The Danish well drillers PC Drill have been in the water industry for almost 120 years. For them, soil is not just soil, but something that tells a story about our water, metre by metre. When they chase drinking water in the depths, our pumps play a role.
Morten Hammer carefully examines the clods of soil. He crumbles the coarse black/brown lumps between his fingers. He is standing on a windswept field almost 10 kilometres from the Liim Fiord in northern Jutland. He is a well driller, and is in the process of creating a path into a groundwater chamber for a drinking water well.
“As we go deeper, the soil changes. It goes from being clayish, to sandy, and then becomes more moist. We can use this to gauge how far we are from the water,” he explains.
In the field, Morten Hammer estimates that the bore will have to be around 60 meters deep to achieve the desired result – yet another source of drinking water for local residents.
The drilling foreman knows what he is talking about. During the time he has been with PC Drill, he has supervised drilling all over Denmark, and each time the soil has given him new knowledge. At the same time, the company – which dates back to 1898 – is always adding to its experience by constantly optimising the working methods.
“The soil layers are different depending on where you are in Denmark. The principles are the same, but we can never know exactly what we are drilling into. So it’s important to have the right tools with you,” he says.
For every occasion
In Højslev, just a few minutes’ drive from the field, Morten Hammer and his colleagues have a warehouse filled with SP pumps – in a wide range of sizes, so there is always one suitable for the given job. Including this drilling operation. A yellow crane is used to lift the selected submersible pump onto the truck, and it is then driven out to the field.
“When we get deep enough, we can insert a filter, and then we can start to pump water up. We have to pump for some time in order to find out how much water the bore can supply. We always use our Grundfos pumps for this,” says Morten Hammer regarding the pump, which is first loaded onto the tray of his truck and then driven into waiting position on the field.
Precision tool weighing several tonnes
Before the pump can be brought into play, another key element in the well driller’s toolbox has to be deployed – the drilling rig. A remote-controlled machine weighing over 40 tonnes which relentlessly cuts its way metre by meter into the subsoil. In the capable hands of Morten Hammer, who holds the remote control.
“Basically, the best thing about the drilling rig is that it can get the job done. In virtually any situation we might face, we can always adjust things to find a way to get the hole drilled,” says Morten Hammer, as he walks around the red-painted heavyweight.
And this is also an important quality today. Conditions in the field are challenging, and the subsoil is not cooperating. Even though the bore is being braced with drilling mud, the hole is constantly threatening to collapse. Tricky circumstances that are not abnormal for the well drilling team.
“There’s almost always something that doesn’t quite go as we expected. It’s therefore also important that we know what we will bring into play to get the job done. Our tools have to work when circumstances are changeable. This is one of the things I like about the Grundfos pumps we use – they work. Every time,” says Morten Hammer, who once again manages to successfully complete the drilling.