Well water in Maine, it is not the same here as you find in other places. Drink up.
Vacationland has lots of clean, fresh water to guzzle. The eight glasses a day kind you and I are suppose to be chug-a-lugging to stay hydrated.
Clean Maine Water! Above And Below The Ground.
Maine is loaded with clean, unspoiled recreational water too. All kinds of it in the form of lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and ocean front h20 kind.
Lack of water of any kind in Maine does not happen. Yes, it is one more way we are truly spoiled living here in Maine.
In our real estate job of marketing Maine property listings, the question “what about water wells” comes up a lot. Because where the buyer is moving from has there are big time water problems. It is very expensive to drill a water well.
I hear horror stories about horrendous water quality and low quality issues outside of Maine. How hydro-fracting is messing up the water table. And man is polluting their over tapped water supply for domestic and recreational use.
Opening up the tap and a steady stream of clean fresh water is the dream for folks moving to Maine. The private drilled well water without the municipal taste of chlorine and flouride is one of the perks with Maine country living.
If you plan to raise animals on a farmstead, water has to be plentiful, clean, available round the clock.
No one can wait for a gone dry water well supply to return so they can water the thirsty livestock. Irrigation happens to help regulate some agricultural crops but what Mother Nature supplies the farm fields and pasture land usually does the trick.
Cows don’t get their drinking water out of a stagnant pond. Fencing down to the water’s edge means the water can get contaminated with animal waste. The same warm pond water where frogs live is not used for organic farm irrigation either due to concerns about food safety and bacteria, e-coli, etc.
Besides wanting to see a moose or whale, to eat a slab of blue berry pie or to sit down to a feast of steam clams or lobsters. The vacationing visitors also want. to see a lighthouse or two. The relocating, moving to the Pine Tree state folks also ask how’s the water in Maine? It’s on their minds because it is it is part of the reason for the heading to Maine.
I talked to Jamie Watson of Watson Well Drillers in Littleton this afternoon.
To get his perspective as a 6th generation Maine water well driller. Jamie told me in southern Aroostook County you can hit granite but that northern sections don’t have it to contend with drilling wells or chewing up bits.
The deepest well he ever drilled was 800′ business application used at Freddy Valshing’s sugar beet refinery in Easton Maine. But Watson says that the typical well in Northern Maine he pokes int the ground is 150 to 200 feet deep. That depth of drilled well provides plenty of water to serve your needs.
Uncle Sam says the minimum gallons per minute for a drilled well has to be 2.5. And there needs to be adequate depth to create a reserve to draw from when water is needed in a household or business.
More from the state of Maine on drilled wells.
I have a private drilled well that is 60 feet deep at Drews Lake, am on public water next to my office at an in town residence. A family farm has a couple wells and the main one is 225′ down inside a hatch in one of the auxiliary buildings. A hand pump on top of a rocked around well is down by US RT 2. Another one was filled in with gravel that we could clean out if we ever wanted to put back into service.
Watson Wells owner said the biggest problem today is kids that don’t conserve water.
That make little effort to time those showers and that must have amazing water heaters to keep it hot hot hot. Growing up on a farm, we did not waste water. Even if it was plentiful you lead your life in moderation, easy does it mode.
Water collected from roof gutters connect to feed a rocked cistern in the farm home basement. Rain water is soft, not hard. Probably started before the days of drilled well that could deliver more water quickly.
Sometimes a poor producing well is because the foot valve is not low enough in the casing. Like a straw not hitting the lower portion of a glass, you suck air, not fluid. Good, clean potable water is a must for healthy living anywhere on the planet.
Dug wells are not that uncommon in Maine.
If you dug down 14′ or more and put crushed rock on the bottom, piling concrete tiles on top of each other. Adding a lid on top with a hand pump. That does your time up at camp in Maine just fine. A lake or pond cottage draws the water from what’s out front.
I have tested lake water and had it come back fine and dandy for drinking, for all the domestic uses. Some argue the water tastes like Mercury, Honda, Suzuki or Yamaha though. (Smile). Dug wells are created by hand shovel, a back hole and lined with concrete tile, rock and mortar walls. Topped with a protective cover. Some call dug wells a ground water magnet. Sealing them in the best you can will help lessen the chances of contamination. The walls of a dug well must be solid enough to keep them rigid and from collapsing.
The average household does not just abide by the one Saturday night bath whether you need it or not. How often do you shower a day and for how long? How many loads of laundry do you produce and are they full loads?
Do you hang those fresh, wet clothes out on a line to air dry on a breezy, sunny Maine day? Or does Suzie need her favorite pair of blue jeans washed all by themselves with much panic involved because the high school dance is only a few hours away?
I was not brought up to do one item wash loads and the household was not turned upside down until the coveted article of clothing was washed, ironed, folded and tucked away.
In the Oakfield Maine area, along the Mattawamkeag River, there are many driven point wells.
What is a driven point well? You see them used around soft sandy ground where the water table is high enough for an adequate supply. The driven well point is placed in my experience 12 to 25 feet deep but work fine and are typical to certain areas of Maine.
This blog post on well water in Maine concentrate more on the supply and how deep to expect. Granite, bedrock can add to the cost and depth of a well and this geological formation is more difficult to drill according to Watson.
Testing your water for bacteria, for hardness, for arsenic, radon, high iron or sulfur content and other elements can avoid health problems later. The cost to put on filters, to add reverse osmosis units and other water softeners and conditioners can cost a pretty penny. Plus they need regular maintenance to continue to do their job. It is not once and done… someone has to make sure they keep doing their job with the filter change and charcoal cleansers.
Most of the water tests I have taken over the years have been sent to Northeast Labs in Waterville. I have had super success with the turn around times, the advice from helpful staff at Northeast Labs if you are looking for a reference from personal experience taking well water samples.
How many gallons per minute is another helpful statistic to know about when learning about an existing drill water well’s performance statistics.
I have seen 30, 50 gallon per minute private drilled wells. And you hear the term a lot talking about true artesian wells. Not every drilled well is an artesian well. Here’s the definition of an artesian well.The difference between an artesian well and other types is the pressure, the flow that naturally happens.
I had listed a home in Ludlow Maine. Where the water flows without aid of a pump and empties out of the well cap into a pond feeding a brook. I timed the amount of water per minute and found four gallons was the flow.
No jet pump, no submersible pump down into the drilled well… but all by itself siphoning action happening out of the side hill. Often you hear the term artesian well used on all kinds of drilled in the ground sources but only a few are the real deal. Where positive pressure causes the water to rise and empty up and out of the well cap.
When a natural spring is dug out, it too can be a water source. Where the water naturally bubbles up and fills the reserve used for drinking and domestic use. The drilled wells I see used in the area are six inch pipe iron casing on the top fitted with a shoe where the metal meets the rock formation below.
Problems with drilled wells that had the cap cut off below the ground’s surface are a trouble maker down the road.
Sure you don’t back into the metal above ground casing or have to mow grass around the drilled well protrusion.
But finding when the foot valve or pump needs replacement becomes more of a mystery. And bacteria seems into the well head vent when the wood or whatever material decays used to protect it.
These wells get dug up and PVC piping is added like a sleeve around the iron or steel casing to make it easy to spot. And a snap to put a quart of bleach down into them for disinfection to happen when a bad test and high bacteria cut comes back from the water testing lab.
In another blog post on well water, I promise to have a discussion on the quality of what we drink.
What the issues are and how to tackle them for safe drinking water. This blog post was more to help someone brand new to Maine know about the types of wells, how they work and where their application is appropriate. Thank you for stopping by to read this blog post on drilled wells in Maine.
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