About to have a new well drilled. In my area (north of detroit, mi) ,
there seems to be a 50/50 mix of steel and pvc wells being drilled.
Anyone have any advice? The well will probabaly be between 100-250
feet, with a 2 or 3 hp pump.
Advice? Call some well drillers and get some free consults and estimates.
Go from there. There may be a well registry in your county, (there is in
mine in KS) then you could talk to other people near you who have drilled
wells and the registry will tell who the driller was also.
PVC doesn't rust. Steel reacts with the minerals in the water to form a
parcipitate and eventually will cause problems (my pump was clogged with the
gray goo from the gal steel pipe.)
Go with PVC, it's a no-brainer.
If you go to www.google.com and use the keywords ' PVC well
you will find numerous hits from manufacturers and organizations that
with the problems of PVC. A quick once over shows that it is a common
practice, is not allowed in some states, and has thickness standards.
Fracturing of the pvc and premature failure seem to be the problems,
that is dealt with by using a thicker wall thickness on the PVC.
It looks like you just have to make a choice. You might ask a well
about his opinion and any warranty that may exist regarding casing
failure or collapse...
Andy in Eureka, Texas
I think PVC is a bad idea. You live in a frost area and I'd worry
about uneven frost action shearing or cracking the plastic.
Rusting of steel casings isn't a big problem. It's a slow process,
and any rust that flakes off fall to the bottom of the well and
doesn't affect the water at all.
Unless there is something preventing the ground from heaving upwards (as it
normally does) during frost, then there is little chance of the ground
expanding laterally causing the pipe to shear or crack.
I live in a frost area, my well is SCH.80 PVC. I haven't had any problems
in 15+ years.
There's probably some truth to that. Either way, the casing will probably
out-live the life of the well, it will certainly last longer than the pump.
It's all a matter of preference. Both steel and PVC are fine for most
At this website is a discussion of lots and lots and lots of stuff
about wells. I found it to be an interesting read, whether drilling
a well or not, and a section deals with well casings and stuff.
Give it a shot.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
(who is currently digging a well with a shovel, a bucket, and a beer )
I am a master well driller licensed in Md. And Pa. A properly
constructed well should have casing 2 feet into bedrock, with 1 1/2
inch wall thickness around casing filled with either portland cement or
bentonite grout. this grout should be pumped in from bottom of anuler
space( area around casing) to top of ground with a grout pump. this
ensures that no surface water gets into well. you only want water from
the bedrock. water from bedrock travels through cracks in the rock .The
state of Md. bottom line for minimum gallons per minute is for the well
to produce 500 gallons in a 2 hour period, once a day, by gallons per
minute, or gallons per minute and resavior. if you have 4 gpm or more
you don't need more than 25 feet of water in well, starting from static
water level. if you have less than 4 gpm you will need to supply depth
to well to get your 500 gallons in 2 hour period, @ 1 1/2 gallon per
foot in a 6 inch well.So if you only hit 1 gallon per minute with a
static water level of 45 feet, you would need the well to be 300 feet
deep,(255 feet water X1 1/2 gallon per foot is 380 gallons of water in
well, plus 120 gallons of water @ 1 gallon per minute in 2 hours + 500
gallons, now this is for a rock well. a sand well will be cased far
enough to cut off undesirable water from entering well with smaller
casing and screen (pipe that has openings in the sides) with a gravel
pack around it to filter out sands and only allow water to enter well.
the size of openings in screen is determined by doing a seive analysis(
in your mind picture 10 cerel bowls stacked on top of each other with
different size screens making up bottom of bowl with top bowl having
biggest hole openings in screen, and bottom bowl having smallest). you
get a sample of material from well and pour in top of seives, and you
can determine the size of screen and type of gravel pack by how much
sand is in each bowl. If you have the chance, get an old cable rig to
drill your well. cable rig drillers don't have $5000 a month rig
payments and tend to be honest people. a 50 foot well is just fine if
you hit rock early and get over 5 gpm, and cable rigs don't blow the
drill cuttings back into the cracks of the rock were the water is
coming in. you won't find too many air rig drillers that drill shallow
wells, they will drill to china if given half a chance. these examples
are for Pa and Md. there are other types of drillers out west that use
different rigs that I would rather not comment on, which end up with a
well thats like in my area, but with different machinary for the
different geologic conditions
Interesting. I live in northern PA and have never seen a well casing
that was grouted. Around here, they just drive in 20' of casing as a
matter of course (unless it takes more to get to rock). I guess they
figure that 20' of earth is enough of a filter for any ground water than
may head down into the well.
just because thats what they do doesn't make it right. Pa. doesn't make
well drillers grout wells. Md. not only makes them do it but there is
an inspection for every one. we have to schedule every grout and pump
test we do, and they come out if they want too, they will even weigh
the portland on a mud balance to see if too little or not enough water
was used, as this affects strength. anybody can give $60 to dept. of
geologic survey and get a Pa well drilling license and start a
bussiness. in Md. you have to work for another master well driller for
7 years, and take an apprentice test, a journeyman test and a masters
test before you can start your own bussiness. you will go to jail if
you get caught drilling a well in Md. without a proper Md. license.
back to grouting, in this world gravity rules. what you pour on the
ground (liquids), is going to go into ground and continue to go down
till it hits solid rock. penetration thru softer dirt is rapid. when it
hits the rock, its penetration going down is slowed to the rate of
porisity of said rock. if you don't grout your well, and dump a barrel
of oil or some other toxic material next to your well, the oil will
rapidly go down thru softer dirt and right into well. water flows under
ground just like on top of ground (rivers streams springs). So say
upstream from your ungrouted well is a big polluter (army depot,
landfill, big factory). they dump whatever, sinks in ground and hits
water table that is flowing right towards your well. Pa needs
regulations like Md.They should at least make all wells be grouted with
casing at least 2 feet into bedrock and 1 1/2 thickness of grout around
casing. a good example of how backward pa is, the president of pa
ground water ass. advert in yellow pages still says we hunt for water,
meaning that they dowse for water, which is total BS.there is water
underground every were. i have drilled thousands of wells and always
hit water. sometimes its not enough to make a good well (1/4 gallon per
minute or less), but always hit some
Matt Whiting wrote:
I sure am glad I live in PA. Sounds like MD is almost as stupid as NY
when it comes to laws. I'll take 20' of casing down to rock over 2' of
casing and grout any day. That grout won't maintain its integrity
through probably even one year of freeze thaw cycles, let alone the 40+
years that most drilled wells last.
"> I sure am glad I live in PA. Sounds like MD is almost as stupid as NY
Here in Indiana, shallow wells are not allowed, and all wells are required
to be grouted.
A good website to better understand well requirements is presented by the
Illinois Department of Public Health.
PS I feel your (very) mistaken about the grout in a well.
You must have misunderstood. casing should be placed in hole that is
drilled 10 inches round down 2 feet into bedrock, with 6 inch well
casing. minimum 20 feet, with grout 2 feet into bedrock all the way up
to surface, with casing 8 inches minimum above grade, 2 feet above
grade minimum in flood plain or higher
Matt Whiting wrote:
Not a clue regarding pipe. I do have a thought on drill heads though.
Diamond bit heads are nice, they cut through stone and anything else very
quickly, however they also create a lot of dust in doing so. That dust has
a tendency to get pushed down the hole and clog the first few water veins
you would have come across. Typically in this area, conventional head
drills find water in the 60 to 80 foot range, diamond bit heads typically
find it in the 150 - 250 foot range. Based on this "local? statistic, and
the assumption of paying by depth, not time, conventional head drilling is
cheaper. Not to mention less pipe required.
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