We have Water – 7 Gallons a Minute.
Building log homes in the Mountains has certainly been a learning experience for Mike and I. But one of the harder things to understand is why digging a well is so unpredictable. Our homes are located pretty high on the mountainside at 3200 – 3400 ft above sea level. And we are surrounded by Creeks and Mountain Springs. Glade Creek which runs at the bottom of our property runs beautifully in even the driest of season. When the rain comes to the area we find springs popping up all over the property. Yet when it comes to digging a well …. well, good luck finding water.
So before we dig our well we do as North Carolinians have for years – call the “water witches” or more commonly known as Dowsers.
It is almost comical to watch the dowser go to work (unfortunately I was unavailable when he came and I don’t have any photos or video) but typically they will take coat hanger and put it in a copper sleeve so it will turn freely, hold the rods loosely, and when they pass over the magnetic field, the rods will cross. “Dig here” he says. How does he know? Personal experience and gut instinct are key to his experience he says, not everyone has this ability. BTW, there are no guarantees here.
I’ve also found out that Dowsing is not just for wells. Locals say say dowsing can help heal the sick, find metals and minerals underground, and guide people’s life decisions.
So the dowsing is done, the spot is picked and the well digger pulls up. It’s an impressive machine, tall like a crane.
It took 3 days to dig, 300 feet, 400 feet, 500 feet – no water. 600 feet – no water, 700 feet, 800 feet – it’s dripping in. Now we are $12,000 in, and we have about 1/2 gallon a minute and a 1,000 gallon reservoir Digging a well is expensive, and it can be VERY expensive and now it’s going to be more expensive. We will have to Hydro-frac try to get more water flowing.
Today the Hydro-frac truck pulled up to blast air into the well in an attempt to open up some water lines. Another $4,000 to Hydro-frac so we can get the desired 5 -7 gallons a minute – again no guarantees. But the owner tells us if we don’t get 5 gallons a minute it only $2,000 instead of $4,000 – gee thanks.
The first day the crew comes and sets up, 10 minutes later a piece of equipment breaks and they have to stop and go purchase a replacement. Of course, Rt9 is out due to the mudslide earlier in the week so it’s an hour ride to get to town. They leave to get the part … and never come back.
The next day the crew comes back to get started and 20 minutes in to the set up one of the metal rods breaks loose from the truck, swings back and hits one of the guys on the head leaving a serious 3″ cut on his scalp. Off to the hospital, poor dude. Just wasn’t meant to be.
Today they came back for a third time. One of the guys reaches into the guts of the machine during set up and pulls out a birds nest.
Within hours we had good news – the lines are open and we are getting at least 6-7 gallons a minute! That’s a relief, with 4 1/2 baths 1/2 gallon a minute just wasn’t going to work. I was worried we would need to build an out house!
The good news doesn’t stop there – chickie is doing well and eating like a champ.