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….)
I had seen a presentation at the 2011 NGWA Expo by Mr. Reinhard Klause of Sigmund Lindner, a German manufacturer of precision glass bead products, on an innovative well-design technology—the use of glass beads as filter pack material. I thought the idea merited further discussion, so when I heard that Reinhard was going to visit the Pacific Northwest, my colleagues and I scrambled to organize a seminar.
To maximize the value of the seminar, we invited a broad cross-section of the groundwater community, including drilling contractors, water utilities, well design consultants, the regulatory community, and materials suppliers. We were only able to provide a few days’ notice, but people responded quickly to our invitation. Thank you to all who dropped everything to “come to the party.” I would also like to thank Burt Clothier (RN) and Bill Lum (Ecology) for working to qualify the event for continuing education credits for our driller guests and to Stan French and John Bowman (Lakehaven Utility District) for providing access to the Lakehaven Center meeting facility in Federal Way. Continue reading
Noble’s Notes: “A quarterly recollection from 40 years of service to the groundwater community.”
By John Noble
[Ed. Note: The following article originally appeared in our first newsletter edition, published in October 1999.]
Some things that are so obvious turn out to be not true at all. One of these is predicting the presence of iron in ground water – perhaps the most common and pervasive water quality problem with wells in much of the country. Ground water with dissolved iron commonly looks as pure and pristine as a mountain stream. However, it tastes like rusty pipes. The taste is bad enough, but let the water stand in air overnight and the iron will precipitate out into a red floc which is truly ugly. When I used to canvass domestic wells in Western Washington, under negative comments of quality, the commonest was “red water” or “too much iron”. Many drillers I have known have bypassed zones of red sands and gravels that are obviously rich in iron. They wanted a satisfied customer for their finished well. Unhappily, they were often dead wrong. The obvious problem was not really there at all. Continue reading