The drilling methods used by Mandlethu are rock drilling and hammer drilling to penetrate and fracture hard rock materials. The drill and hammer sizes are 8 inches in diameter. The drilled hole is then encased with the use of UPVC pipes that are 6.5 inches in diameter. The type of casing is mixed between solid and perforated. The perforated pipe is used to harvest in alluvial water that may be present at shallow depths.
To extract the water a submersible electric pump in used. The pump is powered by means of solar energy and negates the use of fuels or having to be attended to. The solar energy is harnessed by means of 8 x 80watt solar panels. The system is tied into a 5000lt water tank designed to dispense water to any part of the garden in which the farmer requires it.
Mandlethu’s research has shown that whilst existing methods of irrigating crops by means of water wells and fuel pumps are effective, they are not sustainable. The wells are dependent on alluvial water and are therefore prone to running dry and rely on seasonal rainfall. It is common for a water well to last 5 to 6 years where after it is rendered useless. The boreholes constructed in Tabelot are designed to use water on a sustainable basis and if used according our standards will last the farmer in excess of 30 years.