New well point struck water...but ZERO gpm

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Mattt1986, May 1, 2021.

  1. Mattt1986

    Mattt1986 New Member

    May 1, 2021
    I am in northern Illinois and wanted to supplement my city water with an irrigation well. I decided to jet in a well point behind my house, since we live in a very marshy area and I know the water table is just a few feet down.

    I struck water about 6 feet down, and sunk the well point about 12 feet down. Once I hit the water table, the soil was very easy to jet, and the water washing out seemed to be equal parts silt and...flecks of decomposed organic material? Not sure how else to describe it.

    Anyways, despite the abundant water, I cannot suck it out of the well. It's as if the screens are completely clogged in both directions. I've connected a garden hose directly to the well pipe to backflush the screens and barely any water flows back into the well either. If I prime the well pipe, it will hold its level (without any check valve) for hours.

    My question is - is it worth jetting deeper to get out of whatever this soil is? Well pipe is really expensive and half of me thinks I should just stop before I dig myself into a deeper hole (pun intended).
  2. oldVermonter

    oldVermonter New Member

    Apr 29, 2021
    Just because the water table is high, doesn't mean you can extract a meaningful amount of water. The soil must be permeable enough to allow water to flow laterally into your well (creating a "cone of depression" in the water table as you pump out the water). It sounds like you have a mix of silt, clay, and lots of organics...about as impermeable as it gets.

    Before wasting time and money, my suggestion is to engage a well-driller with experience in your local area.
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    I expect the city wants a monopoly, and will not permit a well driller to undercut their expensive water.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Feb 6, 2011
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Maybe the ground formation is such that you went past the first water bearing layer into an impermeable layer. A well that does not take water will not make water.

    My father and I did a wash-down well when his surface water concrete ring tile well could not produce enough water. The ground formation was such that anywhere you dug a 3 or 4 foot hole, there was water. The ring tile well was about 12 feet deep in sandy soil. After that it was impermeable clay for over 100 feet before we broke through hardpan and hit an artesian water aquifer at 120 feet.
    valveman and breplum like this.
  6. Mattt1986

    Mattt1986 New Member

    May 1, 2021
    Thanks for the thoughts. Local well drillers were not interested in helping me undercut their business, so I would up doing my own due diligence... Better late than never. The state of Illinois has an excellent set of surficial geology maps online, which I cross referenced with their database of core samples. There was supposedly a 150 thick layer of sand and gravel between 15-25 feet below surface. I drilled down another 6 inches and...voila. Hit the wet gravel.

    Lesson learned... Do your homework, even if no one else will help you.
    valveman and LLigetfa like this.
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