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Alternative for sprinkler water source

Old 05-17-2019, 07:46 PM
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Default Alternative for sprinkler water source

I have a sprinkler system and need to find another water source. For the past 10 years I have used water that is in a drainage "ditch" that connects to the lake behind my house. The hurricane knocked down a lot of trees that were shading it and there is a lot of growth in the water making it hard to keep the water pickup clean. I've thought about running a pipe to the lake, but it is 200 fee away from where the well pump and control system is now. I assume I would have to move the well pump to the water's edge which would result in an expense for PVC and electrical wire.

I've been thinking about a DIY shallow well but am not sure how deep I would need to go to get to decent water. I live in the Florida panhandle and don't think that I would have to "drill" too far to get to water. I would expect that limestone would be the hardest "rock" that I would encounter for some ways.

I'm sure there are threads here, but I can't find them in a search because "well" is used in a lot of other ways.

Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:52 PM
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If it’s level and not much of a drop, you should be able to plumb down to the lake if allowed. To see if your pump will pull the distance, attach a cheap garden hose fitting you make with stuff from Lowe’s and see if it’ll suck lake water through a garden hose? I’m sure the brain trust will have far better ideas.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:52 PM
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I would think a shallow well would be closer to being legle than just pulling out of a lake unless you have the proper permits

but then you probably need permits for eith
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:26 AM
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The house here is feed from lake water for the sprinklers no permit required. The pump is about 50' from the lake and has no trouble running sprinklers 250' away.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:31 AM
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Put a check valve just above the intake, so you'll only have to prime the pump once.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by raybark View Post
Put a check valve just above the intake, so you'll only have to prime the pump once.
That's a great idea and one I never thought about.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rickpcfl View Post
That's a great idea and one I never thought about.
Never seen one done without a check valve and brass screen. Mine has a hose bib at the pump inlet in case you need to prime but I've never had to use it.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rickpcfl View Post
That's a great idea and one I never thought about.
Yep. Commonly called a "foot valve". Long pipe into the water, and on the end a tee with about 2' of pipe in either direction to orient it. Beyond the tee in line with the long run, put a 45 degree fitting and 1'-2' of pipe up to the foot valve. Most of the time 1 1/2" or 2" PVC is used. Once primed it won't have much trouble pulling. As long as your rise is inline with the pump specs, you can upsize the pipe to accommodate if needed. Never seen any reasonable situation where 1 1/2" or 2" wouldn't work with draw from source pumps.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:05 AM
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I pulled that far (maybe further)from a canal in south Florida usIng an old worn out pump.

It it was hard to prime, but once primed it worked well until a pine needle made it through the screen and made the check valve leak.

I was was advised to replace the check valve once a year....
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Old 05-18-2019, 11:29 AM
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Collect your own rainwater off your house and hook it up to a pump. While you're at it, plumb it up to your toilets and shower as well. Never pay for water again.
JKBrad and rusty spoke like this.
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:08 PM
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Might be easier to design a better screen for the existing pickup. If there's water there and it's working you should be able to come up with something that can keep the gunk out.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Flippin Sweet View Post
Collect your own rainwater off your house and hook it up to a pump. While you're at it, plumb it up to your toilets and shower as well. Never pay for water again.
Other than electricity - I don't pay for water now as I have a well for the house. I have about 2 acres of grass. I couldn't collect enough rain water to water my yard.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:36 PM
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Could you just put a few shallow wells along the ditch your pulling from now? Just make sure all the point heads are level with each other and maybe some valves to isolate each head in case one fails or sucks air.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rickpcfl View Post
Other than electricity - I don't pay for water now as I have a well for the house. I have about 2 acres of grass. I couldn't collect enough rain water to water my yard.
You’d be shocked at how much rainwater a good downpour will produce. Your roof would fill a 2500 gallon talk after just a few thunderstorms.

http://www.pccd.org/rainwc.htm


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Old Yesterday, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JKBrad View Post


You’d be shocked at how much rainwater a good downpour will produce. Your roof would fill a 2500 gallon talk after just a few thunderstorms.

Rainwater Collection and Conservation



Very interesting. We're probably going to be selling the house in the next few years, so an investment like that doesn't make sense for this house. But it is something to consider for the next one. I just finished rebuilding a 24x92 pole barn that has a metal roof that would be great for collecting water. Thanks for the info and link.
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