In the last 2 months, many growers have had to been rightly concerned about their water sources and how they would hold up to sustained dry weather. Many growers have had wells drilled to provide some backup. A rough cost for a 15cm well to a depth of 60m would be €5,000.
When siting a well water yield and source of electricity are key. Geological Survey Ireland has an excellent resource for information on water supply. GSI Groundwater Data Viewer allows you check rock type, aquifers, the yield of local wells and much more.
The EPA has an excellent publication EPA drinking water well drilling guidance with lots of practical advice on drilling wells and maintaining them.
If wells are underperforming it may be worth getting them air blasted to lift silt and gravel out of them. Its a simple and relatively inexpensive. Additionally, acid treatment may improve the yield but this can only be assessed by CCTC.
- Modern pumps are designed to run 24/7
- Run pumps at a lower volume will extend their life and improve water table recharge especially important where multiple wells are nearby.
- Check if the pump is cutting in and out regularly or too quickly
- If the control box is tripping regularly the pump may be overloaded
- The pump should be suspended using chord – Not the power supply
- Eliminate the risk of pump damage by running low using water level probes or loss of prime pressure switch.
- Iron or manganese deposits in a well and pump heads should be cleaned once or twice a year where present using organic acids
In all circumstances seek the advice of an experienced driller and hydrogeologist to give you the best possible return for your money.