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How much does a well cost?

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Drilling a water well is a combination of science, technology and drilling experience. Many variables factor in to the location and drilling of a water well so a set price is not a practical answer. Is the drilling through sand, clay or rock? Each has its own challenges for the driller. Depth of the well also contributes to the pricing. A driller might hit water at 40 feet but one never wants to drill only to the high water mark. By drilling many feet below the water mark, sometimes as much as a hundred feet further down, the well owner is less likely to run out of water due to pump demands (draw down) or lowered water table.

So depth has a role in pricing for drilling, but also for the piping, wiring and sometimes pump size.

A more accurate estimate of well placement costs can be made by the driller once more information is cataloged.

What size pump?

This is a smart question and there are factors to consider when deciding what pump to buy.

First and foremost: find a licensed, certified pump installer and well driller. He can be of great help describing the options available based on your particular needs.

Second: whether replacing a pump on an existing well or installing a new well, determine depth of well, standing water level, gallons of water per minute needed and what size pump is already in place. Most likely, the original pump on an existing well is ideally selected for the situation at hand.

An easy formula to determine just how much water is needed follow this:

Every faucet in the house should be considered even though not all will be running at the same time. Each one requires one gallon per minute. A typical bathroom will have three or four (one or two sinks, toilet and bath/shower), a kitchen might have a sink and a dishwasher, laundry room a single supply plus any outdoor faucets. So if there are 10 fixtures requiring water the pump should supply at least 10 gallons per minute.

A one-half to three-quarter horsepower pump should be sufficient in most cases, unless the well is deeper than normal.

Again, a licensed, certified pump installer and well driller has the knowledge and experience that can be of invaluable help.

More on pump size

Wells today usually are drilled with at least an 8.75-inch wide hole and a submersible pump slides in place easily along with the piping and electrical wires. Hole size varies depending on conditions and the choice of the driller.

A one-half to three-quarter horsepower pump is the most popular selection. But in some cases, where additional water quantity is needed or the well is deeper than usual, a larger pump may be needed.

To abstractly select a larger horsepower pump with the thought that bigger must be better may be mistake. If the pump transfers too much water too quickly from the hole it might deplete the ground water in the immediate vicinity of the pump and run out of water. The tell-tale sign of this problem is no water being produced .

Talk to a licensed, certified pump installer when making decisions on pump size.

What if the hole is dry?

While today’s technology is vastly improved, the art of water well drilling still retains a bit of the challenges and risks of the first hand dug wells thousands of years ago. The availability of clean, fresh water can be determined to a certain degree and a licensed and certified well driller will access a wealth of knowledge before deciding where to drill. The goal is water.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board provides great historical ground water data and nearby wells and drilling experiences aid in preventing drilling dry holes.

But what happens if the hole is dry? As the owner, the obligation to pay the well driller remains. With a professional drilling company the impacts of a dry hole are lessened. The owner only pays for the drilling expenses, primarily a cost per foot.

Before entering in to an agreement, make sure all parties have the same understanding. The price of the dry hole will be limited to all or a portion of the drilling costs only.

The same principal would apply to a well that hits non-potable water. A special note, if saltwater is produced, a supplemental fee would apply to plug the well.