HELP NEEDED! 100 YEAR OLD WATER WELL MYSTERY

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Alysia, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Alysia

    Alysia New Member

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    We purchased some land 18 months ago and have been in the process of building the house and establishing the market gardens since then. The property has a spring fed gully running through the middle of it so we have a lot of natural water flow which is great HOWEVER around 12 months ago whilst we were cleaning up some debris from around the edge of the gully we spotted some thick black poly tube protruding out of the ground. It was buried under ground on both sides so we made the decision to cut it and hook a fireman pump up to it to see what happened. it ran for around 5 minutes with some dirty murky water coming out and then all of a sudden the pressure was incredible and we had crystal clear water coming out.

    Since that discovery we have hooked our entire irrigation system up to it to drive water to the back of the property and onto our market garden. We run it every day and we have never run out of water. We have had the water tested and it is perfectly OK just a little hard.

    The mystery that we have is that we have NO idea where the well actually is and how to find it. We have spoken to a few of the neighbours who have been around for a long time and apparently the well was put in around 1910 and is a WOODEN SLAB WELL. I actually have no idea what that is but the guy was adamant that thats what it is. He said that back in the day the entire township used that well for water when there were droughts and that it has never run out of water in 100 years. The gully needs some work as it has started eroding along the sides due to the huge amount of bullrush reeds that are in there now and so we would like to try and do some earthworks to rectify and prevent further erosion however we really need to find the well first so that we can have it checked out. repaired if needed and then protected if we do earthworks.

    Does anyone on here know anything about WOODEN SLAD WELLS and their design? we have tried following the pipe back into the gully but it goes quite deep under ground and the reeds are very thick. Also if you have any idea on how we can deal with these bull rush reeds that would also be appreciated as they are blocking the natural flow of water and causing the erosion.

    any help is appreciated! i have attached some pics below. on the aerial the red line is our boundary and the blue circle where we believe the well is. on the street views you can see that the reeds were not an issue 8 years ago but the area that they begin to form from are where the well sits. The man who knew about the well said that it had not been used on over 50 years prior to us purchasing the land.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    plastic poly pipe means it has been touched recently by someone...

    and from your first diagram it looks like it was used as a source
    for the downhill dam.

    i'm not sure what the groundwater rules/laws are for your location
    or why it would have been plugged up, but usually there is a good
    reason for keeping groundwater in place if you don't need it for
    something else.

    it seems strange to me that there is nothing on your purchase
    records about the well or this history or any other information. the
    previous landowner didn't say anything? perhaps there are other
    records at the place where land stuff is kept? (i'm not sure where
    that is in AU).

    so, IMO you have research ahead of you to figure out what is up
    and what you can and can't do. perhaps you will need to have
    a groundwater level monitor of some sort put in so you are sure
    that you are not draining it beyond the recharge rate.
     
  3. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Alysia,
    A hundred year old well is most certainly hand dug. The term "wooden slab well" may refer to a well of this type:
    [​IMG]

    I would be very careful moving about in the area of the well. As you don't have deep freezing temperatures in the winter, I think your polypipe is placed quite shallow, so I would take the time and effort to follow the polypipe to it's source (probably using a shovel) and actually find the well itself. Please ensure that all involved take care to not fall in the well through whatever cover might be installed over it. You might also try the QLD groundwater database to see if your well is on record: https://data.qld.gov.au/dataset/groundwater-database-queensland
    Let us know what you find out.
     
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