Philippines Blog #39 – Drilling For Water On Our Lot

November 6, 2009 – Friday

Concrete for construction needs water so it’s a priority to have it on the site right from the start.
No mains water? No problem. Just drill for it. It’s amazing when you realise how many properties in this country rely on underground water supplies. All you need is to drill a deep water well. I say all you need but the reality is that it takes a lot of strength to manually drill these deep water wells. First a small pipe is inserted into the ground with a sharpened metal end. This is gradually driven into the ground. Then a T bar is screwed on top and the turning begins. A pump is connected to the top to push water from the surface down into the hole to soften the ground underneath. So the water left from the recent monsoon rain was not wasted. Instead the men dug channels across the construction site so it would collect in a small pond right by the drilling location.
Little by little as one pipe disappeared into the ground another was screwed on top and the process was repeated. Shortly after lunch a permanent pipe was inserted in the drill hole and another drill pipe was run down the centre to continue the drilling and softening with water process. Again the hand pump was connected to the turning t-bar at the top to push the watery mud out of the spout below. It was very messy work as you will see in the video below. The team struck water at one level but wanted to go much deeper to ensure the water supply would be really clean. Across the road from our lot we later sampled the water from another hand pump whiile washing the mud of our feet. It looked much clearer than the mains supply back at our rented house and tasted good too. Better still, it’s free!

Check out this video: Drilling For Water On Our Lot

Once construction has been completed there will be an electric pump to draw water into a raised storage tank which will supply both properties. But given the prevalence of brown-outs maybe it would be a good idea to retain a hand pump also.
Today was also the first time we had met the engineer assigned to our project. He brought with him various blueprints, technical drawings and the building permit application forms. Multiple copies of each document required a signature. These together with copies of the community tax certificate and the barangay clearance letters the engineer later delivered to City Hall.