Well Drilling, Solar Water Pump, Chlorination

Water, Water: You May Be Able To Drill Your Own Well!

This is “drill your own” information that might be useful to those in shallow water areas of WV (for example, in some areas of the Eastern end of Wonder Valley). The fact is that a person can still pound in a sand point well for a cheap price.

Water in most far out Wonder Valley locations is around 30' or less.

An above ground pump will work fine and are available used. A hot water heater tank can be used as the tank. So in some cases there are ways to get by without much money.

I help when I can to give schematics on how to accomplish these old country ways of getting by. There are a few things that must be done as far as permits but even that can be not so costly.

As far as putting down your own water source....it doesn't have to be a well as most think of as a well! The Sandpoint is usually a 11/4" x 4' screened pointed piece of pipe (can be purchased) that is driven into the water sand by adding 4' pieces of pipe screwed onto the Sandpoint. A heavy duty cap is screwed on the top pipe and it is driven down with a sledge hammer.

You start by ensuring a permit is obtained (if required) to accomplish the task. If so, this is obtained by asking a driller/contractor to request it (this will cost near $200) that is paid to the county. You have to place the Sandpoint at least 100' from septic systems. One nice thing in using shallow water sources (20-40' deep)in the East end of Wonder Valley is the clay barrier above it.

The clay prevents contaminates from easily accessing the surface water. The water can be used to water plants, bathe, wash dishes, and cars etc.. If a Reverse Osmosis System is used it can be drinkable. I recommend that a sample be given to the water district in 29 for sampling if used for drinking. Sand is a very good filter but it's good to know if there are unknowns.

The next step is to use a post hole auger to dig through the clay. This is done by adding 3/4' x 6' pipe extensions with couplings to the auger. You dig until you hit water sand (no further dirt will come up due to water washing away the dirt/sand from the auger). Now you assemble the Sand point and lower it into the hole to the bottom. Now place a driving cap on the top of the pipe and hammer it down into the sand. You remove the cap and screw on another 4' pipe section placing the cap on top. Each are driven down until you are at least 10' into the water.

Remember that your pump determines how deep you can pump with an above ground pump. If the pump can pump from 40' that is how deep your well can be. If using a windmill drive the pipe until you hit hard stuff (usually more clay) or when into the sand 20' as the old hand pumps and windmill will pump up farther than you can drive it down.

To check the water supply you may hook up whatever pump you have and just pump it to check it out. If it pumps, it is ok to pour concrete around the pipe for the last 20'. If it doesn't pan out you can try a bit deeper (if possible if not on clay) or you can use clamps and jacks to remove the sandpoint. If you had water on the auger....you will have a water source.

From here is assembly of a pressure system that fits your budget. There are a number of options that I can help with at another time. Good luck.


I am also interested, as you must be, in anyway to do things cheaply as long as it is a viable way to accomplish it. So this month I am reporting on how to use solar energy to pump water. Yes, you read it right....PUMP WATER! You can do it very cheaply and without an expensive pump, so read on.

Before I tell you how, let me explain a few simple principles. First, water expands when heated, which is why your cars radiator overflow bottle fills up when your cars engine warms up. So if I take a black hose (with one end closed) fill it with water, lay it in the sun, water will come out the other end...It's really that simple and hears how to fill your water tank (without an electric pump).

This process is slow but sure and you will pump hot water, but as it sits in a tank it will cool down....so here is what you do. Depending on the depth of your water table decide how much flexible black pipe you'll need...the more pipe laying on the ground, in the sunlight, will determine the volume produced. Lets assume your water is down the well sitting at 30' (called the Water Table). I would purchase 140' of that flexible black pipe and fit each end with a check valve...making sure the check valves are attached so one end allows water in (goes down the well into the water) and the other allows water to exit. The exit valve should be put on after the pipe is lowered down the well (over 30') and filled with water so as to remove as much air as is possible. I would use 1 1/4" pipe and check valves as they tend to pump more water also. Make sure you place a hose clamp tightly on the pipe about 35' (assuming Water Table is 30' and tie a rope to it and to a strong fixed object so the hose doesn't fall into the well.

There can be a number of different ways to accomplish this task. Say you have a pipe down the well already with a good check valve at the bottom it may be possible to attach the down the well end to the outlet of the pump. This will accomplish the same thing as long as the lines are full of water and the black hose/pipe is topside.

