The Village Drill
WHOlives.org and A Better Drill Inc.
The Village Drill is a human-powered drill for installing boreholes in remote locations.
The Village Drill is a human-powered drill designed for drilling boreholes to create access to water. The Village Drill can create boreholes up to 20 cm diameters and 90 m deep, and can easily be disassembled for transport and re-use.
The Village Drill technology is distributed through WHOlives.org and A Better Drill Inc.
Implementing organizations include World Vision, Samaritan Purse, and Rotary International, among others.
Diesel powered portable drill rigs, hand digging, Eijkelkamp hand-auger drill kits
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Village communities, schools, religious institutions, NGOs, entrepreneurs and health clinics without access to safe water.
The product is currently manufactured in Utah, USA.
Users can contact the manufacturer and request a quote. The Village Drill is typically operated by 6 young men and women. WHOlives.org has launched a donation model that funds the purchase of a Village Drill for an entrepreneur and the entrepreneur slowly pays back the donor as they collect drilling fees from communities.
Diameter of the borehole, measured in centimeters
Maximum drilling depth, measured in meters
Drilling speed, measured in meters per 8-hour day
List of materials included in this service/product
List of materials and expertise required for operation
Time required for borehole construction, measured in hours
The Village Drill is designed to drill a 6” – 8” borehole at depths up to 90 meters. It is claimed to drill through most soil types including light to medium grade rock and clay. Interview with representative
The drilling method used is a rotary “wet drill” process which allows quick boring and removal of cuttings as the borehole is drilled.
Technical product specifications available.
Shipping crate dimensions are:
1. 96 x 52 x 37 in — 1,850 lbs
2. 42 x 38 x 24 in — 855 lbs
WHOlives.org provides technical support through written, video, and in-person help. Interview with representative
By design, the Village Drill has few moving or wearable parts available online by the manufacturer. On-site maintenance is possible with basic knowledge and commonly available tools. Interview with representative
The Village Drill designers claim that it will provide years of uninterrupted service.
The drill covers 75% more area for 75% less cost than a typical drill rig.
Brigham Young University and World Vision
No hazards listed
Pack, A.T. and Mattson, C.A., An Assessment of Village Drill Sustainability, With Recommendations, ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Cleveland, OH, USA, August 6-9, 2017.
Mattson, C.A, Wood, A.E and Renouard, J. Village Drill: A Case Study in Engineering for Global Development, With Five Years of Data Post Market-Introduction, ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Charlotte, NC, USA, August 21-24, 2016.
The drill bits and swivels used in the Village Drill design are purchased as commercial-grade and certified to international standards. No further known standard cited by the Village Drill designers. Designs of manually drilled boreholes vary between and within countries. African countries that provide key official parameters or where standards have been set include Chad, Guinea, Nigeria and Kenya. A comprehensive overview of specifications for Manually Drilled Wells and standards is available in the RWSN Manual Drilling Compendium (2015).
Field trials. The manufacturer cites cost vs. capabilities vs. sustainability as criteria for evaluation.
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