It's going to continue to take courage, hard work and perseverance to get things right in 2003, but editor Greg Ettling believes the drilling industry is up to the challenge in the new year.

It was quite a year we had in 2002. We've had to get used to looking at the world a little differently. Our daily way of life has been altered significantly and on many levels since late 1999. There's a little less room for the weak of heart or stomach. There were -- and still are -- a great many challenges to overcome. It's going to continue to take a whole bunch of courage, hard work and perseverance to get things right -- and that's why I know the drilling industry will prosper just fine, thank you very much.

Drilling Deep

In last month's Web poll, we asked the depth of the deepest water well you've ever drilled. The most popular answer was "more than 1,000 feet" (36%). Somewhat curiously, the second-most popular answer was "between 100 feet and 200 feet." The mean was 700 feet, approximately -- 49 percent of the respondents' answers were fewer than 700 feet and 51 percent were more than 700 feet. Thanks to all who participated in the poll.

Latest Scam

The notices sent to 60,000 central Florida residents were quite official looking. The "City Water Update" told residents that their water may be contaminated and that they should call the National Water Safety Program for a free water test. When someone calls in for a free water test, the National Water Safety Program passes along that lead to a company that just happens to sell water treatment systems -- and pays a fee to belong to the program.

The notices say that water in the area has tested positive for one or more contaminants, conveniently failing to mention that the contaminants are naturally occurring and/or at levels below concern. Recent water quality reports from the central Florida area showed all public water systems to be in compliance. The postcards also warn residents about "chlorine being present in their water."

A spokesperson for the National Water Safety Program had the temerity to claim the notices are aimed at informing, not alarming, consumers. "I don't think it's misleading; I think it provokes thought," he says.

There have been enough complaints that the notices now say "Water Quality Notice" instead of "City Water Update."

According to the program's own numbers, about 3,000 free water tests have been requested. That's a 5 percent conversion rate on its mailing -- enough of a return to guarantee that these types of scare tactics always will continue to exist. Fortunately, that at least leaves the 95 percent that could use a more professional approach.

New Look

You probably have noticed that we took your magazine to the salon for a makeover. Nothing extreme, just a clip here and a tuck there to re-invigorate the appearance -- you deserve it.

We're most interested in what you think about your magazine's new look and would greatly appreciate your feedback. Drop us a line with your thoughts on that -- or anything else at all that's on your mind. The fax number is 630-694-4002, or send an e-mail to Thanks -- enjoy your latest issue of National Driller and have a terrific 2003.