New dug well overflowing, dont like proposed solution


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Old 06-04-15, 06:08 PM
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Question New dug well overflowing, dont like proposed solution

Hi All,
The in-laws are building across the road from us in the rural. The well witcher said there was a ton of water in this one location.. yep.. tons..
The contractor dug down 14ft and had to hustle to lay down rock and the tiles, as the water was already coming up. The lid ended up about 2ft above terrain and they sloped the fill in around it nicely.
Then the problems started.. it filled right up and started coming out of the inspection hole in the lid. If I had to guess.. maybe a cup every 2 seconds ?
What they did today was drill a hole in the top tile and grout a pipe to it which then goes under ground (maybe 2ft deep) to a site 40ft away or so that will run off into the bush.

I dont like it.

Winters get to -35 here at times, that pipe is certainly gonna freeze solid, then what happens ?? I figure it will push up and out the lid again and freeze all over, possibly including the driveway. And what happens when (if) the water level drops below that pipe.. will water backflow from the ditch ? Critters ?

The solution Im going to propose is to get rid of that overflow system and get another well tile and raise the well , it will be 5ft above ground then. Surely there's not enough pressure underground to lift 36" diameter of water up 5 ft+ ?

The wildcard with this solution is what will happen when the column of water above terrain freezes solid in the middle of winter ? Will it split the concrete well tile ? I called the manuf of the tiles and they hadnt run into this before and only suggested that we insulate the outside of the tile to try and use the waters 'heat' (he figures it should be about 44f) to keep too much of it from freezing solid.

Thanks for any thoughts on this..
 
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Old 06-04-15, 06:20 PM
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Surely there's not enough pressure underground to lift 36" diameter of water up 5 ft+ ?
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Sounds like an artisian well.. Is that What you have?????
 
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Old 06-04-15, 06:25 PM
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Old 06-04-15, 06:27 PM
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From what I read online, I guess it is.
My well is about 400ft away, and I have a 13ft deep well with typically 10ft of water in it.
But mine doesnt overflow.
Id have to shoot it with a transit to be sure, but visually I think his is higher than mine by a coupla feet, so I guess theyre on a different part of the water table.
And yes, I checked mine yesterday... lol.. it's still ok (for now, not sure what would happen if they just keep letting it drain off like that.
Theres also 2 neighbours up the hill from us, dont wanna have them run dry either.
 
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Old 06-06-15, 05:58 AM
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If you have an artesian well you can seal the top and let it trickle in winter to prevent freezing. Use a tap off before the pump and that will not waste electricity and waste pump life from pump cycling.

You don't need a very high flow rate to prevent freezing. Run a line to the back yard or somewhere away from the house and driveway in the same manner as you would run a sump pump outlet line. Neither this nor a sump pump outlet should be positioned where its end can get submerged and frozen in its own discharge.

You neither need nor want water gushing out onto the ground at any time of year. However if you are going to do lawn watering, you may need a gravity reservoir (unpressurized tank) prior to the pump and/or additional pressure tanks after the pump (for added volume, not added pressure) and you may still need to have rest periods during your watering session to let the reservoir recover.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 06-06-15 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 06-06-15, 09:15 AM
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Ok, Ive found the local (Ontario) code where they say to not allow a 'free flowing' well to just flow out. So that overflow pipe is coming out. Its drilled into the tile just below ground level.. hope any repair/plug isnt going to act like a frost plug and just blow out some winter..

Sounds like two choices here.. either extend the well up above ground by one tile and insulate it with R20+ (and finish it with maybe 1x4 wood planks vertically ?) or replace the existing concrete lid that is currently a foot above ground with one that is solid (no inspection hole) thereby trapping the water.

In either case there is some concern about freezing, and letting the water trickle (controlled) might work. However, the water line to the house will be about 5ft deep, so will there be movement of the water near the top of the well ? Perhaps this water will freeze anyhow ?
 
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Old 06-06-15, 10:31 AM
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Actually, now that I think about that solid well lid, the more I think it might not be the best.
If the well is full to the top , and even leaking out a little at the house end, and it does actually freeze, it's got nowhere to expand too (10% expansion).
Maybe the extended tile above ground would at least allow some vertical expansion room ?
 
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Old 06-06-15, 11:13 AM
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It should be sealed. You should have a pitless adapter and a seal.. Read here...

Pics show page 19 and 20


http://michigan.gov/documents/deq/de...k_221323_7.pdf
 
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Old 06-06-15, 08:40 PM
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I think thats what is used for the line to the house. Why do they say on some of those diagrams "gaskets of pitless adapters must be pressurized by pump" ? The pump will be in the house, so the line would be a suction line (not pressurized).. does this matter ?

When you say 'it should be sealed' are you saying to stop the free overflow (I agree), or that my idea of putting another tile on top and hoping the head isnt higher than that, is no good ?
 
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Old 06-06-15, 08:52 PM
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You need to seal the head IMO and a seal to keep water down below the frost line as shown in those pics..
 
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Old 06-07-15, 04:14 AM
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Oh I see..
This is a ~36" diameter well tile.. do they make seals that large ??
I'll ask at the supply place on Monday.
 
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Old 06-07-15, 04:48 AM
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It may sound silly; but is there anyone in the area who might be interested in paying you for the rights to that excess water ?

I once sold a home (as a Broker) with an artesian well (>75 GPM) and a neighbor who wanted a spring fed pond, so we had a "double closing" so that the home buyers aren't concerned about being inundated with excess water, and the easement, initial costs, and maintenance agreement was all (?) legally defined.

Other people wanted to buy the water and bottle it . . . . I've heard people drink the stuff some places . . . . so maybe you could turn a perceived liability into an aset.
 
