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Drilling in Guatemala

By Tim Rasmussen , Thursday, April 9th, 2015

The first note was written by Jon Hansen.  He is from Washington and is one of our volunteer drillers. He is winding up the season’s work in Guatemala and wrote this to let Gary know about the progress of a well in the village of San Francisco.  He was working with his son and helper Jacob Hansen.

“Had a rugged day today. Went to open the hole up to 8 inches to case the hole with 6 inch steel. Had clutch problems, but got them cleaned up and got the clutch adjusted okay. Then the main line divider broke and the line on the storage side fell on top and locked the cable underneath, keeping it from unspooling. The picture shows the bottom break.  I had to cut out some pieces of the divider to free the line. So before being used again, the line will have to be pulled off and the divider replaced. Then the tools got stuck in the hole wedged above the jars. When I got them out I called it a day.

Hopefully tomorrow I will set some 6 inch casing and get some 4 inch PVC set. There is 11 ft of water from 104 to 115 ft. I bailed for and hour and came up with about 11 ft. Of water each time. Figure 13 g.p.m. But it will probably do more as long as the static holds.


And another note from Dominic Parmantier.  He too is from the Seattle area and has been with us for several years. He was working with Bob Cole.

“Before leaving, Bob & I took a run out to El Achilito and El Pato to look at the wells.

El Achilito – Pump produces no water. It feels like a bad check valve or possibly pump body. There was enough resistance that I don’t think it was a broken coupler or rod.  They indicated that it has been out for about a month.

El Pato – Hand pump operational. The solar pump was not working, and they indicated it has been out for 4 months. We reset the switches to clear the low water error so that the power in and power out lights on the control panel were lit and none of the error lights were lit, but it did not pump water.

I could not find any spare pump/check valve parts in the shop or the south container.  If there is a way of sending down something before December to get them up and going, I would be interested in pushing that solution along.



Thanks to Corporate Doners

By Tim Rasmussen , Friday, July 18th, 2014

Water for Life International does the work in Guatemala, but we could not do it at all if it were not for our volunteer drillers who come each year and donate their time and experience to bring clean water to folks who have none. And the drillers could not drill if it were not for the donors who give money and materials to make their work possible. There are many companies who help us by providing material as a donation or at such reduced prices that it might as well be a donation. We would like to give recognition to the some of these companies.

Cetco supplies 2 pallets of bentonite each year for surface seals on the wells.
Baker Manufacturing sells the 11HD hand pumps & appurtenances to us each year at a deep discount.
The Spokane branch of Mitchell, Lewis & Staver Co., sets aside submersible pumps and motors that become available throughout the year. They also donate new pumps and fittings to WFL that serve critical needs that we encounter.
The STA-RITE pump company donates new pumps each year.
The Spokane branch of Preferred Pump gives a very good price to WFL for Grundfos solar pumps. This allows us to provide water in the deeper (400’-550’) wells when electricity is not available and the water level is beyond the capability of the hand pumps.
Basin & Range Drilling is owned by one of our volunteer drillers, Bob Perry. The company often donates much needed cable tools and parts in addition to the things Bob personally donates and supplies to us.
Tacoma Pump & Drilling donates much needed pump supplies (again above and beyond what our friends and the owners, Jon & Chris Hanson, supply). They also recruit others to drill and assist the project.
We also extend a warm thank you to the many contractors who donate casing, tools, elevators, cable, and parts when we contact them.

We do have some a special need. Our old Ford F350 trucks are wearing out. We have been purchasing Mitsubishi double cab diesel pickups to replace them. The smaller trucks work better on the roads and it is easier to obtain parts for them and store them in the off-season. We have a critical need to purchase another pickup for our dental and medical teams. A used diesel, 4 door, Mitsubishi will cost $15,000.00, but will serve many years.

If you can’t go to Guatemala and wish to be an integral part of improving the health of people, please consider helping us with this critical need.