After 19 days of 24-hour operations, Seabees assigned to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 Detail Horn of Africa's Water Well Team completed construction of their first well in the village of Jedane, Ethiopia, on Feb. 11.
will provide water to more than 3,400 locals who had previously been walking
more than 2,000 yards to draw water from a 15-foot hole in the ground.
arrived in December, and began drilling Jan. 24, with the crew divided into
three five-man tours – pronounced "towers" – and worked
around-the-clock for 19 days. Chief construction mechanic Tim Taylor, the
team's assistant officer-in-charge, says that to strike water, the team had to
drill through dirt, clay and tough layers of granite to a depth of 302 feet.
initial setbacks during the initial drilling process, Taylor modified two water pumps to work in
unison, a spark of ingenuity that generated enough power to keep the tours
borehole was drilled once with a 9 7/8-inch bit, and then reamed with a 12 1/4-inch
bit to 260 feet. During our second pass with the 12 1/4-inch bit, the mud pump
gave way at 238 feet," says Taylor.
for hydrogen and chloroform revealed that the water was suitable for human
consumption, the team completed construction of the well, which also contained
a water trough for livestock.
Jedane's deputy tribal chairman, attended the well's opening gush.
is a good day for us. It's so wonderful to have clean water, and I am very
happy for this well because my people are very thirsty," says Qadir.
leaders currently are considering drafting plans to install an electric water
pump in the near future.
Seabees Construct Well, Relieve Thirst in Africa
March 9, 2011