Self-sufficiency is not a new concept, although at times of international crises it certainly gets a lot more attention. The beauty of living off the grid is the fact you don’t need to be dependent on any institution to create power, drinking water, or even purchase food. However, it can take time to create the perfect self-contained house. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a freshwater stream or spring on your land, the easiest way for you to get the water you need will be to build a well.

How To Install Your Own Off The Grid Well

The good news is that well building is much easier than it used to be. In times gone by the only way to create a well would be to dig a hole in the ground with a shovel. Considering a well could be tens of feet deep this was a laborious process, not one that most people would enjoy the prospect of. The modern well is usually drilled, using a rig that is similar to an oil drilling rig but on a much smaller scale. You’ll need to use quality drills with the rig, check out what CFA augers have to offer.

The Well

In essence, a well is simply a hole in the ground. Today’s wells can be a small hoe as the ground is drilled by a machine. Old wells were bigger simply because they needed to be dug out by hand. In other words, people needed to be down the hole digging it. Once the hole is dug a pipe is put in the ground. There are usually two pipes, one is the diameter of the hole, helping to ensure the hole stays open. The other is smaller in diameter and will be attached to an above-ground pump, allowing the water to be pumped up from below the ground and into your personal water treatment system.



The drill for creating a well is attached to the end of a pipe. The pipe follows the drill as you create the hole. Water is pumped through the pipe to flush the dirt and sand dislodged by the drill bit, forcing it to rise to the surface and keeping the hole clear. It is worth noting that the cost of installing a well is not cheap, although you don’t generally need a permit and you can still dig it by hand if you prefer.

How To Install Your Own Off The Grid Well - pump

The Process

Choose the spot for your well. This can be almost anywhere. However, it should be at least 50ft from a septic tank or any field lines. The water will be anything between 20-50ft below the surface, in the sandy layer. There are actually several sandy layers in the soil, the water you get from each one will vary in mineral content. Deeper water is usually better.

You’ll need to drill, or if you prefer, dig, until you reach the water. You can also drive a well hole. This involves pounding a metal point into the ground. After the first section has been pounded in you will need to add metal tubular sections. But, t pound it into the ground requires you to have soft soil. Drilling is essential if you have hard soil or rock. Don’t forget, once you reach the water you’ll need to attach a pump at the surface to bring it up and you’ll have to test it before using it.