Shallow well by lake

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Chucky_ott, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    I am currently getting water from our lake with a jet pump. We only use the water for toilet, bathing, and washing dishes. Other than a 1 micron filter, there is no additional treatment. We use bottled water for drinking. It's worked for us for 30 years.

    Our lake is shallow and the water intake is just a few feet under the water surface. We have fish of course, but ducks and geese all swim close to the intake. Even though we've never been sick, I'm sure the water has some coliform. It is also slightly yellow, likely due to decomposing leaves and whatnot. There's also the issue of weeds and algae growing around the intake.

    Even though it's unlikely I'd ever use it for drinking, I'd like to make the water safer for washing dishes, and perhaps brushing our teeth. This would also be good when we have guests and they accidentally drink the tap water.

    As such I'd like to use a U/V filter to kill any bacteria (not sure if the slight water discoloration would affect that).

    I'd also like to remove the water intake from the lake and instead use a shallow well about 10ft in from the lake. Elevation from lake water surface is about 3ft. Soil is sand and stones (up to 2" in the first 3ft).

    I already used a post hole auger to dig a 8" hole and hit water at 3ft. I'll need to get an extension if I want to dig deeper. Or use one of the many methods shown on YouTube on how to dig a shallow well.

    So my question is about the shallow well, and the best type to use.

    Would it be better if I just use a 4" or 6" PVC casing as deep as I can go (10ft maybe) and fill the bottom and exterior of the pipe with gravel. Then use a drop pipe with foot valve like I'm doing now.

    Or try to use a sand point in the hole which would then be filled with sand.

    Being close to the lake and with the sandy soil, I'm expecting the flow rate of the well to be adequate.

    My preference would be just a casing since it would allow me to remove the drop pipe in the fall.

    Comments/Suggestions ?

    Thanks, Chucky
     
  2. banjo bud

    banjo bud Member

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    Sep 24, 2018
    Location:
    South Carolina
    You might just find that water from 10’ tests perfectly fine to drink. Not sure im qualified to answer the other questions.
     
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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Using 4" to 6" casing is nice if you can get it deep enough. Just drop in a pipe with a foot valve. But you could also just drive a sand point in the ground and draw from that.
     
  5. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    So that went nowhere fast. The deepest i can get is about 4ft with a 3.5" diameter screw type auger inside a 3.5" pipe. There are just too many stones varying in size from 1/2" to 2" . And with the water table at 3ft below grade, the walls just cave in if I don't drill inside a casing. I think i'd need to drill with a bentonite slurry to get those stones up.

    So now I think I'll try a sandpoint with 1.25" pipe. I can get one at HD: https://www.homedepot.ca/product/bur-cam-well-point-1-1-4-36-30-60g/1000732963 or I'll try a local well distributor.

    Questions on the sand point:

    1. That particular make (Bur-Cam) has sand points with holes and some with slots. Under which conditions would you use one over the other ?
    2. Check valve - I know it should be as close to the sand point as possible. But should it be accessible for eventual replacement ? Not sure how easy it would be to pull the sandpoint out once it's in. Max 15ft depth i expect.
    3. Galvanized or PVC pipe ? If PVC, threaded or solvent weld ? With the water table at 3ft below grade (probably less in the fall) i need to make sure that the pipe won't burst if it freezes. Come to think of it, a single 10ft length of pipe plus the 3ft sand point will likely be enough.
    4. Was thinking of something like this. In the fall, i could remove the cap from the tee and blow out any free standing water. Maybe from the check valve to grade i could put in a 4" or 6" casing to have the valve somewhat accessible.

    sandpoint.png
     
  6. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Even heavy drilling mud won't bring up those 2" rocks. Best to try a drive point. Use a metal one because of the rocks.
     
  7. greenmonster123

    greenmonster123 Member

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    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Sag Harbor, New York
    I have never done it but an old plumber I know said years ago he and his father would install sand points horizontally for bay front bungalows. They did this because the water table was only 3-4’ and only a foot or so of fresh water on top. If they drove it vertically it would pull salt. You might be able to do the same.
     
  8. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    Wouldn't have thought of installing one horizontally. Probably won't need to do that but interesting nonetheless.
     
  9. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

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    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    Yup, that's what I'll try. Any preference in the drop pipe being PVC over galvanized steel ? Corrosion of course. But I'm more concerned about the portion above the frost line bursting if there's any water in the pipe.

    And I assume that once the sad point is in, it would be very difficult to pull out. Most of the ones I've seen have a point slightly larger than the body.
     
  10. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    So I've been reading up on the best location for the check valve. I know that having it close to the sand point is better but I also need it to be serviceable. Bur-Cam (a drive point manufacturer or distributor) responded to a user's question on the Home Depot site. They stated to install the check valve above ground, as close as possible to the sand point. They state that water will remain in the drop pipe just like it would in a straw if you keep your finger on top. That sounds reasonable to me. The polypipe between the pump and check valve will be pressurized. That should keep a good seal on the check valve. And that in turn should keep the water in the drop pipe. That's what I'll do.
     
  11. banjo bud

    banjo bud Member

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    Sep 24, 2018
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Just a beginner here but in order to keep it from freezing, couldn’t you put one of those fake rocks over it and insulate it, or maybe build a small insulated well house over it?
     
  12. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    don't think it will freeze with the new setup. With the check valve above grade, I'll remove it in the fall. Any standing water in the pipe will then drop to the water table (3ft below grade in summer). I might cover the pipe with some foam insulation until the snow cover is sufficient.
     
  13. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    Got a sand point. Stupid HD. They sell the sand point but no galvanized pipe in 1-1/4". The Lowes sell the pipe but no sand point. Neither sell drive couplings.

    Which is my next question.

    Do I need a drive coupling or will regular couplings do? Several sources say the drive couplings will take the abuse from pounding better. I'm only going 9ft deep (36" sand point and 6ft pipe) but I have a 3ft hole already from my auger dig so with a 3ft head start, only need to pound this 6ft.
     
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    If you can find stainless steel couplings, they are quite strong. A merchant coupling has straight threads and might let the ends of the pipe and sandpoint touch but lather on lots of pipe dope since they don't seal well.
     
  15. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    Are merchant couplings and drive couplings the same thing (i.e. straight threads) ? Might have better luck searching on that term instead.

    Since I'm only using one length of drop pipe, I'll only have one joint at the sand point and it will be under the water table. So I'm not too concerned about a good seal.
     
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That implies that you plan to put a tube down the pipe to suck the water, rather than coupling to the pipe.
     
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
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    Semi-Retired
    Location:
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  18. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    I could do that but that wasn't my intention. I will have a joint at the top end of the pipe, and that will be water tight. It's the joint down the well that doesn't have to be. It's no different from the perforations in the sand point.
     
  19. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If you mess up the threads by not using the right drive coupling it will not seal when the pump draws a vacuum.
     
  20. banjo bud

    banjo bud Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Valveman, what he is Saying is that the coupling he has at the top of the sandpoint doesn’t matter if it leaks a bit because it will be underwater. I agree. Now the one at the top is a different story and he is going to make sure that one is sealed good.
     
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