In a perfect world, drilling fluids for each project would have exactly the right properties for the job at hand and the work would go as planned. But, sometimes, changing conditions downhole—e.g., shale, rock, sand or salt—require further modification in water loss properties, rheology control or viscosity modification.
Drillers know they make an impact, but that doesn’t usually mean helping to supply water for hundreds of thousands of people. Steven Bryan sensed the scope of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District project when he got the call. Working the project, which involves several 24-inch wells that will supply a swath of central Utah, only confirmed the impact.
As discussed in last month’s article “Proper Grouting Protects Your Loop, Safeguards Groundwater,” grouting a geothermal borehole serves three vital purposes: to seal the hole/protect the ground loop, to protect groundwater from possible contamination and to improve thermal conductivity.
Anderson Drilling is a respected and experienced foundation contractor known for tackling big foundation jobs in California. Anderson operates a high-quality and well-maintained fleet of foundation drills and cranes, and the traditional tooling capable of completing these often monumental projects. In order to be more efficient in the recent downturn in the construction economy, Anderson looked at newer technology, specifically Atlas Copco’s 48-inch cluster drill, as a way to speed up the foundation drilling process.
I recently wrote a post on the The Driller website about a huge find in Kenya. A company called Radar Technologies used satellite imaging to guide drillers to a massive aquifer in the country’s arid north.
In my last column, we discussed the value triangle as it relates to developing a cost estimate. This month, let’s talk about another form of estimating: the ubiquitous “budget estimate.” As contractors, we all have been asked to provide this type of cost, which can also be termed a “ballpark estimate.” Before we go into more detail, let’s define the term; and, as always is the case, the definition is in the eye of the beholder.
At the end of my last column, I had discussed how to do a graduated sieve analysis of a sand and gravel aquifer and hinted at how we might select our screen openings from this. As you will recall, I described how we could plot the analysis of our formation on graph paper with slot openings or grain size in thousandths of an inch on the horizontal scale with zero at the far left. The vertical scale will list cumulative percent retained from zero at the bottom to 100 at the top. If we plot what our graduated sieves have retained, we will develop an S curve or we can simply connect the dots as a child might do.
Several years ago, I wrote an article about drop pipe: the pipe that connects to a submersible pump and carries the well water to the well head. In that article, I focused on plastic drop pipe, both rigid PVC and semi-flexible HDPE (poly pipe), describing the pros and cons of each and the load bearing capacity of the various sizes.
I finally got back to work, after spending most of the summer at home with my bride, Lottie. She had some health issues and I was worried, so I spooled up and went to Georgia for the summer. Funny thing is, the weather was perfect up here, but way too hot there. Now, I’m back, and fall is here. It seems a little later this year. Last year, the first freeze was Sept. 15; this year, it’s October already and still fly-season. But it’s coming. I went today and got a bunch of gear to winterize my new trailer: heated water lines and sewer lines, skirting, etc. I figure if I don’t do it now, I’ll be on a job when the weather turns and come back to a frozen shack. I’d like to avoid that, ‘cause I spent last winter in a dry camp with no water or sewer, and I can tell ya that a porta-john is not fun at 20 below. Froze my nether regions to the seat once. Not the kind of place to take a book, but that’s another story.
If you are a currently licensed well driller in any state, I recommend that you keep it current and active even if you retire. You may be able to contract as the licensed driller for a company or unlicensed driller until he/she/they can get licensed. I am a licensed well drilling contractor in Arizona, North Carolina and Virginia, even though I haven’t physically operated a drill in several years.
Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Co. announced the winner of the company’s Gator Giveaway Sweepstakes. Jeremy Eckroth, an environmental specialist at the Falkirk Mining Company, submitted the winning entry.