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Well-drilling Workshop  RSS feed

 
Janet Branson
Posts: 192
Location: Missoula, MT
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Well Digging Workshop: August 5th-7th $250 All inclusive!
Free food, free lodging and free pickup and drop off in Missoula.

We dug a deep hole… and found water in it! Now let's do it together! Limited to only 10 participants, so reserve your spot now.



We will dig for water! Workshop will includes classroom discussions and hands on activities. You will learn how to weld and build an auger rig. Your instructors will be Jim and Evan.



Discussion topics covered:
-Where to dig?
-Methods of digging
-Welding
-Sanitation and water quality
-Installing the casing
-Types of pumps

Thursday Aug 4th:
5pm - Arrival by evening in Missoula
7pm - First dinner at Cooper Cabin

Friday Aug 5th:
8am - Breakfast
9am - Tour of the laboratory. Explore the wofatis, rocket mass heaters, see the creek!, lemon tree site, hugelkultur
11am – Classroom: Well drilling/digging methods. Discussion on auger, percussion, vs. hydraulic
1pm - Lunch and break
3pm - Basic introduction to stick welding. Everyone gets to try welding powered by the solar leviathan!
7pm- Dinner

Saturday Aug 6th:
8am - Breakfast
9am – Classroom: Where to dig? Indicator plants, county resources, geology, divining
10am - Lets Dig!
1pm - Lunch and break
3pm – Classroom: Sanitation and legalities
4pm - Lets Dig!
7pm - Dinner with Paul and the ant village residents


Sunday Aug 7th:
8am - Breakfast
9am - Lets Dig while its cool out!
Noon – Classroom: Installing the casing
1pm - Lunch and break
3pm - Classroom: Types of pumps and installation
4pm - Install the casing!

Monday Aug 8th:
8am - Breakfast
9am - Shuttle returns to Missoula airport for departures
Later - Basecamp tour for those still around

Feel free to stay through the week and continue working on the wells or move on to gappership!

Accommodation and Food:

Lodging is included. Attendees may all sleep in Cooper Cabin or set up a tent nearby. Private rentals of the Tipi or Allerton Abbey can be coordinated by contacting Janet@richsoil.com. All attendees should stay up on the lab.

All meals will be provided including Thursday dinner and the last being Monday breakfast. Meals will be organic or better! All meals will include some vegan options. We can try to accommodate some special requests. Some of the food will be harvested locally right from wheaton labs! There might be some homebrew beer available! Expect a basic, but tasty, healthy, and filling menu.

Our airport shuttle will run Thursday afternoon and Monday morning.

What to bring:
Water containers to meet all your water needs.
Work boots
Work gloves
Water bottle
Sleeping bag and pad
Dirty clothes
Snacks for the road
Mess kit: Bowl, spoon, mug
Pencil and notepad

To attend, please send payment to Paypal.me/bunks
Be sure to mention the name of the event in the comments to seller box when making your payment.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Wyatt Barnes
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Alas, I am too far away to participate in these workshops but they sound so interesting. I am in an area that is viable for sand points in places so I know all about that but I have wondered about being able to put in a larger casing to accommodate a submersible. What size and depth is Jim digging?
 
Jason Geise
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I'm interested in coming up for this workshop and have discovered flying from San Diego to Missoula is not the simplest thing. I'm now thinking of flying in to Spokane and driving over. Any advice or someone driving in from an easier to get to location?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Take a look at this: http://allegiantair.com

I have never flown on this, but I have heard that a lot of people in missoula do. Freaky cheap between MSO and LA.
 
Jason Geise
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I agree, they are freaky cheap, unfortunately they also only fly in/out twice a week. Cheap, but too restrictive.
 
Janet Branson
Posts: 192
Location: Missoula, MT
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Wyatt Barnes wrote:Alas, I am too far away to participate in these workshops but they sound so interesting. I am in an area that is viable for sand points in places so I know all about that but I have wondered about being able to put in a larger casing to accommodate a submersible. What size and depth is Jim digging?


Jim and I discussed this a bit yesterday; he is working hard on the wells and hasn't been near WiFi for a bit. his depths have ranged from 7 ft to 29 ft, I think. the casing looks about 6 or 8 inches but will need to check with him to be sure. He is finding 7-8 ft of water in some spots!
 
Janet Branson
Posts: 192
Location: Missoula, MT
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Jason Geise wrote:I agree, they are freaky cheap, unfortunately they also only fly in/out twice a week. Cheap, but too restrictive.


Jason, hopefully driving in from Spokane will work for you. We are all in discussion around here about some easier travel options and are open to other ideas and will let you know if something arises that might suit you.
 
jim forster
Lab Ant
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Hi Wyatt,

We use a 6inch auger bit. It ends up drilling a hole about 7inches in diameter. We are trying to find water in spots that are only 20-25 feet deep. That way a shallow pitcher pump can be used. We have two wells with water at about 21 feet deep. Our deepest well is about 40 feet in total depth.

