Water Well Journal

July 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/692787

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 87

Guest EDITORIAL A question may be: Why would a 36-year veteran of our industry, a licensed Vermont water well contractor, Master Groundwater Contractor, and Certified Vertical Closed Loop Driller, go to a drilling fundamentals course at GEFCO's facility in Enid, Oklahoma? The answers are plentiful. My driller, Ian Labounty, and I set out for Oklahoma to learn more about our new piece of equipment and the company we purchased it from, and chal- lenge ourselves by going through the fundamental calcula- tions of drilling to either confirm why we do what we do or change things to increase production and profit margins. As a business owner, I also wanted to asses my employee's knowl- edge and work with him on operational efficiency. Upon arrival, though, I soon realized why I was really there. After the second day, it became clear Gord Bailey and Jim Smith, our instructors from Sir Sandford Fleming College, were giving me the tools necessary to better train my employ- ees at home. The curriculum is well organized and detailed, and Gord and Jim delivered it in superior fashion, never miss- ing a beat. The class makeup varied from novice to pro. How in the world do you challenge such a diverse group? You stick to the basics, breaking it down to simple and building it back up. I'm not sure whether I got more from reviewing the standard calculations or helping others understand them better. What- ever my motivation was going in, I was definitely motivated going out. As the week began, we went through all the standard cal- culations for air velocities and drilling fluid properties. Next was drilling techniques, and we rounded out the week on grouting. It was a really good review. Ian remarked about halfway through the week it was nice to learn the calculations and formulas himself so he could do a better job and not rely on me so much. It was also nice to spend a week with a key employee in a positive learning envi- ronment without all the distractions of running a business. As business owners and industry veterans, we pass on knowledge every day. Most of us are not trained teachers, so we some- how muddle through it. I would wager most of us do so in a fashion not too well organized. As NGWA members we have an abundance of free educa- tional tools to use, beginning with the DACUM charts for drillers and pump installers. The NGWA Bookstore also has numerous publications for reference and with detailed proce- dures for purchase. The trick seems to be in creating the framework from which we would deliver the necessary specific curriculum to our employees. Gord and Jim helped me greatly in that area. I guess it was a teaching fundamentals course for me with a drilling fundamentals refresher. My father would say "and the moral of the story is" to take whatever opportunities to learn are available and be an active participant. Sure, there is an expense to it and making the time in this crazy busy world we live in is not always easy, but we can't afford not to attend continuing education. As contractors our future depends upon evolving techni- cally and keeping up with advances in technology, whether it involves drilling rigs, pumping equipment, ground source heat pumps, or water treatment devices. I learned in Oklahoma how we train our employees is just as important as continuing education opportunities. CAN YOU TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS? By Jeff Williams, MGWC, CVCLD WWJ Jeff Williams, MGWC, CVCLD, is the vice president with Spafford and Sons Water Wells in Jericho, Vermont. He is the president of the National Ground Water Association Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffw@spafford waterwells.com. Williams works with classmates. Take whatever opportunities to learn are available and be an active participant. WWJ July 2016 7 Twitter @WaterWellJournl

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Water Well Journal - July 2016