Assorted industry happenings are discussed in this month's column.

Most Are Having a Good Year

The results of a recentNational DrillerWeb Poll are overwhelmingly positive. We asked, “For this year, do you expect the drilling market in your area to expand, decline or stay pretty much the same?” The encouraging response:

  • Expand - 64 percent

  • Stay the Same - 21 percent

  • Decline - 15 percent

We trust that drilling contractors in the expansion areas are taking full advantage of their opportunities, and that the others are doing what they have to do to make the best of their situations. If the outside environment isn't cooperating, make sure your internal environment is maximizing its potential.

Three Special Grants Awarded

The National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation has awarded three grants totaling $14,000 for projects exploring MTBE, the use of nanoscale iron in remediation, and the sustainability of ground water resources. These grants, the first ever from the Foundation's Research Fund, were made following a blind review by a panel of evaluators. The following projects were funded:

  • MTBE: Will It Ever Disappear? Lead researcher: John Peckenham, University of Maine. This proposal will provide needed measurements to determine the lag between changing fuel composition and the disappearance of MTBE from ground water. It will examine the spatial distribution and persistence of MTBE in a setting with a well-documented MTBE contamination in ground water. This project is a continuation of a collaborative effort between the University of Maine, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection.

  • Nanoscale Iron for the Remediation of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Source Zones. Lead researcher: Gwynn Johnson, Ph.D., Portland State University. The presence of nonaqueous phase liquids in the subsurface environment is recognized as a significant, long-term threat to ground water resources. With the application of traditional pump-and-treat remediation requiring years and even decades of pumping, alternative remediation schemes are necessary to protect this vital resource. The objective of this study is to investigate the feasibility and risk of employing nanoscale iron particles for the reductive dehalogenation of chlorinated solvents, with a specific focus on nonaqueous phase liquid remediation in a two-dimensional, laboratory-based flow cell.

  • Assessment of Ground Water Age and Rate of Recharge Using Environmental Tracers. Lead researcher: Kurt Koella, Lakeshore Environmental Inc. This research will address sustainability of ground water resources. Ground water use and diversion is a politically sensitive issue in the Great Lakes Basin, as illustrated by the Dec. 13, 2005, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact agreement to prohibit new or increased diversions within the basin. Assessing ground water age and rate of recharge will enhance understanding of the impact of withdrawal on a local ground water system.

    Happy 50th

    Regular National Driller columnist and drilling industry icon, Porky Cutter, and Bess, his lovely bride, just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Congratulations are in order for Porky, sainthood for Bess.

    New NDA Contact Info

    The National Drilling Association (NDA) has retained the services of J & M Business Solutions to assist with day-to-day activities, including updating of the association's Web site and assisting on membership questions, as well as media press releases. The firm has (in-house) a Webmaster, IT department, event planner and other office personnel. J & M offers NDA members free membership in Best Benefits Club, which provides access to 200-plus vendor discount offerings, including amusement parks, automotive purchase, repair and lease, cultural events, travel, retail and more.

    NDA's new contact information:
    National Drilling Association
    3511 Center Rd., Ste. 8
    Brunswick, Ohio 44212
    877-NDAis4U (632-4748)

    Best Practices for Small Systems

    Certified operators and owners of small drinking water systems serving fewer than 10,000 people will now have quick reference guides to help them operate sustainable drinking water systems that deliver safe drinking water to their customers. Topics of the guides include best practices for general operating practices, maintenance of distribution systems, vital record keeping, and building good working relationships with decision makers. Information and copies of these guides are available at Hard copies are available upon request through the Safe Drinking Water Hotline by calling 800-426-9198.

    Introducing National Driller's Redesigned Web Site

    National Driller now boasts a newly redesigned Web site, featuring a fresh new look - one befitting the industry it serves. ND's site still offers the same user-friendly navigation and pertinent information. Now, in addition to the new design, we're also introducing a simple log-in procedure. Logging in will allow you to access some of the editorial content on the site; it also will enable us to better serve you by ensuring that, like the magazine, we can continue to deliver the Web site free of charge. Simply register once by supplying the requested subscriber information, and your returning log-in just asks for your e-mail address and a user-defined password. You then click on the “Remember Me” prompt, and the system will recall your log-in information.

    Be sure to visit and check out the new design, as well as register for complete online access to all of ND's articles.

    On the Health Watch

    A recent study conducted at a leading independent laboratory concludes - most emphatically - that reading National Driller magazine just once a month can significantly reduce one's risk of being afflicted with Pityriasis capitis disease, a disconcerting and all-too-common malady suffered by millions across the globe today.

    To wit: No known drilling contractors participating in the research project were even familiar with the disease, and among chronic sufferers of the dreaded condition who took part in the study, not a single one mentioned National Driller as his or her No. 1 favorite magazine - so the connection's pretty obvious there, right?.

    This latest finding comes subsequent to previous studies linking regular National Driller reading to improved posture, whiter teeth, decreased incidence of hammer-toe and improved odds of winning the lottery.

    Live a healthier and more rewarding life - read National Driller monthly.

    Legal notice: Side effects may include broader knowledge of the drilling industry, fresher breath, the admiration of others and/or a cheerier disposition. Children under the age of 2 should not read National Driller without responsible adult supervision.