Dig a Little Deeper


July 21, 2017

This photo is looking down into a water well that my buddy just dug. Now, I want you to think about this; Who hand digs a well in this day and age?  My buddy, that’s who!

I witched the water last year. He asked me to dowse it for him last November. I have done this many times in the past. Finding the right spot took me only just a little while. He marked the spot with a flag and everything paused for winter.

Well, not exactly paused. My buddy went to work making the cement ring sections in his garage. He spent a great deal of time making each one exact. He measured the sand, gravel, concrete and water in five gallon buckets. He painstakingly mixed and poured the cement into forms. He made two rings every other day until he had enough.

He started digging about six weeks ago…with a shovel and a spud bar. A bucket on a pulley is how the dirt was excavated from the hole. As he dug down, he added a ring. One after the other, making sure each one was plumb as he went. After a while, he would add the steel ladder rungs into the rings, in places that were formed during the cement mixing phase. This project amazes me and I have watched from start to finish.

As he went deeper, he added light on a ground fault breaker. He also moved fresh air into and out of the space with an air mover. He tried to dig for half a day each day. He stopped to plant the garden, build some raised bed boxes and a few daily chores. He even gave me a day to mow hay for me as I recover from my knee replacement.

Last night he called me to say that as he was finishing up for the day, the clay in the bottom of the hole, “cracked”. He said then it cracked a little larger and started hissing. He stepped up onto the ladder rungs and water started spraying into the well. As of this morning, there was six feet of water in his newly hand dug well.

As I do what my therapist says to keep my new knee working, sometimes I hit a rough spot. The pain is temporary so I just dig a little deeper and keep pushing myself. I will say though that there is no way I can see myself hand digging a well! In case you are wondering, the depth of the well is just a few inches shy of thirty feet deep!

4 Comments so far
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That makes no sense. As he dug, he placed a ring. Then he dug some more and placed another ring UNDER the previous ring? Did he pass the next ring THROUGH the previous ring? Magically pass it OVER the previous ring? My bs detector is honking.

Comment by haysfarmsmanager

Sorry if my explanation was unclear. The first ring was placed on the ground. He dug under that ring. It slid down as he dug. A second ring was then placed on top of the first ring. He of course keep digging the dirt out from under and inside of the bottom or first ring. If you look close, you can see the three metal hoops on each ring. The hoops were lifting points, so each ring lifted would be held somewhat level as he placed it on top of the one below it. So, each ring was placed on top of each other as the “stack” went down as he dug. He usually had no more than three rings above the level of the ground, he would add to the stack as they went down.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

All I know is — this photo gives me the heeby-jeebies! And, your friend is a genius. Or crazy.

Comment by Aunt June

He is a hard working fellow. I don’t know anyone else in this day and age who would take on such a project!

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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