and responsibility are related, who knows and is responsible for more: Homeowners or professionals?!
  11. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    And of course this was a professional tree stump remover guy... do you think he was licensed, bonded, trained, or even had a business license? You get what you pay for.

  12. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes, that might be the case here ... and maybe he will learn to do as Gary has mentioned:

    I once hit a new underground telephone line while doing some grading, and it surprised me to learn that the phone company did not hold me responsible simply because the line had been marked and I knew where it was beforehand. If that line had *not* been flagged before I hit it -- "Call before you dig!" -- I would have been charged for the repair ... and all of that makes it seem to me that "due caution" is what is primarily expected.
  13. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Riverview, Fl.
    Also be advised that the folks who come out and stake these underground utilities don't have to be all that accurate. When I hit a 1" gas line digging through frost, the guy was off 2.5 feet with his stake. I was told that he had 3 feet to play with either way of center. I paid for the gas line repair after going to court over it.

  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I don't know that a "professional" tree trimmer etc. would know more about a well location or wells or water lines in general than the homeowner that owns the place including the well.

    I wouldn't think the pro should, but the home owner, definitely should and IMO they have the final say as to where someone drives on their entire property, not just by the well or fenced in tree and thereby the ultimate responsibility.

    I also think all well owners should know better than to plant or otherwise allow trees and other plants to grow by their well!!!

    I just loved to go out on no water/pump problem calls and have to get the truck or my pump pulling machine to and on the well casing and the lady of the house goes on about how she doesn't want her yard, plants, flowers or trees damaged that she spent big bucks on and years at attempting to hide the well casing with.... or the cute well house casing covers filled with wasps'n such.

    I simply asked her that right now, this moment or tonight maybe, how about tomorrow morning, do you want to be able to flush'n shower or admire the flowers; and I'd grin knowingly.

    And we'd pull the machine off the truck and drag it through the flower beds as she asked us - can't you just work from this one spot over here.... Yeah like up to 500' of wet rusty slick PE tubing and power cable and maybe rotten rope will go right where we tell it to from THAT ONE SPOT! but ... Only IF while you cook Christmas dinner for the whole 23 member family coming from 14 states, IF I can rope off part of your kitchen.

    That walking around on flowers etc. instead of grass, was especially fun in the dark or in a snow storm or after one.
  15. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I know of some folks still limping along with a backed-up septic system because they do not want anyone digging up any of their manicured lawn!
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