Water Well Journal

May 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/668983

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Page 41 of 77

P lanning in any aspect of life is critical. But planning in the water well industry is so critical I consider it to be the first action in any program and the first additive in any drilling fluid. The six P's of planning are: "Proper planning and practice prevent poor performance." We have all heard if we fail to plan we plan to fail, and I don't believe any of us start out with problems or failure as our goal for the day. The prospective well owner—whether an individual, mu- nicipality, or water district—needs to determine whether or not the location of the well is actually in an area where there is a potential for water and must have a realistic determination of the potential volume and quality of the existing water. Moving the well 20 feet one way or another in some geo- graphic locations dramatically changes the potential outcome in the quality and quantity of water. Three hard facts about water: • You can only find it if it is actually there. • It is only available in the volume that is present. • The quality is what it is. These are facts we have to live with and accept. Make sure the expectations of your client are in line with the realities. Facing Expectations When we consider taking on a project, we first need to meet with the prospective client and determine what are their goals and needs. If you have clear goals and objectives, it will be much easier to hit those goals—and more important, much easier to know when you have. What information has or can the client gather that will help provide them with the best overall results? Have there been other wells drilled in the area? If so, what problems were en- countered? Were those problems anticipated or unexpected? How were they resolved? Could they have been avoided? Were those expectations realistic and achievable? Did the end result meet everyone's expectations? The geological properties of a site will determine the best drilling method to use, the most effective drilling fluid to use, the ideal drill bit selection, and the optimum casing design. Planning is never a waste of time and the more timely and thorough it is the better the proposed project will go. Time spent in proper planning will maximize your effectiveness and mitigate or minimize the potential issues. If you don't have accurate and reliable well information from the outset, you should recommend a test well be drilled to help identify any problem zones and determine how you should deal with them before you drill the larger-diameter final hole. This will make it possible to design the well screen and order it so it is on location and ready to run when the well has reached total depth. Letting a wellbore stand open while waiting for the well screen, casing, or other materials to be ordered and delivered seldom works out well. Is the geographic location acceptable and accessible? If not, what are the alternatives? Do you know the geological- lithological information? Do you have the flow and pressure data from other wells nearby? What about your equipment? Is your rig capable of drilling the well? Have you taken care of any mechanical or safety issues? Is your pump and mixing equipment in good repair? Do you have a drilling fluids program and the necessary additives ready to go? Do you have your drill bit, casing, and development programs in place? What about your personnel? Are they properly trained, willing, and physically ready to do what needs to be done on the job site? You should always look for training programs to make sure your crew is well trained and ready to do their job efficiently and effectively. This is not just to comply with licensure requirements, but to give your crew members and your company the competitive edge. There are tools out there to help you look at the overall picture of a job. One of these is the National Ground Water Association's Drilling Cost Calculator. It shows you your true cost of a job and is available on NGWA's website at www.NGWA.org. If you're an NGWA member, look it up, download it, and use it—after all, it's free to members. I hope you all understand we have to realize our limitations in our jobs. I suggest it is better to be looking at them than RONALD B. PETERSON WATER WELLS AND COMMON CENT$ PLANNING FOR PERFORMANCE Avoiding costly issues can happen when you plan for the job site. Planning things realistically and then following through on that plan will help avoid issues that lead to change orders. waterwelljournal.com 38 May 2016 WWJ

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