Well Drilling

The “New and Improved” Agua Yaku

Question:  What do you get when you motorized a manual water well drilling rig?

Answer:  You get a much easier way to drill water wells!20141125_2109

Check out Rudy with his feet up and with the master control in his hand.  I’m a bit ambivalent about our new “motorized” Village Drill.  I’ve always loved bringing communities together to drill water wells for people.  It is always a party, and creates such a feeling of unity and community, when you can get ten or twenty people together to help a family put in a water well.  That is how we have been drilling for years–first with the Baptist sludge/percussion method, and now with the Village Drill.  These manual (or partially manual) drilling methods work well, but they require a dozen or more people to help “pull on the rope,” “spin the carousel,” or “pound the drill stem.”  The problem is finding enough help when we don’t have a big volunteer team in Bolivia helping.  It is always difficult to find enough men to help drill when it is just Agua Yaku staff out drilling for a family.  So many men are absent from the communities, gone for months working wage labor jobs in the city or on large farms and ranches, leaving only women at home to tend to children, animals and farms.  Often a family will have to hire laborers to help us drill their wells, adding tremendously to the cost of putting in a well.

If we can reduce the amount of labor needed to drill a well, it will be easier logistically and less expensive or Agua Yaku and the local families to put in water wells.  Since we recently begin using a big diesel mud pump with the Village Drill, we decided to experiment a little, adding an electric generator (12.2 kWh for you technical types) so we could power electric motors to spin the carousel and raise and lower the drill stem.  Now we can drill comfortable with just three or four people!  Don’t worry, if a big team comes to help, we can still remove the belts and let them spin the carousel by hand all day long!

I will have a video up soon of the new drilling system in action.  I hope the inactivity doesn’t bore everyone. Thanks for your continued support.

Cheers, Danny

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