Q&A

Drilling a Well

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

AYOU’RE NOT ALONE in your in­ter­est to live off the beaten path. Many tim­ber home own­ers do. It’s not un­com­mon to ei­ther have no ac­cess to pub­lic wa­ter, or you dis­cover that hook­ing up to a mu­nic­i­pal line will be so cost pro­hib­i­tive you want to find your own wa­ter source, and that means a well.

Start by con­tact­ing your lo­cal or state gov­ern­ment. Some states re­quire a well per­mit, and, in some ar­eas, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the health depart­ment has to choose its lo­ca­tion. It’s im­por­tant to sit­u­ate the well away from pos­si­ble con­tam­i­nants but in a spot that’s eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble for main­te­nance. Un­for­tu­nately, un­til your well has been drilled, it’s im­pos­si­ble to know the quan­tity and qual­ity of the wa­ter.

Next, find a li­censed and cer­ti­fied con­trac­tor to drill your well. Af­ter he’s fin­ished, you’ll know the depth and quan­tity. You’ll need a pump to ex­tract the wa­ter and push it through your pipes and into your home. The type of pump you’ll need de­pends on how close to the sur­face the wa­ter ta­ble is. Less than 25 feet re­quires a shal­low pump that’s placed out­side the well hous­ing. A sub­mersible deep-well pump can be used as much as 300 feet be­low the sur­face.

Test the wa­ter to con­firm it’s safe to drink (there are pu­ri­fiers and fil­ters that can make it potable if the ground wa­ter, on its own, isn’t). Also, it’s a good idea to test your wa­ter an­nu­ally and to check the ex­posed ar­eas of the well to en­sure ev­ery­thing is in good work­ing or­der. Be sure to record all re­pairs and main­te­nance for fu­ture ref­er­ence.

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