Many rural communities depend on wells and septic sewer systems. As more and more homeowners look to purchase properties beyond the reach of municipal water lines, it is vital that real estate professionals have an understanding of wells and septic sewers. Being informed about the various types of wells and proper water testing procedures, can help to give clients a clear understanding of one of the most vital components of a rural property.
TYPES OF WELLS
Driven wells are the easiest and fastest wells to construct. They are basically a pipe that can be driven into the ground with hand or power tools to a depth of 50 feet or more into the ground to the water table. They are frequently used for cabins and vacation homes, but can effectively be used for year round homes as well. This type of well consists of a pipe, a pump and the point/screen assembly. The well point is a specially designed section of pipe which taps into the aquifer (water table) being used as a source. Above the ground, the well is capped with a traditional hand pump.
Bored wells can be dug with a powered auger to a depth of about 125 feet if required. Once the hole is dug (usually a 10″ bore would have a casing with 2″ of gravel packing around it). They are capped with a single pipe jet pump and reinforced with a concrete cover away from the pump. The water flow rate is greater in a bored well than a dug well, because the depth of a narrow well will draw more water than a wider more shallow well.
Jetted wells are formed by using a powerful flow of water to bore a hole in the earth. Jetting is most often used for shallow wells, up to 25 feet deep. Once the well is dug, a casing is slipped down into the hole which becomes the route for the water to be drawn up. Jetted wells are more effective than drilled wells where the soil conditions permit easy penetration.
Dug Wells consist of a hole in the ground that is lined with brick, stone, concrete block or steel. The lower portion of the liner, which sits in the aquifer, is pierced to allow water to enter. The upper portion of the well casing is water tight. This type of well usually has a wall about three feet high above the ground surface and is often covered by a small roof. Water traditionally was drawn by bucket from dug wells, but modern dug wells can be sealed at or below ground level, when used with a modern pumping system and can be completely hidden from sight.
Protect yourself! Always have wells, cisterns or septic sewer systems inspected!!
In this area, water sources tapped well below the ground, often test clearer and purer than municipal water sources. In many cases, contamination occurs from improper pump installation, which allows rain water and ground water run off to enter the well. When a well is originally dug, it is usually disinfected with a chlorine treatment. After that point, the water must be kept in a closed system to prevent re-contamination from outside sources. The most commonly used chlorine system for disinfecting small well sources are calcium hypochloride and sodium hypochloride. These products are available at most swimming pools supply stores.