How to Drill a Well

Jess Estrada's picture
Posted by Jess Estrada on
Tue, 08/12/2014

Here at Students Rebuild, we live by the motto "Take Action, See Change." As we transition from students taking action through bead-making, we head now into the 'See Change' phase of the Water Challenge. Our partner charity: water takes a holistic approach to bringing water to places and people in the world who need it most. Today they share some insight into gravity fed water systems and how pipes are the unseen conduits creating access to water.


Our friends and supporters know that at charity: water we love wells. But did you know that there are actually many types of well solutions? In a previous blog, we told you about hand-dug wells, but boreholes, or drilled wells, are another excellent way to bring clean water to some of the hardest-to-reach communities.

Boreholes are used when the water aquifer serving a community is too far below the surface to reach by manpower alone. Sophisticated mobile drilling rigs and experienced technicians are required to make the deep plunge into the earth.  Sometimes the rig needs to drill as far down as 300 feet!

These types of wells are long, thin and fitted with pipes to pump the water all the way up to the surface. Often the pump on top is hydraulic, but electric models are available, too.  A pump is fitted to the top so people always have access to as much water as they need. The water from the aquifer is naturally clean and free from diseases—but charity: water tests it just to make sure.

When the drilling rig finally hits the aquifer, it's a very exciting time. Water comes shooting up out of the earth like fireworks! Many times community members gather around and stand near the fresh, clean water spouting up from below their feet. They celebrate the new water and what it will mean for their communities.

Remember: clean water means improved health, higher school attendance and more time spent with family. Many people use their extra time to start a business or grow their home garden, in turn making money and providing better nutrition to their families. Water changes everything!


The Students Rebuild Water Challenge, in partnership with charity: water and Global Nomads Group, is helping bring clean, safe drinking water to those who need it most. Every 20 handmade beads provides access to clean water for one person in a village. This school year, your handmade beads will provide more than 16,000 people clean water in Tanzania because the Bezos Family Foundation through Students Rebuild has matched your beads with funding for 41 water projects that serve schools and communities.