What Is Portable Well Drilling?

Article Details
  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 28 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Portable well drilling is the practice of creating small wells for private use. The equipment needed to drill a small well is simple to operate and can easily be moved from one location to another. Though these wells do not supply huge amounts of fresh water, in many areas, they are practical for a family to use and offer a number of benefits.

The tools needed for portable well drilling range in size from small hydraulic units that are easily moved around by hand to larger devices that are mounted on motor vehicles. After the portable drilling equipment is set up, a hole that is between 6 and 12 inches (0.15 to 0.3 meters) wide is dug to the desired depth using a hydraulic drill. Rocks and sludge are pulled from the hole during the drilling process, which continues until a supply of fresh water or the desired well depth is reached. Once a well has been drilled, a pump is placed inside and used to pull water up from the well.


A small, portable well drilling device can usually dig a well of up to 200 feet (61 meters). The benefit of using this type of equipment, which has wheels and can be moved by hand, is that normally inaccessible land can be easily reached and drilled into. Larger drills that are attached to motorized vehicles are often more powerful and can be quickly driven into position. These types of drills can produce wells that are 500 to 800 feet (152 to 244 meters) deep .

The main benefit of portable well drilling is that it often can supply all the water needed by a family. Though the cost of drilling a well may be expensive at first, over time, it can save a family a great deal of money by eliminating the need to buy water from the local government. It also offers protection against drought or problems with the public water supply, as the family will have access to all the fresh water it needs even if the local public water supply is restricted or temporarily cut off.

Additionally, the water that comes out of a well has not been treated with chemicals, such as chlorine or fluoride, as the public water supply often is. Though well water is considered clean and does not usually need to be treated, it is important to make sure that the well is deep enough that chemical runoff from agriculture or industry does not taint the supply. The depth considered safe varies considerably from region to region, so it is important to check with the local government to determine how deep to dig the well.



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