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Geology

  Barton and Stafford County Geohydrology

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Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Geography

Physiography

Geology

Geologic History

Ground Water

Records of Typical Wells

Logs of Test Holes

References

Plates

 

Ground Water, continued

Development of Ground Water

Records for 371 wells were obtained during the investigation and are tabulated on pages 146-167. Of the 371 wells for which records are given, 257 are in Barton County, 111 are in Stafford County, 1 is in Rice County, 1 in Edwards County, and 1 in Pratt County. Included are 246 wells that are, or have been, used for domestic and stock purposes, 43 irrigation wells, 15 public-supply wells, 14 industrial wells, 52 wells that formerly supplied water for drilling oil wells, and 1 well that supplies water for a swimming pool. Records for all the large wells in Barton and Stafford Counties were obtained, but no attempt was made to obtain records for all domestic and stock wells.

Domestic and Stock Supplies

All the domestic water supplies and most of the stock-water supplies in Barton and Stafford Counties are obtained from wells. Streams and ponds are also important sources of stock water in some areas. Of the 246 domestic and stock wells listed in Tables 12 and 13, 193 are in Barton County, 51 are in Stafford County, 1 is in Rice County, and 1 is in Pratt County.

Although several methods have been used in constructing domestic and stock wells in this area, drilling has been the most common method. Of the 246 domestic and stock wells, 146 are drilled wells, 64 are driven wells, 34 are dug wells, 1 is a bored well, and 1 is a combination dug and drilled well.

Most of the drilled domestic and stock wells are in the upland areas of Barton County, where water is obtained from consolidated rocks. Only 10 of the 146 drilled wells are in Stafford County. The drilled wells range from 3 to 12 inches in diameter, but most of them are 5, 5 1/2, or 6 inches in diameter. Galvanized-iron casing is most generally used, although a few domestic and stock wells are cased with iron, tile, or steel oil-well casing.

The driven well is the most common type of domestic and stock well in Stafford County and southern Barton County, where the water table is shallow and ground water occurs in soft unconsolidated deposits. Forty of the 51 recorded domestic and stock wells in Stafford County are driven wells. A screened drive point on 1 1/4-inch galvanized pipe is generally used in constructing these wells, although a few are constructed with 1 1/2-inch or 2-inch galvanized pipe.

All but one of the dug wells for which records are given are in Barton County, and most of them are in the upland areas. They are usually shallow wells that have low yields. All are walled with rock, and they range from 24 to 72 inches in diameter.

Most of the domestic and stock wells in this area are equipped with lift or force pumps in which the cylinders are below the pump heads and may be far below the surface. Some lift or force pumps are operated by hand, but most of them are operated by windmills or are equipped for either hand or windmill operation. Many wells, particularly driven wells in Stafford County and southern Barton County, are equipped with hand-operated pitcher pumps that have their working parts at the base of the pump heads. A few domestic and stock wells have cylinder pumps operated by gasoline or electric motors, and a few are equipped with small centrifugal pumps powered by electric motors. Although the practice as yet is not common in this area, a few farms have been equipped with small pneumatic pressure systems in which the water is forced against air pressure into an air-tight tank from which it flows under pressure to any part of the home or farm. Five wells in Stafford County flow at the surface and therefore do not have to be pumped. One of these flowing wells (22-11-35ab) supplies domestic water to a hunting club, the others supply stock water. Of the 246 domestic and stock wells visited, the pumping equipment had been removed from 19 in Barton County and 12 in Stafford County.

Ground water in parts of the upland area of northern Barton County and in the vicinity of Big Marsh in northeastern Stafford County is highly mineralized and locally is unfit for domestic use. Cisterns are commonly used in these areas for domestic supplies and wells are used for stock-water supplies. In other parts of the Barton-Stafford County area, the ground waters, although moderately hard to very hard, are suitable for domestic and stock use.

Public Supplies

Seven municipalities in the area have public water supplies obtained from wells. They are Claflin, Ellinwood, Hoisington, and Great Bend in Barton County and Stafford, St. John, and Macksville in Stafford County. Except for that of Great Bend, all the municipal supplies are publicly owned and operated. Each public supply is described briefly in the following paragraphs.

