Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation

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  1. Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation
  2. Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation - CRC Press Book
  3. Water Well Maintenance
  4. Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation

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Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Smith and Allen E. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1. Wells--Maintenance and repair. Comeskey, Allen E. S Causes and Effects of Well Deterioration Economic Impacts of Well Deterioration Prevention Practices for Sustainable Wells Maintenance Monitoring Programs for Wells Preventive Treatments and Actions Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Planning That Is the Question Rehabilitation Methods Learning and Going Forward Tarangire National Park, E Tanzania Environmental Protection Agency Geological Survey This is a simulation based on observed phenomena, usually indications of microbial activity are detected months or years later in response to some observed problem Section at left has begun anodic attack under biofilm associated with bentonite grout, while in the section on the right, corrosion is associated with metal fatigue The casing is pushed in and cracked at the visible joint and the foreground surface is blistered There was an attempt to fix it with a rubber boot coupling and protect it with a tire.

This was a public water supply bowling alley, now closed in Ohio The illustrated system is set up to permit periodic flow testing by measuring tank fill volume over a set period of time Corrosion hole middle section, top , above pump was losing several gpm Note: HP and head are per stage Derived from P analysis illustrated in Figures 5. Courtesy Droycon B Bioconcepts Inc.

Sample is injected into vial Tuhela-Reuning, Ohio Wesleyan University Cleaning carbonate W aquifer wells in western Ohio Note room for crane and G service vehicles on pad within fence, personnel access at the crane side to the interior and access through the roof A riserless pump uses the casing as the discharge line Courtesy ProWell Technolgoies, Ltd. Note that actual values may vary due to water quality and temperature variables Note that the pumps illustrated are not small. Photos b and c courtesy of Boreline Hose Solutions Inc. Photos a , d , and e courtesy of Angus Flexible Pipelines.

It is not a detailed specification or substitute for experience. Any conclusions and recommendations provided are based on the informed professional opinion of the authors, and these are based on their experience and research. People just reading this or any combination of books and manuals should not consider themselves fully qualified to perform, specify, or supervise well maintenance and monitoring programs without the necessary knowledge base and experience with specific situations. This book is based on a body of knowledge. How you apply it is up to you. The construction of wells is so individual and the geological environment so variable that we cannot guarantee the applicability or outcome in your particular situation.

Also keep in mind that some of the procedures and technology mentioned are protected by patent. If you are a consumer of professional services in well rehabilitation, this book will help you to get the most from your professional help. A major point in this work is the need for operational data collection and maintenance. This is important. If you will not do this, we cannot help you with this book. If you are a provider, this book is a source of information intended to help you do your job better and more safely.

With that in mind, and understanding that we all have a lot to learn, read on. Stuart A. Comeskey, CPG xxi Preface This book is intended to be a guide in keeping well systems operating to their best capacity. These include pumping water supply and plume control, pressure relief and dewatering wells, barrier and other recharge wells—horizontal, angled, and vertical.

To a certain degree, the scope covers monitoring wells and drains, and even wells for hydrocarbon withdrawal and fluid injection. It is written for those people who have to wrestle with these problems: well and overall facility managers, their operators, consultants and regulators, and contractors who may perform well and pump repair and rehabilitation services.

The problems you may be experiencing with your wells are not new or unique. They may be more intense for some wells than others. What sets them apart from a maintenance standpoint is that they are routinely exposed to harsh environments and operated in such a way that maximizes the potential for performance and water quality deterioration. These systems are basically injection wells that can then be reversed to pumping wells.

Injection wells have known maintenance problems. Can such wells be relied upon in the long run? The alternative in this case, the neglect of well and pump problems leads to continued performance deficiencies, or even additional problems. For a variety of reasons, wells have traditionally not been maintained like the active, valuable facility assets they are. However, an attitude of maintenance is catching on in all sectors.

