Water Well Journal

October 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/728580

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Page 12 of 90

Editor's NOTE W alking around the green rolling hills of a farm on a recent Sunday morning in Somerset, Pennsylvania, I struggled to picture the scene 14 years ago. Standing near a circle of trees, it was hard to see dozens of pieces of drilling equipment spread throughout the property. I couldn't fathom the organized chaos that had to be taking place when hundreds of drilling professionals from the groundwater and oil and gas indus- tries were working around the clock. And I definitely couldn't imagine being one of the nine coal miners trapped 240 feet directly below where I was standing—the quest of those drillers and rigs working so hard. The site of the Quecreek mine res- cue, July 24-28, 2002, is now a Pennsylvania Historic Landmark Site sitting on a working farm. To see it at first glance now, you wouldn't know this land had the eyes of the world trained on it 14 years ago. But as you walk the property and view some of the tools and equipment from those five days, you realize the amazement of what was accomplished when drilling profession- als—some from rival industries and compet- ing companies—came together. Drillers working frantically to drill a res- cue shaft, a 1500-pound bit breaking off in the hole, a custom fishing tool to retrieve the bit quickly constructed and transported to the site via a National Guard helicopter, and, of course, all nine miners arriving above ground in a rescue capsule to cheers and tears of joy. All seem like scenes ripped from a movie, and indeed the story became a television movie and the subject of two books. The rescue shaft remains on the property marked with a sign. Near it, the air supply shaft is marked as is a second hole that was being drilled in case the fishing tool in the first hole failed. An education center sits on a hill nearby featuring interactive exhibits, the drill bit that reached the miners, and the bright yellow rescue capsule all nine rode to the surface. Near the rescue site, nine evergreen trees encircle a large red oak tree. The ever- greens represent the determination of the miners, while the majestic oak symbolizes the faith everyone showed in bringing the men to safety. The trees are full of life. Most importantly, they're a reminder of what we can do when working together. Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl. SPECIAL GROUND EVOKES A SPECIAL REMINDER The Water Well Journal (ISSN #0043-1443) is published monthly by the National Ground Water Association, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Printed and mailed at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and additional mailing offices. Postal acceptance: Periodical (requester subscription circulation) postage paid at Westerville, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Water Well Journal, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Canada Post/ Publications Mail Agreement #40739533. Return address: 4960-2 Walker Rd., Windsor, ON N9A 6J3. Advancing the expertise of groundwater professionals and furthering groundwater awareness. Chief Executive Officer Kevin McCray, CAE kmccray@ngwa.org NGWA President Jeffrey Williams, MGWC, CVCLD Director of Information Products/Editor Thad Plumley tplumley@ngwa.org Water Well Journal Editorial Review Board Art Becker, MGWC, CPG; Tom Christopherson; Dan Milan; Roger Renner, MGWC; John Schnieders, Ph.D., and Robert Sterrett, Ph.D. Senior Editor Mike Price mprice@ngwa.org Copy Editor Wayne Beatty wbeatty@ngwa.org Production and Design Janelle McClary jmcclary@ngwa.org Advertising Brooke Smith Kelli Nilsson Matthew Thomasson Mario Reyes To inquire, contact sales@ngwa.org Circulation Coordinator Mark Jones mjones@ngwa.org Contributing Writers Mike Allen; Ed Butts, PE, CPI; Donald W. Gregory; William J. Lynott; Julie Hansen; Ronald B. Peterson; Al Rickard, CAE; Michael J. Schnieders, PG, PH-GW; Gary Shawver, MGWC; Ron Slee; Lana Straub; Raymond L. Straub Jr., PG; Jennifer Strawn; and Alexandra Walsh Editorial, Advertising, & Publishing Offices 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081 (800) 551-7379 Fax: (614) 898-7786 Selected content from Water Well Journal is indexed on Ground Water On-Line™ at www.NGWA.org/gwonline © Copyright 2016 by the National Ground Water Association. All rights reserved. The Groundwater NGWA Association waterwelljournal.com 8 October 2016 WWJ

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