Well Drilling Rig

Well-Drilling Day

By Erin Huffstetler | 06/18/2015 | 2 Comments
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When we got up yesterday morning, we had no idea we’d be getting a well. We’d hired a driller two weeks ago, and had been waiting anxiously for our turn. The call finally came while we were having breakfast (perfect timing, since we were already up at our weekend homestead).

My husband pulled out our bush hog and chain saw (luckily we’d brought both with us), and finished clearing the spot we’d chosen for our well.

Front of Drilling Rig

When the driller got here, he set up his drill. Then, left to get his water truck. That was a-okay with me because it gave me time to snap lots of pictures of his rig. Because really, isn’t it cool? I can’t even begin to guess how much something like that would cost.

Well Drilling Rig Side View

He spent quite a few hours drilling, and hit water when he got to 112 feet. He came and got us at 140 feet to see how much deeper we wanted to go. At that point the well was pulling 10 gallons a minute. Since we may use our well to irrigate an orchard in the future, we had him drill to 200 feet. That should give us a little extra to work with during droughts, too.

So, how much does it cost to drill a well? A lot. All told, it cost us $2,727. That’s $75 for the state permit. $12 a foot for the well and $12 a foot for the casing (it took 21 feet of casing).

Capped Off Well

That brings us a step closer to having potable water on the property, but we still have a ways to go. We’ll need to run electricity, install a pump and all the other mechanicals, build a well house, run pipes from the well house to the cabin and bathhouse and test the water before we can even think about drinking water that we didn’t bring from home. And that sounds like lots of money to me. I’ve heard horror stories about how expensive well wiring is. But I guess we’ll find out. I’m hoping we have enough saved to make it happen.

And technically, we now have two wells. You may remember that the property came with a well. We tested it several times, and it seemed to bottom out at 48 feet, but a neighbor we talked to thought it had been drilled to 115 feet. Hmm … a mystery. We were hoping that it just had an obstruction that could be removed, or that we could simply drill it deeper, but no dice. When our well guy came out a couple weeks ago, we learned that the PVC that had been used to case it was a big no no in this area. As in reputable well guys won’t work on it because they don’t want to risk losing their license. And that left us starting from scratch. So, we still have that well, and we may just throw a hand pump on it, so we can use it for non-drinkable things. It’s by the bathhouse, so it’s in a handy enough spot.

In Other Homestead News …

Riding Lawn Mower

We snagged a riding lawn mower at a yard sale for $200 a couple weekends back, which means we’re now able to mow the grass a lot shorter than we had been (we’d been using a bush hog). It seems to be making a BIG difference with the ticks and chiggers.

Mobile Hot Spot

We also now have Internet access when we’re up here. Our library recently got wireless hot spots, and we checked one out last week. The first one we tried (a T-Mobile model), didn’t get service at the cabin. So, we took it back, and checked out a Verizon hot spot, and it works beautifully. For $2 a day, I can now work from our homestead. We still don’t have electricity up here, so I have to use the generator to charge my laptop when the battery loses life, but I have to say, having a gas-powered computer kind of amuses me.


And it’s almost blackberry season. Bring on the jam and cobblers!

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  1. How come I’m not receiving any of your updates on your cabin homestead anymore? I always have to hunt on your site to find out what improvements have taken place. And even then if they are titled different ways I can’t always find them. 🙁

    • Hi Marie,

      I’ll be back to my cabin updates soon. We had a busier than expected summer, and I took a break from my weekly newsletter. The kids are back in school, so I should be back to business as usual soon.

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