Claflin--The City of Claflin has two wells (18-11-4ad1 and 18-11-4ad2) located a quarter of a mile south of town. In August 1944 the entire supply was derived from well 18-11-4ad1. Well 18-11-4ad2, which is to be used as a standby well, was completed just a few weeks earlier and was not yet equipped with a pump. Both wells tap sandstone of the Dakota formation. Well 18-11-4ad1 is 160 feet deep and is cased with 12-inch steel casing to a depth of 107 feet and with 6-inch perforated steel casing from 107 to 160 feet. The static water level is reported to be 37 feet below the surface. It is equipped with a turbine pump powered by a 15-horsepower electric motor and is reported to yield 200 gallons a minute with a 30-foot drawdown. Well 18-11-4ad2 is 25 feet west of well 18-11-4ad1, is 162 feet deep and is cased with 12-inch steel casing to a depth of 100 feet and 6-inch perforated steel casing below 100 feet. The static water level in this well, as measured August 14, 1944, was 32.46 feet below the land surface.

Water is pumped from well 18-11-4ad1 directly into the mains, and the excess flows into a 50,000-gallon elevated steel tank at the north edge of town. Mr. Fred Adams, water superintendent, reported that the average daily consumption of water at Claflin during the summer was about 50,000 gallons, and during the winter months it was considerably less than this amount. The maximum daily consumption is not known. The water, except for being hard, is of good quality and is not treated. (See analysis 18-11-4ad1.)

Ellinwood--The water supply of Ellinwood is obtained from two wells (19-11-31bdc1 and 19-11-31bdc2) at the water plant in the west-central part of town and one well (19-11-31bb) in the northwest part of town. The wells derive water from sandstones of the Dakota formation, water in the overlying alluvium having been cemented off. The static water level in all three wells is reported to be 11 feet below the surface. One well (19-11-31bdc1) near the water plant is 90 feet deep, has 10-inch oil-well casing, and is equipped with a turbine pump powered by a 15-horsepower electric motor. It is reported to yield 185 gallons a minute with a drawdown of 12 feet. The other well (19-11-31bdc2) at the plant is 140 feet deep, is cased with 12-inch oil-well casing, and is equipped with a turbine pump powered by a 40-horsepower electric motor. The yield of this well is reported to be 485 gallons a minute. The well in the northwest part of town (19-11-31bb) is 138 feet deep, has 12-inch oil-well casing, and is equipped with a turbine pump and 15-horsepower electric motor. During a pumping test it is reported to have discharged 350 gallons a minute with a 22-foot drawdown. The operating yield of this well is reported to be 225 gallons a minute.

The water from the wells is pumped directly into the mains and the excess flows into a 50,000-gallon elevated steel tank located at the water plant. The maximum daily water consumption at Ellinwood is reported to be about 65,000 gallons and the average daily consumption about 35,000 gallons, all of which is used by the inhabitants. An analysis (19-11-31bdc1) of a sample of water from well 19-11-31bdc1 is given in Table 8. The water is hard but otherwise is of good quality and is not treated.

Hoisington--Water for the city of Hoisington is obtained from two wells (19-13-4ccl and 19-13-4cc2) that tap alluvium and are located on the north bank of Walnut Creek about 6 miles south of town. The two wells were drilled in 1936 and are identical in construction. They are gravel-packed wells 42 feet deep with 12-inch steel casing. The static water level stands 22 feet below the surface. Equipped with turbine pumps powered by 15-horsepower electric motors, each is reported to yield about 400 gallons a minute.

Water is pumped from the wells through 6 1/3 miles of 10-inch pipe line to a treatment plant in town, where the water is softened. From there, two pumps discharge the treated water directly into the mains and the excess water flows into two elevated steel tanks having storage capacities of 180,000 and 200,000 gallons, respectively.

The maximum daily consumption of water at Hoisington is about 500,000 gallons and the average daily consumption is about 220,000 gallons. Not all of these amounts, however, are consumed by the inhabitants. The Missouri Pacific Railroad, which has a roundhouse and repair depot in Hoisington, takes approximately 250,000 gallons of water a month, and a local ice plant uses about 400,000 gallons a month for 6 months each year. A chemical analysis of the raw water from the city wells is not available; however, the water is reported to be extremely hard and, therefore, is given softening treatment. An analysis (19-13-4ccl) of the treated water is given in Table 8.

