Local News

Oct 1, 2010 8:51 PM by Bill Halter

Cal Poly students build water well rig on a budget

A goal by the Rotary Clubs of San Luis Obispo to design an inexpensive water well rig has been realized thanks to some Cal Poly engineering students.

According to Robert Hather of the Rotary Club, more than 25,000 children die each day from drinking water born diseases. The Rotary Club says a typical well drilling machine costs $800,000, the Cal Poly engineering students made one for $20,000.

"We wanted to make it simple and as easy to build as possible. Because the idea was to build the machine out of off the shelf components and if needed be built it in Africa in a machine shop there" says Cal Poly senior Alex Wargnier who was one of 12 students that helped design and construct the rig.

The well rig can drill 200 foot holes. The Rotary hopes to get these cheap rigs that can also be maintained inexpensively with relatively unskilled workers to countries in need of cleaner drinking water. "We can hopefully raise enough money to get this in the hands of entrepreneurs who will keep the machines operating" says Hather.

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