Cleaning/developing my well further

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by LLigetfa, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Anyone that has followed my tales of woe may remember that I have a 60 foot deep "mud" well, meaning that it is not drilled into rock but rather stops at the transition between clay and bedrock where there is a layer of sand/gravel. The well casing is not screened, just open at the bottom. If I pump the water too fast, it motivates fine sand/clay so I limit the flow with my micronizer which acts as a dole valve.

    In the past I had the bottom 10 feet of casing fill up with the sand/clay mix which over time reduced the GPM the well would produce and recover. About 10 years ago I pulled the pump and cleared out that 10 feet by hand augering and then dropped the old pump back down and pumped it until it ran relatively clear. By that time, I think the old Goulds pump was pretty much worn out. I replaced it with a Grundfos that performed better than the Goulds did when new.

    Due to the micronizer reducing the flow, my iron filter does not get the needed GPM for a thorough backwash. I would work around that by periodically opening up the micronizer's bypass to allow for a more vigorous backwash. One time when I was doing just that, it motivated the clay/sand that ran through the system. I have not done that again since and don't know the state of my well now. I suspect I will need to clean it out again.

    I will not do the manual method of augering again as it is too labour intensive and I have other options at my disposal now. I just need to decide on what option or combination is best. My current employer has a water tanker that I can use to flush out the casing using chlorinated city water. I also have access to a towable air compressor with enough CFM to blow the well. Lastly, I was given a free 1/2 HP submersible that was used in a lake for the last 15 years and was working when it was pulled.

    One thought I have is to just use that pump to flush out and develop the well again. I would put a reducing Tee on the 1-1/4" pump outlet. It would have a small side port that I would put a 90 degree elbow on with a short section of 1/2" pipe directing a jet of water down. On the top of the Tee, I would put a 1" barb fitting to connect 1" poly pipe. At the other end of the poly pipe, I would put a 1" ball valve. With the ball valve I can control the ratio of water that is redirected down into the sand/clay silt versus brought up to the surface. I could then also adjust the depth of the pump as to how close it is to the silt.

    The pump has a fine mesh screen that is likely to get blocked with small stones if I stir them up enough so I might have to pull up the pump a few times to clean them out. I might setup a tripod with rope and pulley to raise/lower the pump which I have not done in the past. I'm no spring chicken so need whatever mechanical advantage I can get.
     
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Oh, I missed pertinent details. The well casing is 6 inch and the static water level is probably around 15 feet so air lifting without dropping down a smaller discharge pipe might be questionable. Most air lifting I have seen on YouTube are with 4 inch casing.

    I should also point out that I had this problem with the well when it was new, and the driller came back and dropped a tanker load of water down it to flush it out. I was at work at the time so I did not see them do it. Supposedly they poured about half a pail of crush stone down the well and said that should help. I augered out most of that stone later while clearing the well and so put more down.
     
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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If you have a large enough compressor you can make a geyser out of 6" casing. :)
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I don't know how many CFM it can do but it is used at work for sandblasting. I don't mean those little cabinets with the long gloves either. I'm talking a big hose and heavy hood with leather sleeves like you see used to sandblast bridges and such.

    If it makes a big enough geyser, then it should spread the mud around so I won't have to clean it up out of the grass. o_O

    One other option is to make up a cable tool bailer. Basically a length of 4" heavy pipe tied on the end of a rope that you raise and lower it with. Drop it down the well at free-fall speed and let it slam into the mud. Then slowly lift it out with the rope and pulley on a tripod and hope the mud does not all fall out on the way up. If the mud falls out, then one needs to put butterfly swing gates on the bottom of the tool.
     
  7. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    We use a suction bailer. It works like a syringe and has a trap door on the bottom.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
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  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Good idea about putting something down. Tarps would not let the water filter through so it would just run off the edge and carry the mud with it. Something like landscape fabric (silt fence) might let some of the water through.
     
  10. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    What you really want is a sediment bag. I can take the entire discharge off a drill rig into one. The air and liquid flow out, the cutting and sediment remain in the bag. Even better if I put the sediment bag in a dump trailer first. Then just haul it off side. I can drill a well on an existing lawn and not leave a mess.

    I originally bought the sediment bags from a company on the east coast. Now I buy them when needed from a company here in Washington. Northwest Linings and Geotextiles.
     
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  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I'd like to find more info on it. In the following video, the bailer looks to have a poppet-style valve that works the way most spring type check valves work albeit, without a spring. The weighted end sticks out so that when the bailer is lowered, it opens the valve.
    I'm guessing a suction baler would have two check valves, one on the piston and the other on the bottom of the bailer and when raised, it would lift the piston until it reaches the top of the bailer at which point it lifts the bailer.
     
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    In the following picture, it is called a dart valve whereas the sand pump is similar to the flap valve bailer but also uses suction.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    One I made years ago. Has a piece of spring steel to hold the trap door closed and a regular check valve on the stem below the hook.

    Bailer trap door.jpg
    Bailer top.jpg
     
  14. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    I’ve got 5-6 different diameter sand pump bailers. From 3” diameter to 12” diameter, My 7” one will suck up a rock the size of my fist. Material does have to be loose and not compacted for a sand pump bailer to work. Material has to be able to be suspended in a slurry for the dart valve style boiler to work.
     
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