The Village Drill will do for water what the automobile did for transportation.
— Dr. Joel Freeman


The Village Drill can do all that other manual drilling techniques can do and much, much more.

In certain situations other manual methods (i.e. water jetting, auguring or cable tool) can be effective in providing a single point well with a known substrate and a high water table, but because of design limitations they have limited ability to pass through shallow groundwater, sand, harder substrate or even drill past 30 meters. In some cases these methods can be so slow it makes drilling economically impossible to sustain a drilling business. These methods can also create a dangerous health situation as they often only drill into shallow groundwater above 45’ that is still contaminated with bacteria and pesticides.

If the goal is a sustainable, self managed drilling business, by all measurable indicators the Village Drill has proven to be the most cost effective and sustainable method of borehole development, available.

It is amazing that the Village Drill, that can drill dozens of wells every year, cost us less than the ONE well we were going to have installed in our school. We have already drilled 14 wells in 6 months and created dozens of jobs with our Village Drill.
— Rise & Re-build

What is the true VALUE of the Village Drill?

We have established that the Village Drill is more effective and can drill in 80% more environments, but we can also look at margins. The cost to build the different drilling rigs: A typical Cable tool or auguring system weighs between 150-200 lbs, the Village Drill is over 2,500 lbs. As you can see in the graph, the cost of material to build the Village Drill compared to a cable tool is over 13 times more, yet it is only fractionally more expensive. If a cable tool or augering system was sold by weight (which is an important part of drilling) at the same margin as the Village Drill, the cost of these simple tools would be between $66,000-$87,000 USD.  

What problems arise NOT using the Village Drill?

One of the difficulties of drilling is no one is certain what lies below the surface. The more limitations your drilling method has the more abandoned or dry holes you will encounter. This is devastating on two levels. One for the drill crew that may not get paid since they have failed to complete their agreement and two for the recipients who had their hopes of receiving clean water dashed. Dry holes and non­-penetrable surfaces is the number one reason most manual drill business fail.

What are the costs of NOT using the Village Drill

Using an inferior method to drill will eventually cause a situation where you must either abandon the job or hire a rig that could finish the job. Abandoning a job, as you can imagine is really though. A village or school spend valuable resources and gets excited about finally getting clean, easily accessible water and then it doesn’t happen. So the common remedy is to hire a big rig to come and “take care” of the problem, but at a devastating cost that averages over $20,000.

Final Conclusion

Cost vs. Capabilities vs. Sustainability

If the goal is to build one or two wells in a known area of medium soil substrate then a cable tool and/or augering system might work ok. If the goal is to create long term, profitable drill teams with the ability to service the widest amount of people and to drill in as many regions as possible, the Village Drill is the hands down leader. In the long term the Village Drill is much less expensive on almost every level, but the level that is typically most important to a business is that of sustainability. 

Trailer mounted, motorized drills have similar drilling capabilities as the Village Drill but with the added motors, pumps, switches, gears, hydraulics, chain’s, et al. it is nearly impossible to sustain any long term drilling operation in the field due to devastating breakdowns.

The other disadvantage is the constant vibration the drilling motor creates, causes many more cave­in’s compared to other manual methods. Add to that the “lack of feel” of the bit penetration and the cost of lost or stuck bits skyrockets.

Large truck drill rigs can drill 300+ meters through shallow groundwater and hard substrate but unfortunately they cannot reach 75%-­85% of the people who are the most desperate because their trucks cannot travel off improved roads or fit into tight urban areas.

Additionally, the incredibly high cost of big rig drilling makes it cost prohibitive and unsustainable for any local populations.


"The joy of a low price is quickly dulled by the realization of its limited functions."