Title:
Cap for a well casing and method to retrofit a well casing with a cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is a cap for protecting wells from ground surface liquids getting into a well through the top. The cap encompasses the lid and the top portion of the well casing. The cap has a top, a sidewall and an access port. The top is coupled to a sidewall to define a space to accept a lid and well casing. In preferred embodiments of the invention, the access port has either a tube and boss or a neck and adaptor. The boss surrounds an opening in the top and receives a proximal end of the tube whereas the neck surrounds the opening in the top and the adaptor is received within the neck. The cover is disposed on the tube or neck at an open end distal to the top to cover the opening. In both embodiments, there is at least one hole in the access port. The cap prevents surface liquid from entering into the well though the top



Inventors:
Acheson, Brian C. (Campbellville, CA)
Application Number:
10/199077
Publication Date:
01/30/2003
Filing Date:
07/22/2002
Assignee:
ACHESON BRIAN C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
166/94.1
International Classes:
E21B33/00; (IPC1-7): E21B19/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
BATES, ZAKIYA W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brian C. Acheson (Campbellville, ON, CA)
Claims:
1. A cap for a well casing forming part of a dug well assembly; having a dug well, a well casing, a lid and a cap for the well casing, said well casing surrounding the well to define a space to contain well water and having an open end projecting away from the well, said lid being disposed on the open end of the well casing to cover the open end of the well casing, and said cap having a top, a sidewall and an access port, said top being coupled to the sidewall to define an air pocket to accept the lid and well casing, said access port surrounding an opening in the top whereby an inside of the well casing is in communication with the access port, said access port having a removable cover disposed at an open end thereof distal to the top to cover the open end.

2. A cap for a well casing forming part of a drilled well assembly, the drilled well assembly having a drilled well, a well casing and a hose, said well casing surrounding the well to define a working space around the drilled well and having an open end projecting away from the drilled well, said hose being attached at a lower end to the drilled well and being attached at an upper end to the cap, said cap having a top, a sidewall and an access port, said top being coupled to the sidewall to define an air pocket to accept the well casing, said access port comprising a tubular structure having at least one air hole, a removable cover and an adapter, said tubular structure surrounding an opening in the top of the cap such that an inside of the tubular structure is in communication with the air pocket, said cover being disposed on the tubular structure at an open distal end to the top to cover the open end, and said adapter providing communication between said at least one air hole and said hose.

3. A cap for a well casing as claimed in claim 2, in which the adapter is removably attached to the tubular structure.

4. A cap for a well casing as claimed in claim 2 or 3, in which the adapter is funnel shaped to accept the hose from the drilled well at a narrower end and to seat on the open end of the tubular structure on a wider end.

5. A cap for a well casing as claimed in any one of claims 2, 3 or 4 having a gasket and in which the tubular structure has an annular lip on an inner surface to receive the gasket, said gasket being shaped to accept a wider end of the adapter.

6. A cap for a well casing forming part of a drilled well assembly, the drilled well assembly having a drilled well, a well casing and a hose, said well casing surrounding the well to define a working space around the drilled well and having an open end projecting away from the drilled well, said hose being attached at a lower end to the drilled well and being attached at an upper end to the cap, said cap having a top, a sidewall and an access port, said top being coupled to the sidewall to define an air pocket to accept the well casing, said access port comprising a tubular structure having at least one air hole, a removable cover and an adapter, said tubular structure surrounding an opening in the top of the cap, said cover being disposed on the tubular structure at an open distal end to the top to cover the open end, and said adapter providing communication between said at least one air hole and said hose.

7. A cap according to claim 6 in which said tubular structure comprises a boss having a threaded upper end and a threaded lower end and a tube having a threaded lower end for coupling to said threaded upper end of the boss, the adapter comprising a threaded coupling for coupling to said threaded lower end of the boss.

8. A method of assembling the cap for a well casing as claimed in claim 7 on a drilled well assembly, said method comprising the steps of attaching the lower end of the hose to the well, attaching the coupling to the bottom side of the boss, attaching the upper end of the hose to the coupling, attaching the tubular structure to the top side of the boss, placing the cap over the well casing and attaching the cover to the tubular structure.

