Well Drilling

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.
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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.
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Steve Barker



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I'm no well expert, so I can't help you there. I guess it would all boil down to geologic conditions and such. Would you want a steel plate or pvc plate for a bullet proof vest?
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Steve Barker


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I missed the part where he said that somebody would be firing bullets into his well.
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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.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Andy suggests: If you go to www.google.com and use the keywords ' PVC well casing ' you will find numerous hits from manufacturers and organizations that deal 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, and 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 driller about his opinion and any warranty that may exist regarding casing failure or collapse...
Good luck, Andy in Eureka, Texas
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I'm no expert either. but steel casings rust, and the rust can effect water quality.
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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.
Richard
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"RCW" wrote...

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 applications.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Andy adds:
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.
http://www.fao.org/docrep/X5567E/x5567e00.htm#Contents
Andy in Eureka, Texas
(who is currently digging a well with a shovel, a bucket, and a beer )
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Thanks for the link they got some strange stuff on that site

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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

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shortbusbush wrote:

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.
Matt
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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:

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shortbusbush 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.
Matt
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"> 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. http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/drilledwlsFS.htm
PS I feel your (very) mistaken about the grout in a well.
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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:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com 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.
Carolyn
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Carolyn Marenger
Webzine development: www.fivecatsproductions.com
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