Great Bend--Two wells (19-13-28bc and 19-13-28cd), owned and operated by the Kansas Power Company, supply water to Great Bend. Both wells tap the Meade formation. One well (19-13-28cd) is located in the rear of the Kansas Power Company's office in downtown Great Bend. This well, drilled in 1937, is a gravel-packed well 113 feet deep with 24-inch concrete casing. The static water level stands about 13 feet below the surface. It is equipped with a turbine pump and electric motor and is reported to yield 800 gallons a minute. The other well (19-13-28bc) was drilled in 1930 and is located on O'Dell Street in the northern part of town. It is a gravel-packed well 69.5 feet deep, and also has 24-inch concrete casing. The static water level in this well is reported to be 7.5 feet below land surface. It is equipped with a turbine pump and electric motor, but the yield is not known.

The well (19-13-28cd) at the office supplies most of the water used by the city. Water from this well (19-13-28cd) is pumped directly into the mains, the pump operating automatically as the pressure in the system changes. There are no storage reservoirs at Great Bend. The pump at the O'Dell Street well (19-13-28bc) also operates automatically and pumps only when the pressure in the system declines to a certain point.

The average daily consumption of water at Great Bend is about 850,000 gallons. An analysis (19-13-28cd) of a sample of water from the office well is given in Table 8. The water is hard but otherwise is of good quality. It receives no treatment.

Stafford--Two closely spaced wells (24-12-11cd1 and 24-12-11cd2), about 0.25 mile northwest of town, supply the City of Stafford with water. Both wells tap the Meade formation, are 60 1 feet deep, and have 30-inch concrete casings. Each is equipped with a turbine pump and electric motor. The measured static water level in the south well (24-12-11cd2) was 20.90 feet below land surface on September 21, 1942. This well (24-12-11cd2) is reported to yield 500 gallons a minute with an 18-foot drawdown. The north well (24-12-11cd1) has a reported yield of 250 gallons a minute with an 8-foot drawdown. The water is pumped from the wells directly into the mains, and the excess flows into a 50,000-gallon elevated steel storage tank in the northern part of town and into a 150,000-gallon elevated steel storage tank in the southern part of town.

The maximum daily consumption of water at Stafford is about 320,000 gallons and the average daily consumption is about 120,000 gallons. An analysis (24-12-11cd1) of the water, which receives no treatment, is given in Table 9.

St. John--The water supply of St. John is obtained from seven wells (24-13-4b1, 24-13-4b2, and 24-13-4b3), all of which are located near the city power plant in the south-central part of town and tap sand and gravel in the Meade formation. Five (24-13-4b3) of these wells are spaced very closely together and are connected to one centrifugal pump powered by a 20-horsepower electric motor. Each of these five wells is 50 feet deep and consists of an 8-inch steel casing on the lower end of which is an 8-inch screened sand point 10 feet long. The five wells (24-13-4b3) have a reported aggregate yield of 400 gallons a minute. A sixth (24-13-4b1) is a 16-inch gravel-packed well equipped with a turbine pump and 20-horsepower electric motor. This well is 83 feet deep, had a measured static water level of 20.39 feet on September 14, 1942, and is cased with concrete casing. It has a reported yield of 400 gallons a minute with a drawdown of 10 feet. The seventh (24-13-4b2) is a 26-inch gravel-packed well that is 83 feet deep and is cased with concrete casing. The static water level in this well is about 20 feet below the surface. Equipped with a centrifugal pump and a 50-horsepower electric motor, it has a reported yield of 750 gallons a minute with a drawdown of 6 feet. Water is pumped from these wells directly into the mains, and the excess flows into a 50,000-gallon elevated steel storage tank located near the center of town.

The maximum daily pumpage from the St. John wells is more than 200,000 gallons and the average daily pumpage is about 145,000 gallons. Of this amount, an average of about 512,000 gallons a month is used by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. The water receives no treatment. It is hard but otherwise of good quality. (See analysis 24-13-4b1, Table 9.)