Now coil the pipe or lay it in the sunlight and water will exit the pipe as it heats and as it cools at night it will draw more in and pump more out the next day and so on. It's up to you to attach a hose of any size to your tank from here. You'll be surprised at the amount of water you can accumulate as clouds pass. You can use this same principle to heat a swimming pool or spa as well. So have fun with this trick and watch for other water hints as the months roll by. Next Month look for chlorination tips.


Befopre I start discussing this issue let me start by seeing if any of these "nuisance" symptoms are troubling you:

1. ROTTEN EGG OR SULFER SMELL? a. Caused by sulfide gas, normally not dangerous at low levels and can be removed by water treatment.

2. SLIMY BLACK BUILUP INSIDE TOILET TANK? a. Iron Bacteria. Shock chlorination of well will relieve for some period of time.

3. REDUCED WATER FLOW? a. May be as simple as a buildup of slime inside the well. Shock Chlorination may restore flow. 4. Water turns dirty during dry weather? a. Could be sloughing off of built-up slime. Shock chlorinate the well. 5. Water turns dirty during wet weather? a. Well casing may be cracked or may be receiving water from surface. Send in water for testing and ensure water is boiled before drinking. 6. Often burnout of water heater elements? a. Often a sign of hard water. Addition of a water softner can solve.

If you have not disinfected your water well here are a few pointers. Chlorination is the most common disinfection method in use and the most efficient in terms of cost. Chlorination also has other advantages. It disinfects, restores water clarity, destrys algae, precipitates iron and manganese, and ensures water quality.


The reason for disinfecting a water supply (hauled water is already treated) is to eliminate all harmful bacteria. Human beings and other warm blooded animals discharge such bacteria which may enter a water supply through the soil as a result of a varity of things such as sewer contamination or leaks from the surface. Hot water wells may have incidences of the rotton egg smells if not chlorinated often. The following tasks can be done by most anyone if you have access to the well. Remember that some wells are 4" inside of a 6" and it takes a good aim to insert the chlorine. Your local driller can often do the task relatively cheaply..if I'm not clear enough here.


A. Sodium Hypochlorite....This chemical is in liquid form and usually contains 5.5% of chlorine by weight. It is sold in stores as "Chlorine", "Household Bleach" etc. It can be added to the well with little preparation. Follow these simple steps:

1. Add about 1/2 pint to a bucket of cold water and stir well. Note: A minimum of four buckets of disinfecting solution is added to a water supply for disinfection. 2. Do not permit the solution to be exposed to sunlight for a long period of time as light will remove the potentcy of the mixture.


1. Remembering to find the well first (sometimes there is a plug on the well seal that can be removed and a small hose snaked into the casing then hooking the hose to a funnel)...pour the disinfecting solution into the well.

2. Pump the water through the water storage until the odor of chlorine comes out of all the water taps hot and cold. If no odor should appear, add an additional quanity of disinfectant until a chlorine smell is noticed.

Allow the disinfecting solution to remain in the well, storage tank and piping system for 12-24 hours by turning off the water pump and using no water. This could be done overnight or a day when no one is home. (Follow the cautions while handling the bleach)

3. After the disinfection time has elapsed, pump off a generous amount of water from the well each day until the odor of chlorine has disappeared. Use care where you pump this waste water as it will kill grass, flowers, or life in streams, etc. Do not pump all this water into your septic system (CAUTION: DO NOT DRINK THIS WATER UNTIL ALL CHLORINE IS PUMPED OUT OF THE LINES AND WELL. THIS MAY TAKE SEVERAL HOURS OF CONTINUOUS RUNNING OR SEVERAL DAYS OF RUNNING PART TIME)

4. If you had initially tested the water to see if there was contamination wait two or three days after the odor of chlorine has gone before you retest. For the rest of you, you have done the best for your system and have "shocked" the well back to a good system.

GENERAL INFO: The following are a few things one can do to reduce exposure to microbial and chemical contaminates in drinking water, or to improve its taste and smell. 1. Although it doesn't save water (you can run the water until it gets cold and pour the wasted water on plants) save the cold water in an open container in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 2. Since hot water may contain higher concentrations of chemical and microbial contaminates, use only cold water for drinking and cooking.

Next month we'll discuss floridation.

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