Christian Engineers in Development (CED) has been helping to provide an improved water supply for Sathya Veda Bible College in South Kerala in India. The college used to rely on shallow wells in its campus. These were prone to surface water contamination and didn’t provide sufficient capacity for their needs. The college is residential and water is needed for a wide range of uses from washing to cooking. It is in a rural area within palm trees and rubber plantations. No surface level water sources are available nearby, as it is built on a hillside above the valley floor. Some rainwater harvesting has been carried out but this is insufficient for the needs of the college.
After studying local groundwater reports, CED identified that there is a potential aquifer beneath the college. This was theoretically capable of delivering sufficient water. CED worked with the bible college and local drilling contractors to drill a suitable borehole which will replace the existing wells. CED member Steven Harris travelled to India in July. He worked work with the local contractor Shankar Borewell who drilled the borehole; once that was done he liaised with another local contractor who installed the pump, well pipe and storage tank. Whilst at the college, he visited a number of local wells to check their depth and assessed other features such as quarries in order to ascertain the geology at the proposed well in the college grounds.
Steven’s visit was ultimately successful when a 165mm diameter borehole was drilled to a remarkable depth of 264m. It was drilled into Khondalite metamorphic rock using a rotary downhole hammer with air flush. The groundwater potential of the rock is highly related to the presence of water bearing fractures. The water level above the base of the hole is estimated to be at least 100m and a test run filled a 2000 litre tank with water. A submersible pump has been installed to pump the water into a tank located at ground level. Water is then pumped to another roof level storage tank where it is distributed throughout the college.
The students and staff were very helpful during construction works and assisted Steven with measurements and other site work. All the arisings (the material extracted during drilling) from the borehole were used in other construction projects for the bible college.