Hand digging a well
Hand dug wells and other manual methods to dig a well have been in existence for thousands of years. Though mechanized methods are more efficient and effective, there are often no options for people and communities in need of water.
In rural areas of the developing world it is still the most common means of providing water to villages and homes. The volume of water in a well acts like a reservoir which can meet high demands, replenishing during periods of no abstraction.
At waterdriller.co.uk we still use the traditional hand digging technique for shallows wells. Although most wells we dig and construct now are for aesthetic reasons with lighting and glass tops we can still provided shallow wells where boreholes are not suitable.
Machine dug wells
Where the space and land allows it is quicker and cheaper to construct a well using a large excavator and concrete rings.
This is not our preferred method but it is efficient and provides as good water yield as hand dug wells.
The outside of the rings are surrounded with 40mm gravel to ensure good yield. The well is pump for several days to clear water channels and any silt from the digging process.
Life after Death - A transcript of an article by A.E.Clarke
What is it like and how i came to know
What is like to be faced with a situation you may have often dreaded, and knew could happen without warning. The moment when you all is finished you think of your wife and family. Do you panic, I didn’t, may be the absence of oxygen in the
air dulled my senses, although I remember vividly that “I am finished feeling”. I do not remember losing my calm:
I was employed by an Ipswich firm of Water Engineers to sink a well for a water supply for the camp and knowing the district well I knew I would have to dig down about a hundred feet to get water, I also knew there was a real risk of what we called foul air or carbon dioxide gas that could come through any of the various strata’s of soil without warning, so it was necessary to keep a candle burning all the time for as soon as the gas began to form the candle would become dim and then go out for want of oxygen.
My mate at the time leaned over the top to speak to me and receiving no answer knew something was wrong. Something he dreaded might happen for he knew that I had many times told him that if I ever got trapped by foul air never to come down to me for it would only mean two deaths instead of one, a thing that had happened many times and had sometimes involved three deaths for nothing, so you imagine his predicament and state of mind when this happened.
Well what is it like to find yourself alive again, it is a wonderful experience, you just cannot believe it at first and you seem to have been given a completely new start, and everything you held dear before become more precious. You look at your wife and children as if they are something that have been given back to you and you somehow feel you have gained by the experience. I might say that when I got home and saw my family again in this way they did not know that I had been through this experience as I was away lodging and I never spoke about it when I got home, so as not to make them worry about my job, and it was only by means of a letter from a relation that had seen the account in a local paper where it happened that my wife got to know about it all as I had asked that she should not be informed.
My only regret is that my mate, a Mr Potter from Ipswich was never rewarded or had his gallantry recognised for what he did.
The war being on and so much was happening all the time that what would have caused a stir in normal times became a trivial affair, but not to me, and I know I shall never forget when I thought my life was finished, and as you will realise that had this happened anywhere else but a camp so that plenty of help was available, and of course the services mask it would have been the finish for me and I should have joined the many workmen that have without warning been sacrificed in the service of others.
An amazing story, thank you very much for sharing this with us. Both my father and I have enjoyed reading it and our memories of well digging.