If you have the skills required to pound a nail into
a board with a hammer, then you also have the skills
to augment your water supply. All you need is a few
common tools and about two weekends worth of work
in order to save the thousands of dollars that a drilling
company would charge you to tap ground water sources
that you yourself can reach.
Many methods exists to reach the underground layer
of fresh water beneath land, ranging from digging
to blasting. Many are too expensive, technical, or
dangerous for the average person. The United States
Army, however, developed a method to provide troops
with underground water that the average person is
capable of without much expense or danger. Soldiers
drove a pipe into the ground, using a sledgehammer,
until they reached water. This technique has become
ideal for supplying underground water to homes and
villages in nations still under development.
It is important to keep in mind that driving a pipe
deep into the ground is not a job for a super hero
because too hard of a blow with the sledgehammer can
damage pipe threads. The best way to begin is to soften
the ground before you begin by digging a hole at the
site you select and then filling it with water and
allowing it to settle in the hole for about a week.
Keep the hole shallow, ranging anywhere from 5 to
10 feet, because deep holes will need reinforcement
to prevent them from caving.
Make sure your selected location is not close to
any septic tanks, sewer lines, chemical storage tanks,
animal pens, or anything else that could be considered
a potential contaminant. It is also recommended that
you check with your county’s health official
concerning any regulations or permit requirements.
They also have records of well logs and additional
geological data that can help advise you about the
subsurface composition, the estimated depth at which
you will find water, and the quality of the water.
Any neighbors that you have close by can also be helpful.
Dropping a weight on the end of a string into their
well can also give you an approximation of how far
you will have to go before reaching water.
The equipment needed to start this project includes
a 2-inch drive point with screen (this is a hollow,
conically shaped metal point adjoined to a fine mesh
screen), several spools of Teflon tape, 2-inch galvanized
couplings that can attach the pipe lengths together,
5-foot-long threaded lengths of 2-inch galvanized
Schedule 40 pipe, 2-inch galvanized caps for the pipe,
concrete mix, a weight, a foot valve, and 85 feet
of ½ inch inside diameter, thick-walled, flexible,
UV resistant, polyethylene tubing.