Understanding the water well drilling process in MA and NH

If you are a homeowner or building a home in Massachusetts or New Hampshire that has been considering installing a drilled water well to suit your home or an irrigation water well this article has been written to help you further understand the process. The first step when considering this type of project would be to gather quotes from contractors and once you have received them realizing that to most homeowners it seems like the well quotes are written in a foreign language. Do not panic this blog will help translate.

Phase one of any well drilling project is Drilling the water well. A drilled water well is constructed by drilling through the surface material into solid bedrock underground and lining the upper portion of the hole with a steel pipe which is referred to as casing. Casing must be set 10 -15′ into the bedrock by code depending on the state and 18″ above grade. If you have very sandy soil that does not hold formation like clay soils a process called mud drilling must be utilized to hold the hole open to allow the driller to seat the casing into the well. The Mud drilling process is only used to seat the casing and the pricing will mimic the casing depth. The typical average of casing depth is 20-40 feet in Massachusetts and New Hampshire but its important to understand that it is possible for the bedrock to be located deeper. In honesty i always tell my clients to prepare for 20′ best case 120′ worst case for our predominant service areas however pockets of Western, MA  and South Eastern ,MA are notorious for deeper pockets of rock. Once the casing is firmly seated into bedrock by the driveshoe drilling will continue until an adequate water flow for your projects needs has been achieved.

The other terms when it comes to the drilling aspect of the project that tend to raise eyebrows are the retention pit and hydrofracturing. A retention pit is just what it sounds like a pit to retain water and drillings  coming out of the well head during the drilling process. Depending on the lots layout this may or may not be necessary and typically during an initial site visit it will be understood if a pit will be needed. Hydrofracturing is the next term that due to recent issues in the oil drilling field has become a scary term to some homeowners. Water Well Hydrofracturing is a process used to clean out veins in the rock to allow water to flow freely into the well. During the drilling process the driller may notice large changes in the lithology of rock that indicate that hydrofracturing may be the best solution for achieving flow when drilling and that is when this process is recommended opposed to drilling deeper.

Phase two of a well drilling project would be the pumping system. Most Well Drillers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire start the base package off with a 1/2 hp pumping system set at up to 300′ a 20 gallon tank and up to a 50′ offset line all necessary accessories and a pitless adapter. To start off lets talk about the pumps first and foremost pumps run on curves now without getting to engineery on you this means that each pump can only be set at certain depths to preform the way you want them to. What this translates to is that if you end up with a deeper well a larger pump will be necessary to achieve the pressure you need for your system. Once the well is in place and the depth and flow have been determined your contractor will propose a final recommendation for approval based off of the prices detailed on your proposal.  However this is why you will see multiple pump options on the well drillers quotation.

The first thing the pump crew will typically do when completing the pump installation is the offset line which is the electrical and water line from the well to the home. Most companies offer excavation services to dig this line or offer the homeowner the ability to supply the excavation themselves. The offset line connects to the well through an brass adapter called a pitless adapter. A pitless adapter is comprised of two pieces one connects to the water line in the offset and the other connects to the line going down the well holding the submersible pump this adapter is located 6′ under ground.  The electrical line is run from the home through conduit which is a piping approved for direct burial up the side of the well casing into the well cap where the wire continues down the well attached to the water line by guides and tape to the water pump below. An item called a torque arrestor is used just before the pump within the well to hold the pump in place so that when the pump starts up it cannot slam against the sides of the well deep within the ground.

Now its time to do the inside work which includes the tank, gauge pressure switch and/or controllers. The offset line runs into the homes utility room in most cases where the technician will connect a pressure tank to the line. The water line is then connected to a tank T which is an adapter that goes into the water pressure tank and allows the offset line to be connected to the line that will eventually be tied into the home.  In front of the pressure tank on the tee you will see two important items the gauge which will tell you the pressure of the system  and the Pressure switch. The pressure switch controls the well pump and provides a signal to turn on or off the water. The water well system is now ready for final connections by the designated plumber and electrician.

We hope this blog was able to explain the components of the water well system and how they relate to the quote you received from Northeast Water Wells. If you have any further questions on any certain component you will find that most of the main components and services have hyperlinks to their individual pages on our website but please do not hesitate to call with any further questions and one of our qualified specialist would be more than happy to assist you. If you have yet to receive a quote feel free to submit a contact us inquiry on the right side of this page or call into our office 1-800-562-9355. Northeast Water Wells has been providing quality water well systems to homes across Massachusetts and New Hampshire Since 1966. Thank you for reading and we hope you have a wonderful day!!

2 Responses to “Installing a New Drilled Water Well In Massachusetts and New Hampshire”

  1. Christopher Williams

    Looking to possibly drill shallow well for irrigation purposes only. Don’t want to go broke for green grass.

    Reply
  2. Lucy Gibson

    It was interesting to read that the casing is made of metal and needs to be set 10′ to 15′ into the bedrock depending on the local codes. My sister wants to build a cabin for her family. If she builds a cabin, she’ll probably need to dig a water well. I would imagine that she’d want to hire a professional to make sure it’s done accurately and according to code.

    Reply

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