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Date Posted: 07:51:24 07/01/14 Tue
A few years ago, I bought a house. There was a jungle next to it. Took me over a year to clear the jungle, which resolved into: A plum orchard with at least 20 trees, an area of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, a stand of quince trees, a bitter almond tree, and a dug well.
The well was hiding in a thicket of weeds, and had a ramshackle shack on top of it. I cleared the weeds and demolished the shack. The County made a big fuss about it - where did this come from? Why don't we have any record of it? It has to be destroyed! I took responsibility for it, and got them to issue me a well permit. The county well guy said it might date from the 19th century.
The well is 40 feet deep, and the water level is 13 feet under the ground.
I plan to restore the well and use it for irrigation. I am making a substantial cover for it out of 1/8" steel, with support beams made of steel "C" section that is three inches long by 3/8" thick. Heavy stuff. They had a pile of it 1/2 off at the steel store. When this cover is done, it will weigh something like 300 pounds. I didn't trust the original brickwork to support it, so I poured a substantial foundation around it, with rebar and J-bolts.
The cover will have two circular ports: one for the pump, and a second for inspecting and taking samples. I figure
4 inches is about right for the pump port, although I haven't figured the details on that yet. Maybe six or eight inches for the inspection port. When the cover is done, I plan to paint it with an epoxy paint which is approved for contact with potable water.
The foundation is wider than it needs to be, to support
the actual cover. Remaining width will support a brick facade and a pair of posts to support a little roof for that
"wishing well" look.
I plan to drop a solar well pump down there, and mount a solar panel nearby. Without batteries, the system will only be able to pump during the day. But we're using drip irrigation, so it shouldn't matter.
There is an old construction site nearby with a long length of discarded 4" black ABS pipe. I'm thinking getting that to hang the pump inside it. The actual output of the pump would of course feed a PVC pipe inside - the
ABS stuff would just give the pump a place to hang so it wouldn't flail all around the bottom of the well.
- Jerry Kaidor
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