Wellspring Africa's Hand Powered Percussion Drill

Cost Comparisons Between Hand Dug and Drilled Wells


In the following examples we are using data collected in Liberia in 1986. The hand dug technique in this example is the simplest design possible.  We are assuming a well that is being built in stable soil which does not require a casing for the drilling or scaffolding for the digging. We are also assuming low labor costs, $5-a-day for trained technicians and $2-a-day for general laborers. (The lower wage actually favors the hand dug method since it is more labor intensive.)

We will first list the basic costs for a single well and then list the costs for twelve wells, assuming that the tools will make twelve wells before needing repair or replacement.

BASIC DRILLING/DIGGING TOOLS

PERCUSSION DRILL HAND DUG WELLS
Drill Bit65.00Pick 10.00
Bailer65.00Shovel 8.00
Pulley12.00Pulley 12.00
Rope 100'35.00Rope 75' 25.00
Shovel8.00Bucket 4.00
Fishing tools15.00 Misc. fasteners, etc. 10.00
Misc. fasteners, etc.10.00
Total$ 210.00 Total$ 69.00

 

LABOR FOR DRILLING/DIGGING 45-FOOT WELL

PERCUSSION DRILLHAND DUG WELLS
Driller (4 day X $5)20.00 Traditional contractor/
6 Helpers (4 x $2)48.00 Digger @ $2/foot90.00
Total$ 68.00 Total$ 90.00

 

TOTALS FOR DRILLING/DIGGING 12 WELLS

PERCUSSION DRILLHAND DUG WELLS
Tools210.00 Tools69.00
Labor X 12 wells816.00 Labor X 12 wells1080.00
Total1026.00 Total1149.00
Cost per well85.50 Cost per well95.75

 

When it comes to finishing the well, there are many other savings to be found. In the following example, we will assume that, to provide for a long lasting and safe well, the hand dug well will have the minimum of protection in the form of a raised cement lid and cement rings to line the well at the water table only. The drilled well will have four-inch plastic PVC casing and a concrete platform.

 

MATERIALS FOR FINISHING ONE WELL

PERCUSSION DRILLHAND DUG WELLS
Hacksaw10.00 Trowel3.50
Trowel3.50 Pliers5.00
1 Bag Cement7.50 Sheet metal form15.00
45' PVC Casing(4")28.00 7 bag Cement52.50
Fittings & glue5.00 Wire reinforcement35.00
Labor: well screen4.00 Labor: sand gathering7.00
Labor: sand and clay4.00
Total62.00 Total118.00

 

LABOR FOR FINISHING ONE WELL

PERCUSSION DRILLHAND DUG WELLS
Driller 2 days10.00 Technician 4.5 days22.50
Helper 2 days4.00 Helper 4.5 days9.00
Total14.00 Total31.50

 

FINISHING 12 WELLS

PERCUSSION DRILLHAND DUG WELLS
Tools13.50 Tools23.50
Materials X 12582.00 Materials X 121134.00
Labor X 12 wells168.00 Labor X 12 wells378.00
Total763.50 Total1535.62
Cost per well56.62 Cost per well127.96

If we add the totals for both digging and finishing the twelve wells, the grand total looks like this:

DRILLING AND FINISHING TWELVE WELLS

PERCUSSION DRILLHAND DUG WELLS
Drilling1026.00 Digging1149.00
Finishing763.50 Finishing1,535.50
Total1,789.50 Total2,684.50
Cost per well149.13 Cost per well223.71

 

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Last updated November 06, 2010 by