GSHP open loop discharge well is overflowing

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DH1

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Hi all,

I have a 5-year-old, 5-ton Trane T2GX open-loop geo unit. Our wells, however, are 27 years-old. The discharge well is overflowing within minutes of the unit turning on. The water level in that well drops about .5 - 1 foot/minute (1.5 gallons/foot in a 6" pipe?). Clearly, not enough capacity to handle outflow. This issue may be seasonal (variation of water table levels, etc.). The water is running off into a neighboring empty wooded lot, but I'm concerned someone will raise the issue.

As I see it, I have several options:
  1. Fix the well. So far, I haven't found a well driller who's willing to take the project on.
  2. Dig a new well to handle the excess water. Are open loop discharge wells still allowed in my area? Cost may not be worth it.
  3. Convert to a closed-loop system. The source (household) and discharge wells are about 30' apart, so I think a new well will need to be dug. I don't think I have enough space for a horizontal field.
  4. Convert to single-well pump-and-dump. Is this even possible with my existing 6" well.
  5. Abandon the geo and install a new air-air heat pump.
Does anyone have any thoughts about how to address this situation or options I haven't considered?

For reference, I'm in the Poconos at 1,900' elevation (climate zone 5/6). The soil has a lot of clay and drains slowly. This house is used mostly in the summer and only occasionally in the winter. There's minimal A/C use, so this is mostly a heating season issue. Electric is our primary energy source.

Thank you for any ideas. Let me know if this question is better suited for the well forum.

Drew
 

Fitter30

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Do a recir loops 1 per ton per loop with the right with the correct backfilled with Bentonite (clay) slurry to seal the polyethylene pipe in place.
 

DH1

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Thanks for your reply.

Converting from open to closed loop sounds expensive. I have a gravel driveway that's about 200' long. The rest of the property is wooded with plenty of rocks (it's the Poconos). Any sense on whether this is enough space for a 4-ton closed-loop system? Also, does this make sense when compared against installing an air-to-air heat pump?
 

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Thanks for the recommendation. I'll call them. I tried a few other well drillers in my area but most are poor at returning calls. I hope these folks are better.
 

DH1

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I can't tell from looking down the well, but the original well report suggests there are inlets deep in the well.

well report.jpg
 

Fitter30

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Took me a few minutes o figure out his a. Guess he might be European. The sand/ slit must finally must have slowed up drainage.
 

DH1

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I thought sand/silt accumulation might be an issue. I'm hoping it can be removed. Also, the well water is hard with high iron content, so I'm wondering if deposits have built up over the years, blocking outflow. Again, the big question is whether the well can be reconditioned or am I stuck getting a new well dug?
 

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UPDATE for anyone dealing with a similar issue:

A well driller brushed the open-loop discharge well (lots of iron residue), treated it overnight with acid, and pumped it out for about 45 minutes. The 3.27 gpm discharge is better but still not sufficient for the 8gpm from my GSHP. With a static water level of about 30', this well won't hold much water before overflowing.

A suggested solution is to dig a deep gravel pit and run the overflow into it. Thoughts? Our soil has a lot of clay but not sure how deep or what's below the clay layer?

I was also wondering why my discharge well has casing all the way down to bedrock. Does it make sense drill drain hole higher up? The goal is to discharge water, not tap the aquifer.
 

Fitter30

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2.5 ton system? Open loop system you want the water leaving the house at a suitable distance from the supply water. Iron residue and tds need to know what they are just to see if the water is usable.
 
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