Drill a Well and Hardwood Floor Scratches

Mobile Well Drilling Rig
This is a typical mobile well-drilling rig. The giant tower folds down parallel with the ground as it travels on roadways. (C) Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

Drill a Well

QUESTION #1: Tim the Builder, I’ve got a question for you. I live in a big city and am tired of the chlorinated and polluted water that flows through the city water mains. Is it possible to have my own well water as people out in the country have? How does water get into wells and what are the downsides to having your own well, if there are any? Connie M., City Anytown USA

I

grew up in a big city in Ohio whose primary water supply was the Ohio

River. Any number of chemical factories and giant sewage treatment

plants were upstream from my city. The outflow from the sewage treatment

plants is disgorged daily into the Ohio River and flowed towards the

water plant intake pipes of my hometown.

Growing

up I had no idea about all of this and grew accustomed to the taste and

smell of the chlorine in the water. I do have a memory of a raging

debate many years ago when it was announced that fluoride would be added

to the city water supply.

Ten years ago, I moved from that city to a rural part of New Hampshire where I have my own water well. Each house for miles around me has their own private water well. We have natural springs in several towns near me with water spouts and filling platforms. People bring giant ten-gallon containers and fill them with this natural pure water. When I got back to my old city to visit friends, I take my own water with me to drink because the chlorinated water coming from the faucets is now revolting to me.

The

simple answer to Connie’s question, and you may have wondered if you

can have your own well, is yes. Yes, you probably can drill your own

well on your property. You, of course, would have to contact your local

building department to see if there are any regulations that must be

followed. Some states and cities may still charge you for the water

that’s pulled from your land, but that’s a debate for another day.

Water

is under the surface of the ground in almost all locations on the

planet Earth. My college degree is in geology and I had a focus on

hydrogeology – the study of groundwater. The bedrock that’s under the

soil cover almost always has cracks and seams in it. Gravity pulls

rainwater into this network of interconnected cracks.

It’s

important to realize that some locations and valleys are filled with

hundreds of feet of sandy gravel. These underground deposits are like

giant underground lakes filled with delicious pure water, so pure that

bottled water companies locate their plants above these gravel deposits

and suck the water out of the ground and put it into bottles that you

pay a hefty price for. A water-bottling plant is located just fifteen

miles from my current house and it extracts tens of thousands of gallons

of water from the bedrock each day.

The

issue is it’s not all unicorns and rainbows when it comes to drilled

wells in a densely populated area like where you or Connie may live.

Industrial pollution from years before could have introduced toxic

chemicals that still linger in the groundwater.

Nearby

property owners may routinely treat their lawns with toxic weedkillers

and unnatural chemicals to have the perfect green lawn. Common sense

dictates that these chemicals may leach down into the groundwater. If

this happens, your well water could be dangerous to drink.

Drilling a water well can also be expensive. Well drillers commonly

charge by the foot and they need to drill down far enough until the well

produces a minimum of three to five gallons of water per minute is

achieved. Ten or fifteen gallons is preferred. If you’re lucky like my

daughter, you’ll get 80 gallons per minute.

The trouble is that in many locations well drilling is mostly chance. I’m reminded of the scenes in the famous 1948 Cary Grant movie Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Home where the honest well driller couldn’t get enough water flow after drilling many, many feet into the bedrock. He then moved his rig just a few feet away and hit a massive amount of water in no time at all. If you’re lucky and strike a plentiful supply of naturally pure water on your land, you’ll marvel at the taste of the clear elixir!

Hardwood Floor Scratches

QUESTION #2: Tim, I’m in a bind. I won’t name names to protect the guilty, but my gorgeous hardwood floor got scratched. Some of the scratches are just in the clear finish but are visible. Other scratches are deep and extend into the hardwood. I can’t fathom removing all the furniture to have the floors refinished. Can these scratches be repaired and if so, how? Allen W., Wichita, KS

I’ve

got good news for you if you share the same exact problem as Allen.

Scratches in hardwood floors can be repaired. You don’t have to refinish

the floors to restore them to their former luster and shine.

There

are numerous DIY methods for disguising shallow scratches that are in

the clear coat finish. The method I’ve had the most success with is shoe

polish of all things! You can get the paste shoe polish in different

colors. One of the colors may be a perfect match or you may have to

blend colors to get the exact color you need.

I use a cotton swab and just try to put a tiny spot of the polish on the scratch. Always start with a color that’s lighter than your current floor color. It’s easy to go darker, but tough to reverse the process. Once you get the perfect match, then allow the polish to dry and use other cotton swabs to apply a protective coat of clear urethane over the shoe polish. Be sure to match the same sheen as you currently have on your floor.

Deep scratches require the services of a professional. In almost all cities and large towns, you can discover true artisans that do furniture repair. The top furniture sellers in a city or town use these people all the time. The craftsmen have a magic box they bring to your home with a tiny alcohol lamp, hard lacquers, and other colored materials. They can fill the deep scratches in your hardwood floor, create matching grain and puff onto the floor an aerosol mist such that you’ll never know the floor was ever scratched.

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The post Drill a Well and Hardwood Floor Scratches appeared first on Ask the Builder.

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