Macksville--Macksville obtains its water from three wells (24-15-15cc) in the east-central part of town. The wells are spaced about 20 feet apart and tap sand and gravel in the Meade formation. Each well is 73 feet deep and is cased with 6-inch iron casing on the end of which is a screened sand point 9 feet long. The static water level stands about 20 feet below the surface in each well. Three centrifugal pumps, each of which pumps from all three wells, are housed in one pump house. One pump is powered by an 8-horsepower electric motor and is reported to discharge 275 gallons a minute. Another pump is powered by a 20-horsepower electric motor and has a reported capacity of 300 gallons a minute. The third pump, which is used only in case of power failure or other emergency, is powered by a tractor and reportedly discharges 475 gallons a minute. Water is pumped directly from the wells into the mains, and the excess flows into a 60,000-gallon elevated steel tank.

The maximum daily consumption of water at Macksville is about 120,000 gallons and the average daily consumption is about 60,000 gallons. The water is not treated. An analysis (24-15-15cc) of the water is given in Table 9.

Industrial Supplies

Records were obtained of 12 wells in Barton County and 2 wells in Stafford County that supply water principally for industrial use.

Seven of the twelve industrial wells in Barton County are located in Great Bend. Water used by the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company in Great Bend is obtained from one 1 1/4-inch driven well (19-13-33ba) that is 70 feet deep and taps sand and gravel of the Meade formation. Equipped with a small cylinder pump and electric motor, it yields 1,000 gallons an hour. About 100,000 gallons of water a year is pumped from this well for use in the bottling plant. The water is chlorinated but receives no other treatment. The Great Bend Poultry Company has three driven wells (19-13-33bd1, 19-13-33bd2, and 19-13-33bd3) that supply water for a variety of uses in their plant. Two of them (19-13-33bd1 and 19-13-33bd2) are shallow wells, 30 feet deep, that derive water from the alluvium in the Arkansas Valley. Both these wells are equipped with centrifugal pumps and electric motors. One well (19-13-33bd1) is constructed with 1 1/4-inch galvanized pipe and a screened sand point and has a reported yield of 20 to 30 gallons a minute. The other shallow well (19-13-33bd2) is constructed with 2-inch galvanized pipe and a screened sand point and is reported to yield 125 gallons a minute. About 30.000 gallons of water a month is pumped from these two shallow wells. A third well (19-13-33bd3) is 75 feet deep and derives water from the Meade formation. It is constructed with 2-inch galvanized pipe and a screened sand point and is equipped with a centrifugal pump and electric motor. It has a reported yield of 1,500 gallons an hour. The monthly pumpage from the deep well (19-13-33bd3) is 12,000 to 14,000 gallons. Water from this well is used in boilers and is treated to reduce the hardness.

The Armour Creameries Company of Great Bend has one drilled well (19-13-33bd4), 69 feet deep, 6 inches in diameter, and cased with steel casing. The static water level in this well is about 8 feet below the surface. It is equipped with a piston-type pump and electric motor. A maximum of about 500,000 gallons a month is pumped from the Armour well. The water, which is derived from the Meade formation, receives no treatment. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway has one well (19-13-33bd5) at Great Bend that supplies water for locomotive boilers. It is a 10-inch drilled well, 90 feet deep, and is cased with oil-well casing. The static water level stands about 10 feet below the surface. The well is equipped with a centrifugal pump and electric motor and is reported to yield about 330 gallons a minute. The maximum daily pumpage is about 135,000 gallons. The water comes from the Meade formation and is reported to be hard. It is treated with lime and soda ash to reduce the hardness before it is used in the locomotive boilers. The largest industrial well (19-13-33db) at Great Bend is at the power plant of the Kansas Power Company. It is a gravel-packed well, 75 feet deep, cased with 18-inch concrete casing, that taps the Meade formation. It is equipped with a large turbine pump and electric motor and is reported to yield 533 gallons a minute with a 22.5-foot drawdown. The static water level is 8 feet. More than 10,000,000 gallons of water a month is generally pumped from this well. The water is not treated.

