Irrigating with Well Water
Texas has a lot of natural resources, but when it comes to water, this precious resource is becoming scarcer. After surviving last year’s drought and this summer is shaping up to be equally dry we knew we had to have an alternative source in acquiring water to irrigate crops and to water live stock. The garden and pasture last year was just pitiful because of the lack of water. In the anticipation of having another rain shortage this growing season my husband decided to use our well to irrigate the garden.
Our well will only be used to irrigate the garden and foundation plants around the house because of the size of the well. It is a shallow well and has a 24 hour recovery period, which means I can pump all of the water out of the well and it will refill to its full depth by the end of the 24 hour period.
|This is the well we have in our backyard. It is 3 feet round by 24 feet deep. I have never seen it dry, not even in the severe drought we had in summer 2011.|
The water well that we have is a hand dug well that has been on this property since the original home owners. It is approximately 24 feet deep and 3 feet round. At one time this water well provided the previous owners of our farm with drinking water, but when a local water cooperation was established the past owners switched from well water to the local water provider.
|The water spigot at the top that is connected to the pvc is used to prime the water pump. Once the water pump is prime it does not need to be primed again unless the pump was run dried.|
My husband bought a 1 ½ horse power electric water pump. He connected the pump to electricity. He then connected one end of the pump with ½ inch pvc and a filter with a back flow preventer into the well. This went all the way down the well to within 1 foot from the bottom of the well, so that we were less likely to draw up sand from the bottom of the well.
|This is an old electrical water pump, but it works well. It is housed temporaly here on this barrel, but will be move to a more permanent location.|
The other end of the water pump was fitted with a flexible 1 inch hose and then attached to 1 inch pvc. This pvc runs to our garden in a shallow trench. After first water priming the pump we can just turn it on and water whenever necessary. Care has to be taken to not run the well dry because the pump will have to be re-primed and sometimes that can be frustrating. Also if the electric water pump runs dry you might damage the engine of the water pump.
|At this water spigot I have a water hose attatched so that I can water plants near my patio.|
|The rest of the pvc will be burried. This pvc runs from the last water spigot from the previous picture out to my garden.|
|The pvc is leading water from the well into my garden. There is a water spigot inside of my garden that I use to water the garden as well as plants that I have in the greenhouse. This will all be buried so that the pvc will not be visible.|
|The pvc will lead the well water either into my garden or if I open the red switch it will allow the water to continue out into the pasture for irrigation.|
I have been enjoying using my water from the well. The garden is just flourishing! I have been watering more than I would normally would because of the access to this “free” water. Previously in a drought I would just water enough with the co-op water to keep the plants alive, but now with access to this extra water I can water freely. My water bill is not high as it has been in the past since I am not using the co-op water. As for my electric bill, I have not noticed a difference in increased usage of the added use of using the electric water pump.
|Here is the water spigot in my garden that I attach a water hose to so that I can water my fruits and vegetables.|