The Coega drilling team hit a major water source on Thursday afternoon at 265m below the surface after coming agonisingly close on Wednesday.
They lowered a camera into the shaft to assess the situation and realised that although they had hit the fault at the expected 200m mark, the necessary fracturing needed for water was absent, hydrologist Ricky Murray says.
They pushed on for a parallel fault and a short while later hit pay dirt with the water pumping out at 110000l per hour.
The hope is that the well should sustainably deliver a huge 100l per second, which will make it the biggest well in Southern Africa and one of the biggest on the continent and in most parts of the world.
The project was commissioned by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and included Aurecon, Murray and geologist Marc Goedhart, and Environmental Drilling & Remediation Services.
The estimate is that together with four other wells drilled by the same team in the Coega area, it should supply 5-10% of the metro’s needs