Can/should we put in a well in the winter?

We are building a cottage and were thinking about putting in the well this winter while the ground is frozen so that we don't have to wait through the spring thaw and end up with a messed up lawn. Is this possible? And, if so, can we do it and not hook it to the plumbing in the house just yet? We have some finish plumbing yet to do and the septic system, so we wont be ready for water in the house until spring/early summer. Thoughts or advice appreciated! Thanks much.
q building a well in the winter, gardening, homesteading, landscape, outdoor living, here s our cottage the framing is done we just need to finish the inside and get water electric hooked up Almost there
here's our cottage. the framing is done...we just need to finish the inside and get water/electric hooked up. Almost there!
  5 answers
  • The only person that can really answer that is the well company that installs them in your area. Perma-frost can be difficult to work with, but I really do not see any reason why you could not. The only real issue is getting the trench dug down below the frost level from the well head to the basement/crawl space. The cost could be quite high as normal backhoe's will not be able to dig this trench, nor would any other specialty tools that dig trenches such as ditch witch. They would need to jack hammer the soils to enable the operator to dig this. For the driller their cutting tools used to drill down for the well head will have no issue in getting through the ice. So Yes you can, but expect to pay a bit more due to the ice and digging issues you will have. Also you will need to have heat on and electrical in order before you even think about the water side.

    • See 1 previous
    • @Sarah Schulz Your well driller will want to operate the well pump once its in place, also if your supplying water to the house you need to prevent it from freezing. Your well driller can advise you if they need it or not. But your price will increase if they have to come back another time to set and adjust the pressures etc. Its all about the money.

  • Murray McGinn Murray McGinn on Feb 04, 2015
    Hi. I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. You can drill a well any time of the year but if you don't want the lawn or the ground all messed up drill while the ground is still hard. If there is any trenching to be done to run lines to the house, just make sure you go "under the frost line" with the water line to the house.

  • I agree with Murray on this, but the trenching part will still make a mess as back filling frozen soils will result in a bigger mess until everything thaws out and your finally able to clean it up. My biggest concern with back filling plastic pipe systems in frozen weather is that the hard soils are much like rocks, the result is you need to be really careful that a solid chunk of frozen soil does not crush the pipe. Even if sand is used to set the pipe, the hard frozen rock like soil will push through the sand easily and can puncture any pipe quickly. Again, get the advice of the well driller they have the experience and understand your soils and area better than I.

  • Sarah Schulz Sarah Schulz on Feb 04, 2015
    Thank you!

  • Barbara Barbara on May 29, 2015
    Sara, I realize your question has been marked as answered; but just saw this; & wanted to mention we are in Midland as well. Just had new well put in last November[2014] If you haven't contacted anyone, or still looking; call Malley's in Mt Pleasant. They are fantastic! ALL the guys really know their stuff; & truly Love their jobs! [we all know how important THAT is!] They travel ALL over the country; & their prices are reasonable [admittedly, ALL drilling is expensive!] but you get a LOT of service for the price! They dig. drill, install the pump AND water tank, & do all hookup from well to tank. Yes, you need electric on, AND the indoor plumbing finished. The lines have to be purged, & then have the chlorine in the lines during the flush process. They come out to the location & provide an estimate. Lots of good advice mentioned above; & the guys DO drill all year round. Be advised; dead of winter or not; you'll NOT escape the "landscaping" to be done after they finish the job! With the massive equipment, it can't be avoided. period. Be warned; they get booked fast, we met with them in July/August; but they couldn't get here til end of Nov. So call for estimate; & you'll likely have time to finish the other work before they show up! good luck!