WELL PROBLEMS: Problems Digging Grimes City Well

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The city of Grimes' plan for more water to fight this drought hits a snag.  The city was trying to drill a new well, but on July 12-th the drill bit broke hundreds of feet under ground leaving the community without as much water as residents had hoped for.

Here's what happened.  Crews use huge drill heads to cut through bedrock.  The deeper they dig...the more pieces of drill pipe are added.  In this case, crews were trying to reach water about 25-hundred feet under ground.  That's about a half mile of digging.  But 18 hundred feet into the job, the drill broke, leaving a 100-foot section of the drill under ground.  Now debris and rock cuttings have collapsed around ten feet of the drill.

"We've been down, we've got a hold of it but it's locked in from the cuttings when you break off those cuttings fall back to bottom and those cuttings settled back on that bit and got us locked really tight." explains Scott Brandenburg with Layne Christensen Water Management.

Crews have been working to free the drill since July.  Two months and 700-thousand dollars later they've had no success.  Now they plan to try forcing another pipe over the broken drill bit to remove the debris keeping it trapped…but that could take several more weeks.