How do you clean out a water well? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

An abandoned windmill well on our property has silted in about 20' during the last ten years or so. Is there a simple way to make a bucket or tool to clean out this 3" casing. Total depth to sand now is at 38' with 2' of water. When we moved here twelve years ago I pulled the pipe out. The depth was right at 60' with 20' of water. I intended to repair the old windmill- the mill had detached and fallen to the ground years before but all the main parts are still here- but it's one of the things I never got around to. I tried to find some info on the net but no luck. If anyone has some experience or knows a good link I'd appreciate the help.

-- leroy (, October 22, 1999


I'm an old well driller, but i can't draw worth a darn, so I'll see if I can explain a simple vaccuum for removing the silt from your well. First, a parts list, you'll need: an air compressor, capable of sustaining 40 psi continuous thru a 1/4" tube ( not as hard as you think) 1 1/2" pvc pipe, as long as the depth of the well you wish to clean, plus a 1 1/2"pvc ell, and 2' of 1 1/2"pvc pipe 1/4" copper tubing ( at least 10') Next, assemble the 1 1/2" pipe, to the length required to reach the top of the silt, with an additional 5' of pipe ( I think you said 38', so 43 to 45' would be ok), and add the ell and 2' piece to the top. Do not glue the upper pieces (ell and 2' section, as you'll need to remove later) the copper tubing is attached to the outside of the pvc, running to the bottom, and turning up inside the pvc at least 6". To the copper tubing, attach a 1/4" rubber air line, and run to your compressor. Lower this contraption into the well, until it rests on the silt. Turn on the air, ( be sure the discharge pipe is turned away from folks) and let it blow the water and silt to the top and from the discharge. If you have at least 2 feet of water, and water percolating into the well, this will work. If it dries out, you will have to increase the air pressure to remove dry silt. When you have vaccuumed as far as the first pipe assembly, remove the ell, and add another five feet or so. I have successfully cleaned wells to 200' this way, but the more head of water in the bottom, the better it works.I added my pipe in 10' sections, but I didn't care about getting wet. Living near the gulf coast of Tx, most of the year, thats a plus.

LUCK- Dennis

-- D. R. Green (, October 22, 1999.

If I am reading this right, you say you pulled the pipe out of the ground .Sixty feet or so.Why would you do that?

-- Dan Newsome (, October 23, 1999.

Dennis, thanks for the input. I tried something similiar to what you suggested a while back but didn't have any luck. I think the compressor was way too small and my piping was not right for what I was trying to do. I'll have to borrow a compressor and do the pipe right next time.

Dan, the mill was off the windmill and nonfuntional as it was and I wanted to see what kind of shape the rest of it was in. The bottom pumping section was in good shape, just had to cut some new leathers for it and it works like new, pumping water from a bucket anyway. The pipe and sucker rod needs to be replaced. I would like to use this as a hand pumped back up water source if I can get the casing cleaned out.Eventually I'd like to repair the windmill itself and let this south Texas breeze do the work. Or were you asking if I pulled the casing pipe out of the ground, in that case, no I just pulled the pipe that holds the pumping equipment and the sucker rod out but the casing has sanded up and thats what I need to clean out.

-- leroy (, October 23, 1999.

Thanks Leroy.Cleared it up for me.Good luck Dan

-- Dan Newsome (, October 24, 1999.

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