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Percussion Rig or Rotary Rig: Method & Yield correlation?

In alluvium formations that is in valley fill deposits which drilling technique will yield more water in a standard gravel packed / v-wire screen bore Percussion rig or Rotary rig and why?

Please let me know. Also if some material is available for comparison on well yields between Percussion rigs and Rotary rigs please let me know and provide the source details also.

Bhavnesh Sharma




Dear Sharma,

Rotary drilling or cable-tool (percussion) drilling are two methods generally used to construct water wells in alluvial formations (valley fill deposits). Yield of a well does not depend on the type of rig used, but depends on the nature of the aquifer (that is, geology and groundwater availability) in which the well is constructed, diameter and depth of the well, nature of screen and gravel pack installed and type of well development carried out etc.

Both these methods are best suited to construct 8- to 45-cm diameter wells to a maximum depth of about 450 metres to give an yield ranging from 15 to 15,000 cubic metres a day. A well constructed by the percussion method can have a diameter upto 60 cm, while that by the rotary method can drill wells to greater depths.

Advantages with rotary method include rapid drilling rate, avoidance of placement of casing during drilling and suitability for taking up electrical logging. Disadvantages include high equipment cost, more complex operation, difficulty to drill through hard rocks, boulders and cavernous formations, and the need to remove mud cake during well development.

Advantages with percussion drilling is its simplicity of design, ruggedness and ease of maintenance and repair and its versatality to drill in diverse geological formations particularly through boulders and fractured, fissured and cavernous rocks. It is particularly effective as an exploratory tool for groundwater. Its major drawbacks are its slower drilling rate, the necessity of driving casing coincidentally with drilling in unconsolidated materials, and the difficulty of pulling casing from deep holes.

Best wishes,

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao
Retired Professor of Geology
Sri Venkateswara University
Tirupati, AP 517502

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Professor of Geology Retired, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, AP 517502, India


Dear Mr. Sharma,

Considering that the tubewell is to be drilled in Alluvial soil.Rotary rigs are a much better option than Percussion rig. Percussion rig being a choice for Rocky formation.

In Alluvial soil, Rotary rig should be used , and to attain deep drilling , D.C. Rig should be preferred.

Also, DC rigs have an advantage of cheap operation cost,Lesser Drilling water requirement (compared to R.C. ), the Drill hole dia can be attained upto 24" (625 mm).And Casing size upto 14" ( 350 mm) can be lowered with a 8"(200 mm) / 10"(250 mm) slotted pipe. Depth upto 1150' ( ~ 350 meter) can be achieved.

The Discharge depends mostly on location of the tubewell, and which aquifer zone we are tapping .
In the Alluvial soil only, there are zones ( read places/cities) where a 150 meter deep tubewell gives a high discharge. Where as at some places we go upto 350 meter depth to get the required output.

I would appreciate , if you could let me know the location of the tubewell. So , that some specific data can be provided.

Adding some about the V-strain pipes, they tend to give more discharge , as they have horizontal slots , where as the regular M.S. slot pipe have Vertical slots.

Hope this will be useful.


Shivam Nigam
Lucky Tubewells
C/o Lucky Construction Company

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