Would you think I was crazy if I told you that dry ice can actually make a water well more productive? Well that’s exactly what I’m telling you. In fact, this process is generally preferred over the use of dynamite or other foreign blasting mechanisms for this purpose.
How it Works
This may seem like a difficult concept to wrap your head around but it really is pretty straightforward when you know the basics. Of course, you’re already aware that dry ice will dissolve in water, dramatically increasing in volume as it sublimates into gas form.
Allowing this reaction to occur inside a well, with the top capped off will cause the pressure within the well to rise. Unable to get out by means of the top of the well, the gas will begin to push the water back through the channels is came from.
These channels are generally just fissures and holes in the surrounding soil and rock. Forcing water and pressurized gas back into these openings will necessarily cause them to widen. Once the gas has finally managed to dissipate and the well is uncapped, these larger openings will remain, leaving the well with a larger supply of water.
There are several items to watch for if you are attempting to use this method in your own well. First, you need to make sure your well has enough casing to withstand the pressure the gas will exert on it. A good 45 meters or so should be sufficient as long as it is in good shape.
A Good Seal
Of course, if you want to really get dramatic results, you have to make sure the pressure is working where it’s supposed to. If your well cap isn’t sealed well enough, it will wind up letting out enough of the pressure as to make the inside pressure insufficient to effect real expansion.
And then you’ve also got to make sure that you use the right amount of ice. Too much dry ice can be dangerous, while too little will simply wind up being a waste. For a standard residential well, between 27 and 36 kg seems to be an effective amount of dry ice to administer.
Larger wells, though, call for a bit more drastic measures. For instance, it’s common for officials to use up to 360 kg of dry ice to help aerate a large industrial well or city well. Work on this type of well would obviously require special equipment and resources, but for your own residential well, you should be able to get a large enough block of dry ice on your own.
Just be sure to take all of the necessary safety precautions when handling dry ice. Don’t let it come into contact with your skin or any other sensitive surface. Also, be sure to keep children, animals or anyone else who might mistakenly touch the dry ice out of range while you’re working so they don’t get hurt.