Homestead Water Wells: How To do it Yourself

Water wells on your property are an excellent source of safe, fresh drinking water for your family to enjoy. You can make your own with a few simple supplies that you most likely already have in your garage or basement, if not elsewhere. 

So, what is the best way to go about drilling your own well? It is not difficult to drill a water well, but it can be dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken beforehand. 

Many people attempt to drill their own wells but ultimately hire a professional. While drilling the well, you must take care not to injure yourself or any of your family members. 

In addition to cooking food and caring for livestock, homesteaders must be self-sufficient enough to provide for their own drinking water needs.

Homestead Water Wells: How To do it Yourself

What are Homestead Water Wells

Water wells are sunken shafts dug by hand to form underground water sources naturally. They can be used for obtaining clean drinking water, irrigation, and other purposes such as firefighting or livestock requirements. 

Water wells may also serve recreational uses like swimming pools and spas. The most common way of constructing a well is digging deep holes with heavy equipment. However, construction is costly for larger wells. 

The cost of digging can range from 500 U.S. dollars to over 10000 US dollars per meter depending on the region and soil conditions, so it may be cheaper to drill a well instead, which requires equipment rental or purchase plus labor costs.

Preparing to build the well

There are many ways to make a well on your homestead. The most common way is by drilling into the ground with a drill rig. 

However, you can also dig a well by hand or use an auger to bore into the ground. The type of well you choose will depend on how deep you need to find water and what kind of soil you’re digging into. To drill a well, you’ll need:

  • A drilling rig (can also be hand-powered)
  • Drilling bits and pipe – casing and tubing for the top of the hole  to keep surface water out  
  • Cement or bentonite chips  for sealing up your piping in the ground
  • A pump and casing to hold the pump
  • A watertight seal between the pump and casing – a gland or packing box
  • Electrical wiring for the pump
  • Pipe fittings: adapters, elbows, tees, reducers, etc.

Building the well

The cost of drilling your well will vary depending on how deep you need to go and the type of equipment you need. You can rent a drilling rig for around $200-$300 per day or buy your own for around $5000. If you’re digging by hand, make sure to test the soil for water first. If it’s too dry, you’ll need to bring in water to keep the hole wet while you dig. 

Augers can be rented for around $50 per day and are a good option if you only need to go down a few feet. Once you have your well dug, it’s essential to seal the opening properly, so that surface water doesn’t contaminate your well water. 

You’ll need to use cement or bentonite chips to seal the holes in your piping. Once you have everything hooked up, it’s time to test your well for water flow and quality. 

The pump should be able to draw enough water from the opening of the well so that you can fill a bucket with water within just a few minutes. If there is too much resistance when filling the bucket, it means you need to go deeper with your well. 

How to choose a well site

Choosing a well site is the first step in building homestead water well. The best place to dig for an artesian or submersible well depends on how much water you need, what type of soil and rock are present at your property, how deep you can drill before hitting bedrock–and other factors. 

The well site should be close to a water source if you’re drilling for surface groundwater. If you’re drilling for an underground water supply, you’ll have more flexibility in choosing a well site. Moreover, you’ll have to dig deeper, which is more expensive.

There are several steps in finding water on your homestead:

  • Figure out how much water you need
  • Determine the type of soil and rock at your property
  • Locate an adequate source for digging equipment and materials

Once you have done this, you’ll be ready to begin digging!

Other Options for Water Wells

Suppose a well is not an option for you, other ways to get water. For example, you can install a rain barrel to collect roof runoff or use a cistern to store rainwater. You can also install a groundwater pump.

Groundwater pumps suck water from underground and send it to the surface. They are perfect for people who live in areas with high water tables or pump water from a creek or river. 

If you decide to install a groundwater pump, make sure you get one designed for your area. You also need to find out how deep the water table is and what kind of soil you have. 

This information will help you choose the right type of pump for your needs. Once you have the right pump and it’s installed, you can put a tap on your well or just run a hose from the pump to where you need water. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find instructions for building a water well?

There are a few different ways to get instructions for building your well. One option is to consult with a professional well-driller. They will give you specific instructions based on your property and needs. Another option is to look online or in books at the library. Another option is to contact The Water Department. Also, you can check with the Agricultural Extension Service in your state. 

Is it necessary to build a water well?

It is not always necessary to build a water well on your homestead. For example, suppose you have easy access to a public water supply. For many people, this is the case. However, there are many situations where digging a well by yourself is necessary or desirable. Some of these include areas with seasonal droughts or contaminated public water supplies. Also, if you have livestock, you will need a water well to provide them with fresh water. 

What are the benefits of owning a water well in my backyard?

There are several benefits of owning a water well in your backyard. For example, water is available at any time for drinking, bathing, and other uses around the household. You can use this as an emergency water source if there were ever a drought or temporarily lost water service. You will not have to worry about your water bill going up each month, and you can use the water to irrigate your lawn or garden.

Takeaway

Now that your water well is dug, it is time to install the pump. You have a few options here. If you have an existing electrical system on your property, you can use that to power the pump. 

Or, if you are looking for something more self-sufficient, you can install a solar panel system to run the pump. No matter which option you choose, make sure you follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. 

And be sure to check local building codes to ensure that your installation meets all safety requirements. Once the pump is up and running, enjoy fresh, clean water from your very own Homestead Water Well!



bryan rucker
Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things homestead. He grew up on a homestead and helped his parents do the day-to-day. Read more of Brian's articles.