JEDANE, Ethiopia (NNS) -- Seabee's assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 Detail Horn of Africa's (Det. HOA) Water Well Team, completed their first well in the village of Jedane, Ethiopia, Feb. 11.
The well will provide water to more than 3,400 locals and their livestock. Before the well was completed, Jedane residents were walking more than 2,000 yards to draw their water from a 15-foot hole in the ground.
Detachment Water Well arrived in Ethiopia in mid December 2010, and spent the first month planning and preparing for the mission ahead. The drilling began Jan. 24, with the crew divided into three five-man tours (pronounced towers) and working around the clock for a total of 19 days. Chief Construction Mechanic Tim Taylor, assistant officer-in-charge, said in order to strike water they had to drill through dirt, clay and some very tough layers of granite to reach a total depth of 302 feet.
Taylor modified two water pumps allowing them to work in unison to generate enough power to keep the mud flowing and the tours drilling.
"The bore hole was drilled once with a 9 7/8-inch bit and was 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," said Taylor.
After tests for potential of hydrogen and chloroform levels revealed that the water was suitable for human consumption, the team placed the well housing unit and concrete pad, which contained a water trough for the animals.
District Water Manager Abdi Malik, said he was so impressed with the well, he is considering drafting plans to install an electric pump in the near future.
For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb74/.