Well problems

I am having issues with my well. It is a two inch well that is approximately 35 feet deep and has a jet pump. The well was drilled in 1965. The well head is buried. I have been told by the previous owner that the foot valve and well pipe were replaced sometime around 2007. I suspect that the foot valve is as low as it can go. I have had two main issues:
1) For the last several months, I have been getting air in the system. Just very short burst when I turn on the faucets or shower. After a heavy rain last week, the problem is significantly less. I have never run out of water or had the pressure drop to an unusable pressure. Our household of three people average a total of 1 shower, 1 wash load, 1 dishwasher load a day plus the usual toilet flushing. No outside water usage.
2) After a heavy rain the water will be cloudly (more redish) for a day or two. I am in NC with that nice reddish soil.
So far, I have tried the following:
1) I ran the shower until the pump kicks on at 38 psi. The pump will restore the pressue to the cutoff pressure of 58 at the rate of 1 psi per minute (20 minutes total). The shower draws 2 gpm. If I try the test with the other shower ( 1 GPM) the pressure increases at 2 psi per minute. This seems to indicate that the well yield is marginal.
2) I closed the shutoff valve to the house and monitor the pressure at the bladder tank, There was no drop in pressure. I assume this indicates the foot valve is good and there are no holes in the pipe.
3) I had a pump tech out and he stated that the pump and bladder are okay. He recommended opening the well and surging the well to try to improve the yield. A $1000+ job. It seem this might help if the water level is dropping low enough to air in but doesn't address the sediment issue.
4) I have discussed this with two well drillers. They both stated that surging the well could 1) cause more problems and 2) be a waste of money. They think the sediment could be from a hole in the casing or a failing seal where the casing meets the bedrock. Either way, they claim that surface water could be entering the well and recommended a new well (Not surprising. They are drillers.). They both feel that the system mechanicals (bladder, pump, jet, foot valve and pipes) were working properly. They felt that opening the well would have little to no benifit. I tend to believe them.
Any thoughts? I am looking into a new well. In my area, most new wells are 6 inch drilled to 200-300 feet. Needless to say, this is not cheap. The property will also make running the pipe difficult and expensive. I would just like a feeling if what I am being told makes sense.
Thanks for any help.
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Your future plans will dictate what the best course will be. If you are certain to move in a year or two, live with it. If you expect to be there for some years, invest in a better well. All wells can change over time, especially shallow ones like yours. A good deep well can last decades and in better developments with suitable aquifers, a single well can service multiple houses. At present, you are getting ground water in your system, possibly with contamination.
Joe
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My plan is to be here a while. I just want some feedback before commiting to a $6-10,000 project.
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On Wed, 2 Nov 2011 19:30:43 -0700 (PDT), noname87

After a rain, the water is cloudy. That indicates the leaking the drillers told yo about. 35 feet is rather shallow for a well today, at least where I live. I think they are probably correct.
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noname87 wrote:

Is municipal water not an option for you?
Do you have any neighbors close by where you could tap into their water (and pay them for it) or perhaps drill a shared well between you and other neighbors if they are also facing a similar problem with their wells?
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If the only reason you think you have a problem is the burst of air, that is a common occurance with many wells. It is just outgasing of air that has been disolved in the water, comes out when pressure is released. My well does the same occasionally and it is measured at 26 gal/min recovery.
I saw nothing in your original message about he well actually running out of water. Harry K
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I do have a septic system,
I have never run out of water.
Sharing a well would probably not be an option. I doubt my nieghbors would go for it. They are good people but I am sure a share well would have an impact on the house value.
The drillers I talked to basically said to expect to have multiple new cracks in the driveway. In their defense, I can't see how they can avoid it. What I find distrubing is that they seem to have the idea that their job stops at drillinfg the hole. Any mess including the material from the well and the runoff seems to be my problem. Considering that they plan in drilling a 10" hole to bedrock (50-70') and then another 200 feet at 6", there could be mess. It appears that they are use to new construction where the builder handles the clean up.
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On 11/3/2011 1:07 PM, noname87 wrote:

