Porky's Hole Thoughts: Low-volume Wells
January 2, 2008
I don’t usually write technical stuff because some readers will say, “That idiot doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” I’m 70-plus years old, and I don’t care anymore. When you’re right, you’re right!
Over the years, I have drilled in areas of the world where water wells provide dependable, but very low yields. I have come up with a simple design where homeowners can get by with these low-yield wells quite well.
The included plumbing diagram is designed for a low-flow well system of 1⁄4 gpm or more. A well that only supplies 1⁄4 gallon per minute can supply 360 gallons of water in 24 hours. Today in the United States, the average person uses approximately 75 gallons of water per day. This means that a household of four people would use about 300 gallons per day, while still having 60 gallons left over. Depending on the size of the storage tank, when it is full, there’s enough reserve left over to use for other things.
Depending on the climate and regulations in your area, the non-pressurized tank can be buried or just hidden. It can be made of plastic and in almost any size from about 500 gallons to 3,000 gallons, depending on the amount of money that you want to spend, the space allowed, and the amount of storage you desire. Keep in mind that the larger the tank, the more storage you have in case of a fire.
The second pump can be a submersible inside the non-pressurized tank or a shallow-well jet pump outside or in the garage or storage area. The hydropneumatic (pressure tank) can be very small if you use a constant-pressure pump control valve in the secondary system. It will supply a constant pressure while providing a variable flow, depending on the demand. With a small tank, the pump will run until there is no water drawn. The amperage drawn will be in relation to the GPM demand.
A pump monitor will turn off the pump when the well runs low on water, and restart automatically when the timer is set to come on again. The monitor can be adjusted to restart again anytime from 0 hours up to 5 hours. These controllers must be adjusted to coincide with the time it takes the well to replenish itself.
Depending on whether using a submersible or a jet pump for the second pump, you must have a check valve in the respective location before the constant-pressure pump control valve, and the pressure switch should be mounted near the hydropneumatic tank.
This low-yield system can be as simple or as complicated as a person desires.
State regulators and many people think you must have a minimum of 5 gpm from the well for a home. Not true: If it’s not there, you can’t get it. Try this low-yield system when needed. I promise that you’ll have a satisfied customer.