These have now been out of print for several years although they are still quite relevant. This present work reflects those changes and positive improvements in the state of the art that have occurred in the last decade or so. It builds upon and complements other titles in the Sustainable Well Series that have documented improvements in the last twenty years.

This book, rather than focusing on one sector of well use as the book did, is intended to serve as a comprehensive yet readable state-of-the-art summary of performance maintenance, problem prevention, and rehabilitation or restoration practice for wells for the purpose of sustaining optimal performance over the long term. The current understanding of processes that impair performance and shorten well component life, practices designed to sustain performance during operations, and feasible rehabilitation and restoration methods will be considered.

It will address design features to maximize sustainability and issues of cost-effectiveness in planning sustainable well efforts. Emphasis will be on operational practicality. It is a guidebook to the causes of well deterioration, methods of well maintenance, and well restoration or well rehabilitation methods. Like a useful travel guidebook, this work is not a one-stop encyclopedia, but, where useful, it points you to further sources of more information.

In this case, the information for this work is built on the experience of the authors and numerous other people, and a good chunk of that information is published and should be on the bookshelf of—and read by—anyone responsible for well systems. We supply a recommended reading list.

You know, as soon as you stop and go to print with a book, that a good story will come your way or a new technology will emerge that may sweep the industry. So consider this book as a snapshot. By all means, keep up with new developments. Even with new technology, most of the principles expressed herein will apply. Seek all the good advice you can find, and respect it when you get it. The coauthors offer a website for up-to-date information, and they link it to other good sources.

We plan to offer a discussion blog or some such vehicle for those who purchase the book in order to update the reader on new findings and ideas and to access additional resources. We have found that a relaxed discussion results in more understanding than a formal lecture. While the material is intended to be entirely serious and authoritative, we have applied the same style to this book.

We envision ourselves sitting on our stools, talking with you. As with instruction, we repeat ourselves at times for emphasis, in case your attention drifts. Authors Stuart A. He is certified CGWP and licensed as a hydrogeologist and is a highly applied environmental microbiologist focusing on the biofouling and biocorrosion issues of wells and geotechnical drains. Prior to forming the predecessor of Ground Water Science in , Mr.

Smith served as a technical editor for Battelle Memorial Institute, as an adjunct associate professor in ground-water technology for Wright State University Ohio , and as education program coordinator and research associate for the National Ground Water Association NGWA, then known as the National Water Well Association , where he joined the staff in after a short stint as a secondary school teacher in Ohio. He also served as a lecturer in biology at Ohio Northern University in the s. Army Corps of Engineers , and the first manual on the subject in Spanish with the late Dr. He is currently chair of the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater joint technical group for Section iron and sulfur bacteria.

He is also active locally with the Sandusky River Ohio Watershed Coalition and involved in some water supply development planning in East Africa. Allen E. Comeskey has been a member and partner in Ground Water Science since He is a certified professional geologist CPG and registered geologist in several states. He has been involved in water supply hydrogeology and exploration since With Ground Water Science, he focuses on well construction planning and xxvii xxviii Authors execution, and the performance and analysis of logging and well hydraulic and aquifer tests. He is also an experienced ground-water modeler and hydrologic analyst with extensive experience in both fractured rock and glacial-alluvial hydrology.

While in North Dakota, he conducted community and county water resources exploration and delineations often logging more than 50, ft of borehole each year , and worked with wetlands water budgets. While in the eastern United States, he worked on complex wellhead protection and contaminant delineation studies and continued detailed modeling, well testing, and well rehabilitation project work with Smith-Comeskey. They can fund future needed research proposals we send if they want to. Thanks also to the U. We most gratefully thank our clients who had the problems that have served as our classroom and laboratory we benefit from the troubles of others , as well as our working colleagues on the service side, who move the iron and the water.

