Which water source to pursue, old dug well, or newer deep well, many options both have issues

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Kilohertz, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Kilohertz

    Kilohertz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    Slightly left of Vernon BC
    Hello all,

    My first post here, but I have been living on acreages with deep wells for over 15 years now and have become very familiar with water systems, pump etc.

    I have been on this acreage for 12 years now and have always had water shortage issues. The deep well was drilled in 1986, 180' and was producing 2.5GPM. A few years later is had diminished to less than 1 GPM and was drilled to 240' (yet to be confirmed) and pump set at 200' (confirmed last week as I pulled the pump) and again was back to 2.5GPM. After a number of years that homeowner sold the house and I know nothing of the history up to 2007 when I bought it. What I do know is that I can only extract 280 gallons per day out of the well (.2 GPM) and it has been like that since we moved in. The well feeds a 750 gallon cistern which is right next to it and 75' from the house and there is a pressure tank/pump combo in the basement. With just my son and I in the house, we can live on that comfortably with not much irrigation, but it's getting tiresome and I want to change the situation.

    What I have done over the years is to heavily chlorinate it, no change on production. I put in a slurry of 75lbs of Sulfamic acid (heated) which made a tremendous display of frothy junk coming out of the well, but after a few days of rest and cleanup, really didn't make any difference. The previous owner had changed the pump after he burned out 2 or 3 (didn't know about pumptecs) and obviously put in a pump much too large for the well as it pumps it dry in 15 minutes. Years ago I installed a timer that activates the pump 4 times per day for 10 minute cycles and that provides our water.

    So part 2 of this story is that I discovered a dug well above the house, back 500 feet or so. I found out from a neighbor that it was dug with an excavator back in 1971, by a witcher, and I didn't know until 2017 that it was a well, I thought it was a storage tank. Decided to investigate it and long story short, it is a 25' deep, 4' diameter culvert that has a static level of about 5', peaking at about 7' early summer. I have pumped it dry a few times to see what was at the bottom and there is definitely lots of water coming in the holes drilled into the sides of the culvert. I used this source for irrigation for the last summer and had the greenest lawn on our street. It was a Godsend, just amazing. I had a little taste and it is okay, but since it has been sitting open for 40 years, and I found a rabbit and lots of junk and wood and old pumps in it, decided it was best left for irrigation for now. It holds about 550 gallons at rest and takes about 4 hours to refill after a complete pump down. It is 50' or so elevation above the house, and I pump from it to a 1500' storage tank way up the hill with various float switches and such to protect the pump.

    Now to today, I decided last week to pull the pump from my deep well and covert the old well seal which was a constant pain to keep from freezing to a proper pitless. Confirmed the pump set at 200' in a 6" drive shoe about 15' deep only, turns out there is no casing or screen, just a 6" borehole, lots of shale in the area and I can see the jagged edges all the way down. So there is no clogged screen and nothing to really clean. The pump, surprisingly enough was a pretty good size for the well, if it was still producing 2.5GPM. It's a Red Lion RL10B7F with a 2 wire Franklin 3/4HP motor. Also, it's 18 years old and still runs a like a champ at 7.2A and good flow. Probably only coming on 4 times a day has helped.

    Now this is where I need some guidance, I am at a crossroads as to which to pursue for domestic water supply.

    Option 1
    I could just put the old pump down the deep well and install the pitless and be done. Drawbacks to this, continued pressure tank/pump use, and the mineral laden iron rich water, very hard. Tastes good but lots of calcium to deal with in appliances.

    Option 2
    Go down into the dug well and clean it out to see if it has a concrete sealed bottom, and perhaps pursue that as our domestic source. Either run a line down to the existing cistern, or put in another storage tank up the hill (I have unlimited supply of 1.25" geothermal HDPE pipe) and I get 60 PSI with the irrigation tank and get rid of the pressure tank system. I could pump up the hill into the tank with another Goulds pump I have 5G07. I own an excavator so there is no problem to install the piping and tank.

    Option 3
    Try to revive the deep well then install a properly sized pump. Hydrofracking would probably be the only option other than drilling deeper (again), but I would love to hear from your experience as to how to restore aquifer performance.

    My suspicion is that over the years, the over-pumping of the well has caused calcium and other minerals to precipitate out and clog up the crevices. I thought maybe now that the pump is out, I could try sulfamicc acid again, but surge or pressurize the well to push the acid back into the aquifer.

    So, heck of a first post, sorry for the length, but I thought a thorough description would help anyone who may be able to offer advice.

    So what option would you choose if it was your scenario? Any advice on resurrecting either well?

    Cheers and thanks!
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    With both of those supplies being limited, I would use both.
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If you replaced that, a 7 gpm 1/2 HP pump would be a little better for the current setup, and if you wanted to push the deep well water up to the new high-altitude tank, a 5 gpm 1/2 HP pump would probably do that. You could also use a 5 gpm 1/2 HP pump for the present ground-level setup too.

    A 5 gpm pump (more stages) usually costs more than a 7 gpm, which costs more than a 10 gpm...

    With a 1/2 HP pump you would consume about 2/3 as much electricity.
     
  5. Kilohertz

    Kilohertz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    Slightly left of Vernon BC
    Okay on the suggestions...based on the pump recommendations, I have a couple of options that don't involve the cost of a new pump.

    I have a box of new 7 GPM impeller/diffusers for the Goulds 5G/7G series of pumps so I could change out the 5G impeller/diffusers.

    I also have wondered if I could remove some stages to lower the output of the pump? Has anybody done this? I have some worn out impellers/diffusers I could gut to keep the stack spacing correct. Thoughts?

    I'll check around locally to see if I can find a 1/2HP motor.

    More later.

    Cheers
     
  6. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Sure! You can remove impellers from the top of the stack, as long as you replace the hub to keep the spacing correct. Done it many times. However, the amps and flow will also drop if you just use a valve to adjust the flow rate.
     
  7. Kilohertz

    Kilohertz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    Slightly left of Vernon BC
    That's interesting, I wouldn't have thought the amps would change, cool. Would it cause a Pumptec trip? I have a 1 GPM dole valve, but haven't used it. I may also have a 2 or 3 GPM one as well. Cool stuff.

    Thanks for the help.

    Cheers
     
  8. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The amps will change. The amps go down when the flow from the pump is restricted with a valve. Some brands of pumps will only drop 10-20% while others will drop by 50-60%. That can be as much of a drop as removing an impeller or two.
     
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