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Natural spring feeds well & pond


Dixie2012's Avatar
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09-25-17, 10:03 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Natural spring feeds well & pond

We bought a house with 5 acres about 2 months ago & while it has community/municipal water system in use, there is an old well (the kind you can throw a bucket down in it and dip out water) which has a concrete lid on it, that hasn't been used in "years" as I was told. A friend was curious & was trying to give me a bit of info on it, slid the lid aside & indeed you can see water down about 30 ft. I have been told by two people that the well is probably about 100 ft deep. Its about 30" round. I was told by the previous owner that it is spring fed. Another family member also said it is spring fed.
There is also an electric pump connected to this well that was once used to supply the home with water before the community water system replaced it.

In addition to the well, I've been told by two people that the small pond on the property (about 100 ft across) is also fed by the same natural spring. I have no clue how deep this pond is but I'd assume that it's about 2 ft deep. I wouldn't think the pond is more or less than 1 - 3 ft deep.

While I am familiar with a water pump to supply water, I know nothing about a natural spring or a well or a pond fed by a natural spring. Any one want to educate me on one or all of these topics?
How does it work?
Do I need to do anything?
How do I need to care for the well or the pond?
No specific questions here, just educate me on any general, trivial or specific info you would like to share.


Last edited by Dixie2012; 09-25-17 at 10:46 AM.
 
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Pilot Dane's Avatar
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09-25-17, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)  
It sounds like you simply have a well. While the terminology my be somewhat accurate I'd hardly say it is spring fed. It's just a well. Most wells of that type in my area are 30-40' deep.

Do you need to do anything? Well, what do you want to do? Do you want to use the well for something?

Wells such as yours can be a hazard. If the cap is ever removed there is an real danger for someone (a child) falling in and drowning. When no longer needed they are often filled in with dirt or crushed stone.

 
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09-25-17, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)  
Well, it's all "ground water". A spring is just where the water table meets the ground surface.

So, the well isn't a spring in the normal sense, because somebody had to dig down to 30' get to the water table.
If it's about 3' across, then it's probably hand dug, usually hand dug farm wells don't go deeper than 40-50', because the classic hand water pump relies on vacuum forces, and can only lift water up 34 feet. The electric pump can bring water up from deeper down, you may see a difference in watering plants with well water versus tap water, which usually has some residual chlorine.

The pond is, most likely, at the same elevation that the water in the well is. Having "underground streams" is rare, unless you're in limestone bedrock, most of the time it's just water percolating through the soil, then through the cracks in the bedrock.

 
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09-25-17, 11:14 AM   #4 (permalink)  
Often wells are 'condemned' by the gov't once municipal water comes to the area. They do that so you have to buy a tap. Many will still use the well water for irrigation and such. Personally I'd be hesitant to fill or permanently cap the well but you do need to make sure it's kid safe.


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09-25-17, 03:41 PM   #5 (permalink)  
I have a spring well, or artisan well and it flows constantly.

Couple of the neighbors have ponds fed by their wells but my property doesn't have a large enough flat area near the well and creek.

Is the pond full? if not you may have a relatively cheap source of water to feed it.

 
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09-25-17, 07:48 PM   #6 (permalink)  
I have 2 friends that use (1) spring and (1) spring fed well and although they don't seem to have concerns about them, I've looked into that water at times and seen the critters (salamanders and bugs) swimming around. Now, I don't really mind them swimming there but what happens when they die. And what happens when a mouse or other finds its way in and drowns? I might use that water for irrigation, but I prefer my drinking water to be filtered by hundreds of feet of soil/sand/rocks.

Bud

 
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09-26-17, 03:57 AM   #7 (permalink)  
It's always good to have an on-site filtration system for the unknown.

As a Real Estate Broker, I've sanitized many wells, both drilled and shallow, in preparation for water tests, and have often seen living organisms in the water or under the cast iron or plastic caps of drilled wells, which are not always sealed tight., including a two legged eel or dwarf siren (a form of salamander) on one occasion.

When I lived in Massachusetts, and relied on water from the MDC (Metropolitan District Commission), I remember a certain Photo Development Laboratory which was closed for about a week when their water supply was interrupted, and it was discovered that their incoming water line had been plugged by another larger 3" eel, despite the fact that the MDC water from the Quabbin Reservoir was treated with both Fluoride and Chlorine !

