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Driven point well or jetted well yield restoration or improvement: how to restore the water flow from a driven point or small diameter jetted water well.
This article series explains installing, diagnosing, and repairing small diameter water wells including driven point wells, wash wells, and jetted wells, three types of water sources that may be used where water is close to the ground surface and a well pipe or point can be driven into the soil mechanically or by using hydrojetting. We include an excellent UN FAO small diameter well document reference that will be helpful to those needing to construct a water well in areas where water is close to the ground surface and money or other resources are limited.
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Reader Question: My Driven Well Point is Clogged - Do I Have to Drive a New Well?
The well digger tells me that I have a clogged point on my driven point well and it is not letting enough water in the well pipe to the pump. My water is good and the water pressure is awesome for about 2 minutes then it goes down to nothing. I wait about 30 seconds and it comes back.
Bad thing is the well digger hand drove this well for me about 4 years ago. Now he tells me the point is clogged not letting enough water in fast enough. He borrowed my 22 caliber rifle and shot about 7 rounds down into the well, but nothing happened. I am being told by him that we need to drill another well right next to the old one. Needless to say I am not a happy camper. This well is on an extra lot I have that I use to grow a garden and store my boat in the winter. The only thing I use the water for is watering the garden.
Is there another fix for this thing? A friend says we could attach an air compressor to the pipe and shoot about 100lbs down there, or we could Get some pipe and drive it thru the point on the bottom to open it up. The well digger says when he drilled the first one that he drove that point in there so hard that would never come back up out of there.
Reply: Dynamite or Shooting a Rifle Down the Well are Bad Ideas
What you describe is loss of well yield, or loss of water flow into the driven point or lower section of the well pipe. This could be caused by the well itself going dry or going to a very reduced water flow, but the most common cause of this problem is just what your well driller says, a clogged well point.
While we know folks who used to drop dynamite down drilled or hand dug wells to try to correct the yield, neither dynamite nor shooting a rifle down into a water well are a recommended procedure.
If the well point is indeed clogged you would need to pull up the well piping and replace the point, then re-drive the well, or simply drive a new point down in the same area.
But first You could try sending high pressure water or even high pressure air backwards through the pipe to see if you can de-clog the point, but we're not optimistic. Also, some driven point wells also use a well screen that is at the top of the well pipe. Take a look at your well piping to see if there are any screens or fittings above ground that can be disassembled, inspected for evidence of clogging, and then cleaned or replaced.
Don't try driving an inner pipe through the well piping - you'll just break the point or jam things up worse.
Follow-up: Success in Restoring Driven Point Well Water Flow
We used an air compressor with about 120 lbs of constant pressure to blow air back down the well pipe. We attached a tire valve to a coupler which we attached to the well pipe to make it easy to hook up the air compressor to the piping, then we blew high pressure air into the well for about 10 minutes.
We then took off the well pipe check valve, which seems to be all plastic, and ran water thru it along with some WD40 to be sure that there was no problem with a clogged check valve itself.
Then we put everything back together and turned on the well pump. We had some pretty rusty water in the beginning but it cleared up, and I had beautiful pressure!!! My original problem was that the water pressure would not last, trickle down to nothing then build again.
I sprayed the garden hose for a good 20 minutes without missing a beat.
This process had restored water flow by clearing a clogged driven point on the well pipe bottom. The fact that flow is now good and continuous argues that indeed the problem was the clogged driven point, not a loss of water flow in the ground around the point. What we don't know is how successfully we've de-clogged the point, how many of its clogged openings we unblocked, and how long this repair will last, but it's a great attempt that might be totally successful.
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