From Gold To Water - Westmere Drilling

Published date12 April 2023
Publication titleWest Coast Farming Times, The
A dry November through to late January seems to have become an annual event on the West Coast and a growing problem for farmers, but local company Westmere Drilling Ltd can provide the answer

Ken Mears and his Westmere Drilling operation have over 30 years' experience in drilling, divining and locating underground water supply.

Ken became involved in the alluvial goldmining industry during the 1980s, purchasing his own drilling rig in 1994, to undertake exploratory drilling programmes for goldmining companies on the West Coast.

What began as just core sampling for gold exploration soon grew into water monitoring bores and geological drilling.

"My interests in geology and water led to drilling wells for local farmers," he said.

"I gained the knowledge and had the confidence, and success grew and so did the demand for wells." Ken undertook well screen and sieve analysis training in Australia, joined the New Zealand Drillers' Federation and took every opportunity to gain the skills and equipment necessary to build a professional service.

One rig soon became four as Westmere Drilling expanded.

"Westmere was one of the first drilling companies in Australasia to perfect the concentrix drilling system and is now able to provide a drilling service which is not only very fast, it just eats hard rock but also more viable for exploratory water bores." Ken says selecting the drill site is the first priority, as the water source should be close to where farmers are looking to build new sheds.

"The water temperature is cold, around 10 degrees, which in turn doesn't take much to bring the milk temperature down," he said.

"Ultimately it is the client who decides on the well site, and we can guide them through this process as we understand...

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