I have a lot of folks ask me how deep wells are in the area
where a house is at that theyre looking at, and I want
to tell you how water works here, because it is really a lot
different than a lot of other places in America.
I moved here from Michigan, where you have what are called
water tables, meaning that if the neighbor has
a well thats 80 feet deep, youll probably get
water at that depth, too. I think thats the primary
reason folks ask me (all the time) how deep are the
wells in the areas?
Here, there are no tables, at all. There is either in
the aquifer or not in the aquifer, meaning
that the property is elevated, on the side or flanks of
There is a gigantic aquifer here called the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum
Prairie Aquifer, and it starts slightly north of Spirit
Lake, runs in a line to the east just north of Bayview.
This aquifer has tremendous water, and for here, its
pretty shallow, typically drilling 75 feet to 250 feet before
youre in water. The majority of the valley floors
here will be like that, for the most part, you wont
have to go down a long ways to get water, if youre
in the valley floor.
Now, if youre not in the aquifer, and youre
on the side of a mountain, even if youre only up a
little bit, 20 feet or 50 feet, the water in the mountains
all flow in fissures, or cracks in the rocks. This water
flowing in the cracks can be very substantial water, my
own well produces 28 gallons per minute, and Im at
least a thousand feet above the valley floor.
But this water isnt throughout the side of the mountain,
again, its flowing in underground rivers and creeks
and springs, basically.
So; you buy a parcel of land; how do you find the water?
With a Well Witcher. Thats someone (a person) who
is GOOD at pointing out water using a stick of wood, or
a piece of metal. People have been doing this forever, dates
back to the Pyramids, and it does work. I have a
guy that I would call a Professional Witcher, older Fella,
moved here from Oklahoma, hes excellent at finding
water, is inexpensive, and most importantly, it works.
Sometimes here, youll find a house that has a well
that produces a lower amount, maybe 1 or 3 GPM, and right
next to it (300 feet away) is a house that has a well that
produces 40 GPM. The difference is that the one with the
bigger well production either got lucky (by hitting a fissure)
or more probably used a witcher when they drilled the well.
The worst thing you can do here is to build the house, and
then drill the well. If you buy land & you need water
from a well, drill the well FIRST, not because you wont
get water (every drilled hole here gets water, just depends
how deep & how much), but if you drill the well first,
youre guaranteed, pretty much, large amounts of clear,
clean delicious water, and you build your home around that.
Water is your most precious resource.
A deep well here is anything over 500 feet, a shallow well
is anything under 250 feet, wells probably average between
300 & 400 feet deep, and will cost $18-20 a foot to
drill, plus the pipe, cable, pump, and installation of pressure
tank to make it work. By the time youre done, plan
on a low of $5-7,000 & an upper end of approximately
$10-15,000, unless you get really unlucky & have a really
deep well, I have seen people pay upwards of $25,000 for
a really deep well.
When were in the field, looking at homes, land etc,
for the most part, Ill be able to tell you if theres
a lot of water in the area or not, lucky that Im able
to fairly well sense it, and see/notice the fauna that tells
us water is nearby that points us to it.
Hope it helps-