Dig Your Own Water Well

Supply your property with a consistent off-grid water source, and save a bundle of cash, by drilling your own well.

| May/June 2018

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    Add a self-reliance skill to your list by learning how to dig your own water well.
    Photo by Adobe Stock/Olga Kochina
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    Stabilize the drum with stakes on either side to keep it in place during the drilling process.
    Photo by Carole West
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    The connecting pipe transfers clean water back into the well hole.
    Photo by Carole West
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    Powered by compressed air, the pneumatic drill bit will drive through all types of soil.
    Photo by Carole West
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    Dig your settling pond 10 feet away from the drill hole. As you’re drilling, water will cycle through the pipe attached to the drill, into the drum and settling pond where it will be filtered of mud and debris, and back into the drill hole.
    Photo by Carole West
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    Drill hole and settling bond before being connected with pipe.
    Photo by Carole West
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    Before you start drilling, fill your hand-dug drill hole with water.
    Photo by Carole West
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    Once you begin drilling, it's important to remember that you must remove the drill from the hole before shutting it off.
    Photo by Carole West
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    Depending on your soil type, you may not need a pipe to stabilize the drill hole. The soil in this picture is hard clay and stable enough to keep the hole from collapsing without a pipe. If you aren't sure if your soil is stable enough on its own, err on the side of caution and use a pipe.
    Photo by Carole West

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Drilling a well by hand is a lot of work, but it can be done with the right equipment. Whether you're looking to drill a shallow or deep well, this skill is perfect for those seeking self-reliance.

Wells are normally drilled on private land where city or rural water isn't available. It's possible to hire a licensed professional to provide this service but you can expect to spend several thousand dollars. If you want to save money, you can do it yourself, but prior to getting started you need to research local regulations.

Each state or county will have its own list of requirements and regulations. These can be found online or at your county courthouse. When asking about these regulations, make sure you explain that you will be drilling the well yourself and on your own land.

Once you receive a green light to move forward, it's time to learn more about your land. Go to the county agriculture extension office to find out what soil type you have. This could include sand, clay, rock, or a combination.



The local courthouse may also have well drilling logs from professional well drillers. These will include things like when they hit ­ first water, what type of soil condition they encountered, and how deep they drilled the well. This could be helpful information, but do remember that every property is different. The very ­ first step might be determining how deep you need to drill.

Where to drill

On most North American homesteads, water is typically present about anywhere you would dig, though in some areas that depth will be deeper than others.

GEORGE
5/21/2018 12:47:23 PM

what about putting a piece of screen on the bottom most pipe in the well so water will flow into your casing and you can pump it to the surface


GEORGE
5/21/2018 12:18:48 PM

what about putting a piece of screen on the bottom most pipe in the well so water will flow into your casing and you can pump it to the surface







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