Even though you haven't actually run out, sucking air is evident that it may not stay that way particularly if continue drought and if there's other neighbor pressure on the aquifer.
The really serious issue in my mind is the apparent contamination issue from groundwater--that _might_ be repairable, might not, but you would have to discover the entry source. As noted, it's certainly a health concern if not (yet) an actual problem and should certainly as noted earlier get a water test to ensure don't have high coliform or other contaminants.
They _can_ timber the drive to spread the load and prevent breaking it up; it's not dealing w/ stuff like that routinely that I found in E TN just seemed to not be on the radar whereas what I was/am used to is that it's just part of the routine to avoid tearing up anything that was worth saving (as a decent driveway generally would be more expensive to replace as compared to spreading out a few timbers first before backing over it). A bobtail drill rig is big, but not _that_ big but what it's certainly doable w/o really major hassle.
Is there a county health ordinance in place and/or other regulating body? I'm not directly familiar w/ NC outside Wake County; even TN has at least minimal requirements now although didn't when we first got there in the late 70s had by the early 90s. Those mandated at least the locations acceptable wrt septic and leach fields, and were required. One would think there are enough wells dug that the cleanup etc would be pretty routine altho if it is like TN was early in our time there they could be used to just dumping over the side of the hill out of sight and call it good... :(
--
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Yes, we do have a health department that put restrictions on wells built after 1970. The new rules will probably limit me to a 200 sqft area on my estate of .6 acres. The rest is either too close to the spectic (must be>100ft) or structure (25) or is covered by cement (driveway, etc). Unfortunately, the former owner put in a large driveway and a very large slab of cement that he used as an skate park. I guess after that, he couldn't afford the well.
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http://www.deeprock.com/HD/Default.aspx -- may be another way a DIY well drilling machine. its lightweight so no collateral damage and could reuse your original water line.
in any case its a interesting option
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Thank you for thr link.
lI will try to cover these details in the contract. I am stilling trying to determine what is consider normal business practice for well drillers.
I had one today say that they are not responsible for clean up. He said they will try to contain the mess but that sometimes it gets away from them. It seems that these guys drill the well and whatever comes out is left. It appears up to me to hire a clean up crew. I was expecting ruts in the yard and damage to the driveway as my problem but I wasn't planning on dealing with rock and soil debri from the well.
I was also surprised at how specialized these people are. Some will do all the plumbing to the bladder tank but will not connect to the pipe in the house. Need a plumber for that. If the line has to go under a walkway, that's another specialist. Need a hole for the pipe in the foundation, yet another specialist.
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When I postd I forgot about the possible ground water contamination. That I a real concern. Have the well tested both before and after it the discoloration shows up.
As to shared well. Approach with caution. I was on one and wound up the unpaid maintenance man, arguments about who paid for what, etc. I finally drilled my own to get off it. Still have water rights (deeded) to it though and the interconnection is still in place.
Again. The burst of air is not a concern unless you run out of water while drawing it.
Harry K
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Did the OP say if they were on Septic or municipal sewers, I don't think he said? Septic would make it even more important to get a new well!!!
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On 11/2/2011 9:30 PM, noname87 wrote:

Agree w/ both previous respondents; your well is limited capacity and is getting groundwater contamination from some source. I would _immediately_ get a test for that; you may have a potentially serious health hazard there depending on the source path and what it is picking up on the way.
You should be able to shore the driveway to be able to cross it w/ a drill rig; the rest will be dependent on just how good and careful (or lack thereof) the operators of equipment are and whether they give a rats patootie or not about what they deliberately try to destroy vis a vis attempt to save. My experience while in E TN was that the general attitude was good 'ol boys are gonna' just git-er-done and the heck w/ the consequences; I suspect if you're in W NC in particular that's probably the likely there as well. Son is down in the Raleigh area; there seems to be more sensibilities in play there in the more metro area.
But, it appears a new well is in your future sooner rather than later; the alternatives someone else pointed out are perhaps worth some consideration but shared wells are also very potentially shared headaches.
--
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