DRILLING A NEW WELL
Drilling a new well is an exciting undertaking for both you and our team! Our years of experience drilling many, many wells in the area guarantee your water well project will run smoothly as we service your needs with the best quality work and well products the industry has to offer. Our goal is to strike water and install the necessary systems needed to pump the clean H2O to the surface for your use. This process involves using our drilling rig to bore into the earth on the job site. The drilling process is an interesting spectacle to watch. Commonly, people want to see the action for themselves and ask plenty of questions about what's happening as we work. We welcome any interest in what we do and we will do our best to answer any questions about the operation. Our team is composed of preeminent well drilling professionals here to serve you and with our service your new well can be flowing in no time!
Well Drilling 101
From the surface down to the water source, there are different areas within the earth relevant to the drilling process. The general term for the layer of material above the water source is called the overburden, which is composed of clay, sand, gravel, or rock and varies in depth before we reach water. The overburden is hard, solid bedrock in some locations, but that is not the case in South Alabama where we have such sandy, loose soil on the gulf coast. Of course, the aim of our job is to reach a water source providing favorable flow rate into the well with the purest water coming from an aquifer deep within the earth. The aquifer is an area within the earth that holds a source of groundwater filtered through earth's media over long period's of time. It lies within the zone of saturation, where the ground is completely saturated with H2O, under the water table, which describes the upper limit of where the zone of saturation begins underground. Aquifers are described as confined or unconfined depending on the permeability of the surrounding strata.
Rotary Drilling Machine
These days, most water wells are drilled with rotary drilling machines as they are reliable and efficient in their action meeting the demands of boring through the earth in a speedier fashion. The machine is a diesel powered with a hydraulic pump and a large hammer drill that rotates and pounds through the earth boring a hole by pulverizing through rock, digging and scraping through the ground. A tall boom supports connections to a power head able to be raised and lowered, driving the drill bit. Water and compressed air can be used in different methods to cool and lubricate the drill bit as well as removing the cuttings from the borehole. In some rotary drilling methods, a slurry of water and products such as bentonite clay or other additives is circulated to perform this function. As the bit advances, more sections of pipe will be added to lengthen the drilling rod. The driller will secure the top end of the drilling rod on the back of the rig with a collar, raise the power head and thread another section of pipe onto the assembly and continue pushing deeper into the earth. The operation is repeated until striking water, when onlookers will witness water gushing out of the well hole. Now the rig will be used to install the well casing, which is a water pipe establishing the well and keeping sand, dirt, and contaminated surface water from entering the well. The well screen on the bottom end of the casing filters the water input to the well, excluding the unwanted particulate from the system. The diameter of the borehole is bigger than the well casing, so grout is used to fill the gap between the casing and the wall of the well. Bentonite clay is usually used for this purpose as it forms an impervious seal around the well casing when it comes in contact with water, further preventing adulterants from leaking down the well hole and contaminating the water source.
Cable Tool Drilling (percussion drilling)
Considered to be an "old school" drilling method cable tool drilling or percussion drilling is a little less sophisticated than rotary drilling using the simplicity of brute force to pound its way deeper into the ground. The action consists of the raising and falling of a drill rod suspended from a cable, slamming and fracturing the rock at the bottom of the hole. As the rod is lifted and dropped, the crushing and chiseling of the material produces cuttings that must be removed before the procedure can advance. A bailer is used to clear the cuttings and resume operations, generally owing to slower work and therefore a less efficient means of well drilling.