In times of rising prices, everyone is happy when there is potential for savings in everyday life. Life, explicitly housing, is becoming more and more expensive and a look at the utility bills makes some residents almost despair. Above all, the precious water is needed in all households around the clock. If garden and pool irrigation also join the cost cycle in summer, then the water can literally be almost up to your neck. With a garden fountain you can reduce your water bill a little.
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In the rainy season, you can catch and collect the vital water in cisterns or rain barrels, but unfortunately nobody has any influence on the weather gods. During prolonged periods of heat, the collected rainwater is quickly used up again or evaporates due to the increased solar radiation. If you then have to resort to tap water, you can use the rapidly rotating water clock to imagine what costs you will have to face in the near future. Many house and garden owners see self-produced water as a way to escape spiraling costs and therefore rely on a garden fountain in the home ambience.
Various possibilities of using the well
Before you start constructing a well, everyone should be aware that the self-produced water is suitable for drinking only in exceptional cases. In addition, there are countless other possibilities for use. In hot summer periods, the garden plants and the lawn can benefit from the cool water. If a feed pump is also installed, a shower or independently acting lawn sprinkler systems can also be connected. Anyone who owns a pool knows exactly how expensive it can be to fill it with water. Well water, on the other hand, costs absolutely nothing and is always available. However, it should be noted that in some regions the well water has increased iron components which, in combination with the necessary chlorine, give the pool water a brown colour.
On the way to the new project
Before you can really get started with the construction of the garden fountain, a few important details should be considered. On the one hand, it makes little sense to start drilling like crazy anywhere in the garden, on the other hand, this is also prohibited without a special permit. The most important steps are therefore as follows:
- Obtain water law approval from the responsible authority,
- ask the local water supplier for the necessary drilling depth,
- alternatively: Inquiry in the neighborhood about already existing wells,
- Make sure there are no gas or electrical lines in the preferred drilling area,
- The property must be free of old deposits or pollutants,
- buy or rent the required accessories and special tools in a specialist store,
- consult a specialist company for larger bores.
Ramming well – no success without sweat
A well is not just a well. There are very different types of well production, which are based on the soil conditions, the cost-benefit ratio and the existing permits. The most cost-effective option is to build a so-called ramming well. As the name suggests, the ramming force is used and a sharpened pipe is driven deep into the ground using an electric or hydraulic ram. There are small holes at the tip of the pipe that allow the pumped water to get inside the pipe. The accessories and tools required for this work can be purchased relatively cheaply, so that even non-professionals can try their hand at well construction.
- Drive the galvanized steel pipe into the ground with a sledgehammer or a suitable ram up to the groundwater level
- Extend 1 meter long tubes with coupling nuts
- Water gets inside the pipe through holes and filters in the ram head,
- filtering is done
- Water comes up via a submersible pump
- Install the tap at the outlet of the ram filter
However, the ramming well is underperforming and has a number of limitations. For example, loose soil is required to create a rammed well and a maximum depth of only 7 meters is reached. It also often happens that the integrated filter becomes clogged due to various types of dirt, lime or iron in the water and the rammed well has to stop working after 5 to 7 years. Then the drilling and ramming starts all over again somewhere else in the garden.
Shaft well – the expensive alternative
The most complex and at the same time most expensive type of well construction is a dug well. The heavy equipment required for construction alone devours enormous sums of money. Heavy concrete rings with a diameter of one meter are stacked one on top of the other and dug into the ground. In this way, the shaft sinks very slowly down to a depth of about 10 meters. This type of well construction only makes sense where water can be found close to the ground surface. The advantage of this well is the long water supply time, the disadvantage is the immensely high costs.
Drilled wells – the most common solution for amateurs and professionals
A drilled well is the most common solution in private well construction today. Its positive properties are reflected in a high yield, regeneration and a long shelf life. You can have the drilling carried out by a specialist company or do it yourself. You can buy or rent the motorized drilling equipment required for this in specialist shops. If you want to work by sweating your face, you can also use a so-called hand auger with an extension, which has a kind of snail spiral and which you twist into the ground with great effort.
The most important utensils and tools for an artesian well are:
- a well or auger with at least 5 spirals,
- tripod with a deflection pulley and, at best, an electric winch,
- Select pump,
- filter tube and solid wall tube,
- square tube and rods,
- suction hose and hose clamp,
- stable synthetic fiber rope,
- supports and weights to weigh down,
- handle pump or motor pump.
Procedure for drilling a well
At the selected point, the drilling tool is slowly turned into the ground. In order to lift the earth out, the worm gear of the auger is pulled out again and again between the holes. Drilling continues until the groundwater layer is reached. For this purpose, the auger can be lengthened meter by meter using an extension rod by removing the T-piece, attaching the extension rod and fixing the T-piece again.
Wells can be drilled to a depth of 20 meters for private use, but depths of up to 100 meters can be reached with a drilled well. If no further depth is reached, then the drill pipe is pulled out and the filter pipe is placed in the existing borehole. With this procedure, solid wall pipe and filter pipe are screwed together until about 1 meter of pipe protrudes from the ground.
It is important to ensure that the filter pipe is made of PVC and is free of so-called plasticizers, as these pollutants would otherwise pass into the groundwater pumped. As a next step, the tripod is set up and the pipe weighed down a little with weights and supports. To enable the gravel pump to work properly later, you should fill the pipe with water.
lowering the pump
When all drilling work is done, the pump is lowered very slowly into the existing water-filled pipe and carefully lowers it to the ground. Jerky pulling ensures that water, sand and gravel can collect in the pump. Only after several pulls is the pump brought up again and carefully emptied. This procedure allows the pipe to slide down bit by bit. The principle applies here: the heavier the weight when you weigh it down, the faster the pipe can slide downwards. This step is repeated until the integrated filter is approx. 3 meters in the groundwater. Only when the final depth has been reached does the backfilling begin. To do this, the space created around the pipe is filled with filter gravel, which filters the water flowing through.
Clear pumping and commissioning
The garden fountain is now almost finished and the final step begins with the clear pumping. Pumping clear is a step-by-step process. The well is initially operated with a deep well pump over a period of 3 hours with only half of the power used later. In this gentle way, existing finer sand is collected and pumped out. The garden fountain is only ready for use when the water appears completely clear.
Attractive eye-catcher from the outside
In order for the created garden fountain to be recognized as such, it should of course also have an attractive appearance. The useful effect can be underlined by using a handle pump, but a decorative design of the fountain system can contribute significantly to the beauty of the garden and please the eye of the beholder. There are no limits to creativity and imagination and it is therefore possible, for example, to integrate smaller collecting basins into the overall ensemble, which can consist of a natural stone trough or even a hollowed-out tree trunk.
If you are a talented craftsman, you can create a work of art out of wood or cement, which visually sets the garden fountain in scene. Wall fragments or clinker bricks, which are connected with a mortar mixture, can be used as elements of the well edging. Wood, a popular natural product, also visually enhances a garden fountain. Horizontally attached slats create a wooden paneling to which decorative elements can be attached. In order to save yourself the tedious task of sawing to size, you can also use the complete kits available in stores for this variant.
A garden fountain has many advantages. There is no need to use expensive tap water to water the plants or sprinkle the lawn. A circumstance that has a positive effect on the water bill and also benefits the environment. However, despite all the euphoria, one should take into account that such a well construction is a relatively complex project that requires precise planning and project planning. Before you can even get started, you have to obtain a wide variety of permits, for which very different authorities or municipalities are responsible depending on the federal state. If you are unsure during execution, you should not be afraid to consult a specialist, as incorrect well construction can result in additional costs.