I explained we had just had a truck deliver water and were alright for the time being. Nothing would do, she said would be over Sunday night around 8:30pm.
After having a brief conversation about the property and our old dry well she immediately began dowsing to find us a new source of water so we could drill a water well as it was hot and our gardens were drying out fast.
Approximately one hour later Colleen was ready to pound in her famous stake into the ground to mark the exact spot that the well drillers would put their drill bit to drill a well.
By Monday morning at 10:30 am the water well drilling rig was on our Cowichan Valley property and ready to drill with Colleen on-site to make sure the point of the drill was exactly where she wanted it, she has zero tolerance for errors or games.
By late Monday afternoon the drillers were down about 200 feet with no sign of water so the drillers packed it in for the day. The next morning the well drillers wanted to hydro-fracture the well but Colleen said absolutely not and told them to keep going, she does not back down and knows how to manage her water well drillers, what she says is the way it’s going to go.
She does not like hydro-fracturing and says it's a waste of money and not required when you drill where the water is, she gives you that big smile and says, "what part of that is confusing?"
We have since learned that many water wells on Vancouver Island are not only drilled dry but often hydro-fractured costing an additional three thousand dollars or more.
Colleen is incredibly protective of her clients who like us know very little about water well drilling, we had no idea. She's also a remarkably confident woman who knows the entire water and drilling industry extremely well, she has drilled thousands of wells we gathered.
We were also hoping for at least some water for our dry land but must admit we were so nervous but not Colleen, she just knows and never wavers, always smiling and keeping us calm.
Finally, Tuesday around mid-morning, all of a sudden there was a huge gush of water.
We had hit the jackpot!! We could not believe that we had 30-gallons-per-minute of beautiful, clear, odor free water almost right outside out front door! This was an incredible day for my husband Jim and I.
Not only did Colleen find us water, she has become a treasured friend who cares so much about people, I would say she is the most kind and selfless person I have ever met.
Her follow-up was superb even six years later she is still an extremely dedicated groundwater expert who always goes the extra mile for people to make sure they have the best quality water possible.
We just love Colleen and feel really blessed to have met her. Thank-you Colleen for everything you have done for us over the years.
Jim and Laura
Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island
If Colleen feels there's water she's not bothered by drilling next to a dry well, she said, "just because a well driller drills a dry hole, it has absolutely nothing to do with whether there's water or not, it only means the driller did not know where to drill and he missed it and blew off a bunch of your hard earned money!" Imagine trying to get your head around that one after wasting as much money on the farm as we have drilling dry holes over the years.
Colleen looked at the entire situation in complete amazement, she is disturbed by the craziness of dry-well drilling she said. She's the first to say that nothing is 100% including well dowsing, "but you really need to apply some common sense at some point," she said.
Let me tell you the story, my husband had intentionally covered our 300" dry well with plywood before Colleen arrived on our property, she didn't know it was there and he really wanted to test her as we could not afford to waste anymore money and did not know who to trust. Once she put her stake down and pounded it into the ground, my husband boldly walked over within just a few feet from her stake and removed the board hiding the dry well!
My husband who was already VERY skeptical just stood there quite amused with himself, arms crossed and intently looking at her, then he looked towards our dry well and then looked over at her stake just a few feet away, I could see he was thinking she had lost her mind!
My husband is a big man and can be a little intimidating and I sensed a show-down on it's way. Colleen's quite a small woman compared to my husband and she looked up at him, square-in-the-eye and said, "when was the last time your took your wife on a holiday?"
She carried on... "well it's up to you," she quipped, "you can either give your money to the drillers who will be more than happy to take it from you and maybe drill you another dry hole or you can take your wife on an obviously well deserved holiday, maybe two of them with what I'm about to save you!" Either way she said, "you're paying me for my professional opinion so I advise you to take it or would you rather drill another dry hole?"
It was very clear who the winner of that show-down was! My husband barely ate his dinner that night, she hit him right between the eyes and we both knew it.
But, by Monday morning we had an even bigger problem on our hands because, the well driller completely flipped-out when he arrived on our farm with his well drilling rig and saw the situation about to unfold in front of him.
He told us to not to drill where Colleen had placed the stake as, "he did not think" there was any water to be found where she had claimed, in his opinion it was far to close to the almost dry well that he had already drilled just a week prior.
Once again, we had to get Colleen on the phone as we just didn't know what to do at this point. We were feeling very stressed and confused. Instantly I heard Colleen's calm voice on the speaker and she quickly responded to the well driller as he informed her with authority that "he did not think" there was any water where she wanted to drill and wanted to know what the heck she was doing?
Colleen instantly reminded the well driller that fortunately the client he was not being paid to think, he was being paid to drill the damn well! She told him to let her do the thinking and she would let him do the drilling.
She promised him that everything would work out much better that way, she was very clear with him and we watched him quickly back-down, he would not go against her. She may be small but, tough as hell with these guys, she doesn't flinch.
She then told him, "get to work and slow the drill down at 65 feet." She advised the well driller to take it slow and be careful or he might drill past the water as she was not going to give him the luxury of taking this hole to 300' like the last one he did, "not on my watch", she said!
We Just Stood There Speechless
The well driller really was not happy and she had him in a corner, then Colleen told him that plan "B" would also work for her too, he could remove his well drilling rig from our property and she would gladly bring another drilling rig in. That was the end of the power struggle, he moved the rig centering over her stake without another word, we watched him and he knew to perfectly line-up over the stake she had placed in the ground.
Colleen said, "it's like drilling on a dime." She expects no drilling games, she told us to get a chair and stay on site because this was not going to take long, we did and were really glad we stuck around.
This woman is incredibly fearless and she will not be pushed around by well drillers or husbands! I have no idea how she controls this male dominated well drilling industry in British Columbia, but she's famous for her abilities. We could see that she runs the drilling show completely, it's just the way it is and the drillers know it. She says many drillers are not good enough to work for her and she will not let them drill her sites.
Although the odds, we felt were still very poor, my husband finally decided to follow Colleen's professional opinion. It was best as we felt a deep trust for her, she fights so hard to protect you and she was right, we paid for her water well drilling advice and she was worth every penny and much more! She was just so damn confident, she cares and really knows her business like no one we've ever met, incredible dedication.
We've also drilled and looked for water for over a couple of generations on our large farm with very little luck at all, we really thought we just owned dry land. I think that's why it was so hard for us to believe yet, allow Colleen to instruct us to drill right next to an existing dry hole already drilled to 300', my husband is a smart man and this whole concept just did not add up for him at the time. We always had just trusted drillers, it's all we knew and it was the biggest mistake we had made. Without water on a farm you don't have much.
So here's what finally happened, we only had to drill 70-feet and found our new well yielding incredible water at 12 gallons-per-minute, this was not for irrigation just one of the houses. She told the driller to slow down at 67-feet, how did she know?
We were beyond shocked and the our well driller was VERY quiet - I mean VERY quiet. Colleen Roberts is an amazing and very gifted woman.
She has since drilled another great well on our farm and she even got 80 gallons-per-minute for our neighbors who also had next to no water on their acreage for years, we love her and so do hundreds of families on Vancouver Island and I'm sure elsewhere, she's always on a plane somewhere it seems.
A drilling rig will never enter our farm without Colleen Roberts, don't ever drill without this woman!
Qualicum, Beach , BC