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  • Writer's pictureDavid Bennett

Dig your own well!

Dug wells are typically hand-dug wells that rely on excavation to access groundwater. Here are the steps to construct a dug well: 1. Choose a suitable location: Select a location for your well that is away from potential sources of contamination, such as septic tanks, livestock areas, or chemical storage sites. Ideally, the site should be on higher ground to minimize the risk of flooding. 2. Gather the necessary tools and equipment: You will need tools such as shovels, pickaxes, buckets, a measuring tape, a well screen, gravel, and a well cap or cover. 3. Determine the well diameter and depth: The diameter and depth of the well depend on factors like the water table level, anticipated water usage, and the type of soil in your area. Digging a diameter of around 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) is common for small dug wells. 4. Excavate the well: Begin digging the well by removing the soil and rocks from the designated area. Dig carefully to prevent cave-ins. It's essential to have a sturdy support system, such as shoring or temporary casing, to ensure the safety of workers during excavation. 5. Line the well: As you dig deeper, consider lining the well walls with bricks, stones, or concrete rings to maintain stability. This will help prevent the well from collapsing and reduce the risk of contamination. 6. Install a well screen and gravel pack: At the bottom of the well, install a well screen to allow water to enter while filtering out debris. Surround the well screen with a layer of gravel to prevent the entry of fine sediments and maintain proper water flow. 7. Seal the well: Once the excavation is complete, it's crucial to seal the well to protect the water quality. Use clay, bentonite, or other appropriate sealants to fill any gaps between the well walls and the surrounding soil. 8. Install a well cap or cover: To prevent contamination and ensure the safety of the well, install a secure cap or cover. The cap should be durable and tightly sealed to keep out debris, insects, and small animals. 9. Test the well: After completing the construction, it's advisable to test the well water for quality and ensure it meets the required standards. You can contact a local water testing laboratory for assistance. It's important to note that constructing a dug well requires physical labor, expertise in excavation, and adherence to safety protocols. If you are unsure about the process or the conditions in your area, it's recommended to consult with well drilling professionals or local authorities to ensure a safe and reliable water source.

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