Saturday, July 16, 2011

Oh WELL (part 2)

Oh WELL… (part 2)


the large box in the middle is water storage

The first truck to arrive from Greene Bros. Well & Pump Inc. was the water and pipe truck. I met it at the entrance off the main road to be sure they could find us and to take photos of them arriving. Little did I know, the truck travels a lot faster than I can run. I couldn’t keep up with it as it drove up the .2 mile drive way to our property. I had to stop several times and catch my breath and was wishing I had some water – how ironic!

When the drill truck arrived I met it at the gate on our property instead of at the road – I learned my lesson.

Huge truck! It reminded me of what Kathy said about watching her house being delivered to their property; like watching it moving through the birth canal.

Jerry helps Robin line up the truck where we specify we want to drill. We have to decide that because they don’t want the responsibility – don’t blame them a bit for that!

 Jerry cuts away branches so the drill doesn’t snap them off.

The truck gets balanced. Robin does this from the back. See how high the front wheels are off the ground. Cool!

They raise the drill assembly.

The first bit goes on and begins to drill. We don’t make it 2’ before Jerry is digging out rocks that are easy to move.  There is a lot of dust on the first day as they drill through rock. Robin told me at the end of the second full day of drilling that we were going through rock almost the whole time with just a few pockets. Not sure what was in the pockets, evidently not oil. No “loading up the truck and moving to Beverly” for us. 

They switch out bits and continue to drill.

We make it 28’ on the first day and they guys stop there.

The inspector is due the next morning to make sure the hole is correct and that they grout it properly. They insert a tube that becomes the casing which is the head of the well. This is where they put the submerged pump. The casing prevents contamination and things running back into the well. It is also a support for the top of the well. All that I just typed was according to what Jim found out by reading about wells and talking to Robin and Jerry. I’m pretty clueless at this point. All I know is that we are drilling for water and hoping we find some.

Things get interesting on day 2. We reach 265’ and water – yea! Robin checks the flow rate with what I’m expecting to be a very sophisticated piece of equipment – he uses a gallon bucket and stop watch! He makes sure all the water coming from the hole is channeled through a pvc pipe, then he positions the bucket. He fills the bucket several times so he can check the rate. We are only getting 2 gallons a minute. Jim reminds me that we ARE GETTING WATER and to be thankful. I was really hoping for Artesian (which I mistakenly keep calling Argentine) but with a reality check I change my focus. 

Robin's system to check flow rate.

After much discussion with the Al, Robin, and after considering all that Jim has read about wells, it is decided to keep going.

 The next morning Robin and Jerry arrive and cranked up the drill. It is a noisy machine. Jerry gave Jim and me ear plugs to use the day before because I’m sure he could tell we were the type to hang around through out the whole process, taking photos and asking questions. I think he is psychic! I was constantly taking photos, sometimes asking questions or talking Jim into asking, and Jim was working on the fire pit area – which by the way is turning into a beautiful spot and will be covered in another blog.

So this is what I found out with all my questions. Each 20’ long pipe takes about 25 minutes to grind its way into the earth. The water truck is on the site to add water to cool the drill and helps remove the ground stone. Our job used all the water they brought but they didn’t have to go refill – we were very grateful for that. Air foam is also added to help the rock and earth make its way to the surface. I have to admit I don’t know about the environmental impact of this stuff. That would take some additional research.

As they drill, the hole is constantly spewing up ground rock (looks like sand) and it begins to pile up and form rivers. Jerry and Robin mentioned several things that people use it for, plant beds was one, and also said that before the job is finished it will be hosed away (if we don’t shovel it up first).

As we drill deeper, the space below where we originally hit water becomes storage space, sort of like an underground storage tank. We ultimately stopped at 505’ and gained an extra gallon a minute, bringing us to a solid 3 (according to Robin’s testing device). This also means that we have about 600 gallons of storage space. That’s cool! Jim found out that 3 gallons a minute is about average, wells can provide more or less. If a household had to run off of a gallon or less then they usually use an above ground storage tank as a back up; otherwise it would take the well too long to recover when water is used. Or they just drill deeper for storage. Tony, who did the insect treatment recently, told me he drilled 1500’ and only got 1 gallon a minute. Our builder said there was no way to predict what we would get because there is just no way to know, everyone gets something different. We are sticking with Jim’s suggestion – just be grateful we have water and that we didn’t have to drill twice.  So thank you David, you were right, there was water down there. And thanks Grandpa and Dad for hanging out during the process and helping us find water. And thank you to everyone who kept us in their prayers and thoughts and for all your positive energy toward finding water. And especially to Theresa for her vision: “I have this image of a place on your property which is fed by an underground stream of sweet water that will serve you as long as you need.”         

After the drill leaves we will begin the process of installing the well and getting the pipes from the well to the house and the motor home pad. Hopefully we will find our way around the rocks!  

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