Well drilling a serious business

Well drilling is a complicated art, and one not everyone should attempt. / Matt Prichard

Turning a faucet for most is a daily routine, but for some, indoor plumbing isn't an option.

54-year-old Geronimo Delgado spent the morning Saturday digging a well on his property in Douglas, hoping to provide his family with life's most essential nutrient.

19 hours after that, Delgado was trapped, and would soon die from suffocation. Only a day later, local well drillers are warning that whether drilling or digging, well construction is dangerous business.

"Yes it is, isn't no way I'm getting underground without any safe walls around me," said well driller, Neal Eubanks.

While digging the well, Delgado soon found those same delicate walls caving in on him, trapping him 15 feet below the ground.

"It's dangerous to dig an open well, they call it a dug well or an open well....but there's just no reason for anyone to try and drink the water out of one of those open wells," said Eubanks.

Open wells are also rare these days, especially because the water they produce is normally tainted.

"You'll get surface water; I would think that if your septic tank was anywhere in the area and it soaked into the sandy places you wouldn't be getting the right kind of water, safe water for your wife and kids," said Eubanks.

Emergency personnel also agree that after Saturday and Sunday's incident, it's best to leave the drilling to the professionals.

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