On travelling in:
Southwest airlines is pretty cheap into Spokane. Maybe a few people can plan to arrive and rent a car together? Or the greyhound from Spokane airport to Missoula may happen to have good timing? We could start an email list with those who have paid and are looking to travel together. Also, there are bike paths most of the way from Spokane to Missoula, could be a fun bike trip! My first visit to Wheaton Labs last year I biked down form the Amtrak station in Whitefish.

Into Missoula, there are cheap flights on Frontier airlines from Denver. Maybe You can transfer in Denver?
pump.jpeg
[Thumbnail for pump.jpeg]
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Hi Jim thanks for the info. I have some advice about your depth versus the shallow well pump. The 25 foot depth should be measured from the static water height to the pump mechanism, not from the foot valve or bottom of the well.

I also would not assume that the pump will stop pumping at 25 ft. It should pump at least to 25 ft and might go lower. If I had a 35 ft well with 15 ft of water in it I would still hang the foot valve about 3 feet above bottom. Whether a particular pitcher pump will pump down to 23, 25 or even 30 feet would depend on some local conditions and the condition of the pump.

If more pumping depth is needed you could switch to a frost free pump with a chamber that hangs below the above ground pump mechanism. These chambers are traditionally about 8 ft lower so you would gain that 8 ft of water. These pumps were very common many years ago and can still be found used for very little cost. Rebuilding requires large pipe wrenches and very often a torch.
 
jim forster
Lab Ant
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Hi Wyatt,

The numbers I am listing are to our standing water level. The pump I pictured is of a well with a total depth just over 28feet. But the water stands at 20-21feet. We are at 3000foot elevation limiting a pitcher pump even a bit more.

The theoretical maximum of a pitcher pumps is 32feet. This is due to the pressure differential between a vacuum and atmospheric pressure only generating 13.9 psi

Will have to look into your frost free pumps. Do you have a brand to search for?

To winterize this pump we will put a bleed hole in the pipe below frost line. Additionally I have a plan to modify a pitcher pump by putting the plunger in a section of 3in pipe below grade. Then will extend the drive rod and add a check valve below the 3in pipe. Planning to demo this at the workshop.

 
Wyatt Barnes
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I thought I was probably repeating what you already knew but better to check. I have known some very knowledgeable people who had gaps in that knowledge that didn't get found because of the assumption of total familiarity with a subject. Are you familiar with frost free and deep well hand pumps?
 
jim forster
Lab Ant
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Sorry my phone is slow and just edited that into the previous post before seeing your reply.
 
jim forster
Lab Ant
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I have researched deep well hand pumps but decided to avoid the commercially available ones due to cost. Luckily we have found shallow water. In the future we will experiment with building our own pumps.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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My familiarity is with salvaged antique pumps, not sure if the half dozen I have dealt with had a manufacturers name on them somewhere. I can tell you that to have an all weather pump in freezing conditions the pump chamber or mechanism must be below frost level with a bleed hole just above that to allow the column of water above frost level to leak out slowly after every use. These pumps are easily spotted in use since it takes a number of pumps against resistance to get water to come out the spout unless the pump has been recently used. I expect a small underwater bleed hole in a pitcher system would stop freeze up but you would have to prime the pump at each new use. I also expect a bleed hole below frost but in free air in a pitcher system would make it inoperable unless it incorporated some sort of a check valve.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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I try to be open about ignorance on my part and use the word expect etc when I don't know something but think that I have a good chance of predicting based on other knowledge. I am now second guessing myself about a free air bleed hole in a pitcher pump intake pipe. As long as it is small enough it might not stop the pump from repriming but I have no idea what size small enough might be. I will be very interested in hearing the results of experimentation.
 
Destiny Hagest
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Water, ahoy! The water is clearing up in the well that the folks at the Lab have dug, and it's expected to continue to improve. There's a nice little hand pump on the well, and it looks to be putting out about 12 gallons of water a day.

 
jeremy jonez
Posts: 3
Location: Illinois
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Is this workshop filled up?
 
Janet Branson
Posts: 192
Location: Missoula, MT
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Hi Jeremy there are more spots available! We look forward to seeing you!
 
John Weiland
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In the photo above where Paul is demonstrating the pump. --  Are there any websites or videos indicating a modification that removes the handle and uses a pitman arm from a small windmill to power that particular pump?  Thanks.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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I have used those types and size of pump many times and I can say that it takes a fair amount of effort to pump any water with one. A good modification for a pitcher pump would be a handle extension to increase leverage. I expect a small windmill would have to be hooked to a small pump.
 
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