Posted 02-21-2003 at 12:21:52
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Yeah, I've still got mine from (this April) twenty years ago. My well went pretty much picture-perfect: thirty-nine feet of clay, then course sand down to seventy-five feet, then "lake soil" (hard pan). The water-bearing strata is the course sand.
It took a day to get set up (dig the two pits, assemble the Hydra-Drill, etc.) and another day to drill, ream, and case the well. My father (who lives there now) is still using the well.
Keep several things in mind before buying the rig.
1.) What do you intend to do with it? Is your own personal well the only reason (still a good one)? If you are intending to try to pay for it by drilling wells for others, check your local laws pertaining to well drilling. In the case of Illinois (where I live), you MUST be a licensed well driller to legally do this. Getting a license is nearly impossible unless you want to apprentice to a well driller for several years first.
2.) It AIN'T like the pictures! Forget the white leasure suit and the grinning, spotless well-driller! It's a dirty, nasty job. The bentonite that's used to make a slurry for the drilling fluid WILL get all over you, despite your best efforts. It's kinda like being covered in sticky, gray gravy.
3.) Don't expect big-rig results. I don't know how big the power head is currently, but mine is a 4 H.P. Tecumseh 2-stroke. It just DOESN'T have a lotta poop--you really have to baby it and take it SLOW!
4.) Be prepared to for a fairly low-flow well. After all, the casing is only 3" in diameter. What we did was rig a small pump to pump into a cistern (1000-gallon septic tank--new, of course),
then pump out of it with a shallow-well jet pump. If you try to use a deep well jet pump, it's VERY easy to outrun your inflow. However, with the system described, you'll have plenty of water if you're carefull.
After all that, I still think I did well (no pun intended) by buying it. At the time, I also purchased the Dr. Diggs stand and 8" auger to drill post holes, and that has also been well worth the money. Local well drillers wanted $3-4000, and that was not with a guarantee! So, just be cautious, asess your needs, and make your decision. Their toll-free line is a great help. They were friendly and talked me through a few tense times.