Chelan Falls Test Well
(Photo credit: Scott Malone)
People often ask us what is involved in the proper planning and execution of a water well drilling project. The correct answer, of course, is that it depends mightily upon a number of factors, including the drilling location, the drilling method, the desired production volume, and the purpose of the well. But while the specifics may differ, in most cases there is a common set of critical path decisions to be made to keep such a project on track.
I just recently had this discussion again with a new client, and it seemed a worthwhile topic to post about here. As it happens, my colleague Mike Krautkramer toured the country in 2008 as the National Ground Water Association’s McEllhiney Distinguished Lecturer with a presentation entitled, “How Much Is Enough? Making Decisions in the Water Well Industry” that explores many of these aspects of a drilling project. You can head over to our website to view or download the slides from his presentation or follow a link to watch Mike’s inaugural presentation to the 2007 NGWA Groundwater Expo on YouTube. (Fair notice, the video is slightly north of an hour long, so you might want to get comfortable….)
The National Ground Water Association’s (NGWA) Research and Education Foundation maintains a collection of historical scientific equipment related to the groundwater industry. In their 2011 Annual Report, NGWA recognized Robinson Noble’s donation of a circa. 1969 Stevens Type F water level recorder to the museum collection. The museum’s collection is hosted online at the Virtual Museum of Ground Water History; the Stevens Type F is located in the “Focus On the Science” wing.
This water level recorder pre-dated the solid-state water level sensors and dataloggers that are widely available today. The unit operated by means of a float and a weight suspended over a pulley via a beaded wire. The beads on the wire meshed with indentations on the pulley such that when water levels changed, the float moved up and down causing the pulley and attached drum to rotate. A pen traced a record of the water level change on chart paper affixed to the drum. The pen moved laterally across the chart paper by means of a clock drive, generating a real-time hydrograph. This model has a wind-up, gear-driven clock drive, but newer models are battery-powered and use quartz clock movements or solid-state circuitry.