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MikeB

Drinking water

On our plot in Caithness some areas are quite boggy and we can find water at 600m down, we would rather not be connected to the mains but wonder what is the best route to extract what we need for drinking water safely without contamination

We had considered say a 10foot diameter pit filled with two grades of sand to allow percolation of the ground water, a cylinder in the centre to extract the filleted water with a pressurised mains operated pump and run through a UV filter,

Any ideaís greatly appreciated

Mike & Family
RichardW

Would a straight forward bore hole be cheaper? You plan sounds like a lot of work.

Justme

PS I would not want to drink surface water.
Behemoth

I would go for borehole over surface water if you can. Obviously that will depend on the quality, quantity and flow of the water.

For surface water not only do you need a small trreatment facility, straight forward enough but you need to manage your catchment area to prevent contamination by stock. Cryptsporidium will not be destroyed by small package plants.
Behemoth

Also - check out the local supply, where it's from and what they do. If it's a borehole with a small package plant you'll just be replicating what they do and can compare set up and operating costs with ongoing bills.

The reliability of the borehole is also an issue. Will it fail and what would you do if it does.
gil

Did you mean '600m' down, MikeB ? For a borehole source, presumably.

I've only had a spring-fed off-grid water source, which has been fine (at two cottages where I've stayed).
Not hard to exclude livestock from catchment area (fence), nor does it have to enclose that large an area to satisfy Scottish Water's requirements (as I recall).

Treatment plant was a series of two relatively shallow tanks with two grades of gravel/sand as a filter, and a holding tank. Replace gravel/sand and give the whole thing a good cleanout every five years or so. This was before the requirement for UV treatment.

Although the supply was condemned by Scottish Water at one point because of e.coli (when there was no fence round the collection area at all). They reckoned we were all immune (farm and cottages), and just to boil for infants, elderly and chronically ill.
MikeB

By 600mm down I mean you hit the water table 600mm under the surface of the ground, if we sink a bore hole will this not just fill up with the surface water?
Treacodactyl

MikeB wrote:
By 600mm down I mean you hit the water table 600mm under the surface of the ground, if we sink a bore hole will this not just fill up with the surface water?


I assume the top would be lined and you drill into the ground water rather than use the surface water. This site seems very useful:

http://www.groundwateruk.org/html/depth.htm , this PDF should help: http://www.groundwateruk.org/archive/what_is_groundwater.pdf
Behemoth

When you say surface water do you mean overland surface flows/drainage or rising springs?

A shallow water table is prone to surface water contamination even if the well head is protected, particulalry during heavy rain.

I think your topography will play a very important part in the final decision.

Speak to the local body similar to env health in England, they'll have experience of what others have done locally.
MikeB

thanks for all the info
dougal

Re: Drinking water

MikeB wrote:
On our plot in Caithness some areas are quite boggy and we can find water at 600m down, we would rather not be connected to the mains but wonder what is the best route to extract what we need for drinking water safely without contamination

Those above have answered the specific question posed.

However, I'd suggest that you consider re-examining the question!
Relatively little of the water you use is for drinking.
And therefore relatively little needs to be drinking quality.

If you are treating the stuff yourself, you'll quickly recognise the squandering of super-cleaned water to flush the loo!

Since you are planning the house at this point, you might consider installing a form of "grey water plumbing" - so that untreated (or lightly treated) water is available for loo flushing, etc.
And only supply full drinking quality treated water to specific taps.

If there were a mains supply currently available, (its not clear from the question), in your region, could one put a meter on it (and pay only for what was drawn off) so as to retain it as an emergency supply? (This would greatly reduce your water storage requirements - potentially to almost zero.)
Shane

Erm...I don't know much about borehole water extraction, but isn't 600m rather a long way to be drilling for water? You'd need a 60 bar pump just to get the stuff out, for a start.

Mind you, the drilling bit will be fun (if a little expensive).
sean

I'm pretty sure it's a typo.
boisdevie1

Why not have two tanks in the ground and capture rainfall. Use on system for non drinking water (i.e. more capacity to run the washer, flush the loo etc) and a smaller system just to provide drinking/cooking water. As Dougal says you don't need to have ultra high quality treated water just to flush the loo.
MikeB

Very true (pure water for flushing), we did drop a couple of IBCís on the end of a static caravan to collect rainwater from the roof, this was in the first week of June and by the 28th they were both overflowing, thatís 1000l in each, so I do not think we are short of a drop or two.

It was a typo, sorry. But I did see a farmer last year re-lining his borehole in mid Shropshire and he was going down 800feet, not quite 600m but one hell of a long way down
James

come in a little late on the discussion, but....

So whats the depth that you've got groundwater? 600ft? (200m?) How do you know this? I'd be carefull assuming you have water, unless you have proof. Groundwater's a funny old thing. It can pop up a feet below surface or you can be drilling through a lot of dry rock with no luck.

MikeB wrote:
We had considered say a 10foot diameter pit filled with two grades of sand to allow percolation of the ground water, a cylinder in the centre to extract the filleted water with a pressurised mains operated pump and run through a UV filter,


sounds good to me. But before you do so, dig a hole, let it fill with water, get a water sample and have it analysed to make sure you've got no show-stoppers (like high nitrate)

I like the security of a groundwater supply more though. Its a lotta cash. Last year I had two 60m deep abstraction holes drilled. We got them cheap at £15k (we were having lots of other work down as well). So if you want a borehole, start saving up.
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