The Empire Oil Company has two wells (16-13-8aa and 16-13-18aa) and the Simpson Oil Company one well (20-13-31ab) in Barton County that supply water to oil-field tank batteries. Both of the Empire Oil Company wells derive water from sandstones in the Dakota formation. One well (16-13-8aa) is in the NE 1/4, NE 1/4 sec. 8, T. 16 S., R. 13 NW, 3 miles north of Susank. It is a 6-inch drilled well, 252 feet deep and cased with oil-well casing. The measured water level was 202.52 feet below the surface on August 8, 1944. It is equipped with a cylinder pump and windmill. The water is of poor quality, being high in chloride (Table 8). The other Empire Oil Company well (16-13-18aa) is in the NE 1/4 NE 1/4 sec. 18, T. 16 S., R. 13 NW about 2.5 miles northwest of Susank. This is a 6-inch drilled well, 270 feet deep, cased with oil-well casing, and equipped with a cylinder pump and gasoline engine. The measured water level in this well was 198.08 feet below the surface on August 8, 1948.

The Simpson Oil Company well (20-13-31ab) is in the sand hills about 6 miles south of Great Bend, in the NW 1/4 NE 1/4 sec. 31, T. 20 S., R. 13 NW. It is a drilled well, 90 feet deep, cased with 7-inch oil-well casing, and taps the Meade formation. The water level was measured October 5, 1942, and found to be 14.94 feet below the surface. The well is equipped with a large cylinder pump and gasoline engine. A part of the water from this well is pumped to a near-by house where it is used for domestic purposes.

The Natural Gas Pipeline Company obtains cooling and condenser water from two drilled wells (19-14-6bbl and 19-14-6bb2) in the NW 1/4 NW 1/4 sec. 6, T. 19 S., R. 14 NW., about 2 miles northwest of Heizer. These wells tap alluvium in Walnut Valley, are 51.5 and 53.5 feet deep, are cased with 18-inch steel casing, and are equipped with turbine pumps and electric motors. The static water level in them stands at about 14 feet. Each is reported to yield 200 gallons a minute. The average daily pumpage from the two wells is about 100,000 gallons. The water, which is reported to be hard and to contain excessive iron, is softened before it is used.

One (well 21-13-31cd) of the industrial wells in Stafford County is owned by the Missouri Pacific Railroad and is located in Seward. This well supplies water for locomotive boilers. It is 60 feet deep, cased with 4.5-inch oil-well casing, and taps the Meade formation. Equipped with a plunger pump and gasoline engine, it is reported to yield 45 gallons a minute. The other industrial well (22-12-29dd) in Stafford County is at the Stafford County Flour Mills Company in Hudson. It also derives water from the Meade formation. It is a drilled well, 70 feet deep, cased with 6-inch galvanized-iron casing, and equipped with a plunger pump and Diesel engine. The yield of this well is reported to be 20 gallons a minute.

Irrigation Supplies

The pumping of water from wells for irrigation, although not extensive, is carried on to a limited extent in Barton and Stafford Counties. Most of the irrigation wells in this area are used only to supply supplemental water. During years of normal or above-normal rainfall, sufficient moisture is available to guarantee the growth of most crops, and very little water is pumped from wells for irrigation. During dry years the rainfall is supplemented by water pumped from wells. The chief crops irrigated are feed crops, small grains, and alfalfa. In addition to the water pumped from wells some water is pumped from the perennial streams in the area.

During the investigation, 42 irrigation wells were visited in Barton and Stafford Counties. Records of these wells are given in Tables 8 and 9 and the locations of the wells are shown on Plate 2. Seven of the wells for which records were obtained are small irrigation wells that supply water to irrigate gardens, trees, and lawns. Of the 35 larger wells used for irrigation, 12 are in the Arkansas Valley, 8 are in Walnut Valley, 2 are on the Walnut Valley terrace, and 13 are widely distributed in the Great Bend prairie south of the Arkansas Valley. Of the 13 in the Great Bend prairie, 12 are in Stafford County and 1 is in Barton County.

Yields of Irrigation Wells--The recorded irrigation wells in Barton and Stafford Counties range widely in yield. Small wells used to irrigate gardens, lawns, and trees yield from a few gallons a minute to about 100 gallons a minute, whereas the yields of larger irrigation wells range from about 200 gallons a minute to more than 1,000 gallons a minute. The yields of irrigation wells given in Tables 12 and 13 were reported by the owners.