9. A method of assembling the cap for a well casing as claimed in claim 3 for a drilled well assembly, said method comprising the steps of attaching the lower end of the hose to the well, passing the hose through the access port, placing the cap over the lid well casing, adjusting the length of the hose, attaching the upper end of the hose to the adapter, seating the adapter on the open end of the tubular structure, and attaching the cover to the tubular structure.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a cap for a well casing, specifically a cap to fit over a water well casing and lid. The cap is designed to reduce the potential for entry of surface liquid and liquid-borne contaminants into well water from the top of the well casing.

[0002] Contamination of well water is a very significant problem. It is especially prevalent in farming areas, where the surface water can be contaminated with animal waste and chemicals.

[0003] There are thousands of old wells in the country, many of which should be updated because there is a potential of surface water getting into them. The Department of the Environment recommends having the well casings at least 12 inches above the ground, and many of the wells are at ground level or even below ground level. Many people will not follow the recommendations because it is too expensive. To extend a concrete well casing, a contractor would need to be hired as the casing weighs approximately 900 lbs. Even if the 6-inch steel well casing (see reference numeral 33 in the prior art drawing of FIG. 2) in a drilled well is extended instead, one section of the concrete casing will need to be removed.

[0004] There are two main types of wells: dug wells and drilled wells. Dug wells are simply holes that are dug in the ground. The pump is usually in the house. The well may be cased in concrete or steel. The open end of the casing is preferably covered with a lid. Thus, a dug well consists of a casing and a lid, which together define a space to contain well water.

[0005] More commonly, wells are drilled. In a drilled well there is a steel casing that goes down to the water source. The steel casing has a cap that accommodates either one or two pipes depending upon the pumping system. These pipes or pipe continue down the casing to the water source. There is also an air vent as described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,562,946. The air vent is necessary to ensure that pressures are equalized. Without an air vent, the well and pump could have back pressure or gas problems in some areas. There are two common pumps: a submersible pump which is submerged in the water in the steel well casing and requires one pipe and electrical wiring that goes from the pump to the house and a jet pump which requires two pipes (one large and one small) that go from the well to the pump located in the house.

[0006] The metal cap 32 on the steel well casing 33 illustrated in the prior art drawing of FIG. 2 is the same as the cap shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,562,946. Most of the metal caps for drilled wells are below the frost line and are housed in a large concrete casing 12 with a concrete lid 14 on top. The concrete casing may terminate below ground or alternatively may extend a short distance above ground. This creates a working space around the well that can be accessed by removing the lid 14.

[0007] Unfortunately, the casing and lid provide an access point for surface liquids. Older well assemblies tend to be more problematic than new well assemblies, as old well assemblies frequently do not extend far enough out of the ground to prevent seepage or flow of surface liquid into the well. In addition, the lid frequently has an access port or is a two-part design. Both lid types are not watertight and allow surface liquid to enter into the well water.

[0008] According to statistics, upwards of 50% of well water in some areas of North America is classified as contaminated. The well assemblies must be retrofitted and sanitized in order to reduce the level of contamination to acceptable levels. The choices faced by the well owners include closing the well and either drilling a new well or having water delivered. Both these alternatives are very costly. Another choice is to retrofit the well assembly. Ideally, the retrofit will disturb as little soil as possible, will not involve the use of heavy equipment and will be inexpensive.

[0009] One method that is currently available for retrofitting involves removing one section of the concrete well casing and extending the casing at least 12 inches out of the ground. The problem with replacing the casing is that it is expensive. It also disrupts the soil around the well. This disruption is known to lead to well water contamination.

[0010] To date, the prior art has not addressed the problems outlined above.

[0011] It is an objective of the invention to overcome the deficiencies in the prior art and to provide means for preventing surface liquid from entering into the well from the top.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] According to the invention, a cap for a well casing is provided as an inexpensive means of eliminating surface liquid seeping or flowing into well water.

[0013] Two embodiments are disclosed; both are comprised of a top, a sidewall and an access port. In the first embodiment, the access port has a tubular structure in the form of a tube, a cover and a boss. The boss surrounds an opening in the top and receives a proximal end of the tube. In the second embodiment, the access port has a tubular structure in the form of an integral neck, a cover, a gasket and an adapter. The gasket is received on a lip in the neck, or alternatively, is seated on a lip on the open end of the neck, distal to the top. An air hole is provided in the access port to permit airflow between ambient surroundings and the well by means of a hose attached at an upper end to the adapter or the boss and at a lower end to the well.

[0014] The invention also provides a method of assembling a cap having an access port with a boss on a drilled well and a method of assembling a cap having an access port with an adaptor on a drilled well.

