Be careful what you drill for…

One day, I had a typical request to go and divine for a new water source. It was from an experienced engineer – they were having trouble locating a source of water, about five miles away from my home. Next morning, I duly arrived on site. A very large new house was being built near the top of a hill with fine views over the Sussex Weald, and a new lake basin had been prepared but was empty.

The client arrived; a retired businessman who showed me around the site and had great interest in hydro-geology and dowsing. He had extensive plans to develop the grounds with further lakes and would need very large flows of water to fill them.  For the present he was looking for water for domestic use and the single lake near the enormous house.

The engineer introduced himself – “We’ve got problems with drilling for water”. They had attempted to drill two boreholes. The first one had been directed by the engineer, three metres from the house. When the bit had gone down less than a metre, they smelt burning plastic, and clouds of smoke came out of the hole. They hastily retracted the drill and dug down, only to find that the drill had made a direct hit on the main electric supply.

The engineer had then asked the driller to drill at a point another metre out from the house and so they had started again. At about the same depth – less than one metre – they struck water which came bubbling up to the top of the bore.  Success!… or so it seemed at first.  On further investigation they found that they had gone straight through the water supply pipe to the house. They had had this repaired by a plumber and at that point had called me in, to find a source of water without hitting any other vital systems in the process.

I located two water sources.  One was in the middle of the lawn; the flow of water would be modest, but enough to supply the house and the single lake.  I found a much larger one across the other side of the lawn – enough to supply the house and the proposed cascade of lakes on the other side of the grounds. I marked both with flags.

The engineer came up to me afterwards and said, “It works, you know.”
“Sorry, what does?” , I replied.
“Dowsing”, he said.
Somewhat nonplussed, I replied, “Um, yes, I think it works as well”.
“No”, he said, “I can do it – I can find water pipes and electricity cables under the ground.”
“Well, yes”, I said in some confusion,”That certainly seems to be true!”  (What else could I possibly say?)