Arttesian well question, drain on the casing?

    I bought this house about 2 months ago and have had a real run around about my water rights. I need to water a large pasture for livestock.     Anyway, I hired someone to put in a water hydrant connected to my water from the house to the barn. While digging the trench he ran into a 4 inch green plastic water line at about 5 feet down and water began gushing up into the trench quite rapidly. There was no reason a water line should be in that location. We quickly dammed up the trench and when the water reached ground level it slowed down, which gave me the impression that it was artesian water, While the plumber called for a gas pump to get the water level down for repairs, I started calling all the well drillers in the area.     This well was put in about 45-50 years ago, no one I talked to knew anything about it. The last well driller in the yellow pages told me that the person who drilled most of the wells in this area died a while back. I was informed one of the things he would do with artesian wells was to but a drain line in the casing. This was to prevent the water freezing in the well head above ground.     At the back of my property is a small river, I went back and sighted to where the plumber was doing the repairs and found where the pipe exited down a very steep bank buried in thick brush gushing a surpising amount of clean clear water.     The artesian pressure isn't much at about 2 ft above the ground but has an amazing flow from a 4 inch line 5 ft underground. The well itself is 220 ft deep. This has been flowing thousands of gallons of water into the river 24 hours a day.     Anyway my queston is how do I go about using all this water for irrigating my pasture? I have a 1.5 hp ditch pump and have been trying to think of a way to redirect this water back onto my property. Now that I know this water has been here all along I can quit trying to talk to these uncooperative people in the irrigation dept. (the head-gate is over 2 miles away)
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On 9/4/2005 7:59 AM US(ET), Adiabatic took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Although you say the well was built 45 or 50 years ago, the green plastic pipe is an indication that the drain pipe was installed in later years (sometime after 1980). 50 years ago, the pipe would have been iron, tile, pitch impregnated fiber pipe (Orangeburg Pipe <http://www.sewerhistory.org/grfx/components/pipe-orng1.htm ), or some other non-plastic material. Talk to your local building department. They should know if there is an easement on your property for the drain and whether you can tap into it. If they don't know either, tap into it. The worse that can happen is that someone who is affected by your tapping into the line will make a complaint and you will have to remove the tap. Since you made inquiries and got no answers, you can fight any fines that may incrue from the tapping.
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Bill


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Re Arttesian well question, drain on the casing?:

If I read you correctly, the water well has enough head to reach the ground surface. If that is the case, and you don't have to pump it much higher to get it to the pasture, a 1hp pump installed at ground level should work fine. A 1hp pump will deliver about 250gpm against a 15' head at 100% efficiency. Select the pump efficiency that you want to buy and apply that to the previous numbers.
Just build an enclosure around it to keep it from freezing.
Sorry, I don't know what typical home/farm well pump effieiencies ranges are. Does anyone here know?
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A hydraulic ram pump would be the most energy-efficient way to pump some water if you can locate it so there is enough head. A ram pump has to be placed such that most of the water it receives drains away. See: http://www.lifewater.ca/ram_pump.htm
TKM
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First thing you do, is shut your trap. You have a very litiguous item there and you are going to suffer major headache if you go around sharing information about it with others.
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