Editor Greg Ettling offers some suggestions on how to make the most of Ground Water Awareness Week, and more...

Ground Water Awareness Week is Mar. 16-22 this year and, as usual, the National Ground Water Association has done a great deal of work in preparation for the event. Make sure you take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to get the word out and improve the fortunes of your customers, your company and your industry by participating to the extent you are able. It could be as simple as a flyer that directs homeowners to www.wellowner.com for consumer information and offers your services. Other ideas we've heard about include presentations at schools, information tables at local grocery stores and open houses with food, drinks and give-aways. Maybe Mar. 16-22 will be a slow news week in your area - let the local media know in advance about the observance and any special event you plan. Offer to be an industry expert who can lend a quote or a sound bite. While it's easy to say it's just another among 52 weeks, realize the potential of the occasion and make the best of it. Even if you don't see immediate concrete results, getting involved certainly will be invigorating - a good thing in itself. Whatever you choose to do, give it your best shot. And afterwards, we'd love to hear about your efforts and their results.

Competitive Fire

In a recent survey on the National Driller Web site (www.drilleronline. com), we asked you to describe the competition in your market. According to those who participated, things are tightening up a bit. Here's how respondents described the competition in their markets:

  • Fierce - 41 percent

  • Moderate - 32 percent

  • Soft - 17 percent

  • Non-existent - 9 percent

It comes as no surprise that those numbers are a little more top-heavy than they were just a couple years ago. The bright side of the story is that follow-up conversations reveal that these descriptions are not whiny complaints - they're merely statements of fact. A typical drilling contractor comment we heard: "Competition is very strong in our area, but we're doing fine. As a matter of fact, the situation has been good for us because we took a good, hard look at our operation and made some changes for the better - things that we might have put off until later otherwise. And with the reputation we've established in our particular niche, we skirt much of that competition - a lot of the fighting is over jobs we'd rather not go after anyway."


In last month's "Trading Post" section, we had a most unfortunate typo. We ran a photo of Paul Hofe and his son (Hofe Well Drilling, Martinsburg, W.V.) with the Driltech T2K5W they purchased from Rotary Drilling Equipment Inc. at last year's South Atlantic Well Drillers Jubilee. Problem was, we spelled Hofe "Hole" - three times. While the ribbing he's taken over this has been good-natured, we're quite certain he's tired of it, and we're sincerely sorry for the mistake.