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Back when men were tough.


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neighbors had a well like that on their property, their grandsons now in their 40s -50s inherited the place and called dad and I to go over n cover the well - it was just like that one, 4 to 5 footish across, took the old 400 over and pushed several big logs over it that were not movable w/out equipment - the house has since been demolished and the well filled up with debris. 

i was amazed at the craftsmanship of the stone work and the sheer size and water in it , probably 20 to 30 foot id guess - the porch of the old house was built over teh top of teh well so they could just bring water up thru the porch to bring into the house - my great gma/gpa and aunt/uncles both had their homes built over their wells, both had pumps in the kitchens up thru the countertops. My folks have 4 wells on our home place all tile cased tho. One dug with horses that I got to see done/experience. We lived on well water till the 80s when rural water came thru, we hooked on but gma n gpa never did. 

dad drops a floating pump down a couple of them to water his garden with now days 

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Our old well is hand dug to 30 feet and at a later date was drilled another 60 feet. We don’t use it anymore and the pump doesn’t seem to work. We drilled a new well about 15 years ago. When we had heavy rain the water would get muddy colored and we had to flush the filter screen several times a day to keep the water reasonably clear. Not a very good picture but it looks just like the photo posted at the start of the thread.

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Yes they got her out. As other Saud. A follow up on her would be kinda cool.

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56 minutes ago, TomH said:

Our old well is hand dug to 30 feet and at a later date was drilled another 60 feet. We don’t use it anymore and the pump doesn’t seem to work. We drilled a new well about 15 years ago. When we had heavy rain the water would get muddy colored and we had to flush the filter screen several times a day to keep the water reasonably clear. Not a very good picture but it looks just like the photo posted at the start of the thread.

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That looks like our well at our house.  They even angled the concrete like that so the access piece doesn't fall in.  It is currently the only well that we have. They hung a steel pipe across to hang a  submersable pump off of.  It waters 50 beef, 70 sheep, and 7500 mums in season along with our personal use.  Hoping for some cost share money to install a pasture watering system and high volume drilled well back by one of the barns in the future.

The picture I posted at the start of the thread is across the road from us at another property.  At some point they stopped using the hand dug well and drilled one on the opposite side of the house.  This was probably done when the ran water into the house.  We are cleaning that property up and I planted some grass.  I was able to pump the drilled well out in 2 hours or so watering with a sprinkler head.  With the way the water is flowing on the hand dug well I can't imagine I could pump that out with a normal size pump this time of year.  

It is hard to imagine the time the old timers put into digging these.  

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How do i remember Jessica?? If shes my age(42)...ida been a couple years older than her. I remember pretty clearly my mom being very upset. 

Mom, died a few years back. A lot of stuff i didnt get to ask her. Her and i didnt get along much as she thought of me as "just like your dad".. turns out i think im just like her too. 

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I grew up on the Eastern Coast of South Carolina, we were just above sea level.  A 20' deep water would never go dry, in the 40's.  At 300' we could have artesian water that came out the pipe on its own pressure. No pump required. TODAY most of the artesian wells have to be pumped because with all the people we have depleted the water table.  Strange as it my seem, this area of Texas still has some artesian wells available, We are only about 600' above sea level.  There is a City park in Richardson that has a flowing spring that feeds a little creek. People in Northern California  have to go deep to get a good water supply, Family I knew had a well that believe went down 3600'.  BUT if you really want expensive water, move over to the Nevada side of the Sierras  North of Reno,  Friend spent over $35,000 for the water well on their property.

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2 hours ago, oleman said:

I grew up on the Eastern Coast of South Carolina, we were just above sea level.  A 20' deep water would never go dry, in the 40's.  At 300' we could have artesian water that came out the pipe on its own pressure. No pump required. TODAY most of the artesian wells have to be pumped because with all the people we have depleted the water table.  Strange as it my seem, this area of Texas still has some artesian wells available, We are only about 600' above sea level.  There is a City park in Richardson that has a flowing spring that feeds a little creek. People in Northern California  have to go deep to get a good water supply, Family I knew had a well that believe went down 3600'.  BUT if you really want expensive water, move over to the Nevada side of the Sierras  North of Reno,  Friend spent over $35,000 for the water well on their property.

I know of an artesian well, west of Cheyenne Wyoming that has 80 psi, and is a 8 inch pipe coming out of the ground. Last I knew they had about 40 miles of underground pipe watering several hundred head of cows. Haven’t been out there since 1995 or so, so it may all be gone. 

