Adger Smith Wells, Inc.
"Water is free with an Adger Smith Well."
Because of the relatively high cost of obtaining, treating, and delivering good potable water to homes in our area, most homeowners find it too expensive to water their yards with city water. However, we are blessed with an abundant supply of ground water which general speaking is usable for lawn and garden irrigation at relatively low cost. Following are typical questions and answers regarding wells and well water.
Q. What kind of well do I need for my yard?
A. This depends on where you live. In most areas you have a choice between a deep well and a shallow well. A deep well will normally give much more water (gpm) and for a longer period of time than a shallow well. A deep well is the best choice for most areas.
Q. What is an artesian well?
A. An artesian well means, literally, a deep well that flows up to a level above ground. Not all deep wells free flow.
Q. Why do artesian wells flow?
A. They flow because the source is located on higher ground, in our case the "ridge section" of the state, and runs downhill to the ocean. Because we are on a lower elevation some of our wells flow. The lower the elevation, usually the better the flow.
Q. What is a shallow well?
A. Technically, any well less than 100' deep is a shallow well.
Q. What is a deep well?
A. A deep well is any well over 100' deep. Here in Brevard County they average a depth of from approximately 150 feet in the central Brevard area to as much as 400 feet in the southern area of Brevard County. Deep wells in Indian River County may be as much as 600-900 feet in total depth.
Q. What size wells do you drill? How are the sizes measured?
A. We drill deep wells only, 2" - 2 1/2" - 3" - 4" - 5" - 6" - 8" -10". The larger the size the more volume you will get. The gpm (gallons per minute) you require will determine the size well you will need. The inside diameter of the pipe determines the "size" of the well. Depth has nothing to do with the size.
Q. What about permits?
A. All counties require a permit for any well drilled in the county. Wells 6" or larger require permitting by St. John's River Water Management District as well as all Public Water Supply Wells.
Q. How long do deep wells last?
A. Deep wells are guaranteed against defective workmanship and/or materials for a period of 1 year. When properly constructed they will normally last many years. It isn't unusual for a deep well to still be producing 15, 20, 30 or more years. Actually, the more the well is used the longer it will last.
Q. Can I use deep well water on all my plants?
A. Deep well water is highly mineralized, which has advantages as well as disadvantages. Among the minerals generally found are sulphur, salt, lime, iron, magnesium and many others to a lesser degree. Salt is the hardest for some plants to tolerate, especially on their leaves. The gardenia and jasmine families will drop their leaves if sprinkled, as will any member of the bean family in your vegetable garden. Citrus trees do not like their leaves sprinkled either. However, this same water can be used around the roots with no problem. Most grasses thrive on it. Bahia is the least salt tolerant of the grasses.
Q. Can deep well water be used in swimming pools?
A. Definitely yes! It's year round temperature of 75-78 degrees makes it ideal. Plus, you don't have to pay for it.
Q. Can deep well water be used as a coolant for air conditioning systems?
A. Yes, many units are suitable. Watercooled air conditioning units are quite popular. Check with your air conditioning installer for details.
Q. Can a deep well be repaired if the top rusts or breaks off?
A. Of course! We repair wells daily. You will fine that in this salt air environment of ours that the well will rust (usually about the grass roots is worst area) after a period of years. They can be cut off and a new piece of pipe with new valves can be installed in almost all cases.
Q. I have heard that wells have to be "abandoned". When is this so?
A. By state law: "wells that cannot be repaired to stop the flow of water with a valve, or has no present or future beneficial use must be abandoned.". This is done by pumping cement, under pressure, down the well filling to the top. This must be done by a licensed well drilling contractor.
Q. Where can I put a well on my lot?
A. State & County law states that all wells must be five(5) feet from house pad and 50' from existing septic tanks and drain fields. (This increases to 75' from tank and drain field, and 25' from any treated pad(i.e. house pad), if well is to be used for drinking water.) Other than that, the well can be drilled any where we can get the equipment in. The derricks are over 30' high so we can't set up under trees or within 10' of power lines. We have to have 2 trucks in the yard, normally backed up to each other. They are large and heavy. Think "cement truck" size and larger. We have to have room for them plus room for the men to work around them.
Q. Will the equipmentdamage my yard?
A. That depends a lot on the condition of your yard before the equipment comes in. If your grass is in good condition, the ruts are not usually very bad and will even out soon. If the yard is wet or real dry, of course, the ruts will be worse. The trucks are large and heavy plus have a heavy load on them. We can not guarantee against damage to sidewalks and driveways.
Q. Will I have to have the well 'sticking up' in the yard?
A. State law says “Wells must be left one(1) foot above finished grade.”
Q. How long does it take to drill the well once you are on the property?
A. With the smaller sizes, many deep wells can be finished in about 8-10 hours, some may take a couple of days. The larger sizes, of course, do take much longer depending on rock formations and depth of water.
Q. What about staining?
A. The orange stain you see on many driveways & homes is quite common in shallow wells. In shallow wells, it is the water itself that has the color and it can be quite expensive to try to eliminate it for irrigation systems. In a deep well, it is a reaction between the minerals in the water & the pipe. It only happens in about 6-8% of the deep wells and is not in just certain areas. In 2" deep wells, you can have a 1 1/2" poly liner installed that will stop the discoloration. For some reason, it is unusual to find this problem in the larger wells.
Q. What happens if the driller does not get any water? Do I still have to pay?
A. Most drilling contractors guarantee water. We cannot guarantee the amount or the quality. Our company has always had the policy that if we hit a 'dry hole', we 'eat' the first one. If the owner wants to try someplace else on the property, they will pay for the second one regardless of outcome. There are a few places that we know are 'bad areas' and we will not guarantee water in these areas. In these cases, the customer pays regardless of the outcome. We will not start a job without this understanding first.
Q. How are wells priced?
A. In this area, deep wells start with a "base price"
which includes the total depth and the normal amount of casing for the given
area of the county. If more casing (steel pipe), is needed to case off any
sand formations that are found while drilling, there is an extra cost per
foot for the casing only. Most companies can tell you what the average well
costs in your particular area prior to drilling. Once in awhile, sand is
found where it is not expected and it must be cased off in order to finish
the well. This is a state regulation; that all sand formations be cased.
Reputable contractors are licensed by St John's River Water Management District
and must supply written logs on every well to them.
When "extra casing" is quoted, it is due to the requirements
of State Law and is not "optional".
Q. Does the casing (pipe) go all the way to the bottom of the well? If not, why?
A. No. The casing does not extend to the bottom of the deep wells. The casing has to 'case off'' all sand areas found in the drilling process. Normally the driller will drive 5 or 6 joints (21' each) of pipe (casing) and then drill down to determine exactly how much casing this particular well will need. The casing (pipe) is then driven down and seated in a hard rock formation. The well is then drilled to the final depth through layers of clay and shell formations. These formations are strong and will form the sidewalls of the well from the casing to the final depth.