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Airdate: Mar 10, 2014
Scientist: Eric Rorrer

Water - Drilling

Water - Drilling
Some insights on water quality from a veteran well driller

Water - Drilling

ambience: Sounds of well drilling

Most of us take the availability of drinking water for granted. In cities, there's a municipal water supply, but in many rural areas, if you want water, you'll have to drill a well. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Rorrer: We're down in the little community of Dixie Caverns. This is actually Elliston, Virginia. We're drilling a water well for the church here, and we're underway with about the third step of the process thus far.

Eric Rorrer is President of Rorrer Well Drilling Incorporated; he's been drilling wells for over 25 years

Rorrer: You're hearing a pneumatic air hammer drilling through limestone bedrock in hopes of finding adequate fractures that have plenty of clean groundwater.
They drill about two feet per minute in limestone. Wells in this area are anywhere from 100 foot deep, and we've got some that's as deep as 1600 feet deep.
The type of water that we anticipate having here in a limestone aquifer is probably gonna be a little hard.
Basically, you're just getting the result of water lying and passing through limestone rock. Water's a natural solvent, so it's naturally going to try and dissolve the material it runs or stands against. In this case, it's limestone.
The characteristic is the more hard water, you're not going to have soap lather up the way you typically would be used to. You're going to have it attack water heater elements things of that nature. Your plumbing in your house it's a little more difficult to pass through. You're going to see spotting on dishes or surfaces, rather it's dishwashing or rather it's cleaning your vehicle. So, you're going to see that limestone remnant wherever you run that water.

But there's a positive side to hard water, too.

Rorrer: The hard water, with a certain amount of hardness, will make the water have a little better taste to it. Other than that, it's probably more of a nuisance than good.

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