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3 hours ago, oleman said:

I grew up on the Eastern Coast of South Carolina, we were just above sea level.  A 20' deep water would never go dry, in the 40's.  At 300' we could have artesian water that came out the pipe on its own pressure. No pump required. TODAY most of the artesian wells have to be pumped because with all the people we have depleted the water table.  Strange as it my seem, this area of Texas still has some artesian wells available, We are only about 600' above sea level.  There is a City park in Richardson that has a flowing spring that feeds a little creek. People in Northern California  have to go deep to get a good water supply, Family I knew had a well that believe went down 3600'.  BUT if you really want expensive water, move over to the Nevada side of the Sierras  North of Reno,  Friend spent over $35,000 for the water well on their property.

There is a huge artesian basin in Australia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Artesian_Basin

Early usage channeled water down "bore drains" just below contour with bores largely free flowing.  Over years bore casings decayed and many became uncontrollable.  Net result was a loss of pressure and bores having to be pumped.

The basin is under us here at about 1200-odd feet but doesn't rise enough to flow and there is adequate water available in shallower strata.  The town bore at Birdsville is about 5000 feet deep with the water emerging at just below boiling.  Cooling ponds can be needed for poly pipe distribution systems.

In recent years there has been a subsidised program to recondition bores back to controllable and to pipe the water.  This has seen pressures start to rise again.

The water is not used for irrigation legally and practically as it is suitable for stock and human consumption but salty enough to cause soil problems

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There is an old hand dug shallow well on my place lined with sandstone and then a deep well was sunk down thru it. When I was a kid it fed the cattle water right next to it. Grandpa wanted to put a jet pump in it once but the casing was too small so a well head with a pump rod and well jack and electric motor was reinstalled.  The well jack still works bit the rob must be rusted off or the pump head below went bad cause I can't get anything out of it. I think before my time there was a windmill over it. The house was across the road and there was a well there too bit dad and my uncle filled it in after grandparents moved to town.

The house I lived the first 7 or 8 years of my life in had 2 brick lined cisterns of 2 corners of the house to catch rain water? When the tore the house down to build a new one in 73 or 4 I remember all the earth worms hanging into it between the cracks in the brick as they pushed it in with a dozer.

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7 hours ago, Twolines said:

How do i remember Jessica?? If shes my age(42)...ida been a couple years older than her. I remember pretty clearly my mom being very upset. 

Mom, died a few years back. A lot of stuff i didnt get to ask her. Her and i didnt get along much as she thought of me as "just like your dad".. turns out i think im just like her too. 

Sorry to hear of you losing your mother.

Baby Jessica was a big deal, I remember it well and I was maybe ten at the time. I still remember seeing the footage of the man coming out of the bore hole holding Jessica in his arms. They made a movie about the ordeal not long after it happened. Jessica is alive and well and keeps a pretty low profile. I just saw something on YouTube just a few weeks ago.

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She was a tough lady..seems like the days that men were tough, some of the ladies were too. 

Glad shes(Jessica) ok and living life.. bet she doesnt want to be famous for the well incident. I'm not much for a high profile myself.

Yeah ill have to look up that movie.. love watching stuff from my childhood, takes me right back. Funny some people say theyd want to go back to age 21 or 18..not me, ill be 13. Summer days riding my bike, in the woods climbing trees and rainy nights building models....food in the fridge and not a care in the world.

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23 hours ago, Twolines said:

Sandhiller, i do believe you're correct. Sad story.

I still think the rock lined hand dug wells are an amzing thing. Such basic engineering and such an important necessity.

All is good with Jessica 

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Back in 1967 I hand dug our well to 32' four foot square with cribbing. Then put a 2' steel well culvert in and back filled it in. Here's the rest of the story ! Not having much money and going to get married that next Fall I decided to dig it my self. Grandpa witched it for me and said it would be about 28' to hit water. Well there was water at that depth but not enough ! So I prayed and told God that I was a BIT MIFFED at digging this much and not getting what I expected ! He listened and I dug another 4' to bed rock and the water came gushing in ! I had to get up the ladder right quick. Water came up to about 4' of the top ! I put a pump in that would pump 12 gallons a minute and it would only pump it down 7' To this day we have never had a water issue ! God has blessed us well ! All around us others have had to drill 240'+ to get good water. 

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