March 29, 2017
Although originally slated for Monday afternoon, Day 1 actually turned out to be Tuesday. We began at Site 1, also known to us as TW-1a (as labeled by the water study done in 2015).
I am by no means a well drilling technician, but I’ll try to give you a basic summary of the process.
A mixture of air and foam is pushed down with a force that digs the hole and cleans out the rock/soil debris. The water/foam/debris that are expelled create something that looks like a grey lava flow (although, it is completely harmless). If there is water running out with the foam, that’s a good sign! It means you have hit some kind of water under the earth that is coming up and out.
Every so many feet, they gather a sample of the debris to see what kind of rock they are going through. We had a short scare when we thought they hit blue clay. Blue clay is an infamous well drilling blocker. Thankfully, it turned out not to be enough to cause a problem, and they went through pretty quickly to keep on drilling. (Lots of people are praying!)
From time to time, they clear the area around the hole of foam and debris as well as clear out the run-off pathways.
Each of the drilling pipes (if that is what they are called) is 20 feet long. Once they have gone deep enough to use up their loaded stock, someone goes up to lock in another set.
Curious observers gathered at various times. 🙂
By 100 feet, they had hit a little water (apparently from a small, higher acquifer). By 230 feet or so, they seemed to have hit a deeper, sweeter acquifer. After communicating with the technicians who had done the water study (who are in the States), we decided to drill to 370 feet.
Drilling continued into the night to reach this depth. At this point, we really can’t tell what quantity or quality of water we have. Our next steps will be decided in the morning.