So far so good. Bring on the second length of tube:
Moving with panther-like speed before the pit walls collapsed, we threw in a load more stone to surround the first two tube sections...
...then mounted the final tube section before sticking plastic sheeting on top of the stone fill:
Said stone fill acts as an external "reservoir" into which water can flow freely, while the plastic sheet stops backfill soil leaching down. Reg reader well experts are welcome to take issue with Ramon's methodology here, but he's the bloke who's dug more of these than you can shake a divining rod at.
With the Sun having passed the yardarm, all that remained was to fill the hole...
...tidy up a bit...
...and lay some concrete as a base for the brickwork which will eventually finish the job and prevent dogs/children/distracted journalists from plunging head-first into the abyss:
All in all, a profound, earth-moving experience, and the perfect antidote to the internet. Six hours of hard graft, heavy machinery, concrete tubes and stone followed by, naturally, lashings and lashings of ice-cold beer. Cheers. ®
I'm extremely chuffed to report that after a couple of days, the well had two metres of water in it - an impressive result in the middle of a serious drought.
Re: Not even a hard-hat ?
My parents' well is over 150m. deep and was built using the same kind of kit oil companies use to drill their wells on land, so this was an interesting read. (My folks' well is so deep that the lights dim noticeably when the pump is running.)
As for the hard-hats and hi-vis vests... this is Spain, for Cliff's sake! It's not a nation particularly prone to dull, grey, overcast days, lashings and lashing of rain, and muddy worksites. Anyone who thinks one size fits all when it comes to safety needs their head examined.
Exactly what is it the hard-hat would have protected them from? Most of the digging was done by a bloke in a big excavator while the others were standing back (and, presumably, taking the photos). The excavator's driver is already sitting in a cabin that provides protection. Anything that can crush that isn't going to be stopped by a bit of cheap plastic sitting on the guy's head and making him drip with sweat.
Once the hole was dug, the tubes were lifted into place. That's the only time when a hard-hat might have actually come in useful, but you don't need to lift those rings up high into the air: they only need to be clear of the ground while travelling towards the hole. Anyone who can't see a great big lump of concrete travelling level with their bollocks over such a short distance is already a health and safety hazard in their own right and shouldn't be allowed out without a trained guide dog.
Besides, a bit of ABS plastic strapped to your head is unlikely to be much use against a 1m. concrete ring travelling through the air towards your noggin. Hard-hats were invented for building sites were you might get hit on the nut by a passing brick, wrench, or other small items. Drop a fucking concrete slab on someone with a hard-hat and you'll find the hard-hat won't have been much help.
Standing in a 9-foot hole MAY run the risk of a cave-in, but that also depends on the area's geology and certainly isn't a given. If you were to try digging a well like that in, say, Southwark, or Borough, (which are mostly built on swamp), you'd have had to brace the sides first to stop the mud and slime from oozing back into the hole. If your ground is mostly stone or rock, you'd likely have to dig very, very badly, or quite a bit further down, for a cave-in to be a statistically significant risk. It's rock; people used to live in caves carved right out of the stuff!
Hi-vis vests also only make sense where visibility is a frequent problem. If you were digging a well in the middle of a motorway, sure, you'd want something nice, bright, shiny and very, very hard to miss while doing so. But building a 9-foot well in less than a day, in broad daylight, under a burning sun? Not so much.
A few years ago, I was berated for not wearing steel-capped boots. This would have made a lot more sense if the work site didn't consist entirely of open, muddy trenches for foundations. I was working as a land surveyor's assistant and there was literally no construction at all yet: just holes in the ground. There was some big digging equipment, but (a) I'm not blind, (b) I'm not deaf either, and (c) I'm having a hard time working out what, exactly, some thin steel in the toes of my boots would have done had a JCB decided to drive over them, because there was literally sod all else that posed any kind of risk to me.
And, yes, I had the high-vis vest and hard-hat on. But it's bloody hard to justify buying a brand new pair of steel-capped boots for my large feet—size 14—for just a couple of day's work.
The UK's H&S culture is fundamentally built on the premise of insulting our intelligence and common sense.
Most people are NOT interested in killing themselves. Give newbies a lecture on the potential hazards and risks, yes, but stop wasting time attempting to create a 100% risk-free planet. It's not possible, it's not efficient, and it sucks all the fun out of life.
Re: Picture 6, the man in the hole.
You'll find that Health and Safety regs over here in Spain are somewhat different, to say the least.
Every 23rd June they have a festival called Noche de San Juan, which involves a bonfire, fireworks and general cavorting on the beach (at least where I live) into the early hours. Separating us from said fire-related entertainment is a mere strip of red and white barrier tape.
In previous years there have been no problems. However this year, the firework launching tube thing (I'm no expert) fell over, with the result that fireworks were being launched horizontally across the beach. In fact I got hit in the back of the neck by one of them. Once righted, the display continued and there was no permanent damage thankfully! Later on, people dance through the cinders of the bonfire.
Would I change any of it? No way. I can't imagine the same fun being had whilst stood hundreds of metres away from the display.
Meanwhile, back on topic, good work guys!
My dad dug his own well on his farm, with a spade. None of this borrowing a mate's JCB. Kids of today eh?