We Have Problems with Our Well

I was able to find a document online that I believe to be the original document from when our well was drilled, over 40 years ago. The information on that document has me concerned.

When I bought my homestead property a few of the details were unknown. One of those missing details was the specifics of the pre-existing well. I knew the well functioned, but the flow rate and the depth were both unknown. This could now prove to be a massive problem, because we don’t know if we have enough water to run our homestead.

I’m Craig, and if you’re new to my channel, I’m in the process of setting up a tiny house homestead with my family. Subscribe to my channel and follow along on the journey as we ditch suburbia in an attempt to live a more self sufficient lifestyle.

Now back to the drama.

We’ve been looking up old county records and talking to neighbors to try to figure it out if we are going to have enough water. With older properties like this, sometimes the information isn’t so easy to obtain.

Several homes on the road leading to our property have ponds, so I wasn’t too concerned when we bought the place. However there are no major structures on our property, which is somewhat suspect of there being a problem with the water source.

A simple solution would be to ask the previous owner. Unfortunately, the previous inhabitant had died which is why the land had been for sale in the first place. I bought the land from his widow. My understanding was that they lived in a nearby town, and this property was used primarily for their horses. She didn’t spend much time out there which is why she didn’t have much information and I didn’t feel comfortable pressing for info due to the circumstances. The neighbors later confirmed that he had lived on the property alone in a trailer on occasion and used the land for his horses. There were remnants of several pipes above ground for water troughs and irrigation.

I would just test the well myself, but right after I bought the land, a huge fire came through our property and burned up all the electrical wiring.

I know for a fact that it is down just over 230 feet deep because we pulled up all of the piping to rewire it several years ago. Unfortunately we never finished the job. So here I am years later, trying to make this happen again.

I was able to find a document online that I believe to be the original document from when our well was drilled, over 40 years ago. The document states that the well was dug down to 250ft, and that the flow rate was a wapping 2 gallons per minute. For anyone not familiar with wells, this is not a good flow rate.

The neighbors all seem to have decent water, and the previous owner had been watering horses around the land in the past. So I’m gambling that we have enough for our small homestead operation but I can’t be sure until we test it ourselves.

While we were out with our contractor collecting some footage for one of our next videos one of the neighbors stopped by to say hello. He’s been in the neighborhood for the past 40 years. He saw all the excavation equipment and asked if we were putting in a well. We told him we already had one and were worried that the documents said it only produced 2 pal per minute.

What he said next was very exciting.

“Oh there is water in this area. Back when they created these plots they tried to subdivide everything, but there was no water, so the properties didn’t sell. Then the orchards moved into the area, and the irrigation from the river refilled the aquifer below the properties.”

When I searched for the well information for my neighbors properties, I found several wells that had been drilled much more recently, producing about 15 gallons per minute at depths of about 100 feet. 

We also looked up the local orchard and read that they had started planting trees in the area, right around the time our well was drilled. This would mean that the irrigation used for those orchards would have been refilling that aquifer in our area for the past 40 years.

We are hoping that means our well will be performing better now than it’s initial 2 gallons per minute from 40 years ago, but time will tell.

We are connecting to power within the next few weeks, then we’ll be able to fire up the well and test the flow rate.

If you enjoyed this video consider subscribing to my channel, and follow along as we create a permaculture homestead and attempt to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

I try to post new videos each week, but in the meantime, check out some of my other videos like how I built my tiny house or the road we just added to the homestead. There are links to these videos in the description.

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