[0015] From the above description it is clear that the invention provides an inexpensive means of eliminating surface liquid seeping or flowing into a water well through a well lid, while at the same time providing an access for air exchange and for addition of chemicals to the well, as needed. Further, it enhances the appearance of the well casing and lid, especially if the lid is old and pitted.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the drawings wherein:

[0017] FIG. 1 is an exploded cross sectional view of a dug well in accordance with the prior art;

[0018] FIG. 2 is a partial cross sectional view of a drilled well in accordance with the prior art;

[0019] FIG. 3 is a partial cross sectional view of a dug well assembly showing a dug well with water in it, a well casing, a lid and a cap for a well casing in accordance with the invention;

[0020] FIG. 4 is a partial cross sectional view of the well cap in FIG. 3;

[0021] FIG. 5 is a partial cross sectional view of a drilled well assembly showing a drilled well, a well casing, a lid, and a cap for a well casing in accordance with the invention;

[0022] FIG. 6 is a detail view (drawn to a larger scale) of circled area 6 drawn adjacent FIG. 5

[0023] FIG. 7 is a partial cross sectional view of a second embodiment of a cap for a drilled well assembly as shown in FIG. 2;

[0024] FIG. 8 is a detail view (drawn to a larger scale) of circled area 8 drawn adjacent FIG. 7;

[0025] FIG. 9 is a partial cross sectional view of the well cap in FIG. 8;

[0026] FIG. 10 is a detail view (drawn to a larger scale) of circled area 10 drawn adjacent FIG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0027] As shown in FIG. 1, a dug well generally indicated by numeral 10 has a concrete well casing 12 and a concrete lid 14. The well casing 12 defines a space 16,for containing well water 18 and for servicing the well 10. These wells are especially prone to contamination, as there is no barrier to entry of contaminants except for the lid 14 and the well casing 12. The well casing 12 has an open end 20 projecting away from the well water 18. The lid 14 is disposed on the open end 20 of the well casing 12 to cover the open end 20 of the well casing 12. The well casing 12 and lid 14 may extend a short distance above the soil line (not shown) or may be at or below the soil line.

[0028] A large number of wells are drilled wells. Such a drilled well is generally indicated by numeral 26 in FIG. 2. The drilled well 26 differs from a dug well 10 in that there is no direct access to open water. As shown in FIG. 2, there are generally two pipes, one which is an outlet 28 and the other which is an inlet 30. These protrude through a metal cap 32 and are connected to a pump (not shown) at one end and with a water source at the other When water is pumped from the source, it must be replaced with air. Thus, there is an air vent 34 for gas exchange.

[0029] The dug well assembly shown in FIG. 3 and generally indicated by number 22 is comprised of a dug well 10 a concrete well casing 12, a lid 14 and a cap 24 made in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The cap 24, which is preferably made of plastic or a related polymer, but which could be made of metal, has a top 36 and a sidewall 38 spaced from the concrete well casing 12 to define an air pocket 40) The air pocket 40 accepts the well casing 12 and the lid 14 to provide a water resistant method and to exclude surface liquid from entering the well 10. through the top. Depending upon how far the well casing 12 extends above the soil line, the sidewall 38 may or may not be embedded in the ground (as drawn). If the well casing 12 extends a significant distance above the ground, the cap 24 may need to be anchored to the concrete well casing 12 with fasteners.

[0030] The cap 24 is further defined as having an access port 42. As shown in FIG. 4, the access port 42 has a boss 44 integrally formed with the top 36 of the cap 24. The boss 44 has an internal thread 46 which accepts a coupling 48 that couples a hose 50 on a bottom side 52. The coupling 48 is barbed at one end and threaded at the other end. A similar coupling 48 is shown in more detail in the assembly drawn in FIG. 6. A top side 54 of the boss 44 has an internal thread 56 which accepts a threaded proximal end 60 of a detachable tubular structure defined by a tube 62. Small air holes 64 are formed in the distal end of the tube 62 and a cover 66 is disposed on an open end 68 of the tube 62 to close the tube by means of threads 70, 72 on the cover 66 and the tube 62, respectively. Once assembled, the cap 24 is resistant against surface liquids and liquid-borne contaminants entering directly into the well water through the top.

[0031] In FIG. 3, the hose 50 extends into the space 16 below the level of the cap 24. In order to ensure that the hose 50 remains extended, a weight is disposed at a free end thereof. Conveniently, the weight is in the form of a second coupling 73 which, as described below, may be used to couple the assembly to the drilled well 26.

