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Old 05-17-2016, 12:51 PM   #1
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Relocate Wellhead


Hi folks,
I have a residential water well, and I'm wondering if it is possible to relocate where the wellhead comes up out of the ground. I'd eventually like to park an RV nearby (at the side of my house), and I fear one day accidentally driving into the wellhead. Is it possible to do something like dig down and modify the vertical pipe by adding a 45 degree joint so that the well head comes up out of the ground perhaps 6ft away from where it currently is? Of course I'd hire a professional to do this, but just wondering if this idea is even possible. And if it is possible, might you have a rough idea on how much this project might cost me?
Thank you
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:16 PM   #2
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


Do you have a submersible pump?
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


Yes I believe I have a submersible pump.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:42 PM   #4
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


Drill a new well is the only way I know of. Around here the well casing must stick up out of the ground a foot at least. This is to keep surface water from entering and contaminating the well.
So if you are thinking of putting an elbow or something like that on it and burying it, that would not work here.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:48 PM   #5
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


No, I would put a 45 degree elbow on it, but I would still allow it to stick out a foot above the ground... its just that it would nicely stick out of the ground in a different location from where it currently sticks out of the ground. Would this be feasible? Thanks
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:18 PM   #6
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


It sounds like you want to install an elbow underground then have the casing emerge above grade someplace else. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if even our local code says a well casing must be straight - and you will be governed by whoever certifies wells in your area. The one thing I do know is that you would never, ever be able to service your pump.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:36 PM   #7
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


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It sounds like you want to install an elbow underground then have the casing emerge above grade someplace else. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if even our local code says a well casing must be straight - and you will be governed by whoever certifies wells in your area. The one thing I do know is that you would never, ever be able to service your pump.
Yes that's what I'm thinking about doing. Thanks for the warning, I forgot about the need of servicing it in the future. I really don't know much about water wells... what is typically done when servicing a pump that would be prohibitive due to the 45 degree elbow? If the pump needs to be removed/replaced, perhaps I could use an elbow that looks something like this and cap off the top of the T underground for the sake of accessing the pump in the future....

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Old 05-17-2016, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


The pump needs to be pulled to service. No way with any elbows.
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:27 PM   #9
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


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The pump needs to be pulled to service. No way with any elbows.
So the pump would not be able to be pulled straight out from a T joint? (kind of like the picture I attached in my previous message)
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


No, there is no legal method to relocate that well head, that I know of. Usually once the well is capped, it is only allowed to open the cap for servicing. (In some areas only liscensed people are allowed to unseal a well.)

You would have to drill a new well elsewhere, to relocate it. $$$$$$

Move the RV pad over or put up some concrete filled pipes that you will hit first.

You should check with your water well lead agency (eg health dept,building dept, in most cases) for your local rules regulations etc. They usually have some sort of guidance for well owners.

Your T plan wont work The minimum height above ground is set to prevent surface water or temporary localized flooding from entering the well. Whether that height is 6 inches or 24, you cannot go below it. In some areas, you are not even allowed to cut down the well head once it has been installed. If you want the minimum height, the casing must be cut to that height prior to the cap being set.

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Old 05-17-2016, 09:10 PM   #11
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


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Yes that's what I'm thinking about doing. Thanks for the warning, I forgot about the need of servicing it in the future. I really don't know much about water wells... what is typically done when servicing a pump that would be prohibitive due to the 45 degree elbow? If the pump needs to be removed/replaced, perhaps I could use an elbow that looks something like this and cap off the top of the T underground for the sake of accessing the pump in the future....

A submersible pump is suspended at the end of many feet of several fairly beefy powers cables and the water line (and maybe a poly messenger rope) so to service/replace the pump, all of that needs to be able to be hauled up which would be impossible if there was any kind of bend. The fitting in your examples is not suitable for well casing (at least not up here). Well casing must be welded steel.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:50 PM   #12
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


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Your T plan wont work The minimum height above ground is set to prevent surface water or temporary localized flooding from entering the well. Whether that height is 6 inches or 24, you cannot go below it. In some areas, you are not even allowed to cut down the well head once it has been installed.
Thank you. But if the top of the T was welded shut below ground, I would assume no surface water nor flooding could enter the welded shut T. Of course the side of the T would continue up above ground and be properly capped off above ground, thus serving as the new wellhead. Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
...all of that needs to be able to be hauled up which would be impossible if there was any kind of bend. The fitting in your examples is not suitable for well casing (at least not up here). Well casing must be welded steel.
Thank you. The fitting in my example is just an example of the shape of fitting. Of course the real fitting would be welded steel. When servicing the pump, couldn't all of that be hauled up through the top of the T? Normally the top of the T would be welded shut below ground, but if servicing was needed, the top of the T would have to be cut open. Nevertheless, the top of the T would provide a straight path down to service the pump, wouldn't it?Thoughts?

By the way the house is in Illinois.
Thank you everybody for your responses, and your patience.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:08 PM   #13
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


I'm pretty sure your approving authority wouldn't approve it but I suppose it can't hurt to ask and then you'll know for certain - rending all of our opinions moot. One problem I see with having to cut a welded cap is that it would introduce metal filings into the water column. Another thing they might have a problem with is the well casing being under a parking area.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:58 PM   #14
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


Short answer

NO

The reasons have all been stated in posts before me.

Pipes forming a square around your well head is good idea but FIRST one should do a locate on Wire and Pipe so to not cut the elect wire to the pump and the water from the well to the house.

The well is a fixture that can only be closed and a new one done, most likely around 10k in cost if not more.

We do not always get what we want.
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:15 AM   #15
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Re: Relocate Wellhead


Here is a tech paper on preventing well contamination.
http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/pdf/dw/publi...n_dwfsom57.pdf

One of the things you are trying to prevent is surface water from running into a well. If the water carries bacteria into the well, it will contaminate not only yours, but neighboring wells. How far it spreads varies. But several miles is not uncommon with shallow wells. Deeper wells that penetrate into bedrock aquifers will spread much farther.

With something as important as preventing contamination of the water supplies, you don't rely on a single welded cap underground to prevent contamination. That's why they want the well head above ground.

So, while it doesn't hurt to ask, just be aware that you are asking them to break one of the cardinal rules of well water protection just so you can park your RV exactly where you want to. So, I'd suggest you tread lightly while asking/discussing it.

Along those lines, if you do decide to abandon your current well, it is usually not just capping it off and walking away from it. Most areas have rules about plugging them by specified methods, to prevent any chance of surface contamination from reaching the ground water.
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