Humans have developed pretty comprehensive immune systems, over time, and sometimes,best left protected psychologically from what they don't know.

 
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09-26-17, 05:00 AM   #8 (permalink)  
Pilot Dane:
Do you need to do anything? Well, what do you want to do? Do you want to use the well for something?
We plan to have a vegetable garden next year & we want to use it to water the garden among other outside related uses.

Wells such as yours can be a hazard. If the cap is ever removed there is an real danger for someone (a child) falling in and drowning. When no longer needed they are often filled in with dirt or crushed stone.
The concrete lid on this thing weights in excess of 500 lb I'm guessing.... kids are not likely to get in this well. My friend that slid it, is a pretty big guy & it took a lot of doing to get this moved. The lid has a lip that fits inside the rim of the concrete (culverts as I was told) was used to make this well. If you remove the lid it looks like the hole/well was dug, then concrete sleeves (possibly culverts) were inserted to enclose or reinforce the well.

Marq1:
Is the pond full? if not you may have a relatively cheap source of water to feed it.
I have watched the pond for 2 months & I don't see it rising or falling. It seems to stay at the same height or depth. Is it full? Well it doesn't go over or level with the bank around it, but I'd say yes, the pond stays full. Since the bank around the pond is various heights, I'd say it's maybe 6" from the top of the lowest bank.
Let me provide another clue that this is "supposed" to be a spring fed pond as noted by some whom I have shown it to. There is a black plastic 2" pipe that was paced in the pond, through the bank & out to a drainage ditch. That's one thing that some have pointed out or even asked if was in place when discussing the pond.

Hal_S:
The pond is, most likely, at the same elevation that the water in the well is.
You may very well have hit on something there as the house is very high upon a hill along with the well and I'd say that it is probably about 25 or 30 feet above the pond, which would put the pond & the water level in the well at about the same height/level/elevation.

I'll give a little more background on this property. This was family property for probably 70 or so years at minimum. The family still lives all around this 5 acres as it has been handed down to the children who are now in their 70's & 80's.
Back in 1968, the owner sold this 5 acres to a newly married couple who raised their family here & have now moved to nursing homes etc. Upon deciding they needed to move, they needed to sell & I bought the property. So, in talking with the owner since '68 & the children of the prior owner who have a long history owning & living adjacent to the property for 70+ years, have given me this information. These people are "well-to-do" people & are highly educated. Having said that, I cant say that anyone is correct or incorrect. I am just trying to gather info to see if I can figure out what is fact & how all of this works & educate myself on this place. However, I would be inclined, on the face, to think that people who have been familiar with the property for this many years, would know. But, I also know people can be confused, mislead or misunderstood etc. Not liars, just mis-informed etc. So, again, I am just trying to gather info.

As for the depth of the well, one of the older family members told me the well was about 100' deep. A friend who came by to visit & see our new place (who removed the concrete lid) also, without provocation, indicated he thought the well would be about 100' deep. Why he thought that, or what clues he had to say that, is unknown to me, but its odd that an original elderly family member & my friend (65 years old) with no information about this property would say identically the same thing. Maybe because of the concrete culverts inside the well?
The old original family member turned & pointed in both directions where the spring runs across my property & theirs. Is it speculation or is there some sort of geographical proof? Or was there just misinformation & speculation etc?

 
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09-26-17, 05:10 AM   #9 (permalink)  
it isn't uncommon for wells in the same area to be at about the same depth. It is uncommon for a hand dug well to be that deep. ..... but I've never lived in your area.


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09-26-17, 05:20 AM   #10 (permalink)  
If you have a 100' tape measure duct tape a decent weight to the end and lower it down the well. You can tell you've hit bottom when you feel the weight lessen and bobbing the tape up and down causes a jiggle in the tape. Then when you bring it back up note where the tape is wet so you can see how much water depth you have and how far it is from the surface.

 
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09-26-17, 06:51 AM   #11 (permalink)  
And if you don't have a 100 foot tape, use a string with a weight on the end and measure with whatever size tape you have how much is wet when you pull it up.

 
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09-26-17, 09:05 AM   #12 (permalink)  
I had planned to do just that. Even thought about getting a 100' rope & tie a bucket on it. I can check the water in the well & hopefully see if I can scrape up anything off the bottom like rock, mud etc. But, I gotta wait till a big 'ol boy comes over to the house & see if I can convince him to slide that lid around again...lol

 
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