The latest industry happenings from the desk ofND's editor.

One-day Geothermal Programs

The American Ground Water Trust, in cooperation with the Geothermal Heat Pump Con-sortium and the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, presents a program titled, “Ground Source Heating & Cooling for Residential and Commercial Properties,” which will cover the latest technologies, economic advantages, environmental impacts and regulations of this important market sector. This valuable program will be presented Nov. 5 in Raleigh, N.C., and in Cincinnati on Nov. 19. For complete details, call 603-228-5444.

Sonic Sampling Demo

This past summer, AMS Inc. and Sonic Sampling & Supply demonstrated the capabilities of their Compact Roto-Sonic 17-C in American Falls, Idaho. Drillers from all over the United States and Canada watched the unit quickly and easily core through solid rock, collect core samples and create a borehole for a geothermal loop installation. There will be another demonstration going on during the IGSHPA show in Dallas, which takes place Oct. 21-22 in Dallas.

Promoting “Waterosity”

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s summer exhibition is titled, “Waterosity: Go Green with a Splash.” So what’s bubbling up? Fresh thinking about people, plants and water. Bringing together the voices of artists, scientists and horticulturalists, Waterosity celebrates this most precious resource through thought-provoking and playful installations and exhibits. A key element of Waterosity is an outdoor artwalk comprising 10 juried art installations that explore the gifts of water.

One such exhibit is called, “Take Back the Tap: Protect Our Environment,” by Debra Ensteness (Landscapes by Dae of West St. Paul) and Sheila Hawthorne (Hawthorne Landscape Designs, Inver Grove Heights). A jumbo water bottle holding thousands of discarded water bottles communicates a timely message about the environmental consequences of disposable water bottles. The exhibit is designed so that visitors can walk through it and engage in environmental messages.

“We’re very excited about this exhibition,” says Mary Meyer, interim Arboretum director. “Water is a vital resource, and we must preserve it for future generations. Waterosity is both fun and informative.”

Drilling Contractor Assists Bomb Squad Units

Earlier this year, Maine Drilling & Blasting (MD&B) held a training class in its Auburn, N.H., classroom facility for explosive ordinance device technicians (bomb squads) and other support personnel. The subject was electronic detonator systems. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration, the Boston Police bomb squad, the New Hampshire State Police bomb squad, the Massachusetts State Police bomb squad, Nashua Police Department Hazardous Devices Unit, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the Auburn, N.H., and Dracut, Mass., fire departments were among those in attendance. In all, there were 48 law enforcement personnel participating in this unprecedented event.

Agent Kevin Crowley, bomb tech and dog handler for MSA Inc., retired policeman and one of the founders of the Nashua Police Bomb Squad, comments: “The electronic detonator training MD&B put on was, in a word, fantastic. It was extremely informative; we were surprised by the technology. It’s wonderful to see the private sector help out law enforcement in understanding a product we could see and have to deal with in the future. From the law enforcement aspect of it, it’s greatly appreciated.”

It had become apparent to Maine Drilling personnel that there was little information available to bomb squads about electronic detonators, and even less hands-on experience. Since MD&B has committed to using a much greater volume of these detonators in the coming years, in keeping with its reputation as a pioneer in industry technology, the company stepped up to take the lead in the education process. MD&B’s internal technical resources developed a training program for this technology geared toward the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) community. The MD&B team, working in conjunction with the top manufacturers of these systems, assembled a split day of classroom and hands-on field training, which included actual live firing, and the ability to work with each system. In addition, there were bomb dog detection exercises, X-Ray demonstrations, and the Boston Police bomb squad brought its electronic countermeasures truck to round out a very full day.

“In our business, much like the EOD world, second place is the first loser,” stresses Todd Larain, lead quarry blasting supervisor and lead coordinator for this EOD training initiative. “We have no room for error, no do-overs, and no second chances to undo a mistake. We do our jobs right the first time, or people get hurt. This electronic detonator technology is a very big step in that direction. When used properly, these detonators provide a level of accuracy far greater than anything we have used up until now. At Maine Drilling & Blasting, it is our firm belief that with great strength comes great responsibility. We are committed to leading the industry in our standards of safety, accountability, and a total commitment to having the most highly skilled and best-trained workforce in the business.”

Maine Drilling & Blasting, recognized as a leader in the industry and a long-term contributor to the local community, offers drilling and blasting services to the construction and quarry markets, along with a variety of specialty services throughout the Northeastern United States. In addition to the corporate office in Gardiner, Maine, MD&B has offices in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Congratulations to ThermaSource

ThermaSource Inc, a geothermal consulting and drilling firm headquartered in Santa Rosa, Calif., was notified by theNorth Bay Business Journal,that it was voted one of the best places to work for in the North Bay for the second straight year. ThermaSource prides itself on a quality workplace environment, and the business management values it instills in each employee. ThermaSource is proud to continue to be an example for North Bay companies, and looks forward to continued growth and success.