It is helpful, when you are trying to drill your own well by hand, to understand how
the pros do it. They have huge powerful machines but the
basic process is extrememely similar. The nice folks at Johnson Well Drilling in
Foley, Alabama were kind enough to permit us to video record their process and
post it here.
In their drilling process, a drillbit is turned into the ground as water
is pumped down the center of the drill stem. The cuttings from the
bottom of the hole are washed up to the top in the annular space between
the drill stem and the side of the hole. The cuttings come
up and are dumped into a portable mud pit that is continuiously shoveled
(emptied) during the drilling process.
Bentonite is added to the drilling fluid during drilling to keep the
sandy sides of the hole from collapsing on the drill stem.
The process we will be using is almost identical but we will have to be
a lot more patient!
In this video, Driller Mac Johnson, assisted by twin brothers Dalton and
DIllon Moore, drill a couple of 250 foot holes for the purpose of installing
geothermal loops of HDPE pipe. The loops are part of an HVAC system
that uses the earth to sink and return heat for a heat pump. The drilling
process used in drilling water wells is identical. As you proceed to
drill your own well, you will no doubt gain a little respect for both
the professional drillers and their incredibly powerful machines.
I certainly have.