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Old 06-07-15, 08:40 AM
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So there is no casing inside the tile? This is what you have at 14 ft depth I assume?






[ATTACH=CONFIG]51699[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 06-07-15, 04:34 PM
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Yep, thats it exactly Mike.
Just a concrete tube, nothing fancy.
 
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Old 06-07-15, 04:41 PM
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I told the father-in law that we were gonna set up a water biz.
Who knows, maybe down the road (and with the township's permission, all above the table etc), he could sell some to one of the water hauling companies.

Some people have to get water delivered, some overflow.. aint that like life.

My ex father-in law had 7 wells on his property about 10 miles from here, none of them productive enough to support a house properly..dug, drilled, fracked even.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 05:07 PM
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Good news.. today they went and got another tile. The 'outlet' is temp plugged with a rubber cap, new tile placed and lid on top. Its been at a static level for a few hours now.. about 1/2 way up the new tile.
Provided natural events dont drive the water up higher, that should give more than enough room for ice expansion if it does freeze a little. We're still going to insulate it with some layers of styrofoam strips then mound the earth around it I think.
The final plan might be to 'terrace' the sloped earth and put flowers or such there, since its the first thing you see when you drive up.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveC72
". . . that should give more than enough room for ice expansion if it does freeze a little . . ."
So you think the force of the ice can be directed vertically, instead of horizontally ?
 
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Old 06-08-15, 05:45 PM
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Dont know why they just didn't do a bored well
 
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Old 06-09-15, 05:50 PM
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To some extent, yes.
The water in my well (same type of tile) is typically about 2 ft below the ground level, and it freezes a nice cap on it every winter. Not sure how thick, but I did try hitting it with a bar once and it didnt break. That 10% expansion went somewhere, I dont think it expanded down into the water or it would have blown the hose off of my pump (maybe ?).
I suspect as it crystallizes, it can push up before it freezes solidly.
Id like to hedge my bet though with that insulation and earth, a 3 foot column of water freezing solid might be asking too much !
 
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Old 06-10-15, 04:17 AM
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The aquifer or other source of the water 7 or 8 feet down will re-absorb the water forced down because some water near the surface and exposed in your well got frozen. No unusual pressure will result. When the pump kicks on the water will come out of the aquifer again to be pumped to your system and pressure tank.

If the water freezes in the well from the top down then no problems are created. Pipes burst because water freezes first in, say, part A and part C sealing off part B in between which bursts when it too finally freezes.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 04:22 AM
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Out of curiosity, I was looking around for other examples of freezing columns of water and I found that people with pools can use a thing called a 'pool pillow'. Its basically an air bag that you trap in the middle of the pool surface under the cover. Its job is to allow for some expansion of ice by being squeezed, thus avoiding/reducing the amount of 'push' against the outsides.
No idea if they actually work as said, but the theory seems reasonable.

Now, if I could find a rubber air tube, about 8" diameter and 3ft long with a slightly weighted end (to make it stay vertical) and trap that in the middle of the well, I think it would work.
Related issues would be concerns of bacterial/etc growth on the thing etc..
 
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Old 06-11-15, 06:40 PM
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Thanks Allan, sounds reasonable.

Sadly, we're back to square one today.
The site builder went to re-dig the house area for foundation and says that that area is now full of water (wasnt too bad before). So, he took that upper tile back off and reinstated the overflow pipe.

I suspect what happened is that they backfilled beside the well with excavated material, so now water is coming up the outside of the well. From what Ive read you're supposed to 'seal' around the well with bentonite clay ?

Im okay with having a controlled leak to keep the house area dry enough to allow construction, but we need to get this whole thing sorted before winter for sure.

The foundation of the house will end up below the static level of the well, but the foundation wont be through the clay barrier to penetrate the water.
What if they cant stop the water ? Id hate to see my inlaws out some 50k on dev costs and having to throw in the towel. Heck, the modular home is already being built.. (5 weeks away) not sure where theyre gonna put it .. lol
 
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Old 06-12-15, 03:43 AM
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I take it that this modular house WILL NOT have a basement . . . . just a floating slab ?

This lot is sounding like a piece of wetlands. Will it have to accommodate an on-site sewage disposal system too ?

Did your Canadian Authorities require a percolation test on that lot before they permitted it for development ?
 
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Old 06-12-15, 04:11 AM
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It will have a crawlspace, all poured concrete including a floor.

It seems like identical property to ours across the road. The original builders (1977) here brought in a bunch of fill to make a yard. In the forest, its has pockets of wet into mid-summer. I have a 250ft pond out in the far corner (10 acres), it flows out away from the property. So ya, pretty close to wetlands, but build-able.
Their house site is a little higher than ours, we have a 4ft foundation backfilled up to a slab on grade floor. I make nothing to speak of for water in my sump pit (I plug in the pump to get rid of a foot of water in late summer ).
We excavated the clay here for the septic field and its been working great for 15yrs now (knock on wood). On the new property, the builder got approval to clear off the top soils to clay then build the field up from there, and will use a septic pump system. The test, site visit inspection and plan are all approved, so hopefully thats good to go. Mind you, this was before the artisian well happened.
 
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Old 07-10-15, 08:20 AM
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An update..
Someone tipped of the ministry of environment and they came out for a site visit. They want the well re-excavated and sealed around the outside, the 'leak' hole sealed and by implication, put that extra tile back on. A second contractor that regularly deals with artisians is going to do the work.
 
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Old 07-10-15, 09:53 AM
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If that's a true Artesian Well, then putting the additional tile on top will just make it over-flow at a higher point, will it not ?

Or is the static water level, just coincidentally, somewhere within the 2 feet or so comprising what will be the top tile ?
 
 

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