Simple tool to measure depth to water down a well


Old 09-26-13, 11:11 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Mongolia
Posts: 1
Simple tool to measure depth to water down a well

Hello all,

I am currently working for an NGO in Mongolia and getting local herder people to measure the depth to water in their shallow wells (<5m) on a regular basis. We are in the design phase at the moment and trying to come up with a simple tool to meausre the depth to water, however we are slightly stuck with the design and i have come here in the hope someone on these forums might be able to help us a little?
What we were thinking is a simple tape measure (5m) that has a weight at the end to keep the tape straight and vertical but to also act as a float, so that when they reach the water the line will go slack because the weight/float will be supported by weight of the water, and then they can pull the tape tort to get then get depth of water and read it from the tape measure.
However it is good in principle, but we are struggling to find a weight that is heavy enough that will also work as a float, and then also how to attach the weight to the end of the tape measure. The only way we have found so far is with the tape end of a surveyors tape measure, so we could perhaps clip something on... however lots of them are flimsy and break easily, and we have not found any that come only in 5 or 10m length. Also, we find when we have attached a weight, it does not take long for the end of the tape to fray and end up breaking off the clip at the end of the tape measure.

We are really stuck, so if you have any advice on what we could do, or any products you think that we could buy and then get shipped over here would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
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Old 09-27-13, 03:44 AM
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Luke, welcome to the forums! I have successfully used cotton rope (1/4") with knots tied at 5' intervals and a weight on the end. I used a fairly heavy weight as you can feel the release of tension better than you can say with a fender washer tied to it. A mushroom boat anchor will work just fine. Drop the weight and string in the water until you feel the tension leave, then pull it up, note the wet mark on the string. Measuring in 5' increments plus the residual worked pretty well. You'll have to convert to a metric unit for your convenience.

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