ARID ZONE: Finding shallow water sources for hand pumping

by Wade
(Republic MO USA)


We recognize that water supply is a serious vulnerability to those living away from ponds and streams. We have a rural well powered by electricity but this makes us vulnerable to coming calamity.


We want to put a shallow hand pump well in but I am not aware of how to go about obtaining a 20 foot well hole. Also, the driller of our traditional electric pump well had to go over 400 foot deep to obtain 80 gallons per minute flow. Is it realistic for us to expect at least a few gallons per hour to accumilate in a 20 foot shallow well?

In short, I know I can get the well pump from you but am not sure how to proceed and unsure whether the included instructions will include the kind of details I am asking above.

Area drillers seem to be very ignorant about shallow wells -- I assume because shallow hand pump water wells have been considered impractical and unnecessary for decades in America, with its cheap electricity.

Thanks for your guidance

MEG: OUR HAND PUMPS INCLUDE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS, BUT NOT HOW TO DIG A SHALLOW WELL

Comments for ARID ZONE: Finding shallow water sources for hand pumping

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Aug 18, 2012
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probably You'll need professional help
by: Anonymous

probably You'll need some professionals for drilling work and all. Also the instruments needed for work need to be hired.

Nov 08, 2011
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Cistern / Well
by: Anonymous

You may need to filter the water if you are wanting to use for household - cooking/drinking.
Not difficult and not costly. Check our sand and charcoal filtering. Its not hard.


Nov 08, 2011
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Well / cistern?
by: Peter

Keeping cisterns totally free of algae is impossible. Many of the algal species are not a bother to humans. Their growth can often be limited by keeping as much light out of your cistern. Roof and walls need to be light proof

Nov 07, 2011
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To Keith and Peter re cistern idea
by: Wade D

Keith: I really like you and Peter's idea of a cistern. The MO Ozarks are extrememly rocky. It takes half a day to dig a 3 foot hole to plant a corner post or tree! So digging a well by hand is out of the question. I am also reluctant to guess and have driller come place a well hand pump. Too expensive to leave to chance.
So the cistern is my idea of choice. I have collected rain water off roof before into 50 gallon barrels and it is amazing how many hundreds of gallons can be quickly accumulated from the roof and gutters of a modest size home!
So I like the idea of placing a cistern at the end of my house and channeling all the roof water to the cistern there. I know that the water will be contaminated by bird droppings from the roof (as all lakes and streams are that folks have been drinking from since the beginning) but the water would be fine for pouring into toilets, washing clothes, bathing, irrigation and even drinking -- especially if boiled to kill any bacteria and filtered for solids.
Now I just need to find some good info on building and maintaining a cistern.
btw: I also thought of something else: If I made a cistern above ground, I could build into the concrete forms of the cistern pipes and valves near the bottom of the concrete wall so that I could attach garden hose and seeper hoses to the cistern to irrigate my garden and fruit. The pressure from the cistern water would push the water out through the low valves.
Thanks everyone
Wade

Nov 07, 2011
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respond to Peter
by: Wade

Peter: Thanks for taking the time to share. I do like the cistern idea and agree that it would probably be easier in my rocky area and more reliable. However, I am at a loss for how to control internal contamination. I know I can cover much of it to protect from bird droppings and dust etc but what about green slime buildup. You know how ponds and tanks can get very heavily built up with green growth. I know that a cistern is a very viable alternative as folks have been doing it successfully for thousands of years. If anyone knows of some good info on cistern creation and maintenance, I'd appreaciate the link.
Wade

Nov 06, 2011
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You need to where the water starts
by: Anonymous

You may be lucky and find water at a shallow depth but that is all it will be, luck. As a previous reply advised you need to find out just when the driller found water. You can find the water level yourself by dropping a string down the bore with something that will float tied to the bottom. You should do this midsummer (or at the driest time of the year) and then put your pump down another ten feet or so just to be sure. Deep bore hand pumps are available commercial in the US. The work differently that the style of the pump in your photo though. The deep bore pumps have the pump at the bottom and just the handle and a rod on the top. For a deep bore you will do a lot of pumping for not a lot of water but you won’t die of thirst.

Steven F

Nov 06, 2011
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what about...
by: Keith

Ok, you have an 80 gpm well at 400 feet, at what depth did the driller actually hit water, and I mean actual standing water that could be pumped. If you want a hand pump to pump water for short term, emergency use I would build a cistern, pump from the well to fill it, and keep it topped off with a float valve and diverter valve arrangement. Have the hand pump draw from this cistern. Keep the hand pump primed and working. If you can dig a large enough cistern you may be able to store a full years worth of water.

Nov 04, 2011
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Shallow wells
by: Peter

It is my understanding that most shallow wells are hand dug. Be sure to have shoreing while you are at the bottom of you 20 foot well. Shoreing stays in place once water is at a sufficient depth.

It is lots easier to make a cistern and collect water off a roof or road and cover it so as to reduce evaporation and keep it clean.

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