Water Well Journal

January 2017

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/767379

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Page 29 of 63

M ost groundwater professionals know wells deteriorate at varying rates depending on their environment. This is based on factors such as well design, hydrogeology, water quality, operational history, rehabilitation history, and more. Understanding all of this can be difficult, and a new book from NGWA Press is aiming to help industry professionals by providing a method to assess and assign a value to a well's health. The book, Operational Stage of the Well, is authored by long-time industry professionals Thomas M. Hanna, PG, Michael J. Schnieders, PG, PH-GW, and John H. Schnieders, Ph.D., CPC. The authors bring a wealth of knowledge to the topic. John Schnieders, author of the 2003 book Chemical Cleaning, Disinfection & De- contamination of Water Wells, gave the William A. McEllhiney Distinguished Lecture Series in Water Well Technol- ogy in 2002. Michael Schnieders, his son, will deliver the lecture this year. Thomas Hanna, who wrote the 2006 NGWA Press text Guide for Using the Hydrogeologic Classification System for Logging Well Boreholes, has led several NGWA workshops and training sessions for other groups around the country. All three have written multiple arti- cles for Water Well Journal. With the new book now available, WWJ asked the authors about it. Water Well Journal: What do you want the readers to take away from this book? Authors: We as a society and an in- dustry are looking to groundwater as a safe and reliable resource and, as such, are extending the use and demand placed on a well—oftentimes years be- yond their design limitations. Sadly, wells still remain an out-of-sight resource that are operated to the point of failure or greatly diminished capacity before corrective action occurs. This book gives the well owner, operator, and contractor a means of tracking well "health" while at the same time under- standing the importance of tracking well changes and provid- ing guidance on maintenance. WWJ: What is the most common mistake made by water well professionals when it comes to maintain- ing a well's life? Authors: Not collecting and documenting data concerning the construction, operation, and production of the well and water chemistry data. If the data is collected, it is often not saved in a format that can be useful—this has led to a com- mon industry practice of "run to failure" or a near failure attitude . . . and trying to revive a "near-death" patient on a lowest-bidder budget. WWJ: The book mentions there are four operational stages, everything from a well designed appropri- ately and performing economically all the way to one not performing economically that may not be able to be rehabilitated. How did you come up with the four stages? Authors: The four stages were developed as a way to track the aging or decline of a well in a way that could give the well owner or custodian a way of planning and budgeting for well rehabilitation and repair before it becomes an out-of-water emergency. It also provided a mechanism for well operators to present budgets with documentation to budgetary committees that might not have water well backgrounds. WWJ: The book provides a detailed table to help water-well professionals monitor a well's aging. What is the most important parameter to watch? Authors: In their own way they are all important and the more information you have about a well, the easier it is to track the well aging and prevent out-of-water emergencies. There is no one single parameter that defines a well's opera- tional stage. Yes, the pump cavitating or a coliform occurrence may de- mand immediate action, but more often wells can show signs of changes in the well structure, production, pumping plant, and water chemistry that are indicators of well deterioration that are there before failure—and that is what we are attempt- ing to educate the industry on and provide a framework for more proactive well ownership. WATER WELL JOURNAL Q&A THOMAS M. HANNA, PG, MICHAEL J. SCHNIEDERS, PG, PH-GW, AND JOHN H. SCHNIEDERS, PH.D., CPC Authors of Operational Stage of the Well Thomas M. Hanna, PG Michael J. Schnieders, PG, PH-GW John H. Schnieders, Ph.D., CPC waterwelljournal.com 28 January 2017 WWJ

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