Drill your own Water Well – 2 Methods

Method 1 – Wash Down instructions are in the attached PDF File. For this method you need a good flow of water do do the drilling. I did it with two hoses one two different city water meters but a portable tank and gasoline powered water pump would probably give a higher volume flow and do the job quicker. My daughter and I washed down a well a couple of years ago and I was pleased with the result. I didn’t get a great flow of water but it was in the middle of a long term drought, it was only 19 feet deep and it was our first try. Still, we have enough to live on if we had to and our primary source went out


Method 2 – Driven Well

This method requires no water but a bit more intense labor. Basically you drive a well point and pipe down into the earth with a sledge hammer. The part of the pipe you are hammering on is protected by a drive cap. A well point is a section of pipe that looks like a giant sharpened pencil about 4 feet long. Pipe is added as you go until you get to water. My grandfather, and most area farmers did this when they cleared ‘new ground’ for tobacco beds. Tobacco beds were ground recently cleared from the woods where tobacco was planted and allowed to grow until transplanted into the larger fields. These were moved every year to avoid parasites in last years bed and you needed a close source of water. This was the 1960’s method. Now gaseous pesticides do the job so moving to avoid disease is not needed.

If you are on your own well with an electric pump I would encourage you to add a human powered hand pump as a backup. If you have a generator to run you pump during grid outages then a hand pump would be a backup to your backup. Electric water pumps draw a lot of current and would use a lot of your generator “bandwidth” so a plan B with no fuel consumption would be good. ALSO think about Noise Discipline. Running that generator announces to the neighborhood that 1. There are people here. 2. They have a high value generator AND Fuel!. That running engine seems to say “Hi Neighbors, we thought ahead and so now we are living much more comfortably than you. Drag an extension cord on over and help yourself.” Or to the thugs “Come and steal my generator”. My point is this. If you only need 5 gallons to pour in the toilet tank for a flush, why not do it nearly silently with a hand pump. HINT: for a free source of labor tell the kids that if they’re good you’ll show them how to get water right out of the ground. Wait a few hours, let the anticipation build then let them try the pump dry for half a minute. When that fails tell them there’s a secret, prime the pump and let them see the water flow. Let each kid pump about 5 times then tell “let it rest, don’t pump too much”. This will make them want to pump for half an hour. “lets see who can get the most water” Be sure to have a catch container waiting for their output.

When you buy your hand pump get 2 or 3 extra sets of ‘leathers’. One is the cup that goes on the piston and the other is the flap valve.These are the parts that will wear out and stop the pump.

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