Well for irrigation in built-up suburb


We live in a near suburb of Boston -- we have regular city water and sewer as do all the local communities.
However, do to the literally $10B plus invested and wasted due to the Boston harbor cleanup & sewage treatement politics, scandals, and graft, we have some of the highest water bills in the world -- higher than the Middle East and almost expensive as milk!
Last quarter, our water bill was over $1000 of which maybe $700-800 came from twice weekly watering of 5000sf of lawn and plants. Our city does not offer separate metering for irrigation (even though the sewers are not used), so I inquired about digging an irrigation well.
It seems that such wells are legal and could have a relatively short payback in addition to letting me water as much as I want to have the greenest lawns in the city.
Any thoughts on pros/cons of doing this? (I am asking because in my wildest of dreams I never would have thought of drilling a well in a city that has had public water supply for more than 100 years)
Any rough ballpark on how such wells are priced and what might be my total cost of drilling and equipment?
Thanks
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blueman wrote:

Probably best thing to do would be to call well diggers in local phone book and ask. There may be zoning restrictions and cost will depend on access to aquifer. Digging itself might be $10-30 or more a foot today. Well casing, pump and pressure tank, I guess another couple of thou. My well's over 30 years old so I'm not current and just guessing. In those 30 years, I've spent about $2,000 in upkeep for new pump, 2 pressure tanks and water filter. Too bad your water bills are so outrageous. Makes me appreciate what a bargain I have with well and septic.
It does sound like your lawn is overwatered. Grass in your area would probably go dormant without water but recover in fall.
Frank
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On 10 Oct 2006 09:56:25 -0700, Frank wrote:

Did you not see that the OP said "letting me water as much as I want to have the greenest lawns in the city."?
How could you even suggest that to one of those water-wasting-gotta-have-the-greenest-lawn-in-the-state idiots?? To them, having a single blade of brown in their lawn is one of the worst sins imaginable that'll send them to the deepest hottest part of hell!
However, to a reasonable soul, that is an excellent suggestion.
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I think you missed the point... The whole reason to potentially get a well is that I would not be "wasting" water -- simply recycling -- water gets pumped out of ground, sprayed on ground, returns to ground. Once the well is installed, only operating cost is the minimal electric cost of running the pump.
Certainly, more green-and-efficient than using city water that is pumped from other aquifers and requires all types of energy and chemicals to get to my faucet.
Plus, you know nothing about my lawn and how much water it needs... much of it went brown this summer and advice I received from several gardeners was that it needed more water since it is on a slope and also has a lot of surrounding maple trees with roots that siphon off the water.
Next time engage your brain and hold back your anti-socail tendencies before letting loose your silly ad-hominem rants :)
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Failing the drilled well thing, you could probably do fine with a burried cistern and water catchment off the roof.

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What a terrible waste of water. Learn natural gardening and save a bundle of money. In some towns, you can put in a sewer meter (at your expense) and just pay for the actual use instead of a portion of the water bill.

Mine was green all summer with no water and my quarterly bill was $116.

Wells can run from $3000 to over $10,000 depending on how far they have to go, the requirements for flow, location of the drilling. Some well companies will give you a fixed price for a certain flow.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Might save a bit by changing watering methods if you don't wish to cannot change to more natural landscape. Mulch around shrubs should help keep soil moist. Drip irrigation on same areas also saves water. Water deeply, early morning. Don't cut lawn too short. Change some of grass over to islands of more drought tolerant plants. Whew!
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blueman wrote:

Twice weekly watering is once too often.
I doubt if you -can- drill a well in a suburb. Those drilling rigs are BIG and need lots of room to manuever. I can't see them getting into position on a residential lot.
Well drillers charge per foot of depth and no gaurantee that you will get water or how much. You pay no matter if it is a dry hole or 2000 GPM.
I paid IIRC around 2500 for a 65 ft well (lucked out, neighbors went around 180 ft).
Harry K
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http://www.zetatalk.com/food/tfoox050.htm
I have seen and used a hydra drill, its realtively small lightweight and works well in the proper conditions.
having seen a boston this old house episode where the drilling went to 800 feet this machine isnt designed to do that.
its still a good option if the usual well in your area isnt too deep.
another thing, in this age of terrorism some ability to live off the land in a emewrgency is probably a good idea.
you can live for months without food.........
no water your dead in a few days:(
I respectfully suggest the OP is overwatering and some analysis is in order.
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Harry K wrote:

Amazing how people can know how frequently turf needs to be watered without knowing anything about the actual soil or local conditions.

Now that is hysterical. What do you think folks all over, from suburbs, to small towns, have done where they don't have municipal water? Use Perrier? Much of NJ is "suburb" and there are wells all over, including lots of folks that have them only for irrigation, exactly like the OP wants to do.

I guess that didn't stop you from putting in a well, did it?
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Duh. "Suburb of Boston" in the original question isn't just a random sequence of characters. If you have to water more than once a week in Eastern massachussets, you don't need an irrigation well, you need dirt that's not mostly silica gell.
I still think a water catchment is a better idea.

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If you happen to have a shallow water table, and nice sand layer to it, look up "well points". They are available to be "driven" or some can be installed with water pressure. (Brady)
Bob
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