Nothing gets done without them. Karen Ward helped with art carried over from the predecessor to this work. We slavishly acknowledge the support of our wives, who mostly humor us as we pursue our star. Crack librarian Rebecca Quintus, who finds things we seek, also contributed materially to this work. Well construction is an ancient craft: Genesis, the book of the Judeo-Christian scriptures that provides an account of the primordial history of human interaction with God, recounts the exploits of Abraham, leader of a large and successful nomadic pastoral clan and claimed as patriarch by many, living about four thousand years ago.

As for the subsea well, people presumably constructed wells on land to access fresh water, so the well was constructed before the sea level rebound at the end of the last Pleistocene ice advance. Maintenance must have been at least selectively successful. Naturally, maintenance of dug wells was not always performed, or performed well. Excavated wells are excellent sources of archaeological information from old settlements such as colonial sites in Virginia, Jamestown or Williamsburg.

Objects in wells mean that people were throwing undesirable objects into wells back then, just as they do today. One of us Comeskey observed in North Dakota in the early s a process since stopped that wherever a platform over an old dug well rotted away, the hole was soon filled with pesticide jugs and oil cans. As we see everywhere, if there is a hole in the ground, someone throws something in it.

Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania Objects Found in a Year-Old Well at Jamestown, Virginia Plants, wild and domestic seeds, pollen, parasites, insects, paper, leather, pewter, wood, ceramics, beads, fabric and other materials and food remains a great quantity of butchered animal bones, oyster shells, and other marine life, including clam, mussel, and scallop shells, fish bones, dorsal plates from huge Atlantic sturgeon, crab claws, and barnacles.

With less intention, spoiled wells can change history. Black rat remains found in Roman wells in Britain suggest that Romans may have lost their grip on northern Europe due to bubonic plague. Establishing a new well would involve an incredible investment of labor, since the engine-powered drill would not appear until the nineteenth century. Cleaning the existing well would be the more cost-effective strategy in terms of time and labor, even if it were risky.

A Brief History of Well Maintenance, Rehabilitation and Their Milestones 3 Georg Houben and Christoph Treskatis, in their excellent McGraw-Hill book see the recommended reading list , recount examples of well maintenance and reconstruction dating back to Neolithic times. One notable example of premodern well maintenance comes from Germany.

By the sixteenth century, regular well maintenance on two- or three-year intervals was established in the city of Duderstadt. Well maintenance and rehabilitation through the history of dug-masonry wells was largely limited to cleaning out debris and silt, cleaning off what we would now call biofouling, and necessary deepening and reconstruction. The use of chlorine chlorinated lime as a disinfectant began in the nineteenth century in response to disease outbreaks associated with wells. One widely reported account is that of Dr.

That it would occur to anyone to disinfect a well, of course, required an understanding of germ theory, which also did not emerge until the nineteenth century, and the industrial extraction of chlorine, also an innovation of the s. Although Chinese drillers reportedly drilled 1, m salt wells four thousand years ago with spring pole drilling systems, these took generations to complete as one can imagine and were therefore rare and valuable. The appearance of the steam engine attached to a drilling machine dated to the s in the United States provided a reasonable means to drill deep wells into aquifers rarely tapped before.

These were better protected from contamination and tapped water with more abundant reduced iron, manganese, and sulfur. Although more sanitary and easier to protect, their inefficient water intakes were more vulnerable to clogging by what we would come to know as iron, manganese, and sulfur biofouling. Thus, we came to an approximation of the modern drilled tube well maintenance situation: 1. A productive and valuable well that was to varying degrees prone to performance, sanitation, and structural issues. The well is now deep—often quite deep—but no longer accessible for direct action by masons or youth with brushes and buckets.

Yet on the other hand, it could be built using engineering, process, and chemical capabilities also unavailable in previous millennia. For example, it can be pumped using a wind- or engine-powered piston pump. The early decades of the twentieth century brought these notable advances in water well science, engineering, and technology: 4 Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation 1.

