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4 Advice to Choose a Water Well UPVC Filter Pipe

The Pros and Cons of PVC for Water Well Installations

Drillers have installed wells using PVC materials for decades. Companies make PVC casing and fittings, and even PVC screen &#; the components of the whole well system. However, advancements over time have meant that PVC in the field today outperforms the materials contractors had access to when HDPE gained widespread use in the s.

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Broadly, the &#;recipes&#; companies use to make polyvinyl chloride, better known as PVC, have gone through subtle changes. Contractors may not know from just looking at the finished product, but today&#;s PVCs tend to have more corrosion resistance and durability than earlier generations. That makes it a cost-effective option for well installations, even in harsh environments.

Modern PVC pipe can also provide more flexibility. &#;Flexible&#; PVC is a type of PVC designed to install in wells located in difficult-to-access areas. Flexible PVC is also more resistant to breakage, which can help to prevent leaks in such wells.

Finally, there have been advancements in the methods used to join PVC pipe. Traditional methods of joining PVC pipe, such as solvent cementing, can prove time-consuming for contractors and difficult correctly execute. Newer methods of joining PVC pipe, such as mechanical joining, are faster and easier to do. Mechanical joining also provides a stronger and more reliable joint than traditional methods.

The advantages of using PVC materials in water well construction include:

  • Strength and durability: PVC pipe can withstand the harsh conditions found in many wells. It resists corrosion over time.
  • Environmental friendliness: PVC pipe does not contain any harmful chemicals that can leach into groundwater. PVC materials can also be recycled at the end of their life.
  • Ease of installation: PVC pipe is relatively easy to install, which can save time and money on the well construction project.
  • Cost-effectiveness: PVC materials are a cost-effective choice for water well contractors versus other materials.
  • Long life: PVC materials offer a long life, and they can help to ensure a long and trouble-free life for your well.

Of course, every material can have trade-offs. PVC is no different and contractors should consider these factors in sourcing decisions. PVC is:

  • Strong, but not as strong as steel: PVC may not be a good option for applications with very high water pressure or the potential for a lot of ground movement.
  • Not as chemical resistant: PVC is susceptible to damage from chlorine and ammonia. The former can make PVC brittle and the latter can cause it to swell or deform.
  • Not as easy to repair: A leak in a PVC well may prove more difficult or expensive to repair versus other materials.

PVC pipe, casing and fittings have proven popular for contractors (and their customers) for many years. Their popularity only grows as companies develop advances in their products. Drillers have materials options when it comes to well installation. PVC has improved over time and contractors should give it another look if they haven&#;t in a while. It could be just the thing you need to offer your customers a trouble-free water well that lasts a lifetime.

Well System Components Casing

Casing is the tubular structure that is placed in the drilled well to maintain the well opening. Along with grout, the casing keeps possibly contaminated surficial water from reaching the aquifer zone underground and prevents contaminants from mixing with the water. The casing also holds back unstable earth materials so that they do not collapse into the well. Some states or local governing agencies have laws that require minimum lengths for casing.

The most common materials for well casing are carbon steel, plastic (most commonly, but not exclusively, PVC), and stainless steel. Different geologic formations and groundwater quality dictate what type of casing can be used. For example, parts of the country where hard rock lies underground are known strictly as &#;steel states.&#;

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Residents in some areas have a choice between steel and PVC, both of which have advantages. PVC is lightweight, resistant to corrosion, and relatively easy for contractors to install. However, it is not as strong and not as resistant to heat as steel. Steel, though, is susceptible to corrosion, can have scale build-up, and can cost more than PVC.

Some contractors also use concrete, fiberglass, and asbestos cement casing.

Well Caps

On the top of the casing should be an approved well cap. It should fit snugly so debris, insects, or small animals can&#;t find their way into the well system.

Well caps are usually aluminum or a thermoplastic, and include a vented screen so that the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the well casing may be equalized when water is pumped from the well.

The casing and cap should extend at least 12 inches above the ground. If the well is near a river or stream, it should extend at least past the flood level to prevent overflows from contaminating the groundwater.

For information on well caps, click here.

Well Screens

Well screens are filtering devices used to prevent excess sediment from entering the well. They attach to the bottom of the casing or in intercepted water-bearing zones, allowing water to move through the well, while keeping out most gravel and sand. The most popular screens are continuous slot, slotted pipe, and perforated pipe.

Perforated pipe is a length of casing that has holes or slots drilled into the pipe, often after the casing is installed, perforated in place. It is not efficient for aquifers that feature a lot of sand and gravel because it has wide openings.

Continuous slot screens are made of wire or plastic wrapped around a series of vertical rods. This configuration provides consistent, regular slot openings that can be engineered to the particle sizes found in the screened zone. Slotted pipe screens, which have the least amount of open area, feature machine-cut slots into steel or plastic casing at set distances. Both of these are typically installed with a filter pack (gravel pack) that assists in screening and stability of the well.

Pitless Adapters

Pitless adapters provide wells with a sanitary &#; and frost-proof &#; seal between the well casing and the water line running to the well system owner&#;s house.

After a frost line is determined for the area where the well is being installed, the adapter is connected to the well casing below the frost line. Water from the well is then diverted horizontally at the adapter to prevent it from freezing.

For more information on materials used in a water well system, contact a professional contractor in your area.

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