How close to my well??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Firemenlovechicks, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. OK, So I read somewhere that you shouldn't dump your litter within 50 feet or so of your well for fear of runoff causing contamination. Don't remember WHERE I read it, but I DO remember reading it somewhere!

    My question is: How close can my coop and run be to my well? We have an ideal building behind our house that could be easily converted into a coop, but by the time I build adequate runs I will be within 20 feet or so of my well. The building is an old smokehouse that's roughly 95 years old. I would need to replace the boards on the outside, and do a few modifications to the inside, but it's an ideal place to keep my chickens if it won't contaminate my well. We are looking at temp housing for 30 meaties, and permanent housing for approximately 20 hens.

    What would YOU do? I have 5 acres of land so I CAN build from scratch and put the chickens elsewhere, but not if I don't have to.

    Love the forum!


  2. LizFM

    LizFM Songster

    Dec 15, 2009
    DH who grew up on a farm and used to work for our state Dept of Agriculture says to talk to your state/local department that deals with water quality. Perhaps your local county agent might have guidelines or know which specific department to ask.

    For instance, in Arizona, this would be the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

    There is probably a water quality law that would regulate it wouldn't just be your personal preference for risk.

    Edited to add:

    I saw you're in TN...start here:

    even better:
    Where it says:
    (Animal pens and feedlots...100 feet)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  3. Thanks for the information!!! NOT WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR!, But I guess I needed to know so I don't contaminate my well....... I really appreciate the link! Now I have to back up and rething my plans.... hhhmmmmmmmmm. O well.
  4. thedreamers

    thedreamers In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008
    Hastings, Florida
    every where is different but farther away the better. dont take a chance on it.

  5. mandieg4

    mandieg4 Chirping

    Dec 31, 2009
    Middle Georgia
    I'm not too worried about mine. Our well is over 450 feet deep and the last 200 ft or so is rock. I would imagine anything that went through that would be cleansed more that enough.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  6. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    The required distance from the well is there to protect it from contaminates from migrating along the well casing/lining straight to underground water source. These contaminates are not filtered due to running along the lining instead of being filtered by the earth.

  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It doesn't depend on the depth of the well so much as the quality and intactness of the well casing, which you are seldom in a position to be CERTAIN about. Further is better, IMO, because this is not just about your own well water supply, it is about potentially contaminating the *aquifer* from which a whole *bunch of people* draw their water. Google "Walkerton tragedy" for an example of why to care about this.

  8. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:Chookalolic nailed it. If the casing is uphill from the area in question, I would not be overly concerned. If it is downhill from it I would be very concerned. In fact I would do a sloping french drain between the two just to carry seepage away from the well casing. Just do not get real close to it in case it could find it's way to the casing. Blackwater only has to pass through around 36" of dirt to be pure according to the soil scientist who inspected my drain field when I installed it.[​IMG]

  9. hangin'witthepeeps

    hangin'witthepeeps Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Colbert, GA
    Oh wow, I never even thought of this, ever. I have my chicken yard where my well is. This is absolutely terrible. I have to tear down all the houses and covered runs, electric fence and buried hardware cloth. Could I build a little house over my well to avoid contamination? I have a whole house filter which cost me a pretty penny as we have rust and manganese in the water. I had orange water with lots of sediment. Now with the superduper filter, its clear and tastes great. Never thought of chicken poop contamination.

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