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Shallow Well for Irrigation?

Old 06-16-2017, 07:54 AM
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Default Shallow Well for Irrigation?

Anyone close to the gulf coast have experience with a shallow well for irrigation? I am on a canal in west Pasco and water in my area is stupid expensive. I live alone, don't have a pool, don't water my lawn, typically travel half the month and on average, my water bill is higher than my electric bill.

I'm typically billed the base charge of one thousand gallons plus the base waste charge, which totals about $80. If I water my lawn, with the sewage charges, the bill gets into the hundreds.

Supposedly, I can have a separate irrigation meter installed which will forgo the sewage/waste charges. But I'm wondering if it's feasible to install a shallow well exclusively for irrigation use? My lawn looks like crap.

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Old 06-16-2017, 08:54 AM
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A shallow well is pretty much feasible anywhere in FL and relatively cheap to install. You'd have to determine if you needs permits or anything in your area too. Some shallow wells can have a lot of iron in them that leads to driveway staining, an irrigation meter will have much cleaner water. Around here an irrigation meter is $1500 to install. If you're handy you can DIY a shallow well.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:07 AM
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Do a shallow well. Watch out spraying the shallow well water on anything but plants and grass as it will contain lotsa minerals.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
Do a shallow well. Watch out spraying the shallow well water on anything but plants and grass as it will contain lotsa minerals.
This. Shallow well means 40' of pipe, but some seem to work fine at 20' . Use 2" galvanized with a 1-1/4" PVC drop pipe and foot valve. They are simply impact driven, but its not a do it yourself job unless you "wash" it in.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:38 AM
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Good info. I hadn't thought about staining. It'd be tough to keep well water from coming in contact with the patio and driveway.

$1500 for a separate meter is more than I anticipated but with the high cost of water around here, I suppose the ROI would be relatively quick.

I'm guessing a well installation needs some kind of intermediary/pressure tank in addition to the pump? Or can a continuous-run pump be used without a pressure tank?

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Old 06-16-2017, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TipsyMcStagger View Post
Good info. I hadn't thought about staining. It'd be tough to keep well water from coming in contact with the patio and driveway.

$1500 for a separate meter is more than I anticipated but with the high cost of water around here, I suppose the ROI would be relatively quick.

I'm guessing a well installation needs some kind of intermediary/pressure tank in addition to the pump? Or can a continuous-run pump be used without a pressure tank?

Tipsy
My shallow well just has a pump on a timer. No tank. No pressure switch. Timer is linked to 4 zones.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:55 AM
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I don't know if this much help, but here in Charlotte county there is a form online you can fill out and send in. The county will deduct the out part of the water bill. I had new sod installed in Jan of this year so I can tell you what you know, water is crazy expensive. Back to the request, you can do 2 per year, each request handles 3 billing periods. So far I have done the request once for 3 billing periods and it made a significant difference in the actual bill.

I replaced the water sensor on my irrigation system because the old one shit the bed. I figure with the amount of rain we have been getting I won't be watering much in the summer months.

I looked at irrigation wells. The only way for me is to a have a well drilled. Not into the cost or hassle.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
My shallow well just has a pump on a timer. No tank. No pressure switch. Timer is linked to 4 zones.
Good to know. Thanks.


Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
I don't know if this much help, but here in Charlotte county there is a form online you can fill out and send in. The county will deduct the out part of the water bill. I had new sod installed in Jan of this year so I can tell you what you know, water is crazy expensive. Back to the request, you can do 2 per year, each request handles 3 billing periods. So far I have done the request once for 3 billing periods and it made a significant difference in the actual bill.
I've not heard of anything like that around here.

Do you have a link to the form for Charlotte? Or do you recall specifically what the form is called?

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Old 06-16-2017, 10:06 AM
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That seems high, do you have a leak?
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post
That seems high, do you have a leak?
What seems high? One thousand gallons? One thousand gallons is the base charge.

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Old 06-16-2017, 01:47 PM
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I can get you the link for the form, or you can go to Charlotte county web site and look it up, but you might want to call your county and ask. I wasn't aware of it until one of the sod guys told me. It damn near cut my bill in half. And I can tell you from first hand experience especially with this past winter being so dry this helped enormously. As allowed by the county here I could water every day for 30 days after the lawn was installed. Than 3 times per week and now 2. But you really don't need much in the way of irrigation in the summer.
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
you can go to Charlotte county web site and look it up
I have no problem looking it up myself. I just have no idea what to look up. Based on what you've written, the form is called the "Form 1234 - County Application to Damn Near Cut my Water Bill in Half Because I've Watered my Lawn."

Google comes up with nothing

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Old 06-16-2017, 03:58 PM
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Given your opinion of Pasco county, I think regardless of what you do you'll be irritated
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by grey2112 View Post
Given your opinion of Pasco county, I think regardless of what you do you'll be irritated
Thanks. The one time I post from my phone I was trying to stay occupied while my tires were getting re-balanced

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Old 06-16-2017, 04:05 PM
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I think you have a leak . Shut off all the faucets in the house make sure nothing is using water go out and look at the meter and see if the little red triangle is moving or if the stopwatch Type needle is moving .
If you would not believe how expensive a leaking toilet or leaking Fossett can get these days
Also while you're doing this test this would tell you if you had a leak on your trunk line from the meter to your house the leak could be in the pipe between the meter in the house the leak doesn't necessarily have to be in the house
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Diverjim View Post
I think you have a leak . Shut off all the faucets in the house make sure nothing is using water go out and look at the meter and see if the little red triangle is moving or if the stopwatch Type needle is moving .
If you would not believe how expensive a leaking toilet or leaking Fossett can get these days
Also while you're doing this test this would tell you if you had a leak on your trunk line from the meter to your house the leak could be in the pipe between the meter in the house the leak doesn't necessarily have to be in the house
There's no leak. The meter is rock solid. My bill is the same month to month, unless I use a hose excessively and exceed one thousand gallons usage.

It's the base charge of one thousand gallons plus the associated sewage/waste fees. I've discussed it with many people in the neighborhood. We're all paying outrageous water fees.

Incidentally, I just spoke with the water company about installing a dedicated irrigation meter. They'll send someone out next week to discuss installation and didn't have much in the way of specifics. But she did say in addition to the meter installation fee, there is a separate monthly base charge, regardless of whether any water is consumed for irrigation. Don't know any numbers yet.

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Old 06-16-2017, 04:12 PM
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I think his problem is that he's got private water, which can be VERY expensive in certain areas - this isn't county water or city.
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by grey2112 View Post
I think his problem is that he's got private water, which can be VERY expensive in certain areas - this isn't county water or city.
Right. It's FGUA, which purchased Linderick some years ago.

I'm not much for social media but I lurk on "Nextdoor" and there's quite a bit of local discussion about the issue.

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Old 06-16-2017, 10:11 PM
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If you are really near the coast, salt water intrusion in your shallow well may be a problem. My deep well runs 450-500 PPM salt and it is 200' down.The shallow wells can be so salty it kills your grass.
If you don't hit rock you can usually jet a well down 20' or less and hit water tho.
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Old 06-17-2017, 06:38 AM
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I'm in this industry.

Depending on your proximity to salt water it is likely you will have saltwater intrusion into your area.

Shallow wells are ok to a point. Yes there is more minerals specifically iron and sulfates "I believe". When it is dry over a lengthy anticipate losing pressure or water in whole. The localized draw down when your pump runs may cause you suck in silt.

Contact your utility provider and get a 2nd meter that doesn't have sewage charges tied to it. The water isn't the expensive part it is cleaning it where they get you.
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