When Scott Costa saw the site on which he had to operate, he knew he had a challenge on his hands; he also knew his firm could get the job done.

Costa, president of Comac Pump & Well LLC, Kingston, N.H., explains: “A new home was being built, and the owner had his own excavating equipment, so he prepped the drilling site - to the best of his ability. He thought it was ready to go, but it left a bit to be desired. I told him that it was doable; it's not how we like to see it, but we knew we could do it. So we pulled in with the drill rig. There was quite a bit of extra time involved. We had to jack up the front of the rig as well as in back. We literally were backed into a wall of earth 10 feet to 12 feet high. Also, the well required us to mud the hole, and with no room behind the rig, we needed to make room on one of the sides for us to dig pits.”

The 6-inch diameter well went down 505 feet. “We hydrofractured it, after which the well produced 12 gallons per minute,” Costa explains. “Then we installed a 1-HP submersible pump.”

The rig used on this job was a 2004 Versa Drill V2000. “We have three rigs - all V2000s. We have a 2002 and a 2003 also,” says Costa. Asked about maintenance and repairs, he tells us, “We do virtually all of it ourselves.” He notes that, “The manufacturer is tremendously helpful with schematics - either in the manuals or via e-mail or fax - and the mechanics over the phone. Generally, we keep the rigs for five years.”

Costa is a third-generation driller. “I've been running the company almost 20 years,” he explains. “In the 1940s and 50s, when my grandfather ran it, they did everything - excavating work, hydraulic work, well drilling - it was very broad. When my dad took over in the 60s, the focus became increasingly narrowed, and now, since I took over in 1987, it's strictly well and pump service work, and filtration, as well.”

Costa tells us that approximately two-thirds of Comac's revenue comes from residential work; the rest is commercial and municipal.

“Normally,” says Costa, “once our rig is on site, within 10 or 15 minutes we have the mast up and the tooling getting into the table to start drilling. On this particular job, it took about two hours with the jacking and blocking of the rig and having to use our small excavator to get the pits dug and get us some breathing room around the rig that we desperately needed. Without the four-wheel drive rig, we couldn't have it. Our water truck - a Mack - was more than 300 feet away - as close as we could get it without it getting stuck.

“The actual drilling process took one full, busy day. The hydrofracturing took half a day, but it had to wait several weeks because our hydrofacturing unit is on a Mack truck, and we needed to wait for the ground to freeze. And then the pump system was a 2 1⁄2- to 3-hour job.”