
The bucket test is a very useful and "low tech" test method. It consists of simply timing the filling of a vessel of known volume, and doing the math to determine a flow rate. It can be used to measure the fluid production from wells (settling time may be necessary to get accurate readings). As a pumping well diagnostic tool, it can be used in conjunction with calculations of
theoretical pump displacement.
The formulae for different size buckets are as follows:
For a 5 gallon container 10,285.8 ÷ T = BPD
For a 3 gallon container 6,171.5 ÷ T = BPD
For a 1 gallon container 2,057.2 ÷ T = BPD
Where T is the time to fill in seconds, and BPD is the calculated flow in barrels per day.
Over the years, we have developed a preference for a three gallon test bucket since nice plastic ones are readily available (plastic buckets must be supported such that they do not distort, which distortion affects accuracy). The following table applies to three (3) gallon test buckets:

