Friday, November 11, 2016

BLOG: A Day in the Life of a Water Well Contactor

by Lee Orton, Nebraska Well Drillers Association and Groundwater Foundation Board Member

The day of a water well contractor varies. But every two years, licensed Nebraska water well contractors are required to take 12 hours of continuing education. The Nebraska Well Drillers Association puts on various seminars, workshops and outdoor classes through the two-year cycle.  

In 2016, one of the days of a water well contractor was spent at a class held just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska on land owned by the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD), the local water resources management district. The class was done through a joint effort of the Nebraska Well Drillers Association, LPSNRD,  Baroid, Nebraska Heath and Human Services, drill manufacturer Gefco, and member drilling contractor Downey Drilling.  

The day included a well being drilled using an air foam concept. In this drilling process, a foam mix is placed into the well as the drill proceeds down. The foam then brings the cuttings up and out of the well. The foam mix proved to be a method to be used when conditions require something other than a traditional mud drilling medium due to special material geology or other characteristic because of environmental conditions. Unfortunately, the water was not usable due to high salt content. It was planned to be used to water livestock, but the water quality meant the well had to be decommissioned. 

The day was a learning experience either way.

About the Author 
Lee Orton's entire professional career has been established and directed to service for clients involved in water resources professions. His early work with the State of Nebraska related to water resources planning. His clients represent a wide range of groundwater professionals, and working with them for over four decades has demonstrated to him the real importance of public education about groundwater. 

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