When you are considering hiring a well driller: keep these definitions in mind.
Definition of Terms:
Artesian Well – a bored well from which water flows up like a fountain without being pumped.
Aquifer – saturated sand and gravel or rock layers in which ground water occurs in sufficient quantities to be used as a water supply source. Aquifers may be deep down or near the surface. They may extend for many miles (sometimes hundreds of miles) or they may extend only a few hundred feet before there is a boundary caused by an impermeable rock.
Where overlying impermeable rock layers “trap” ground water under pressure they are called confined aquifers.
Base Line – in triangulation the line between the two points at which the directional lines were dowsed is call the base line. This line is the base of a triangle formed with it when the two directional lines are extended until they meet.
Bentonite – A highly plastic colloidal clay composed largely of montmorillonite used as a drilling fluid additive or as a sealant.
Casing – A well casing should be at least one foot above ground surface, even higher if the area might be flooded.
Center of Flow of the vein – where the most water is flowing.
Commercial Well – 50 gallons per minute or more.
Clay and Blue Granite can throw the readings off that a dowser has dowsed.
Depthing – map dowsing, on site dowsing, pendulum, L-Rods, Y-Rods, Bishop’s Rule also called Depth Parallel. Walk away from the target on a imaginary line that is perpendicular to the center of flow. When the rods cross, this gives the depth. This only works if the property is very flat and the person can keep walking in a straight line without an obstructions. This is also called “Bishop’s Rule”
Determining the Static Water level – using the pebble method. Drop the pebble, use your second hand watch and count (seconds per foot using a formula) until you hear the splash. This will tell you how far the water is from the top of the casing that is above the ground.
Deviseless Dowsing – dowsing without tools or instruments
Diverting the water vein – moving a vein into the bottom of a well hole to increase the gallons per minute. This can be done with a crow bar and sledge hammer or it can be done remotely on a map.
Dry Hole – 3 gallons per minute or less This well can still be salvaged with a holding tank. A family of 4 will need about 300 gallons per day.
Drilling Rig and Types – Rotary drill is the most common
Gallons Per Minute Needs – for a family of 4, 300 gallons per day would be sufficient.
Ground Water – Most rivers and streams (surface flow) receive water from ground water (subsurface flow). In fact, nearly half of all the water in America’s rivers (including the Mississippi) was once ground water before it reached the river. Ground water is that part of the hydrologic system that occurs in a geologic environment. It is the water in saturated and/or gravel, or in fractures, fissures, or pore spaces in solid rocks.
Most ground water is always on the move, but very slowly, and is usually traveling towards a river valley, lake, wetland, or the coast line. Most wetlands are areas where ground water reaches the surface. In a few instances water may move from wetlands and lakes into underlying rocks, but most wetlands are wet because of the constant outflow of ground water.
Horizontal well – Water wells drilled horizontally or at an angle with the horizon.
Hydrofrac techniques are often used to improve the yield of wells. The process involves down-hole equipment that creates great pressure in selected parts of the well to create and open up fractures. This can be very risky.
Legal well site – 5 gallons per minute or more.
Low – Yield Wells
In some areas of The United States, wells are not capable of producing the amount of water normally expected for domestic supply (4-10 gallons per minute). However, with an adequate storage tank, a well producing as little as one gallon per minute can be sufficient for domestic needs. In many wells, several hundreds of gallons of water are already stored in the well column! For every foot of a 6 inch diameter well below water level, there are 1 1/2 gallons of water.
*Example: There are 1440 minutes in every day. If a well produces one gallon a minute of water throughout the day, 1440 gallons of water could be pumped into the storage tank. Assume that a family of four is served by the well, and that each member uses 75 gallons of water a day, or 300 gallons. Total consumption for the entire family would be less than 21 percent of the water stored in the tank. The well would be required to produce water for a total of only five hours a day in order to replenish the water used.
(Note – Check locally; some local rules may require a higher well yield to obtain approval for a home supply.)
Map dowsing – The checking over of a map, sketch, surveyor’s drawing, etc. to locate a dowsing target.
Marking the spot where the stake is to be placed – Dig a hole and use a can of spray paint. Stakes can have legs and can move.
Palatable water – agreeable to the taste
Permits – Health permit and a permit to drill is required.
Pollutants – contaminants from fertilizers, salts, etc.
Potable water – The purity of the water.
Primary Water Source – Main source of water.
Remote dowsing – dowsing at a distance.
Seasonal Water – Not available the year around.
Surface Water – water that is 100 feet below the ground or less.
Salt Pendulum – a pendulum specially designed and used to dowse for underground salt deposits. It consists of a stick which is alternately dipped in and rubbed with salt then held over a fire repeatedly until it becomes saturated and coated with a dried salt covering. The stick is then suspended horizontally by its center. When over a salt deposit the stick will dip toward the ground.
Water Dome – Nature’s underground pumping system. It is shaped like an octopus with odd numbers of veins from 3 to 25 veins. Dowse to determine a safe distance from the edge of the dome to drill. Most of the time, it is not advisable to drill into the center because it is like a balloon that will burst and then you won’t have water for 7 years from this location.
Water Table – The upper limit of the ground wholly saturated with water.
Well Location with Respect to Property lines, power lines, etc. – If possible, the well should be located near power lines.
Veins – water flowing underground in gallon/min capacity.
Thickness of the vein – the diameter of the vein.
Width of the vein – the distance from one edge of the vein to the next edge of the vein (like the banks of a river)