Maybe this story might be helpful to anyone else who has a well water supply in Corfu?
Three weeks ago my water supply packed up. We are served by a well that is 62 meters deep, and which delivers a murky brown fluid that contains the remains of an adjacent sink hole (the Temploni landslide). The "Black Hole of Temploni" was 30 metres in diameter and over 120 metres deep. By my calculations, over 2000 tonnes of stone and soil dropped into the underground lake and local water supply.
Anyway my well pump had enough of the brown stuff that it decided to give up it's hole-y ghost and ascend to well-pump heaven. And that left us with no water. After making some local inquiries I was quoted 1600 Euros labour plus about 1000 Euros for replacement pump, pipe etc.
Message posted by Rob Sherratt on 16†March†2010 at 12:41am - IP Logged
So my friends Graham, Babis and I decided to give it a go ourselves. We rigged up a 1-tonne wire cable winch and scaffolding platform around the well and lifted the dead pump out to give it a decent burial. Or so we thought. Two days later, after bending the legs of the scaffolding platform under what must have been at least three tonnes of force, the well pump had budged not an inch. We were about to give up. So we left it tensioned up for another three days, and when we came back it had moved. Only two cm, but that was encouragement. So we laboured away for the rest of that day, and up came 60 metres of 2 inch pipe, steel support cable, 3-phase mains cable ... and eventually the dead pump.
The reason it had "stuck" was that a previous installer had allowed the pipe to fall unsupported down the well shaft, and the pipe had kinked and folded over itself four times, wedging itself between the pump and the well shaft liner. The back pressure from the kinked pipe and the murky sludge in the well resulting from the "Black Hole of Temploni" had both contributed to the motor burning out and the impeller grinding itself into a useless state.
Message posted by Rob Sherratt on 16†March†2010 at 12:42am - IP Logged
The pump and its motor were a long 20 cm diameter cylinder measuring 1.9 metres in length and weighed about 50 Kg. I purchased a replacement pump and motor for approx 800 Euros from the "STIHL" shop opposite AB on the main Palaeokastritsa road just outside Corfu Town. We needed a 3-phase 5 Hp motor to drive a pump rated at 100 meters head of water (approx 10 bar) with a flow rate of about 3 cubic meters per hour. I purchased 100 meters of 2 inch water pipe from "The Plumber's Union" shop on the Lefkimi road. An underwater electrical joint was also necessary, sold by the "Electricians Union" shop which is less than 50 meters from STIHL. The underwater joints are a 2-part tubular plastic box shaped like a very large suppository, manufactured by 3M. Into the box go the two ends of the 3-phase electrical cables, a 5-way 20 Amp Scotchblock screw connector strip, and a 2-pack resin supplied by 3M with the underwater joint. Oh, and we did remember to turn off the 3 phase electrical supply before rejointing the cable.
We hoisted the new well pump and new pipe and existing electrical cable (which was in good condition) together with a new 8 mm stainless steel wire rope into the well. We used stainless steel "inox" fittings supplied by the STIHL shop on the pump and to clamp the end of the wire rope.
Message posted by Rob Sherratt on 16†March†2010 at 12:42am - IP Logged
Every meter we lowered the pump, we cable tied the pipe, the electrical cable and the steel rope together. The steel rope ratchet hoist was designed for use with 8mm cable, so it was very easy - the cable just passed straight through the hoist as we ratcheted it down. I was the mug who stood with his arms stretched overhead to support the 10 foot high arch of the pipe while Graham guided the pipe down the hole.
As previously plumbed, after 62 cable ties, we felt the pump touch bottom. We had previously plumbed the well to discover the water table was 17 metres above the bottom. So we lifted the well pump back up 4 metres, leaving it submerged under 13 metres of water.
Message posted by Rob Sherratt on 16†March†2010 at 12:43am - IP Logged
We jointed the pipe with a 2 inch elbow at the top, and clamped the pipe between two steel bars, the center of which had been formed into two 1.8 inch diameter semicircles. The bars were bolted together and then rested across the 25 cm diameter steel liner of the well shaft. We secured the wire rope while it was still under tension from the steel rope winch, by drilling a set of 6 small holes down the side of the protruding section of the steel well liner, and then inserting U-clamp wire rope clamps through the holes and around the cable, and bolting the clamps up against the side of the well liner. Doing it this way means that the new wire rope was not kinked, and it would be a simple matter to erect the scaffolding sections and ratchet winch again in future.
Anyway the water supply is connected up and running again. The total cost in parts was about 1100 Euros, and it took Graham, Babis and me three half-days of hard labor to do the job. If anyone else need to service or repair their well pump and you want to do the job yourself then I can lend you scaffolding and a ratchet winch for 8mm steel rope..
Message posted by nuffstrong on 16†March†2010 at 12:59am - IP Logged
"Well" done Rob, another example of British ingenuity at work on foreign shores. I think I understood most of it so thanks for sharing. All you folks with a well and pump should save this post.
I've met Rob and he's a very helpful bloke.
Thanks everyone for your feedback and nice comments.
Just to add that the credit must go to my friends Graham and Babis who came up with the ideas and practical help that solved most of the issues. As for falling down the well, it's hard to do so when the borehole diameter is just 12 inches, unless you are a cat I suppose.
Here is the explanation for the cloudy water.
Not 1 km from my home was the Black Hole of Temploni. It was a sink hole about 5 meters in diameter and 120 meters deep that appeared after heavy rain and which went right down to the underground lake that feeds my borehole/ well. The lake is the remnant of the original river that flowed out from the Ropa Lake that existed in the Ropa Valley until 16th century, when the Venetians drained it by cutting the channel to Ermones.
The amount of soil and rock that fell into the underground lake must have exceeded 5,000 tonnes and this probably explains why my well pump failed and why the water became rather murky until everything settled!
If you wish to post a reply to this thread you must first Login
If you are not already registered you must first register
All Rights Reserved. No part of the Corfu Travel Guide web site may be reproduced without permission.
Infringement will be pursued.
The Corfu Travel
Guide and Lefkada Travel Guides are brought to you by Agni Travel.
Agni Travel is the sister company of Taverna Agni and also the sponsor of the Agni Animal Welfare Fund