Artesian Water
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:00 AM   #1
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Default Artesian Water

So, I'm a bit slow to start prepping. Nothing fanatical, just common sense stuff. It's a daunting task though. I have come to realize that a good place to start, and the place in which we're most lacking, is water.

Now, we have an drilled artesian well. Most likely, it's a couple hundred feet deep, but I don't know the depth, really. So we have within 20' of our house a sealed, potable, easily defendable and theoretically never-ending water supply. But how to get it out?

1. Cheapest, but not so convenient: acquire 275 gal totes. We have a generator that will run out deep-well pump and fill them. This plan I don't care for, because it relies on gasoline, which couldn't be counted on, and storing empty totes, which at best will give you a limit supply.

2. Best idea, but expensive: Those deep well hand pumps. I hear they are $1000+, and there is simply not the money to spend on something like that. Well, technically there is, but the wife wouldn't go for it. To spend that kind of cash on something that may or may not ever get used...

And, that is the end of my ideas. Are there any others?

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Old 08-16-2014, 11:11 AM   #2
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Clarify, please.
An 'Artesian' well is one in which the aquifer is under positive pressure, causing the water to flow up and out the top without the help of a pump.
If you have one of these, you only need to pipe it into the house, no need for a pump at all.
We have a spring here that is a bit above the church, and I have simply put a tank in for reserve, then ran a pipe from the tank into the church. The pressure is quite low, but the water is endless.

If that is NOT what you have, can you drop a line into it and measure the depth to the SURFACE of the water. How far down the TOP of the water column is will determine what kind of pump you need.

Also, what is the diameter of the well?

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Old 08-16-2014, 11:19 AM   #3
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So, I'm a bit slow to start prepping. Nothing fanatical, just common sense stuff. It's a daunting task though. I have come to realize that a good place to start, and the place in which we're most lacking, is water.

Now, we have an drilled artesian well. Most likely, it's a couple hundred feet deep, but I don't know the depth, really. So we have within 20' of our house a sealed, potable, easily defendable and theoretically never-ending water supply. But how to get it out?

1. Cheapest, but not so convenient: acquire 275 gal totes. We have a generator that will run out deep-well pump and fill them. This plan I don't care for, because it relies on gasoline, which couldn't be counted on, and storing empty totes, which at best will give you a limit supply.

2. Best idea, but expensive: Those deep well hand pumps. I hear they are $1000+, and there is simply not the money to spend on something like that. Well, technically there is, but the wife wouldn't go for it. To spend that kind of cash on something that may or may not ever get used...

And, that is the end of my ideas. Are there any others?
Is it really artesian, most deep wells are not? If it is, youve got a winner cause you shouldnt have to pump it, it should pump itself. I have a buddy that drove a well 20' and hit an artesian that pumps a 5' pipe full constantly with so much pressure it literally blew the cap off. It took a backhoe to push the cap on and bolt it tight enough not to blow off. He can shoot a 2" stream 30' straight up and has no need for a pump (I am so jealous). He really needs to hook a turbine to it!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artesian_aquifer

If its truly artesian, it really should have enough positive pressure to pump itself out without any mechanical's. If not, the only way to pump it without an NRG Source is with a deep well hand pump and thats $$$ and allot of work but it can certainly be done. Maybe a better plan is to store water that has been pumped cheaply with electricity before the SHTF.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:44 AM   #4
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OK, yeah, sometimes they are called artesian wells around here, but I guess they're not. Wells under pressure are pretty unusual here. So, what I have is a 6" well drilled into bedrock, cased with steel from bedrock up to the top. It requires an electric pump close to the bottom to pump & pressurize the water.

I'm not particularly interested in storing water, because you can only store so much, and it is still not really a long term solution. Won't it also go bad over time requiring you to "maintain" it or replace it??

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Old 08-16-2014, 11:57 AM   #5
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This may interest you:

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Old 08-16-2014, 12:07 PM   #6
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OK, yeah, sometimes they are called artesian wells around here, but I guess they're not. Wells under pressure are pretty unusual here. So, what I have is a 6" well drilled into bedrock, cased with steel from bedrock up to the top. It requires an electric pump close to the bottom to pump & pressurize the water.

I'm not particularly interested in storing water, because you can only store so much, and it is still not really a long term solution. Won't it also go bad over time requiring you to "maintain" it or replace it??
Clean water in clean containers stored in dark places stores long and well (6 months to a year). If your storing longer than 6 months, its not a bad idea to have a buckload (250 gallons plus) of Water purification tablets and water pitcher with a replaceable particulate filter. Between the two, you can almost recycle your septic tank discharge (which you wont have because you dont flush toilets with drinking water when the SHTF!)

Because Im on a well, I have a 20 gal pressure tank and I also have an 80 gal indirect Water heater off my boiler, I store and refresh nearly 100 gallons of clean pure water at all times. The source of that water is under my back steps just a dip bucket on a rope away in a 150+ year old 20' hand dug/ stacked spring fed well (can you imagine the poor guy digging it, that had to be a really bad and dangerous job). I also have a 6K generator hooked to the house that I can run for 5 minutes a week to refill the water tanks.

Your best scenario would be storage unless you can be sure that you can maintain everything else like food, heat and shelter. Likely, if the SHTF lasts more than a 250 gallon reserve and some rainwater collection refreshment, your gonna have bigger issues than water.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:42 PM   #7
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I have seen well buckets for sale, could be a good idea but... always a concern about contaminating the well. However, if it turns out to be a long term thing, get the water now and worry about contamination later.

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Old 08-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #8
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Have you ever used this well? I am asking because the distance TO the water may be a lot less than the distance to the BOTTOM. Our well here went down 100' before they hit water, but when they hit it, it rose to 20' from the surface.
Eatmydust has a good and VERY inexpensive solution.

Your $1000 figure may be WAY too high, depending on how deep you have to pump from. When you have had a long dry spell, measure the distance to the water, and figure on going a few feet below that with your pump cylinder. Price varies GREATLY with depth you are pumping from.

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Old 08-16-2014, 01:18 PM   #9
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A really long straw.

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Old 08-16-2014, 01:44 PM   #10
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A really long straw.
The limit for sucking water up a pipe is 33' at sea level. Above that, the vacuum inside the pipe will merely vaporize more and more water, no matter how much sucking is applied.

Obama could probably beat that limit, though -
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