Well Witching

We are in the midst of a longish drought, with springs and streams drying up on the winter grounds. Our home spring is hiccupping and we are in early summer,  so something has to be done. We decided on digging a well and erecting a windmill, to take advantage of the usual windy conditions, hoping to be able to do it on a rise so as to deliver the water via gravity.

We began negotiations with a well-digging outfit who would come, at some undetermined point in the future and charge us $200 a meter, which seemed high, but necessary nonetheless. So we signed on and began waiting.

Last week we were still waiting. Some dozen years ago a fellow in Ohio showed me his dowsing apparatus – a sort of spring loaded deal – and then took me out to the field  and demonstrated how it worked. At some point in his strolling around the thing dipped towards the ground and in a couple more steps went straight down: “Here is the water, now let’s see at what depth it is.” He repositioned the thing and asked if it was ten feet down – no movement. Finally at “50 feet down?”, It agreed and indicated so by going straight down again.

He then had me try it and, to my surprise, I had pretty much the same results, along with a slight thrill to feel the thing come alive in my hands.

So last week I sorted through some barn junk and came up with a length of steel sprung wire which I fashioned into a dowsing stick and went out to the rise to see what would happen. Durn me, but after wandering a bit, it started to dip and then, in a couple more steps, it went down. This happened three times in the same place, it did. So I then asked it how far down was the water and got response at between 5 and 6 meters.

Feeling a tiny bit foolish (but not caring a hoot) I instructed my two Indian lads where to start digging. They hit water at 3 meters! Good water! As I was contemplating how to continue digging down to 5.5  meters along come Hugo and, helpful as always in things gaucho, described how to have a huge pipe adapted to be a pile driving thing and then, via drilled holes, a sieve to filter in the water so that the pump could have its housing and a ready supply of water. Said that he had done it once. “How did you drive the pipe down?”. Big happy smile as he described how he rigged up a 500 pound rock on a tripod and then pulled it up to the top, carefully balanced over the pipe top and then let her drop.

Will report on that effort as we get to it, but the news here is that we dug the hole ourselves, saving nice monies in the process and employing non polluting labor for a few days, AND we got a nice 4 foot diameter hole in the process – great for gathering the water.

Warped water. How do it know?