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Residential Well Unsettlement

12/20/2017 8:03 AM

It is observed that the circular well rings of the drinking water well of my house are getting oblong. The plumber doubts it could be due to well wall getting unevenly shifted to oneside and that the well requires to be protected immediately from failure or possible collapse.

Friends in this forum may like to suggest remedial measures.

Thanks.

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#1

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/20/2017 8:31 AM

In continuation of the same question,I wish to further clarify that the well is of "open well construction" with diameter of 5 feet and depth of 30 feet.

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#2

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/20/2017 8:40 AM

<...remedial measures...> would depend upon the method of construction, which has been withheld from the forum.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/20/2017 10:01 AM

We can always propose absurd answers with no concern for cost or what are readily available materials. With this in mind I like the idea of using quarried oolite to line the existing well. Make sure the stone is properly cut to interlock and self support like an M. C. Escher tile.

On a more realistic note, a local hydrologist would be better to consult than an international engineering forum. They will understand your soil and water table conditions better.

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/22/2017 2:26 AM

<...We...your...> Er, it's actually someone else's problem.

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#4

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/20/2017 10:02 AM

You need a civil engineer, not a plumber...

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#5

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/20/2017 10:51 AM

https://inspectapedia.com/water/Hand_Dug_Wells.php

I would consider modernising this well if possible to a closed well with pump and cistern type setup...

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#6

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/20/2017 12:05 PM

Please provide more information. Through what type of ground was the dug? What is the construction of the well. The rings are made of metal? How out of round are the rings? How quickly is this happening,i.e. can you notice changes week to week?

Are you open to changes in how water is taken? How is water taken currently?

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/21/2017 12:01 AM

Thank you for the queries. Manually dug well in natural soil - clayish soil, constructed with brick lining upto a depth of 24 feet originally. Since the ground water level became lower we had to deepen the well by 6 feet more to reach the new level of ground water, by sinking 3 nos concrete rings, each ring at depth of 2 feet.

Water seen from top is in oblong shape. It was circular all along. Also it appears that the lowest concrete ring has been slightly shifted in slanting position. Due to displacement of lined brick wall to one side,the water surface as seen from top looks oblong now which was looking circular earlier. This change is noticed only 2 months back and there is no change in the condition thereafter. The water surface remains same almost in the same oval shape as was noticed 2 months back.

Water is pumped through a centrifugal pump kept outside the well and delivered to overhead tank in the terrace.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/21/2017 12:35 AM

Consultation with a civil/geotechnical engineer is needed.

There may be relatively cheap remediation available by providing some protection for the existing piping and then filling in the bottom of the well with layers of course media and mats (felt, glass, something that will last and is safe to have drinking water in contact) and then filling the top of the well with cheap acceptable fill.

It would be nice to be able to monitor the distance to the well sides accurately to know if it is shifting or starts shifting, However, most inexpensive methods for that may involve unreasonable danger. There may be a danger that if the well is going to collapse, the collapse might continue upward reaching the surface. It might do so when someone is right at the edge, possibly triggered by their weight/movement as the final straw that breaks the camels back.

If you have a sediment filter, monitoring that may give indication of changes.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/21/2017 2:32 AM

I suspect the walls are not properly supported...digging the bottom lower without furnishing proper foundation support for the casing steining...

Tilt and shift in well foundation

https://www.slideshare.net/YogeshKherde/well-foundation-32567628

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#7

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/20/2017 12:53 PM

Used to have one of these out in the front yard when I lived on a farm for a time up in Missouri....

...basic, easy to maintain, low tech, cheap($40.)....

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Hand-Operated-Manual-Hand-Water-Pump_1873671715.html

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#11

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/21/2017 11:08 AM

Are you noticing settling indications in surrounding buildings? This sounds like a condition I saw in Astoria, Oregon where the entire area was slowly sliding down sloped bedrock (approx. 1" per year) and everything was distorting as it went. This had been going on since the area was settled, almost 200 years ago. Walls were no longer plumb, floors unlevel and drilled wells developing S shaped curves along their length. If so, plan on regularly correcting and relining the well as it will continue to distort for the indefinite future. Initially a geologist may be of more use to you than a civil engineer until you identify the real cause.

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#13

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

12/22/2017 3:12 AM

From your description of the recent deepening of the well to reach a lower water table, I would suspect that this action has undermined the previously stable brick/stone structure above and that is now distorting as it settles.

I would suggest that you create a sleeve inside the well by completing the stack of concrete rings all the way from the bottom to the top, filling the intervening space (as suggested by another earlier post) with layers of appropriate material. Porous where the water table needs to permeate the material and so on.

For a well this shallow, it should not be necessary to enter the well for any of this work, and thus not risking the safety of anyone involved.

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#14

Re: Residential Well Unsettlement

01/04/2018 3:24 PM

In New York State, a well of this type is no longer allowed due to groundwater contamination. The remedy is to use a well point, a screened perforated section of pipe, attached to your pump into the well. Then backfill with course gravel to above the normal water depth. Then capping with concrete. You may not need the cap, but the pipe and backfill will take care of any failure of the casing.

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