This manual is intended for use by development workers involved in the construction of wells to supply water to a local population for personal consumption. It has been designed to help field workers with little or no construction experience to assist communities in:
• planning and designing a well, or wells, appropriate to the needs of the local population;
• assessing the advantages or disadvantages of locally available construction materials;
• deciding on the most appropriate construction techniques;
• constructing a well, or wells, capable of meeting the community's needs.
Most of the materials, tools, and methods covered in this manual are applicable throughout the world in a variety of local situations. The techniques are designed to be useful in the rural areas of most developing countries. Step-by-step plans outline construction materials and techniques to be used where skills may be limited. Although all potential situations cannot be covered, this manual provides enough background to allow workers to assess unusual situations, and determine what available techniques might be useful.
Organization of This Manual
The manual is organized into three sections. Section One, Planning, introduces the knowledge needed for wells planning and discusses those aspects of water development and wells construction that should be considered before a wells project is begun. It also presents an outline of the different methods of constructing wells. These are covered in greater detail in the next two sections. Section One will give you some basic ideas about the kind of well that might be most appropriate in your situation.
Section Two, Hand Dug Wells, provides information on wells that can, or must, be dug by hand:
• a detailed outline of the tasks involved in wells construction;
• a discussion of the top, middle and bottom sections of a hand dug well, their parts, and methods used in constructing them;
• the tools, equipment and materials needed;
• if tools and supplies can safely be lowered into and out of the well;
• the operations that must take place in the hole;
• details of the construction of the middle section;
• details of the construction of the bottom section.
Section Three Drilled Wells,provides information on drilling techniques that can be used in certain situations:
• the basic components and procedures used in drilling for water;
• the different possible sinking methods;
• a detailed description of equipment and procedures used in a variety of hand-drilling methods;
• how the bottom section of a drilled well is constructed and finished for use.
Several appendices follow, giving useful information cn:
• Metric-English measurement conversion;
• vegetation as a possible indicator of water;
• use of dynamite;
• use of cement
• techniques of levelling and plumbing molds;
Following these, the two figures (A and B) which a appear inside the front and back covers are reproduced at the beginnings of Section Two and Section Three respectively. The manual concludes with a glossary and an annotated bibliography.
How the Manual Can Be Used
You can use this manual:
• as a text to teach and train people about wells and their use;
• to locate the information necessary to construct a well;
• to stimulate thinking about possible useful modifications of presently used techniques;
• to locate other sources of information.
Many thanks are due to F. Eugene McJunkin for his technical review of the material in Wells Construction. Thanks to Sam Kunkle who wrote Appendix II, Vegetation as an Index of Ground Water.
Thanks also to the many people who helped in the preparation of this manual, especially Craig Hafner, Howard Ebenstein, Brenda Gates, Francis Luzzatto, Laurel Druben, Sue Chappelear, Pascal Pittman, Mary Ernsherger, Vic Wehman, Vicki Fries, Vernell Womack, and Teri Barila.