A well drilling story from the customer's perspective.

Ms. Mollie McManigal from Ridgecrest, Calif., called me, and asked me to recommend a good well driller in her area. Being from Virginia Beach, Va., I didn’t know a driller who I could recommend near her location. However, I did recommend that she look on the Internet for some drillers in her area, call them, and then ask some questions about wells. By their answers, she then could determine the best choice. She followed my instructions; Ms. McManigal was impressed with Shasta Drilling Inc. (http://shastadrilling.com), Redding, Calif., and its sales presentation over the telephone.

At my request, the following was written by Ms. McManigal, and sent to me to be published in National Driller. I think we should share stories about quality drillers. I hope that one day I will get to meet the McManigals, and visit Shasta Drilling Inc.

Her Story

Mike Colbert of Shasta Drilling Inc. is the all-in-one conqueror of the well drilling experience – the one who leads you to victory, not to a box of Kleenex.

I first spoke to Mike when my husband and I were looking for property to purchase around the Redding, Calif., area for retirement. We knew we eventually were going to need a well driller, and figured it was going to take time to find someone we could fully trust – someone who is capable of overcoming the obstacles that are frequently encountered in the well-drilling business. (I had a complete list from off the Internet, and I did telephone everyone I could get in touch with.)

Mike offered invaluable information as to where to purchase property. Some areas had little chance of water. Other areas had good water, but knowing how deep to drill was important because the water could be lost to empty volcanic caverns below. In some places, drilling too deep would ruin a well with salt water. His extensive familiarity with the area was freely shared with us.

Yes, he had the experience, but it was his business practices that sold us. He has a strict requirement that someone is present at the time of the drilling. If you don’t show, he goes home. It was easy to understand why he is never nervous with an audience.

Mike works together with his son, Gavin, and they run an impressive operation with exacting methods – no shortcuts or sloppiness allowed.

Not only do they keep you well informed of their every step with constant and open communication, but you get a real education at the same time: This is the drive shoe. This is the steel casing, and it needs to make a solid connection into the bedrock.

We watched as they pounded a full 60 feet down into the earth. Mike does a great job when he welds the pieces together, too. (My dad was a welder, and good beading on the joints was what he always stressed.) Each drill stem is 20-feet long, and they want you to keep track of how deep they drill.

They drilled, and at 180 feet down, we hit water. Mike had done the water witching himself, and he delivered. It was a great day.