Pump up the volume

I have been mentally building a well pump house extension for some months now. Unfortunately, this hasn’t caused the project to actually happen… until now. The water from our well is undrinkable (see previous post). We’d ideally like to be able to drink it, and also not have its ridiculously high manganese content stain stuff. Removal of E. coli is on our “nice to have” list, too.

I spoke to a water filtration company last year and paid a deposit to get the system I wanted. It’s a Strong Acidic Cation setup, which should remove water hardness and manganese. They’re going to supply a UV filter too, so bye-bye E. coli.

One of the complications of filtration for our well is that anything capable of removing all of the crud from the water also needs to be able to clean itself out frequently, so the filtration medium doesn’t just get clogged-up. This is called “backwash”, and involves sending a lot of water back the other way through the filter (at speed) to eject the bad stuff.

As also previously mentioned, our well is not… err… well-endowed on the water yield front. So the backwash setup needs a holding tank and a booster pump to do the job. Which require more space than the current tiny pump house can provide. Hence the grand extension plan.

One other thing to note is that the backwash has to go somewhere. As luck would have it, there’s a plastic drainage pipe below the planned extension, so I used a hole saw to drill into it. The backwash can then go into that and wend its merry way down to a convenient ditch.

The existing pump house is (imperial measurements ahoy…) 8ft x 5ft (so about 2.4m x 1.5m). I can’t remember how tall it is, except to say that the existing pressure tank has the corrugated iron ‘roof’ resting on it, so it’s not tall. Maybe 3ft (under a metre)?

The planned extension makes the pump house wider than it is long (green shading is new part):

We dug out the foundations a while ago, and today was promised to be a dry one for pouring the foundations.

Well pump house site
Brand new cement mixer, foundations and existing pump house with fetching roof

A mere four hours and a *lot* of concrete later, the foundations are done:

Foundations complete
Foundations complete

I mixed the concrete 1 (cement) : 3 (sand) : 5 (aggregate). I don’t really know what I’m doing, but a builder told me to use that mix so I did.

The foundations need to set for a few days before the block work can be started.


Visible stuff left-to-right: 1 tonne bag of sand, 176 4″ blocks, 1 tonne bag of gravel, some other chip and dust bag left over from the spare room floor work. Will probably end up in the pump house extension flooring.