The reported yields of 9 of the 12 large irrigation wells in the Arkansas Valley ranged from 450 to 1,370 gallons a minute and the average was about 1,060 gallons a minute. The specific capacities, that is, the number of gallons of water discharged per foot of drawdown of seven of these wells ranged from 34 to 152 and the average was about 67.

The reported yields of only three of the eight large irrigation wells in Walnut Valley were obtained. Each of the three wells (18-15-33ad, 19-14-4ca, and 19-14-9aa) was reported to yield 1,000 gallons a minute. The drawdown in well 18-15-33ad was reported to be 45 feet at that rate.

Well 19-13-6db, on the edge of the Walnut Valley terrace northwest of Great Bend (Pl. 2), has a reported yield of 1,100 gallons a minute with a drawdown of 20 feet. Well 19-13-18db, which is located on a remnant of the Walnut Valley terrace about 2 miles northwest of Great Bend, has the largest reported yield (1,500 gallons a minute) of any of the irrigation wells.

The yields of irrigation wells in the Great Bend prairie are less than the yields of irrigation wells in the other areas. Reported yields were obtained for 6 of the 13 large irrigation wells in the Great Bend prairie. They ranged from 200 to 900 gallons a minute and averaged 650 gallons a minute. The specific capacities of wells 20-14-26ab, 23-13-28ca, and 23-14-20bc in this area, the only wells for which the drawdowns were known, were 20, 53, and 100, respectively.

Many factors determine the yield of wells, including the methods of construction, the character and thickness of the water-bearing formation, the diameter of the casing, the material used for casing, the quality of the water-whether neutral, corrosive, or likely to form incrusting material readily, the type and placing of the screen, the development of the well, the finishing of the well-whether gravel-packed or not, the age of the well, and, for battery wells, the spacing of the wells. There are doubtless other factors, but the most important ones are listed. The relative importance of the different factors varies for different wells and under different conditions.

Depth and diameter of irrigation wells--The depth of the irrigation wells in Barton and Stafford Counties range from 18 to 115 feet. Of those in the Arkansas Valley, two wells are less than 30 feet deep, five are between 30 and 60 feet deep, and six are between 60 and 79 feet deep. Irrigation wells in Walnut Valley range in depth from 45.6 to 80 feet and most of them are 60 to 80 feet. In the Great Bend prairie, the irrigation wells are 26 to 85 feet deep. Of 16 wells in the prairie, 6 are less than 40 feet deep and 10 are 40 to 85 feet deep. The deepest irrigation well (19-13-6db) in the Barton-Stafford County area is 115 feet deep and is on the Walnut Valley terrace.

The diameters of the irrigation wells range from 114 inches for a small driven garden well (19-13-29cc) to 24 inches for a well (24-12-4dd) cased with old oil barrels. Most of the irrigation wells, however, are 15 to 20 inches in diameter.

Types of equipment on irrigation wells--All the irrigation wells in the Great Bend prairie and about half of those in the Arkansas and Walnut Valleys are equipped with centrifugal pumps. Ten wells in Arkansas and Walnut Valleys and the two wells on the Walnut Valley terrace are equipped with turbine pumps. Two cylinder-type pumps were observed, but doubtless there are many other pumps of this type used for small-scale irrigation of gardens, lawns, and trees. Most of the cylinder-type pumps are probably powered by wind.

Gasoline engines are those most commonly used for pumping from wells for irrigation in Barton and Stafford Counties. These include stationary gasoline engines, automobile engines, and combine engines. Six of the irrigation wells visited were powered by electric motors, two by tractors, one by a natural gas engine, and one by a Diesel engine. Three were not equipped with power at the time of my visit.

