Water Well Journal

July 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/692787

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Page 39 of 87

T here have been many articles written over the years on siting private wells. All of them have had pertinent information useful and helpful to those who have this task of siting wells. As a contractor, I often was on site many times before other contractors and I helped the landowner determine where I felt the best place was to put their well. I also offered tidbits that helped them ensure little things I saw were often over- looked got done. Siting wells with my customers was probably the most enjoyable part of my job and my career. Selecting the Well Site I looked first at the obvious and mandatory parameters for well siting, which included but was not limited to the follow- ing (and may vary from regulating authority to regulating authority): • High elevation compared to the surrounding land features • Septic and drain field setback distances • Power line setbacks • Fuel tank/barrel setback • Road ditch • Body of water setbacks (ponds, lakes, streams) • Building setbacks • Property line setback • Well pit setback. Next, I typically looked at access for later well service. While it is often easy to place the well where we can get the equipment in and out, it may not always be the best location for getting a pump service truck in later after the home is built (assuming new construction). So I tried to put the well within 20 feet of the driveway, but a minimum of 10 feet off the driveway so it would not get hit from either an errant driver or snow removal. Sometimes this was in front of the home and the home- owner often didn't want the "ugly well casing" sticking up in the yard, so I often recommended putting a fake rock over the well and doing some minor landscaping around the rock. I say "minor" so it would not get destroyed when the pump needed to be serviced. If possible, I also looked at which direction the snow re- moval would go and try to locate the well on the opposite side of the drive where the snow may be pushed or plowed so as not to create an obstacle if the pump needed to be replaced in the middle of winter. I would also try to keep the well a minimum distance of 20 feet from the edge of the proposed home or garage. Most homeowners are under a budget, so decks and sunrooms or even future additions are not in the original construction budget or even on their radar for the future. But often these get put in later, only to have the well in the wrong place for the homeowner. Putting the well a minimum 20 feet from the home will often allow for a future addition and I made sure to point this out to them so they understand why I want it that far away. In addition, if you don't get the well in before the foundation or basement is installed, you certainly don't want that 50,000- pound rig sitting next to a new foundation or large excavation in the ground. I also suggested, if appropriate, to put the well at a 45- degree angle from the corner of a home and at a minimum distance of 20 feet. The reason for this is again the future addition or the deck. If a well is put in at a 45-degree angle from the corner of the home and an addition goes on, the addi- tion goes in one direction or the other, not both. Therefore, the well being placed at a 45-degree angle is never in the way of an addition, regardless of what direction it may go. In many of my jobs, the lot size or lot features made it ex- tremely difficult to get a drill rig and tender onto a site, so it was imperative to get the well done prior to any construction starting. Many times tight quarters due to a heavily wooded lot or steep-sloping lot made a challenge to get a drill rig in at all. Therefore, I made it a priority with all customers I wanted to get on site and look the location over early in the planning process to ensure the project went smoothly for the home- owner as well as the crew. Getting a crew to a job site and then spending hours getting a rig in or having to get permission to change the well loca- tion made for unpleasant exchanges with the customer as well as lost profit on the job. It could have all been prevented with an early siting or being on the job before any construction started. SITING PRIVATE WELLS CAN BRING JOB SATISFACTION Work to provide your customer with the ideal spot for their well system. DRAWING FROM THE WELL GARY SHAWVER, MGWC I often spent more time discussing these issues than I did the well or how we were going to construct the well. waterwelljournal.com 38 July 2016 WWJ

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