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Old 01-29-18, 07:32 PM   #1
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Default Cleaning silt from a bored well

The well is 30 years old, 24 inch casing, supposedly 70 feet deep with water about 35 feet below the surface. We are in Georgia dead clay and the well is getting to the point where any amount of rain turns the water red.

I watched a few tube videos on building an airlift pump. Not much info on how high the device will lift above the water table. They aren't expensive to build but I really don't want to waste time on something that won't work.

One thought I had was to buy the head of a trash pump and fit it with a 2HP electric motor. Lower it down the well so that lift isn't a problem and let it work.

Another thought was to sacrifice a jet pump in the hope it would last long enough to remove the silt.

Still another option is to pay a well company some ridiculous sum of money for doing a lousy job of it.

Any suggestions?

Doug

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Old 02-04-18, 08:48 AM   #2
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You could rent a large compressor and blow out the well from the bottom. This is sometimes done by drillers as "well development".
More here: Section 10: Well Development
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Old 06-10-18, 10:08 AM   #3
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You could sacrifice a $100 submersible pump to get the silt out. The well guys usually use old worn out pumps to get gunk out of wells.

As to your red is it clay or is is rust? Also how is the well sealed. 24" is a big hole and not as easy to purchase well seals for as you would have to weld one together.
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Old 06-12-18, 09:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcam84 View Post
You could sacrifice a $100 submersible pump to get the silt out. The well guys usually use old worn out pumps to get gunk out of wells.

As to your red is it clay or is is rust? Also how is the well sealed. 24" is a big hole and not as easy to purchase well seals for as you would have to weld one together.
The well is lined with concrete cylinders and cannot be sealed. The red is definitely red clay. It got substantially worse in 2016 after the wife burned up two pumps. I was out of town and she had to pay to have them replaced. The well service guy didn't want to deal with her again so he dropped the foot valve another 10-15 feet to reduce the chance of pumping it dry again. The foot is now sitting just above the silt build-up and picks it up after a heavy rain.

24" bored wells were popular here for decades. After eight years of low rainfall well companies stopped servicing them and started pushing deep wells which are more drought tolerant and don't fill with silt.

I agree that pumping out the silt is the only practical solution. I found an old jet pump that should last long enough for the job. It will have to wait until fall when cool weather arrives.
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Old 06-12-18, 11:22 AM   #5
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Gotcha. Have seen a few of those in Misissippi where my relatives have land they grow trees on.

Funny coincidence... I just got done pulling the pipe out of our well. 100' of pipe and a jet at the bottom. I thought the foot valve was leaking but it turned out to be the supposed stainless nipple rusted out over 6 years...

Before pulling it out I blew as much water out with the air hose that I could. Then after pulling about 40' out and taking a break I blew it out again. This time I blew a hole in the fitting and it was much lighter as the water was gushing out as I pulled it out.

Headed to pick up a piece of pipe to extend the well casing and drop in a submersible pump. Not playing with inefficient, noisy and maintenance hog jet pumps anymore.

Oh and my water has allot of rust in it from the casing and there is some from the iron oxide in the soil. However the iron oxide is in sand instead of clay here. Looking at local drill records we have sand down to around 150'. Once I run the pump for a while every spring it clears up and it's crystal clear unless I don't pump water for a few months or so. Looking forward to watering the trees and grass again...
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Old 06-12-18, 05:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcam84 View Post
Gotcha. Have seen a few of those in Misissippi where my relatives have land they grow trees on.

Funny coincidence... I just got done pulling the pipe out of our well. 100' of pipe and a jet at the bottom. I thought the foot valve was leaking but it turned out to be the supposed stainless nipple rusted out over 6 years...

Before pulling it out I blew as much water out with the air hose that I could. Then after pulling about 40' out and taking a break I blew it out again. This time I blew a hole in the fitting and it was much lighter as the water was gushing out as I pulled it out.

Headed to pick up a piece of pipe to extend the well casing and drop in a submersible pump. Not playing with inefficient, noisy and maintenance hog jet pumps anymore.

Oh and my water has allot of rust in it from the casing and there is some from the iron oxide in the soil. However the iron oxide is in sand instead of clay here. Looking at local drill records we have sand down to around 150'. Once I run the pump for a while every spring it clears up and it's crystal clear unless I don't pump water for a few months or so. Looking forward to watering the trees and grass again...
I am on my third foot valve in 20 years. The only part that is stainless is the screen. The body is cast iron. The first one blew a hole in the side, as much from silt abrasion as from rust. The second one was less than three years old but looked terrible. The pump installer refused to use it.

I considered a submersible. But they are more expensive than a jet pump and my wife won't bother to turn off the pump when she runs it dry. The permanent solution is going to be a timer on the well pump.

If time permits I am going to pick up two IBC's and use them as a buffer between the well pump and a separate house pump. The house pump will be below the IBC's. I can put a level switch in one to shut the house pump off automatically if the tanks get too low.

The well is fine - the problem is a "loose nut" at the garden hose.
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Old 06-14-18, 08:49 AM   #7
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What went on mine was the 1" drive pipe nipple on the jet.

My well is just for irrigation and I will see what the output is with the new pump before I redo the watering system. With the jet pump I was planning to get several ibc totes and let the pump fill them and then use another pump to water with. With no back pressure on the well pump it produces more water.

The current water level is 34' and the lowest after a really bad summer was 45'. That was a bad summer where we had over 100 days at or above 100* and much of it was 105*+ with a week at 117* every day with lows of 85*. So the lakes were low etc...

I'm going submersible as the pump cost is pretty much the same and they move allot more water and less hassle and my well is 100' which a jet pump is not very efficient for deeper wells.
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Old 06-18-18, 11:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyDoug View Post
I considered a submersible. But they are more expensive than a jet pump and my wife won't bother to turn off the pump when she runs it dry. The permanent solution is going to be a timer on the well pump.
Instead of timers and ICB's you might look at:

Pumptec Family | Residential/Light Commercial | Drives & Protection | North America Water | Franklin Electric
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Old 06-19-18, 03:04 PM   #9
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Somebody kick me!

The real problem with the jet pump is that once it pumps dry it must be primed again. Even a timer cannot completely prevent this. It also doesn't prevent a dry pump from restarting over and over until it burns up.

Looking at the Franklin Electric website I finally realized that a submersible pump combined with the Franklin monitor (or home brew equivalent) completely eliminates this problem.

So now I need to look at submersibles.

EDIT: I still need at least one IBC for gardening and fire protection.
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Old 06-19-18, 06:01 PM   #10
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Since we are on the subject of pumps, has anyone tried the cheap submersibles on ebay? They are half the price of those in the box stores (which are also made in China).

The ebay jet pumps are considerably less expensive as well, even for identical brands. Home Depot knows when someone comes in for a well pump it is because that person is out of water.

There is a 1/2HP pump for $32.99 with free shipping. If it lasted one day I could probably get most of the silt out of my well. Then I could install a better pump.

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