Construction of irrigation wells--Most of the irrigation wells in Barton and Stafford Counties have been put down by professional drillers using either cable-tool or rotary drilling machines. Two types of wells are used for irrigation, depending on the character of the water-bearing material-wells that are gravel-packed and wells that are not. The methods of construction are slightly different, although either rotary or cable-tool equipment may be used with either method. In constructing a gravel-packed well, the hole is made somewhat larger than the casing and an outer "dummy" casing is generally used. The annular space between the outer blank casing and the inner screened or perforated casing is filled with screened gravel, and the outer casing is pulled up slowly as gravel-filling progresses. Where a rotary drilling machine is used it is not necessary to use a "dummy" casing, since the drilling mud prevents the hole from caving while the inner casing and gravel are being placed.

The other type of irrigation well is not gravel-packed and is constructed in the same way as the cased domestic and stock wells. Most of the irrigation wells of this type have been put down by drillers using cable-tool drilling machines and are constructed by sinking a screened or perforated casing as the well is being drilled. The casing is forced downward by sand-bag weights or other type of pressure as the material is removed by a sand bucket. In putting down this type of well by the hydraulic-rotary method, no casing is used until the drilling has been completed, then a casing slightly smaller than the hole is placed in the well.

The most common type of casing used for irrigation wells in Barton and Stafford Counties is that made of galvanized-iron casing, which can be obtained in factory-perforated sections or plain sections. Used oil-well casing has been used in a few wells and one well (24-12-4dd) is cased with old oil barrels, the bottoms and tops of which have been cut out. Galvanized pipe ranging in diameter from 1 1/4 to 3 inches has been used in the smaller garden and lawn irrigation wells.

Most of the irrigation wells in Stafford County and many of them in Barton County are partly dug and partly drilled. Generally, a pit is first dug to near the water table and the well is then drilled in the bottom of the pit. The sides of the pit are cribbed with brick, concrete, or wood. In this type of well, a centrifugal pump is generally installed over the casing on the floor of the pit. Pits are not used where the well is equipped with a turbine pump.

One irrigation plant (well 24-14-12dd) in Stafford County consists of three wells connected to one centrifugal pump. The wells, which are 52 feet deep and 10 to 15 inches in diameter, are closely spaced and are connected to one pump by a suction pipe laid in the ground just above the water table. The middle well and pumping equipment are in a pit over which a pump house has been built.

Irrigation well 19-12-19bc in the Arkansas Valley area in Barton County is a battery of two wells spaced about 50 feet apart and connected to one centrifugal pump. Each well is 30.5 feet deep and is cased with 20-inch steel casing. The pump is set in one of the well pits over which a pump house has been built. A buried suction line runs from the pit to the other well.

For a detailed discussion of methods of constructing different types of irrigation wells, the reader is referred to Davison (1939) and Rohwer (1940).

Other Types of Supplies

Of the 371 wells visited in Barton and Stafford Counties, 52 were wells that had been put down to supply water for drilling oil wells. Of the 52 wells, 35 were in Stafford County and 17 were in Barton County. Most of these wells are drilled for a temporary water supply. After the drilling of the oil well or wells is completed, the water well is abandoned and sometimes the casing is pulled. Wells of this type are drilled wells that range in depth from about 15 feet to more than 200 feet. In northern Barton County, where the wells must penetrate sandstones of the Dakota formation to obtain an adequate supply, they are from about 100 feet to more than 200 feet deep. Elsewhere adequate supplies for oil drilling are usually available at shallower depth. Wells of this type in the Arkansas Valley are between 15 and 55 feet deep. In the Great Bend prairie they range from 31 to 98 feet in depth, but most of them are 60 to 90 feet deep. Used oil-well casing is most commonly used in these wells, although a few have been cased with galvanized-iron casing. Their diameters range from 5 inches to 12 inches, but 6-inch and 6 1/2-inch casing is most common. The wells are generally pumped with large cylinder-type pumps and portable gasoline engines, which are removed as soon as the drilling of the oil well is completed.

One well (25-12-27ab) in Stafford County is used to supply water to a swimming pool at Camp Carlile, a church camp in the NW 1/4 NE 1/4 sec. 27, T. 25 S., R. 12 NW. This is a plant consisting of three wells, each 14.5 feet deep and cased with 12-inch galvanized-iron casing, that are connected to one centrifugal pump. The aggregate yield of the three wells is reported to be 200 gallons a minute. The water is derived from the Meade formation.

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  Kansas Geological Survey, Barton and Stafford County Geohydrology
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