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Ann Britton Outback Photography

Goodwood Bore Hole Cave-In

This blog is for the windmill, borehole nerds or for those interested in how rural people solve issues they are faced with so that we have water…for our stock and humans…when things go pear shape.
Water is how we survive out here.
Well, water is how we all survive where ever we are.
Where we live the infrastructure of the water is maintained by ourselves, so when issues arise it is up to us, or in this case and with most cases with the windmills, #BossMan has to figure out the best plan to solve the issue.
You might refer back to my last blog for more information re #BossMan and windmills.

#BossMan talks re boreholes and windmills in both metres, feet, inches, centimetres, gallons, litres in the same sentence. Back in the day, all windmill equipment was in gallon, feet and inches, nowadays some lengths of casing come in metres. So it is natural for him to mix up the measurements.
I have talked in imperial measures and converted them to metric so that old school and modern can be related to by all.
When he gave me the measurements for the diagram below, I wrote them down as he stated them. Hence the depth in metres and the casing in inches.

A bit of history about the borehole of the infamous Goodwood windmill
It was drilled on the 7 April 1951
The borehole is 133ft (40.5m)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The SWL or standing water level was 55ft (16.7m)
The borehole was equipped with 4 lengths of Southern Cross wooden rods and no doubt standard pump barrel etc
It was pumping from 72ft (21.9m) and 900gph, gallons per hour.

On 15 May 2017 the infamous windmill pumping system was replaced with a solar system.
#BossMan and Tojo relined the borehole with 103.6ft (31.6m) of  5″ (12.7cm) casing (so inside the 6″)
The solar pump system was pumping from 98.4ft (30m)

On Monday 9th March the pump in the borehole broke down. On Tuesday 10th #BossMan, Tojo and Anthony pulled the gear down the hole out.
They can do this by hand using a homemade poly pipe puller, helper. A stand with an old bike wheel on top. A bit different to needing the bore truck to pull the gear out, but then again they only have to pull the pump not the casing out. Anyhow, #BossMan took the pump to Mt Isa to be repaired. Then Wednesday Tojo and #BossMan went to put the spare submersible down. They couldn’t get it all the way down the borehole. It is a technical process this bore work, needing to know depths of boreholes etc and how much poly pipe you are working with and how much must down the hole, that you can’t see in to.
With news that the borehole has caved in, not the best news when working with boreholes, a call was put out to our neighbour who owns a V8 air compressor. Just the piece of machinery needed if this issue was going to be fixed.
So #BossMan suggested that the drone would be good to record blowing out the borehole. So on Friday 13 with all things in place, including #BossMan’s swag over the solar panels to protect them, the fellows prepared to blow the cave in out.

The pipe from the air compressor was lowered down to the correct depth in stages. The first bit of YouTube shows the very first attempt at clearing the hole. Over time the pipe was lowered to the depth needed for the pump to work. #BossMan allowed time between “blasts” for the water to flow into the hole and help with the clearing of the cave in. The very last bit of the YouTube video is the last blast they did that session (the battery on the drone was giving me a warning of going flat) and you can see how much clearer the water was. Our youngest Goodwood member came home from Kindy and needed to know “everything” that was happening. Tojo explained it all to her and continued to blow out the hole periodically until he and #BossMan were happy it was the clearest they were going to get it. The compressor was taken back to our neighbour and the submersible was put back down…and we had water to the house, lawns, garden, yards and paddock troughs again. We have three tanks of storage of bore water pumped from the borehole and now with the solar once they are full no more water is pumped. No more overflow like the windmill had. There are two 7500 gallons (34095.69L) tanks for the stock and one 5500g (25003.5L) for the humans. The stock tanks are filled first, from the water of the borehole. Animal welfare is the top priority, always. If things get desperate and we get short of water for any reason, us humans can obtain water from rainwater tanks if need be and wash/showers etc elsewhere. If we have stock needing water from the house-bore, either in the yard or in paddocks that is a top priority, humans can find a second option, the stock can’t.

Always happy to answer any questions you may have about this blog and any blog I have written.

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