The emergence of the cable tool drilling machine and associated tools and methods in their modern form provided a viable, powerful, and versatile well construction and service system 2. Modern well screen designs and other inventions with familiar names attached to them, such as Johnson, Layne, Moss, and not to be forgotten Cook 3. Modern metallurgy, giving us high-strength and corrosion-resistant alloys, precision machining, welding, and other fabrication methods 4. Development of technical procedures such as well grouting and filter packing 5. Development and adoption of the vertical turbine pump 6.

Electric line power often of high quality becomes widely available 7. Development of well testing and analytical methods that are still in use today As such drilled wells accumulated some age, performance decline and a need for rehabilitation, and of course pump service, became inevitable. As long as there have been well development tools and procedures, mechanical redevelopment has been used to clean wells that had filled with sediment or declined in performance. For many purposes, redevelopment worked well. However, it was not long before people tried various means to enhance the experience.

They would let the wells work and pass the time reforging drilling bits. This is the kind of patience rarely expressed today that Depression-era men, glad to have good jobs, possessed. The post—World War II period brought more revolution. The first was the spread of the truck-mounted rotary drilling rig.

While they were used before the war, especially in the petroleum field, they were slow to be adopted by the water well industry due to cost and their complicated nature.

Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation - CRC Press Book

However, once they became economical to deploy and there was a suburban housing market , rotaries became common. Wells could be installed very quickly and less expensively. There was much less investment in time and emotion compared to installing them with cable tool rigs or by digging. Consequently, wells became consumables, to be used and discarded. Why maintain something you are going to use up and replace? In , we had cheap land, cheap drilling, and limited regulatory environment. A second revolution was in the flowering of industrial chemistry, which made a wide range of cleaning and disinfecting compound chemicals available for use in well cleaning, and the ingenious experimented with a lot of them.

Mineral acids such as hydrochloric acid were used for removing deposits. Chlorinated lime, chlorine gas, and liquid sodium hypochlorite were used for disinfection and odor removal. The use of chemicals became more prevalent after World War II, with the final passing of steam engines and the universal use of internal combustion engines to power drilling equipment. The proliferation of designer organic chemicals after World War II brought us the age of detergents, beginning in the s.

Paging through water well industry A Brief History of Well Maintenance, Rehabilitation and Their Milestones 5 journals of the time, one finds wide-eyed articles and advertisements for compounds from familiar manufacturers. These phosphate-containing detergents were a major part of the well-cleaning toolkit for decades. Starting in the s, more sophisticated chemistry that presented fewer side effect problems came into wider use.

Water Well Maintenance

The period since the early s brought a modern flowering of research, conferences, and publications especially since the early s on well rehabilitation and maintenance. There was much experimentation in types of processes. That same period brought some of the first systematic experimentation and training in what constitutes effective well cleaning and maintenance.

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Many of these products have names with letters and numbers. The innovation, testing, and exuberant marketing continue to the present day. Among these other purposes are monitoring ground-water quality and pumping to control or clean up contaminated ground water—the other side of the effect of the industrial chemical era on the industry.

At the same time that construction of such environmental wells was accelerating, the environmental industry consultants, government, drillers, and service users such as waste management firms , one challenge was to make remediation systems work in an environment far more challenging than that of a potable ground-water system. The development of several important consensus standards, including ASTM standards for construction and development and maintenance of monitoring wells, helped the process. An entire training and continuing education industry sprang up to service the needs of professionals in the environmental industry so that monitoring and recovery systems could be competently designed and installed.

Manuals on monitoring well construction and design were written. Improved methods, tools and equipment, and personnel skills were developed and became part of the maturing of the industry. The results are not uniform—poorly designed systems are not disappearing. Unfortunately, with the gutting of funding for ground-water clean up, much of the training and continuing education sector has withered, but the publications and concepts remain. The remediation side of the business has been transformed since the mids with the phasing out of many pump-and-treat systems due to their high operational failure rate.

