Water, Water, Water

There is an existing well on the property purchased, but some 300’ away from the build site. Originally, we were going to trench a new line from the well to the utility building, but that was abandoned due to the condition of the well. The well is 420’ deep with a pump at 200’ and recharge rate of 3 gallons per minute, adequate enough to support two dwellings. However, it was constructed over 30 years ago at a time when health regulations were different. It is a mere 50’ from the septic system that was used on this portion of the property. The well itself had not been operational for over 9 months. Once it was powered up, the water was tested. Filters could be installed to adjust the pH, taste. But there was presence of total coliform bacteria. This could be handled by UV light, but would reduce if not negate the effectiveness of the other filters required. The cover was removed, and a vacated nest was found probably used by one of the many chipmunks living on this part of the property. The well was cleaned and shocked. A retest still showed the presence of total coliform bacteria. A second shock was performed but a retest still showed the presence of total coliform bacteria. An evaluation of cost of finding and removing the source of the bacteria entering the well together with the 300’ of trench lead us to conclude for both cost and safety reasons, a new well should be dug for Patient Chickadee. A check with neighbors in the area indicated none had presence of total coliform bacteria in their well water. So maybe it was a function of being too close to the septic system or a crack in the well casing due to aging. In any event, the decision was made to drill a new well.

Drilling the new well was an adventure! An access way first had to be cut through the tree growth to allow the well digger truck to reach the designated spot for the new well. Once in position drilling started. At about the 200’ mark, water came gushing out of the well. The experienced well digger advised this was ledger water above the granite he was about to penetrate and probably not potable. Digging continued throughout the rest of the day to the 500’ level. After evaluating the recovery rate, the decision was made to go a further 100’. That was completed the next day and then the well sat over 3 days before testing. The well was producing at a recovery of 3 gal minute. Given the depth and placement of the pump, it was estimated that after regular use, the fissures would open more and we should attain a recovery rate of 5 gal/minute, similar to that of our neighbors. Water quality testing will be completed in the spring once the well is permanently powered.