Work began on Troy’s artesian well in 1911

Published 7:27 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry,” coined Thomas Fuller, English scholar, preacher and author.  So in July 1911, Troy made another effort after artesian water.       

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

The first work of actual boring on the new artesian well for Troy was begun this afternoon by Mr. Y. T. Radford and his crew, from Ft. Davis.

The crew has been here for several days, erecting the tower, getting the engine and machinery in shape.

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The first well is to be put down opposite the water pumping station on East College Avenue, just a foot or two from the edge of the sidewalk in the road.  In case water is found in sufficient quantities, other wells will be drilled along the street, east and west, on a line with the well, with an iron top over them, so they will not interfere with the street when completed.  Pumps will then carry the water into a reservoir at the light plant or up-town water pumping station.

Mr. Radford hopes to find at least a flow of 75 gallons of water per minute at a depth of 400 to 600 feet.  Perhaps more water might be found.  In case the first well is successful others will be put down until a sufficient supply of water for the city is secured.

The record of the previous well bored about the same spot shows a good water supply at 108 feet, and also other water at 400 to 600 feet.  All of these streams will be tapped until a sufficient amount can be secured

While the well is being bored the Trojans will look on with interest, hoping that a splendid artesian supply may be secured.

In August 1911, The Troy Messenger reported, the well is now 283 feet deep and the crew was engaged this morning in pumping out grey sand, with which came much water.

In the outset it was hoped to attain, by pumping,  seventy-five gallons of water per minute from this well.  Mr. Radford states that he has struck water and is getting about fifty gallons per minute now.  He feels sure that he will soon reach the seventy five gallon mark per minute, if not more.

The city is using spring water now, from springs four miles from the city, but if abundance of pure artesian water can be secured it will not only be better, but likely cheaper also.

A former well in the vicinity of the present working, drilled by the city some years ago, was sunk 2,000 feet without success.  However, the present work is being pursued along different plans, which bid fair to attain the desired aims.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.