Sunday, June 20, 2010
The Quest for Water
The well was scheduled for 6/17 - 18, and so we checked into the Saxtons River Inn on 6/16 and were on-site by 7:30 AM the next day. Anticipation gave way to cautious optimism by 9 am, and by 10:30 I sent the LSW to the highway in search of a cell phone signal to find out what was up.
While she was away, I continued plugging away at the wiring, distracted by every vehicle I could hear (but not see) slowing to round the sharp curve at the bottom of our road. At 11:30 the LSW reported that the crew was about 1/2 mile away if we wanted to stop over and get a status.
So that was the racket we had been hearing in the distance all morning!
I worked all day, becoming more irritated with each passing hour, but - in fairness - a message had been left on our home answering machine the evening of 6/16 to let us know they would likely be a day late. We just didn't think to check it. At 5 PM we packed it in and drove the 1/2 mile to find that they were finished, packing up, and about to drop the well-drilling rig off at our place.
And so it was that drilling commenced on 6/18 at about 10 AM, while the LSW and I strung wire and The Boy sat in front of the back door watching the action around the well site. At 4 PM, they closed up shop, having hit ledge at 100', inserted the well casing to that point, and drilled another 20 feet looking for water. Ed stopped by in the middle of the day to check the crew's progress, and explained that the drilling starts using a water mixture that is heavy enough to prevent the hole from collapsing when they remove the drill. As water is continually flushed out of the hole, it is checked to determine if the drill has hit ledge. Once it has, the water keeps the hole open while steel well casing is inserted down to ledge level, and the drilling proceeds using air until water is struck. In our area, they are expecting water somewhere between 100 and 250'. The drilling is pretty slow while they are using water, but speeds up significantly after. This means they should know on Monday where we stand.
Best case: They hit water before 150'
Worst case: They don't hit water after 280' and we have to decide whether or not to spend $2,500 on 'hydrofracking'
At about $9 a foot for drilling, I've got my fingers crossed...