Well Tile Uses
- Dug well: The primary use of concrete well tiles is to make a dug well, instead of an artesian well. Well tiles are stacked on top of each other to build a dug well.
- Yard drainage: Another use of well tiles is to facilitate yard drainage, using a plastic grate that is brought to grade so it blends into the grass, above the buried well tile structure.
- Septic Tank Access: Well Tiles are also used on deeper installations to bring septic tank access to grade, allowing for more room to maneuver.
- Other: Well tiles are used for shallow wells and are adaptable for a variety of other uses.
Concrete Well Tile Sizes
Concrete well tiles are available in 3-ft or 4-ft diameters. 3-ft tiles are tongue and grooved, while 4-ft tiles are not. The tongue and groove style is recommended, as it helps hold the well tiles together better.
Protection and Placement
Since dug wells take water from the highest water table, they are extremely sensitive to those activities that place in the immediate vicinity of the well.
Examples of chemical hazards to a well include the application or inadvertent spillage of fertilizer, pesticides, and inappropriate disposal of old crankcase oil, antifreeze or solvents, or waste salt brine from water softeners. Thus, the use of chemicals in your backyard, or that of your uphill neighbors, may negatively affect the quality of the water table from which your well draws.
Laboratory tests for these chemicals can be costly. The best and least costly approach to protect water quality is prevention of pollution rather than treatment after the fact. Be careful with respect to the use and disposal of chemicals near and upstream of your well.
The following protective distances are required or recommended when locating a well for a private single family home:
- Surface water and drainage culverts should not pass within 25 feet of a well; 50+ feet is recommended.
- Animals should not be penned or tied within a minimum of 100 feet of a dug well.
- Leach fields and septic tanks shall not be located within 75 feet of a well.
- Wells should not be located within 50 feet of the right-of-way line of roads, preferably more
- Wells shall not be placed within 75 feet of adjacent property which you do not control. (See RSA 485A: 30b). If placement is made necessary within 75 feet, a standard release form is required to be signed by the well owner and given to DES, the town health officer and the registry of deeds. Since most zoning codes require a 10 foot setback, this distance is effectively 65 feet.
- A well should not be placed in locations subject to ANY flooding unless the immediate vicinity (25 foot radius) of the well is built up above the maximum flood level.
Choosing a Well Type
Based on the considerations above, such as soil depth, water needs, and existing pollution, a well type can now be chosen. In many cases there is relatively little choice since the choice of well types is largely influenced by the type of soil and the water availability on the property.
Contracting With a Dug Well Contractor
Prior to actual excavation, you will need to provide the contractor with guidance as to what concept will govern the amount of work to be done. Normally, dug wells are installed on a lump sum contract basis. However, this method does not ensure the deepest well unless that issue is specified as part of the agreement. The requirements of the contract are strictly between the homeowner and the well contractor.
- Environmental Fact Sheet, NH Dept. of Environmental Services
- NH Code of Administrative Rules regarding Dug Wells
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