[0032] The cap 24 of the invention will now be described in association with a drilled well 26 with reference being made to FIG. 5 and 6. During operation of a drilled well 26 there may be a need to access a working space 74 inside the concrete well casing 12. This requires that the drilled well assembly, generally indicated by numeral 76 be disassembled by removing the cap 24 from the well casing 12. Removal of the cap 24 can be readily facilitated by undoing the hose 50. Once the hose 50 is detached, the cap 24 can be extracted from the ground, as needed.

[0033] There may also be a need to add chemicals to the drilled well 26 from time to time. This can be accomplished by removing the cover 66 of the access port 42 and pouring the chemicals into the tube 62 From there, the chemicals will flow through the hose 50 which is coupled to the well (26) with the second coupling 73 inserted into an aperture formed in the metal cap 32. In order for the chemicals to flow into the drilled well 26, the hose 50 must be relatively straight. This in turn requires that there is not a great excess length of hose 50) but it can be slack as long as a trap is not created in the hose 50.

[0034] It will be noted that the sidewall 38 of the cap 24 tapers outwardly from the top 36 for ease of stacking during storage, transport and sale of the cap 24. The shape of the cap 24 can be altered if desired to give the well a decorative, pleasing appearance. The cap 24 provides a water resistant cover for the existing well lid 14.

[0035] The cap 24 can be used to retrofit existing wells. Alternatively, the cap 24 can be used in new well construction. Installation of the cap 24 when retrofitting a drilled well 26 requires that a trench (not shown) be dug around the well casing 12. In addition, the existing well lid 14 may need to be drilled to provide an aperture 15 for the hose 50. The hose (50) is first attached to the well 26 with the second coupling 73 and subsequently passed through the aperture 15 in the existing well lid 14. It may be necessary to modify the metal cap 32 of the drilled well 26 to accept the hose 50. The hose 50 is then attached to the boss 44 by means of the coupling 48.

[0036] An alternative embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 7 to 10 in which like numerals are used to identify like parts to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 to 6. As shown in FIG. 9, the access port 42 has a tubular structure in the form of a neck 78 which is integrally formed with the top 36 of the cap 24 so that the inside of the neck is in communication with the air pocket 40. An adapter 82 to accept the flexible hose 50 from the well 26 and a gasket 80 complete the assembly. The neck 78 of the access port 42 is tapered outwardly from a modified cover 166. An annular lip 84 (FIG. 10 is formed on an inner surface 86 of the neck 78 to receive the gasket 80 and the adaptor 82. The adapter 82 is funnel-shaped and is seated at a wider end 88 on the gasket 80, which in turn is seated on the annular lip 84. A narrower end 90 of the adapter 82 is housed in the neck 78. The narrower end 90 accepts an upper end 92 of the hose 50. The attachment of a lower end 94 of the hose 50 to the drilled well 26, by means of a barbed and threaded coupling 100 and the upper end 92 of the hose 50 to the narrower end 90 of the adaptor 82 is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8.

[0037] As in the preferred embodiment, the cover 166 is removably attached to the neck 78 by means of threads 70 (omitted for simplicity in the drawing of FIG. 8) that thread onto corresponding threads 72 on an outer surface 102 of the neck 78. The cover 166 has at least one air hole 104 and has an annular ring 106 on an inner surface 108 to locate and seat the adaptor 82 and gasket 80 against the neck 78.

[0038] It will be understood that the air hole 104 are sufficiently small to restrict small insects from penetrating the neck 78. Alternatively, a single air hole may be formed as a larger opening and screened. The cover 166 also has a flanged top so that any precipitation falling on the cover will be directed outwardly away from the neck 78 thereby minimising the likelihood of such precipitation contaminating the well water through the air holes 104.

[0039] When retrofitting a well with the second embodiment, the cap 24 is placed over the existing well lid 14 and the length of the hose 50 is adjusted and attached to the narrower end 90 of the adaptor 82. The gasket 80 is seated on the lip 84 of the neck 78, the adapter 82 is seated on the gasket 80 and the cover 166 is positioned over the open end 96 of the neck 78.

[0040] Advantages of this invention will now be readily apparent to a person skilled in the art from the foregoing description of a preferred embodiment and its uses. Other embodiments and uses of this cap will now be readily apparent.