Drill deeper?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by drick, May 17, 2011.

  1. drick

    drick In the Trades

    May 16, 2008
    I have a 320 foot deep well (static level is 6 feet) that produces 2 gpm. The well is used for domestic and irrigation. The well is inadequate for my irrigation needs so I'm looking at locating more water. I have two options: drill deeper and hope I find more water OR redirect the overflow from my neighbors well (which already runs into wetlands on my property) into a containment tank. My neighbor's well is 420 feet deep, produces 20 gpm and the overflow is 2 gpm.

    I would prefer to drill deeper, however it is unclear to me if this is going to yield a well with a higher GPM. My neighbor's well producing 20 gpm at 420 feet which is 100 feet deeper and 175 feet from my well. It seems like MAYBE is I drill 100 feet I'll get 20gpm. The problem is my neighbor on the other side of me has well - probably also about 175 feet from mine, but in the other direction - and it is 500 feet deep and only produces 2 gpm. I also pulled the well depths/gpm output for other wells within 3000 feet of mine and I found it to be very erratic. There are 800 foot wells producing 1gpm and 200 feet away from that well there is another at 340 feet that will produce 15 gpm.

    I have estimated the cost of capturing the overflow from my neighbor's well - tank, pumps, wiring, structure to shelter it all - at around $3.6K. I spoke to a driller who was working at another house a couple of years back and he said it would be around $3K to go another 200 feet and reset the pump so I'm thinking cost is similar. I'm ok will drilling costing more as I think redirecting and storing the overflow from my neighbors is going to be a PITA not to mention I'll have to explain the whole contraption if I go to sell the house. What I'm worried about is finding no more water or damaging the existing well somehow.

    I'm undecided on how to proceed. If someone with experience could comment on what the odds are on hitting more water in the next 200 feet (there seems to be no benefit to drilling deeper than 520 total based on the other wells near me) in an area with erratic well productions that would help. I figure I need 7gpm for drilling to be considered a success (by me). I'm also open to hydrofracking, but it seems to me I need to be deeper first. The well is located in southern NH.

  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” I think you have already determined the odds on drilling being able to get more water. It is a crapshoot. You might spend 3K on the well and get better water, or not. It could possibly even make your well worse. Your well already makes 2 GPM, which is 2880 gallons per day, and is the same as the overflow from the neighbors well. It seems you would be better off to store your own 2 GPM, than 2 GPM from the neighbor’s property. I would also leave the well set up as a backup for the booster system. If the booster system fails, you could open a valve and have water, although somewhat limited, directly from the well.

    I would avoid having to get water from a neighbor’s property if at all possible. I would also avoid possibly messing up a perfectly good existing 2 GPM well. I know storing water is a pain, but it is better than not having any. You would be surprised at what you can do with 2 GPM.

    I have a well that only makes 3 GPM. I only store 250 gallons for a booster pump to help with peak demands. I run two houses, a heat pump, do quite a bit of irrigation, and still feed a stock/fish pond. I just have to start early and stay late to get the irrigation done. And you would be surprised how far 2 GPM will go with a drip irrigation system.
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  4. WellWaterProducts

    WellWaterProducts In the trades

    Feb 23, 2011
    Northwood NH
    The best news is that your neighbor has a productive well. The bad news is that many fractures are diagonal. I have seen some wells improved with just 30' more drilling and others gain nothing when drilled to 1200'. The 520' figure is arbitrary as you may have a discrete, productive vein at 530'
  5. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Consult and Teach Well Drilling Internationally
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Valveman said it best. Drilling deeper or a new well is a crapshoot, expensive and you may be worse off. I only recommend hydrofracturing in extream cases and yours is not one of those.
    It is best to be more constructive and install an unpressurized plastic storage tank with a Cycle Sensor, a float switch and a booster system with a "Pside-Kick". In the long run it's cheaper and better.
  6. drick

    drick In the Trades

    May 16, 2008
    Yeah, I though that would be the case. I was hoping otherwise, but based on the production from the other wells in the area I get that it is unrealistic.

    I have maxed out the irrigation I can do with the 2 GPM well. During hot weather it requires precision timing every 24 hours to get all the water I can from the well. So my two choices are to redirect and store the overflow from my neighbors well (which would give me 2gpm from my well and an additional 2gmp from storing the overflow from my neighbors) or drill deeper and see if I get lucky.

    Since you think it is a mistake to try and drill the existing well deeper I'll leave it alone and go with capturing the overflow from my neighbors. I suppose I could also drill a second well, but that would be expensive.

    I based the 520' figure on the fact that any well in my area that is drilled past that depth is a low yield well (2gpm or less). I know that there *might* be something past 520', but it seems like the odds are against it here.

    Thanks for the responses.
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