DIY Video : How to dig your own shallow water well for the garden

    This project goes over the instructions on how you can dig your own shallow hand pump water well using simple tools and save a lot of money.

    Before digging the water well, you need to know the ground. You got to have the right soil for this system to work. If your soil type is silt, clay, sand or loam, then its ideal .In our case, we have the first 10 or 12 feet of fine glacial silt and below that there is glacial deposits of river gravel.

    The first step is to dig a hole for the well casing. The tools you need to dig the hole are six inch post hole auger , three quarter inch extension pipe with coupling at the end and couple of wrenches.

    Once you have spotted the area where you want to dig the well, you start by applying downward pressure on the auger by twisting it. It screws itself into the earth filling its basket with material. When it’s full, you pick it up and dump it aside or in a wheel barrel. Sharpening the auger can help it cut through tree roots but it will not stay sharp long. It is important to do your best to keep the hole centered.

    Once the bottom is reached, we pull out the auger and remove the basket from the handle and insert one of the extension using the pipe wrench.

    The next part is getting the casing down the hole. For the casing we are using a cheap and readily available six inch PVC sewer pipe. We use a rasp to smoothen the end of the pipe so that it fits a cap . A round piece of PVC flat stock is bolted and glued on top of the cap using a PVC glue. This becomes the mounting base for the pitcher pump.

    To get started with driving the well point, we need a long piece of 10 foot pipe and a sandpoint, a couple of drive couplings. The drive couplings are steel rather than cast which makes them stronger. But most importantly, they have that small diameter so that they can slip down inside, making them not much larger than the diameter of the sand point itself.

    The sandpoint is made of perforated stainless steel and a cast iron point at the bottom.

    We connect the sandpoint and 10 foot pipes using the couplers and some Teflon tape. Now you don’t want to hammer on your drive point or any of your fittings without them being quite tight because you need those extra threads to spread the load. We drive the whole thing with a homemade post hole pounder which is a gooseneck trailer hitch ball welded into a piece of pipe.

    We insert the sandpoint with the extension into the well casing and start drilling by hand.

    We are gonna find out how far down that water is by dropping a string with a bolt tied to it to the very bottom.

    We finally attach a black ABS suction by sliding it down into our pipe .Then we cover the pipe with our PVC casing . And once the casing has been firmly tamped down, we will pack around the casing and tap that into place.

    The final step is to install the pitcher pump and prime it by add some water. The top cap is installed on the casing opening and the pump is bolted to the top of the cap. Priming the pump simply entails pouring a little water in that top basin.



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