Drilling & Where water is located in North Idaho
I have a lot of folks ask me how deep wells
are in the area where a house is at that theyre looking
at, and I want to tell you how water works here, because
it is really a lot different than a lot of other places
I moved here from Michigan, where you have
what are called water tables, meaning that if
the neighbor has a well thats 80 feet deep, youll
probably get water at that depth, too. I think thats
the primary reason folks ask me (all the time) how
deep are the wells in the areas?
Here, there are no tables, at all. There is
either in the aquifer or not in the aquifer,
meaning that the property is elevated, on the side or flanks
of a mountain.
There is a gigantic aquifer here called the
Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, and it starts slightly
north of Spirit Lake, runs in a line to the east just north
of Bayview. This aquifer has tremendous water, and for here,
its pretty shallow, typically drilling 75 feet to
250 feet before youre in water. The majority of the
valley floors here will be like that, for the most part,
you wont have to go down a long ways to get water,
if youre in the valley floor.
Now, if youre not in the aquifer, and
youre on the side of a mountain, even if youre
only up a little bit, 20 feet or 50 feet, the water in the
mountains all flow in fissures, or cracks in the rocks.
This water flowing in the cracks can be very substantial
water, my own well produces 28 gallons per minute, and Im
at least a thousand feet above the valley floor.
But this water isnt throughout the side
of the mountain, again, its flowing in underground
rivers and creeks and springs, basically.
you buy a parcel of land; how do you find the water?
With a Well Witcher. Thats someone (a
person) who is GOOD at pointing out water using a stick
of wood, or a piece of metal. People have been doing this
forever, dates back to the Pyramids, and it does work. I
have a guy that I would call a Professional Witcher, older
Fella, moved here from Oklahoma, hes excellent at
finding water, is inexpensive, and most importantly, it
Sometimes here, youll find a house that
has a well that produces a lower amount, maybe 1 or 3 GPM,
and right next to it (300 feet away) is a house that has
a well that produces 40 GPM. The difference is that the
one with the bigger well production either got lucky (by
hitting a fissure) or more probably used a witcher when
they drilled the well.
The worst thing you can do here is to build
the house, and then drill the well. If you buy land &
you need water from a well, drill the well FIRST, not because
you wont get water (every drilled hole here gets water,
just depends how deep & how much), but if you drill
the well first, youre guaranteed, pretty much, large
amounts of clear, clean delicious water, and you build your
home around that. Water is your most precious resource.
A deep well here is anything over 500 feet,
a shallow well is anything under 250 feet, wells probably
average between 300 & 400 feet deep, and will cost $18-20
a foot to drill, plus the pipe, cable, pump, and installation
of pressure tank to make it work. By the time youre
done, plan on a low of $5-7,000 & an upper end of approximately
$10-15,000, unless you get really unlucky & have a really
deep well, I have seen people pay upwards of $25,000 for
a really deep well.
When were in the field, looking at homes,
land etc, for the most part, Ill be able to tell you
if theres a lot of water in the area or not, lucky
that Im able to fairly well sense it, and see/notice
the fauna that tells us water is nearby that points us to
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