It is not that such systems could not be maintained, but resources and plans to do so were rarely included in project plans. The entire budget went to design and construction. In their place, in situ remediation has been a more prevalent tactic. Of course, the whole pace of ground-water cleanup slowed in recent years with the loss of funding. Pump impellers clogged by oxidized iron deposition. In recovery and pump-and-treat systems, the chief problems are reduced flow and increased drawdown in the well systems and clogging of downstream piping and treatment apparatus.

Environmental well problems are fundamentally the same as those that cause water supply wells to provide poor performance. Poor design and poor construction and development also can contribute. However, inherent environmental causes of deterioration may occur even if design, installation, and development are adequate. We are assuming an audience generally familiar with wells and their processes. If you are entirely new to well construction, testing, etc.

Monitoring wells may have less obvious performance symptoms since they are not always stressed by pumping. Symptoms of well deterioration experienced in monitoring wells are most likely to include changes in physicochemical water quality and increased turbidity. Such changes can interfere with the quality of samples from wells, as well as their performance, for example, interfering with the recovery of organic constituents of ground water such as trichlorethylene TCE results in erratic sample results over time.

Results become more consistent after wells are rehabilitated. Aquifer storage and recovery ASR wells represent a new development in terms of their being in mainstream use. Injection wells for management of coastal salt water intrusion and barrier wells are known to be prone to particulate and biological clogging Chapter 2. Such wells and associated infrastructure are large investments based on rather meager research into longevity issues.

Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation

Everything about planet Earth, from the stratosphere of the atmosphere down to the base of the crust, is affected by life, and has been profoundly transformed since life appeared on Earth. Microflora are ubiquitous. If there is a niche, they exploit it. If there is a pore space, they occupy it. If there is a surface, they coat it. The world as we know it is a product of the actions of living things. This revolution in understanding is hardly new. A very good conceptual understanding of the role of microflora in what we now call geomicrobiology a term coined by , according to Ehrlich see Ehrlich and Newman in our recommended reading list developed in the late nineteenth century, but went quiet for several decades for historical-political reasons.

By the s, a revival of interest was developing in some academic circles. The field gained traction by the s in various research groups and at the U. Geological Survey. A lot of good work continued to be published in Russian largely inaccessible to Americans. Diffusion of these concepts to the practical ground-water field was rather slow. One of us Smith was the only individual on the staff of what was then the National Water Well Association now National Ground Water Association with a biology degree in the early s.

Department of Energy supported landmark work in deep subsurface microbiology that was very revealing, and D. This growth and development and intellectual acceptance of the role of life in the ground-water engineering world has continued. Such a paradigm shift in thinking is consistent with the growing acceptance of the idea of an integrated, interactive universe and intedisciplinary study of phenomena. Although geomicrobiology has been experiencing another academic revival due to interest in global climate change and the possibility of life on Mars, the academic activity is not translating well into applied practice.

It seems like a lot of people still are not paying attention. Ground-water remediation systems, especially those for commercial properties, are designed as if biological clogging will not occur— even if the system is designed to foster bioremediation. Then folks are stunned 8 Sustainable Wells: Maintenance, Problem Prevention, and Rehabilitation when clogging does occur, but they remain unwilling to take the necessary steps in response, expecting it to simply go away or to be treated cheaply. A more subtle issue is that of the influence of developed biomass on well and aquifer hydrology. Actually, the physics and math are what they are.

If a biomass clog is present, it lowers the hydraulic conductivity and alters flow paths, so the effects of biomass development can be analyzed and modeled with available tools. The weakness in hydrologic practice is the persistant assumption that the water level response of pumping and monitoring wells regardless of age and condition during tests transparently reflects the surrounding aquifer.

Experience shows that is not the case. This requires a budget for such work, and suddenly, everyone likes simplifying assumptions. Practice is beginning to catch up with ideals, theory and persistent preaching. More of the water well industry has embraced rehabilitation, along with drilling, especially as the economic attractiveness of service has become evident. There is a beginning of a sense of economic value for ground water that was lacking before. Also, there is a sense that sustainable choices must be made: we cannot just run down a wellfield through neglect, then move over and establish another.

