Friday, June 16, 2017

Shallow well, deep well

My house water comes from a shallow well. It's about 5.5 feet deep and has never let us down. The well even kept up to the water needs of household with three daughters. For years it didn't even have a filter. In recent years I've added two filters. One is a coarse filter to catch silt and sand, which always was a minor issue. The second filter is finer and takes care of bacteria and many chemicals. I've become more cautious over the years, partly due to neighbors doing extensive work on their land.

Speaking of neighbors, years ago I found a nice shallow well for a guy just down the road from me. It provided gravity fed water to his summer cottage. It was a good well and provided for their needs. Years later new owners came in. One of the first things they did was to take a bulldozer and plow a rough road right over the old well. So much for that.

Now they are building two houses on the property and need water. The old well is long gone. A well drilling company came in to drill a deep well. They were at it for days. The thing about drilled wells is that you pay by the foot. So much for the hole itself, and another fee for every foot of casing pipe needed. Since the company was at it for days, the bill must be amazing.

Another thing to consider: you don't pay a well drilling company for water. What you pay them for is a hole. If you are lucky it fills with water. If it remains dry, they still have to be paid.

The new owners never took the time to learn about the land they bought. They moved in with heavy equipment first thing. They could have used their backhoe to carefully dig a trench to bury pipe below the frost line. That's all it would have taken to turn a summer well into four season water source. Since they already own the equipment, they could have done the job for the cost of a roll of plastic pipe.

I wonder if their new well has water quality as good as what they could have had from the old one.



  1. When I sold my old home place, the first thing the idiot did was fill the old 44 foot hand-dug well with old cement blocks covered with what was probably many years of lead paint. Not only did he ruin a source of emergency water, he probably poisoned the whole aquifer!

  2. I wish I could use my spring but it is against the law. if public water is available you must pay! I spend 500$ a year to buy what I pipe into a ditch.

  3. Ya gotta love morons don't ya?
    They are cheap entertainment sometimes.

  4. My well is 440 feet down and gives me what we call "sweet" water. While the house was being built someone came to try to steal the pump until they found out how far down it was.

    1. That's one deep well. I've pulled deep well pumps before and it's a lot of work.

  5. Some people never realize what they have and what they've given away. Sad