What is that strange thing sticking out above our house?
It's the rig that is drilling our well. Two weeks ago this vehicle drove across our creek and up to the house. The owner of the well drilling company had already come to the farm and found a place to drill the well. This is how he found the spot.
When the rig arrived at the farm, then pulled in behind the house in the yard by the chickens. The drilling rig is attached to the bed of this military surplus 6-wheel-drive truck. Farmer John thinks this should be our next farm truck - minus the drilling contraption of course.
The rig is all set up and towering over the blackberries, chicken coop and surrounding buildings. We've learned that there are several types of drilling rigs. Ours is called a "spud" rig. A large, weighted "bit" is dropped down the hole, making a quarter-turn each time it's dropped. The bit is brought back up and all the mud/dirt/rocks are dumped out. This process is repeated until they hit a good source of water.
When the rig is running, it's not a quiet process. The chickens aren't very happy about this situation and tend to stay as far away as possible.
Here's a graphic from wellowner.org. Our new well will have screens and casings, which is pretty high-tech compared to our old well. Since the new well will be located outside, if we ever need to work on the pump it will be easier to pull since we won't have to rip up the whole house and roof. Both of these are reasons we decided to have a new well drilled, rather than trying to fix the old one.
As of Friday they had drilled 125 feet. They hit water, but are only getting about a gallon a minute. For it to be a good well it should yield about 7 gallons of water a minute. Hopefully they'll hit that level soon. We're pretty eager to have running water once again.