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Published on: 27/09/2011

A team of engineering students from Brigham Young University (BYU) has developed a human-powered drill that can reach a depth of up to 75 metres at 10% to 20% the cost of a traditional motorized well rig. A prototype of the “Village Drill” cost around US$ 4,000 (excluding labour) to make in the USA.

The BYU students created the drill for a project in Tanzania run by, a nonprofit based in South Jordan, Utah. The project is also co-sponsored by the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology.

The drill can be operated by four people. Three spin the wheel that turns the drill bit (cutting tool), and the fourth lifts the bit up and down when necessary to punch through tough spots. A water pump system removes the dirt from the 15 cm-wide hole.

In May 2011, a drilling team was able to construct a 45 m well  with the patented “Village Drill” in 3 days in Magugu, Tanzania.


Related news: WASH technology information packages : for UNICEF WASH programme and supply personnel, E-Source, 24 Aug 2010

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Source: BYU, 14 Jul 2011

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