Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Foreboding Portents: Drilling for Water


Stay tuned for updates on the progress of the clearing and excavation over the last two weeks, and in the meantime:

     On Thursday May 29th, I got a surprising call: the well rig was available, and they were able to come out earlier than expected, namely in 20 minutes. J Fortunately, everything was ready for them, and I anxiously awaited the start of the drilling, to see how deep (and if) we would hit water. Around this time, the bright sunny day suddenly became a bit overcast, with a bank of clouds rolling in, and the tops of the 150ft-tall trees started to sway ominously. Not necessarily a good omen J

     As a more concrete sign of things not going well: the line drive broke on the support rig – snagged against the ground as the truck was making the sharp curve coming out of the steep access road. With the well diggers glaring disappointedly at the broken part, and trying to figure out how to lift the back end of the truck while the tires were locked and refused to roll forwards, I thought this was still a rather minor setback. Parts on trucks do break occasionally, and the well diggers were still able to set everything up and get ready to start digging. So we drill down 20 feet, then 40, then 60…

Well drilling rig with super tall raised derrick, and support truck carrying 20ft lengths of pipe
(both outer walls, and inner steel well casings).
Derrick Raising

Pipe laid out out before each one is raised and lowered into position.


Dust from ground rock and loose soil/sand being pumped out.
Let's hope that our well  like the little choochoo engine it seems to be  ends up being the "little well that could"... find water!


Welding separate lengths of pipe together.

We’ve got a serious slip-n-slide going on down our trail down the hillside to the creek!!
(All the wetness in the sludge so far is just from water carried on the support truck, used to help keep the sand moving and from sticking to the drill head. It is not indicative of actual water... yet.)


     Eventually we hit 120ft on Friday, with still no sign of water. Our two closest neighbors at the top of the hill had both hit water (granted, a small, but steady trickle) around 90-110ft, so this was bit disappointing. There’s still the hope that we’ll hit water closer to where the houses down the hill alongside the creek did – which would be closer to 250-300ft. If we don’t hit water there, though, we’ll have a serious problem.

     And while the broken line drive on the support truck didn’t seem like such a terrible omen, it did start to seem like too much of a coincidence when the drilling rig also broke down. And which part was the culprit? Also the line drive!  So fast-forward to five days later, after the support truck got towed out and replaced with a new one over the weekend, and a new part arrived for the drilling rig yesterday, and we’re back to drilling. We’ve had all weekend to worry about whether or not we’re going to hit water, and still, at 260ft deep by the end of Wednesday, we still aren’t sure if we ever will reach water. While we nervously wait for the drilling to recommence, we'll try envisioning images of roaring waterfalls, natural springs, large aquifers, etc. And we would certainly appreciate any moisture-filled thoughts and good wishes sent our way!


3 comments:

Erik said...

I hope you guys hit water soon. Some of the clear, cool, fresh variety of good mineral content and not too much "extras." My thoughts and hopes are with you.

Helen Kline said...

Wow -- good luck you two! We'll be hoping for the best.

Jermaine Ryan said...

That looked like a major drilling project! It's great that you had struck water on this one, as said on your next post! It certainly made all of those challenges you encountered worth it. It's also amazing that you were able to get a well rig rather easily. Anyway, enjoy your new water supply!

Jermaine Ryan @ Load Craft