James from Oregon

August 20, 2016

Well, I finally drilled my well. You probably get lots of letters like this but here is mine. We were drilling in the Cascade Mts 16 miles from Crater Lake. Since Crater Lake was a volcano I expected to be drilling in sand. Instead it turned out to be pumice rocks from bb size to marble size compacted tightly together (it reminded me of sheet rock).

I started out with a post hole digger going 15' and putting a 6" pipe in the hole. We then started drilling with the 5" bit. We ran the 1" pipe over 2 sections of scaffolding which made it easier to control. We hit water at about 16' and kept drilling to about 51' where we had a cave-in. We had put at put two batches of drilling mud in and had water in the hole, altho it was hard to keep it full because of the porous soil. Our settling pond was a bathtub with the drain plugged and the overflow the return. Three of us were able to pull the drill our of the cave in and we kept drilling. We were not able to go past 42' because of soft?? soil. We could feel the drill sink and immediately start to get stuck. We had been averaging about 4 ft/hr but we spent 2 hrs trying to get past 42'. We added the rest of the drilling mud which didn't help and may have been responsible for the drill plugging us. After pulling the drill out 4 times to clean out the holes I decided 42' was far enough. We got 4" casing down to 42' and started to fill around the pipe with pee gravel. The gravel just kept disappearing. We put an entire yard of pee gravel around the pipe and it never did fill up. Somewhere down there there is a yard of pee gravel.

After pumping it out a couple times with your pump I put a 1/2 horse submersible down to 40'. Running wide open from a 1" pipe I could pump the well dry in 1 min at about 10 gal. Choking it down to about 6 gal/min I can run it for over 4 hrs. I think what I have is water from 16-22'?? then no water from 22-40' as I can hear the water cascading down the casing as I pump. Now my task is to get the sand out of the water. I have pumped it about 20 hrs and still have very,very fine sand in it. I think a sand filter will fix that...

I appreciate the thoroughness (sometimes more than needed) of your video and book. It helped a lot.


PS. That is a trampoline top around the pipe to keep the yuck down and the dog really didn't help much. (:

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