Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Staff Engineer Goes to Drill Camp

Jim Chamberlain, WaTER Staff Research Engineer, attended the 3-day Living Water International drill camp, September 24-26, in Danbury, Texas, south of Houston. Jim and 20 other participants, including some from Tanzania, Guatemala, and Australia, learned the fundamentals of well drilling with the LS100 mud rotary drill rig. Under the expert guidance of their "drill instructor", campers learned how to mobilize and demobilize the rig, how to drill to depths of up to 100 feet, troubleshooting tips and advice, and the essentials of well completion and development. Installation of the hand-operated Bush pump and base assembly followed on the last day.

Chamberlain digs out the mud pit for the circulation of drilling mud.

Jim's team included members from Zimbabwe, Florida and Texas.
The LS100 is the right tool for certain jobs - specifically, drilling a 6-inch borehole at depths of up to 100 feet in soft to medium formations. It will not drill through boulders or loose gravel formations (due to borehole cave-in), and is best utilized in places where people are already using hand-dug wells. Jim quips, with a wink, "Now I can tell people that I have drilled water wells in two emerging regions - Oklahoma and Texas!". But he also looks forward to the day when he can assist or lead a cooperative team of students, volunteers and local villagers in drilling and installing a new well in an area of great need. The LS100 mud rotary rig is a prominent module in the Field Methods course that Jim teaches at the beginning of each summer at the University of Oklahoma.
The finished, installed pump delivers clean water with the stroke of the handle.
Living Water International is a Christian, faith-based NGO that has drilled over 10,000 wells since its founding in 1990.  Their very successful business model is to train, consult, and equip local people in-country to implement sustainable solutions. Their training includes pump repair as well as drill training on three sizes of mud rotary rigs. More information is found here.

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