Shallow well troubles

I’ve been trying to put in a shallow well for irrigation. The shallow water table in my area is likely 12-18 feet. I first tried a sand point, with an 18 pound t-post pounder that made it about 9 feet down then stopped, I ran some water down and was able to pound it another foot then it stopped completely. Not sure what it hit, I wasn’t able to turn the point anymore. Tried pulling it out with a 2 ton car jack and it maxed out. Tried a couple more times and the pipe broke with threads still in the coupling.

Still determined, I’ve been trying to wash down using some of the 1-1/4″ galvanized steel pipe that had broken threads, I cut some teeth into with an angle grinder. I washed down 4 more holes that all hit something real hard about 8-11 feet down. When rotating back and forth I could feel the teeth sliding over something hard and mostly smooth. Only one felt like it was gravel that I still couldn’t get through, not the sand/clay material from the top 10 feet. When I pulled the pipe out the steel teeth were fairly dulled.

I’m wondering if I should keep trying in different spots to see if I can get past whatever is down there. Of if some other technique may be better. The adjustable hand auger that can be extended with 3/4″ pipe seemed interesting but I’m not sure it would get through whatever hard pack I’m hitting.

It sounds like you’ve encountered some challenges in your attempts to create a shallow well for irrigation. Hitting a hard layer at a certain depth can be frustrating, but there are a few options you can consider to overcome this obstacle.

1. Try a different location: If you haven’t already, you could try drilling in different spots within your property. It’s possible that the hard layer you encountered is localized, and you may find a more suitable location for drilling.

2. Use a hand auger: An adjustable hand auger, as you mentioned, can be a good option for drilling through compacted soil or hard layers. The ability to extend the auger with additional pipe can give you more depth, and the screw-like design helps with penetration. Consider using a sturdy hand auger with sharp blades to increase your chances of success.

3. Seek professional assistance: If your attempts with DIY methods are not yielding the desired results, it may be beneficial to consult with a professional well driller. They have specialized equipment and expertise in dealing with various geological conditions. They can assess your property, analyze the subsurface conditions, and determine the best drilling technique to use.

4. Conduct a geotechnical survey: If you want a comprehensive understanding of the subsurface conditions on your property, you can hire a geotechnical engineer to conduct a survey. They will perform soil testing and provide valuable information about the soil composition and any potential obstructions at different depths. This knowledge can help you plan your drilling strategy more effectively.

Remember to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before drilling a well. Additionally, consider consulting with local experts or well drilling professionals who have experience in your specific area and geological conditions.

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