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July 16, 2009


Ah, the joys of wells. The first place we owned in Oregon had a good well when we bought it producing 40 gallons per minute. Enough to brush our teeth, wash the dishes and irrigate 7 acres of hay as long as we didn't overdo it..the tooth brushing that is.

There was an earthquake in Klamath Falls (over the mountains from where we lived outside of Medford) that many people thought caused a shift in the ground water tables. Some people lost well production and others gained.

We started noticing sand in our tap water and had the well checked. We were shocked to find that the wells production had dropped to less than 1 gpm.

This was bad for several reasons, one being that we had buyers for the property as long as the well produced at least 10 gpm.

The well driller went down 100 ft. No improvement. Another 100, 200, 300. Nothing. I'm starting to get nervous. Finally after going down about 500 ft. we got 9 gpm which the buyers accepted and we were outa there.

I had two other wells before we saw Oregon in the rear-view mirror. They were frequently a source of concern and expense.
I feel your pain.

Thx for sharing this post!It seems to me interesting to see a post related to "WELL"

Can you tell me what pump you are using in your well and the gpm you are getting.
Ryan Maness

Ryan, we aren't using any pump at the moment. It took a long time for our well driller to work out a way to get the silt pumped out without using his big rig, which would have re-damaged our yard. That was finally done.

Now we're waiting to have a camera put down the well again, to check on the current non-silted depth of the well. We can tolerate 10-15 of silt, but hopefully the rest of it is gone. I'll try to remember to leave another comment when our well is up and functioning.

Washington has, all of a sudden, become lenient on the subject of rainwater catchment and we are getting ready for phase one of developing a system that will, ultimately, back up our well with potable rain water. Phase one is two 2500 gal tanks to use for irrigation. Think of your rain tanks as a well. From the tanks you pretty much bring it to the house like you would well water, pumping and filtering as necessary. Plus, you can have either/or, well water or rain water. Cost is probably similar to the cost of a well.

Randy, that's interesting -- storing and using rain water the way you described. Makes a lot of sense. I have relatives who use a cistern at their residence in one of the Caribbean islands. I believe they use the rain water for everything, drinking, bathing, etc.

You probably have to drain and disinfect the tanks periodically, don't you? That's what we were told when we were considering the pros and cons of a 10 inch well versus a holding tank. We liked the idea of a maintenance free "holding tank," which pretty much is what a larger diameter well is.

How do you collect the rainwater? Does it only come from roof runoff, or is there another source?

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