Driven Water Well? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread


I live in New Jersey and am going to attempt 'driving' my own water well. I have purchased a 'drive point' from Lehmans and am searching for experience, suggestions, advice, etc. before starting.

Backgroud: I have a fairly large raised bed, organic, vegetable garden (large by NJ standards at least :) ). Use a drip irrigation system to water, and collect rainwater to make manure tea. We had a terrible drought this past Summer and even with my conservation measures ... my monthly water bill for July & August was over $60 per month. Directly attributed to my gardening activities.

I live close to the Jersey Shore, and my subsoil is a sandy gravel. Using 1.25" pipe along with my recently purchased drive point I should be able to 'pitcher pump' water if I reach it within 25 feet. The Grammar School nearby, where I live, 'hit water' @ 17ft (for their lawn sprinklers)... but during the drought it ran dry. Since I will only be using this water for my gardening needs..... if it occasionaly runs dry... I can live with that. Besides I can't go any deeper than 25ft with this system.

My questions tend to run... What to use to drive the "drive point"? How do I know when I hit water? & If I reach water, say @ 17ft.. should I continue? How far? to the max? 25ft? How difficult is this project?

Anyone else have any experience with this kind of 'welling'?

-- Steve Ambruzs (, December 05, 1999


I have tried it a couple of times without much luck but, i was working in rocky ground. You want to use heavy pipe & HD couplings(4" sections) schedule 40, you need a driving cap which is different than a regular pipe cap and it had a hole in the top. As you drive the point you should turn the pipe using a pipe wrench, that will help keep it going straight and break out room for the point. If at all possible have a portable air compressor to blow air through the hole in the cap to keep the screen end of the point cleaned out. Each time you add a section of pipe check to see if there is water, you might even here it gurgle, you can use a small mirror to reflect the sun down the pipe to look for the water, where a flashlite would be in the way of your view. Make sure you keep the driving cap tight, they tend to losen up with the blows of the hammer or whatever you are going to use, it will result in you smashing the threads or breaking them off altogether. Good luck I would like to know how you make out and hopefully someone else will come along with more or better advice.

-- Bob Henderson (, December 07, 1999.

I've driven a few points in simular soil. The previous post had alot of good advice however I would strongly recommend against using anything but a point driver. They're designed like a fence post driver but much heavier. If you drive it by hand, prepare for a real workout, even with help. If this is a fairly common practice in your area your local hardware store might have a special attachment that fits on to an electric jackhammer that they rent out. Our local one does. I had the point driven in less than two hrs. These things are kinda heavy so I wouldn't use pipe sections longer than 4'. Remember the jackhammers are about 2' tall and the switch is on the top handle. Try to get the first section off to a good start by insuring its plumb to the ground. Also, if you have the extra $ I'd recommend a Stainless Steel point. You don't have to worry about the screen corroding in a few yrs. Should last for many yrs.

Technically, you can go deeper than 25'. It depends on soil conditions and the aquifer. For example: The point I drove went down 27' below my basement floor, but when I measured the H2O level in the well it was only 7' from the top. Thats from subterranean hydrostatic pressure.

To check for water, I've always used a weighted line. Slowly drop the weight with kind of a bobbing action down into the well and listen for the splash. Then slowly bob the weight lower and lower into the well until it hits the bottom of the well. It will feel different when you hit the bottom. Bring it up and measure the wet section. That'll tell you how much of a water column you have.

As for fittings, ask for drive couplings and a drive cap. If you'll be using a hand pump simply get the appropriate fittings and screw it on. If you'll be using a shallow well pump you'll need a check valve at the top of the well pipe to maintain the prime in the pipe. Most shallow well pumps say they're self priming but I've always had better luck priming the well pipe with a hand pump, which you screw into the check valve. It wouldn't hurt to have one for the hand pump either but you'll have to relieve the prime for winter or freeze protect the pipe stub sticking out of the ground. Good luck. Email me if you have more questions, if you'd like. john

-- john leake (, December 09, 1999.

I was just reviewing this thread and realised I forgot something. When you're adding pipe sections use two pipe wrenches and get them as tite as you can. But while you're driving the pipe, turn it a couple times for each section because they will loosen up from the impaact of the driver. It will spin in the ground but thats all you can do to keep the sections as tite as possible.

-- john leake (, December 09, 1999.

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