Ventilation for Water Well

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I had a new well dug for the house water supply (200' deep in basalt, 25 gpm) after the old well gave up the ghost.
I decided I did not like the looks of the casing, pipes, electric connections, etc. sticking up 2 feet out of the ground (the old well was 60 years old and all that stuff was buried underground -- can't do that anymore).
So, I wrapped the pipes in a bunch of insulation. It looks even worse. I am thinking about getting one of those fake boulders to cover the pipes. I looked at them at the home center, figure I will use sprayfoam to add further insulation inside the boulder.
But, as the fake rock has no vent holes, and I know the well needs some sort of air supply (or why would it have a vent pipe), I thought I would drill three 3/4" holes in the back of the "rock" and glue some gray window screen over the holes. That should be enough air, I assume?
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On 10/6/2011 7:17 PM, lost woods wrote:

I haven't seen a recently drilled well. Does it really have a vent? And why are the water pipes not underground were they don't need insulation? Please give us a link to some pictures, I just gotta see this mess.
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On 10/6/2011 7:17 PM, lost woods wrote:

The only pipe, other than the casing, I would expect to see above ground, would be the electric line, coming up into the head cover. The water line should exit the casing underground, below the frost line via a pitless adapter.
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Well (HAHA), Guys, I agree with you about it all should be underground, but the government in these parts has declared that ground is dirty and all parts of the well should rise above said dirt.
In the old days, all that was above ground was the vent. No problem with freezing. And it did not look so bad.
Now, the casing has to be two feet above the ground and the vent, water supply line and electrical all has to come out of the top of the "sealed" casing and feed into the ground.
No way around it. If you have an old well and do any work whatsoever on it, you are required to bring it all above ground. I don't have a digital camera, so no pix for you. Maybe someone else will oblige. I don't like it, but have to live with it.
BTW, no one answered my question...
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OK, I found one sort of bad picture of a "new" approved type well:
http://www.wrd.state.or.us/OWRD/GW/well_id.shtml
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You really do need to talk to your code person. I did find the statute in the link you provided and it expressly allows pitless adapters:
http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_600/oar_690/690_210.html
See starting with section 690-210-0260 Openings in the Casing
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On 10/6/2011 11:06 PM, Robert Neville wrote:

But the pitless has to be 12" above grade or floor.
690-210-0250
Top Terminal Height
(1) The casing head or pitless unit of any well shall extend a minimum of 12 inches above the finished ground surface or pumphouse floor, and a minimum of 12 inches above the local surface runoff level.
I'd think they would at least finish off the well enough so that it doesn't freeze. That's some weird codes there.
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I think you need to talk to your local code officer. While it's quite common to require that the well casing be brought 18" above grade and surrounded with a concrete pad, I've never seen any code require that the power and water lines exit through the cap. The requirement is there to keep surface ground water from seeping into the casing, but as the other poster said, there are sealed fittings for power and water below grade.
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wrote:

You cant do that sort of thing in the northern part of the US. The pipes will freeze. They use a pitless adaptor and it all goes underground to the house basement or into heated paret of house if there is no basement. I agree having the casing above any possible flood stage is not only required but makes sense, but the water pipe can not be above ground in freezing climates. Normally the electric conduit has always come out the well cap. A vent pipe was always a pipe on the cap with a two elbows so the open end pointed downward and has a bug screen on the end. Wells MUST vent.
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On Fri, 07 Oct 2011 00:41:13 -0500, jw wrote:

Yes, ours is all about 7' below ground, with only the well cap sticking up above by about 8". We're lucky in that the well's shallow enough (80' I think) for a jet-pump setup, so the pump and electrical are all in the house basement.

Hmm, ours doesn't - the only lines to the house are the feed from the well and the return line for the jet. Even if the well cap were ventilated somehow (and it doesn't seem to be) it still ends up buried beneath snow and ice for a good portion of the year, so a vent would be pointless.
cheers
Jules
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On Oct 7, 8:59am, Jules Richardson

The reason for the code change is the issue of surface water accidentally entering the ground water supply. By requireing 2 feet of casing above the ground level the chances of that are greatly diminished. Before some of you chime in, I get that in many cases it is not really a problem. But they write code for the problem cases and if they add "exceptions" it starts getting subjective. So most juristictions now require the casing to continue above the ground for 2 feet. Even if the well is improperly abandoned, which happens more than you would imagine, it's still pretty safe.
It's fine to cover the whole mess with one of those foam rocks. I'd either do that or build a small wood well house about 2x2x3. You don't need to make holes or vents.
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Yes, it is required to stick up above ground. NO it does not require the water pipe to stick up like that.
Harry K
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Hm... Use two sets of pipes, one set well below freezing level, the other set(unused) to please the inspector?
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Tell them you are fracking for natural gas.
That way these silly pollution laws won't apply to you and you can dump any chemical you want down the well.
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On Oct 7, 5:35am, "Jack Schmidt" <jack.nul> wrote:

I think the OP is confused with what he has. Just had a well drilled here in NJ and the casing does extend up a couple feet above grade. However the water pipe is buried below grade and connected via a pitless adaptor which is standard practice today. As RBM pointed out the only other pipe coming out of the top of the well is the conduit for the electrical connection. The well has no vent, nor is one required. There are plenty of older wells around here where the whole thing is below ground.
As far as covering up what he has, I doubt freezing is a concern. If it were, the well folks would have to be idiots and surely should have addressed this with him. It would be ultimate incompetence to drill a well and leave it so it could freeze. So, I'd say if he wants to use a fake rock to hide it, just do it.
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wrote:

I'd have to look but I don't think mine even has that. Those usual well cover caps are not an airtight fixture.
Harry K
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They are around here. Big neoprene gasket all around the inside of the cap.Well gets sealed after sanitizing.
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This is a pretty good description of the different types of well caps.
http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/XH0011.pdf
Turns out even the sanitary caps do allow some air exchange, so they aren't completely sealed.
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My well has a small copper vent pipe (5/8ths"?) and so I doubt you need a hole larger than the copper pipe in these fake boulders. I think that the boulders are a clever idea. How will they hold up with time? What happens when you hit them with the weed wacker? Where I live it's usual to have the everything enclosed in a small building, about the size of a dog house.
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People still build those things? About the stupidest way to have a well known to man. The tank and all controls belong in a frost free space where it is easy to work on them. One of the most miserable working conditions in the world is trying to do something in one of those holes in the ground, crouched down, with barely enough room to move and yet still haveing to use tools.
There are stills ome of those around here but not on any well drilled in the past 20 or so years.
Harry K
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