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Sand point well vs. having a well drilled...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Jason Rose, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    I have been wanting to put an irrigation system in my lawn. Beings that I am in the lawn care business I really need to get my place in better shape! I have installed a few systems before and am pretty comfortable with that aspect. I need a well though... City water is just not a real viable option due to the cost of water and cost of extra meter ect. I have a mid sized lot, about 10,000 sq feet and pretty heavy clay/loam soil. I know that down about 8 or 10 feet and below is nothing but sand. We have water-a-plenty even at 15 or 20 feet. My former neighbor had a well drilled (a block from where I am now) and the guy that drilled it said that the recovery in the 4" casing was around 200 gpm. So, I'd certainly say we have enough flow...

    Now, is it a viable option to use a sand point? I have been doing some research on the net about them and how they are installed but it really dosn't address having clay or loam soil to get the point driven thru to get to the sand. Anyone else done this before? I also saw the cost of one sandpoint, around 200 bucks. That's only about half the cost of actually having a well drilled... Would it be worth it?

    Cost of having a well drilled would be 4 dollars a foot, 40 foot minimum, so 400 bucks. If that includes the casing or not I'm not sure (I forget).

    Beings this is a relatively small lawn I really want to invest as little as possible but for a couple hundred bucks I don't know if the labor is worth it. Plus with a drilled well I can use a submersible pump and not have to worry about it freezing or a place to house it... Throw me your opinions or experiences!

    As you can tell I am already talking myself into one direction here...
  2. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,630

    If you can get a well drilled for 400 bucks go for it . I have driven a well point , not fun , If I remember correctly 25 feet is the maximun since you draw the water up , there is no pump at the bottom .
  3. genoaustin

    genoaustin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    is $160. Is the minimum 100 feet?
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858


    oh, oops, it's 10 dollars a foot... I guess I had 4's on the brain at the time. They don't have to drill the whole 40 feet to charge 400 dollars either... usually our in-town wells are good to go at 25 feet, but they usually run them down to around 35 feet.
  5. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 671

    That would be awesome. to get a well for $400 bucks. here its a minimum of $1500.00 investment. there is alot of ledge in Maine and probabaly at some point they will be going through rock. If I could get one for $400.00 I would have another one drilled for just irrigation.
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    we have installed well points before.

    i used an auger to go the first 12 feet, then washed the pipe down to almost 40 feet. worked pretty well, as far as water supply went.

    problems we have with shallow wells is iron staining. We have to go 180 feet or so to avoid the staining problem.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    The best guide to the viability of a well point installation is a close neighbor who has one. Nailing one of those suckers through heavy clay isn't the most fun you will have in your lifetime, especially if you happen to pick the one spot where a large rock decides to locate itself. But with water within fifteen feet of the surface, and sand and/or gravel soil where the water lies, it will repay the effort. A standard half-horsepower shallow-well jet pump can supply up to ten gallons per minute, more or less, from a one-and-a-quarter inch well point.
  8. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Thanks guys, I am still interested in doing a sand point but I have heard they clog easy and after a year or two can be no good... One guy told me that way back when their house had one and about every year they would shoot a .22 down the pipe to dislodge the sand that was plugging the screen. I also caled a well driller, now I'm sure he wants to sell a well, but he said the screens clog up fast and pretty soon you can't get any flow thru them. All I need is 10 to 12 gpm and good pressure. I have a 3/4 hp shallow well pump already. The well guy told me that I wouldn't be able to pull that much because it would just plug the screen faster. About 4 to 5 gpm is all he said would work... Granted there is plenty of water down there, It's just the sand and gravel that's round plugs the round holes.

    Also, How does the pump work without a foot valve on the bottom of the pipe? Does the sand point have a foot valve built into it? Seems to me if it didn;t every time the pump shut off the water would flow out of the pipe back into the ground and the pump would loose its prime.

    My local TSC sells shur flow sand points in both 3 and 5 foot long versions. If I get one it will be the 5 footer...

    Unfortunately I don't know anyone else that has one, Usually houses that do have them they are very well hidden...
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    Heck, after driving a sand point through clay, it might be clogged up right at the start. A well point is "developed" by getting the clogging deposits away from the screen. It isn't small round stones you concern yourself with, it's the fine stuff that fits the openings in the fine screen. Water is pushed into the point and pumped out of the point. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. That firing of a bullet into a point idea is simply using air pressure in place of water pressure.

    By the way, having a five foot point (48 inch screen area, most likely) will work against you here because the force you can bring to bear into the point will be less (for a given flow of water) than it would be with a point having a 24 inch screen area. With the friendly water-bearing strata you describe, the shorter point won't make a difference in supply capacity. I see old well points supplying over fifteen gallons per minute, without ever getting clogged up.

    All shallow well pumps seem to be capable of losing their prime, and a spring-loaded check valve should be connected directly to the inlet of the pump. One more addition to a shallow well pump setup would be a good strainer/filter in the line leading away from the pump, such as a VuFlow with a 100 mesh stainless screen. Most modern sprinkler equipment assumes clean city water, and the material that can pass through a well point can be a problem, both with sprinkler heads and valves. (sand-and-debris tolerant valves and heads exist, but it's probably cheaper to use the supply strainer with standard equipment)
  10. DGM

    DGM LawnSite Member
    from Ga.
    Posts: 154

    I hope that well was not for drinking with all that .22 lead in the bottom :alien:

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