There may be no other place available. Nontechnical human choices heavily influence the acceptance of ideas and technologies. This organic view of the situation fits their experience in life. Life is an integrated whole of earth, biology, machines, people, institutions, and various intangibles such as matters of faith. The modern story of water well construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation is also a social history, and heavily influenced by personalities.

It is impossible to envision the development of modern meaning nineteenth century to present water well and environmental technology without a free enterprise, b the American view of patent and intellectual rights A Brief History of Well Maintenance, Rehabilitation and Their Milestones inventors should benefit from their work, and this is something to shoot for , and c the development of oil and gas. People had incentive to invent, try new methods, and take risks because they could benefit materially.

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Otherwise, we stay in the feudal system. The water well and rehabilitation fields are rich with invention. This continues today. Oil required invention to make serious progress and money. Oil is valuable and people have strong incentive to invent and engineer to get it. Face it—people will get water from a creek. It required an economic incentive irrigation, settling on prairie land, raising living standards and social imperative improve the lives of the poor and women to drive improvement in water.

University engineering departments recognize that farm kids make the best mechanical engineers. Whether or not they have an engineering degree, people with this rural, machine-rich background know how to figure out how things work and how to do things like making field innovations and repairs. Are we losing this capacity-building ability in our society? The story is full of colorful and interesting individuals. That example is rather extreme. The pioneers and current drivers of the ground-water industry, especially the water well sector, are not likely to commit child abandonment and brutal acts of murder, but they tend to be individualistic, creative, technically focused inventors.

They are not organization people. The drivers of recent improvements in well cleaning practice include the pioneers and visionaries typical of new or newly flowered technologies. It is impossible for us to imagine the current state of well diagnosis, maintenance, and cleaning without several people who demonstrated laserlike focus on these subjects—personal mission, actually, that resembles some kind of apostolic calling more than personal choice. Two that come to mind are the late George Alford on the cleaning side and his collaborator, Roy Cullimore and his longtime devoted staff of associates.

Then there is the skill of tent preaching that brings the sinners to repentance and salvation: Where would we be without Dave Hanson in that regard setting aside for the moment some details of doctrine? One person who labored in relative obscurity, and who should not be forgotten, is the late Miguel Gariboglio of Argentina. Since most of the publication in our field is done in North America and Europe, and much of it in English or its technical cousins German and French, this Spanish-speaking Argentine labored off on stage right.

Besides, during the height of his work, Argentina was economically and politically isolated. Still, he and a number of his compatriot colleagues labored on developing and practicing practical biofouling and biocorrosion diagnosis in a very difficult situation, adding materially to our knowledge. Likewise, our laboratory supply mass marketers, with their catalogs and websites, and using our relentlessly organized package transport system, put the new biological tests in the hands of the operators who need them. The occurrence of a maintenance mindset: The worldview that it is virtuous and valuable to maintain valuable systems is one that is culturally dependent and somewhat dependent on economics and other intangibles.

Indoctrination is important as we will discuss. One also finds that the maintenance ethic is most evident in societies and segments of those societies that have the most experience with machines and complex engineered structures e. This ethic is magnified when one owns or has fiduciary responsibility for the object of maintenance. Maintenance vision can be selective. He has spoken on well maintenance, rehabilitation, and microbiology topics in Argentina, Australia, England, Tanzania, Slovenia, and throughout North America.

In recent years, he has become active in the effort to equip professional water sector capabilities and to develop water supplies in Tanzania and other developing countries. Click here to contact Stuart Smith. Western Ohio Main Office S. Lawn Ave. Author s Bio Author. Request an e-inspection copy. Share this Title. Recommend to Librarian. Related Titles. Microbiology of Well Biofouling. Shopping Cart Summary. Items Subtotal. View Cart. Offline Computer — Download Bookshelf software to your desktop so you can view your eBooks with or without Internet access.

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