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….)
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
One question our hydrogeologists are commonly asked about problem wells is “Where has our water gone?” A very interesting question and one that is much harder to answer then you might think. Our newsletters over the years have discussed some of the ways in which the groundwater industry has changed, but one thing has remained constant-the need for good quality water level data. Robinson Noble has assisted numerous water purveyors with the development and implementation of well field monitoring plans designed to provide good quality data and foster proactive aquifer management. Generally, these monitoring plans have focused on the collection of long term aquifer water levels and production data. However, monitoring plans can also be tailored to a specific well or aquifer concern.