Lake Water Shore Well System - Need Help!

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Feb 14, 2021
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Henderson, NY
I am looking for some general advice and confirmation on a few aspects of my design for a new shore well I plan to install at my house this spring. A little background on the project:

My house is on Lake Ontario in Northern NY. The house is situated roughly 45' above the water on a steep hill that terminates into a 20' vertical cliff down to the shore. The previous owner had a small pump house at the top edge of the cliff with a shallow well jet pump servicing a cistern in the basement, but it gave up and the flow was also not great due to sucking near it's max of 25' head. My plan is to replace the entire system with a design that in the short term will make it easier to winterize, and in the long term be able to operate it in the winter.

Here is the equipment I have tentatively selected:
Pump: AY McDonald 8611 1 HP convertible jet pump
Deep Well Ejector: AY McDonald 7903JP
Tank: A.O Smith LPT 86 pre-charged pressure tank
Piping house to shore: Anjon Manufacturing Freeze Flex 1" & 1 1/4" PVC (150ft')
Piping shore to water: Fastenal 1 1/4" black steel pipe (2x21')
Fittings: All Camlock stainless steel connections outdoor & underwater
Pipe stand (underwater): Roll-a-Dock submersible plastic 27” wheels & 7’ Axle
Pre-filter: Big Foot 80 GPM intake filter

There are several other smaller fittings/piping/items needed to actually hook the system up, but right now I am looking to make sure that conceptually this combination of equipment will work with my design.

My current plan has the convertible jet pump mounted on top of the pressure tank inside my basement. The twin pipes of Freeze Flex PVC will exit the basement at ground level and be buried 4’ traveling down the hill until they reach about 15’ from the edge of the cliff. Here they will enter a buried valve box/access point. At this time, the Freeze Flex PVC twin pipe will run straight through, but the access box is for adding a heat line in the future. At this point there is about 75’ linear of Freeze Flex PVC run and 25’ of vertical rise from the cliff edge to the house. The Freeze Flex PVC will then travel down the vertical cliff 20’, making the total linear run of PVC 95’ with 45’ vertical rise. In my current plan, the deep well ejector is installed vertically at the base of the cliff with a 90-degree elbow thereafter into a single “tailpipe.” The single 1 ¼” Freeze Flex PVC will resume after the elbow and run through a series of cinder blocks that will be buried just under the surface of the shore. The reason for this is due to the wave activity I see on this part of the lake when a storm comes through. The Freeze Flex PVC will run approximately 48’ linear from the elbow and well ejector terminating in approximately 4’ of water (at mean water level) and traveling 10” of vertical rise. A stainless steel camlock will connect the PVC to a 41’ run of black steel 1 ¼’ pipe mounted on wheels (for easy removal) and will terminate into a foot valve and large format 80GPM intake filter. At this point, the intake is approx. 10’ below water and has traveled a further 6’ of vertical rise.

The total vertical feet or suction head for this project, intake to pump is approx. 60’. The total linear feet of piping from intake to pump is approx. 185’. The suction head from well ejector to intake is approx. 16’. The pump and ejector combination are rated at about 10GPM at 60’ head on a 20/40 pressure setting.

A few questions I have aside from the obvious “is this going to work” are:
  • My understanding about using a tailpipe is that the principles of a shallow well jet pump apply: as long as you are sucking under 25’ head, it should work. My design has 14-16’ head after the well ejector. Is this thinking true, and is the 45-degree elbow going to impede suction at all?
  • Do I need a check-valve in between the well ejector and the tailpipe if there is a foot valve at the end of the tail pipe?
  • Could the well ejector sit horizontally and is it better situated underwater before the Camlock disconnect (if twin pipes ran down further).
I’ve attached some drawings for reference, hopefully they make sense. Any feedback is appreciated!