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Considerations on Drilling & Plugging Flowing Artesian Wells

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Considerations on Drilling & Plugging Flowing Artesian Wells. Percentage of Flowing Wells Drilled in Michigan (1997). 100. 80. 60. 40. 20. 0. Flowing. Nonflowing. 3.17. 96.83. Percent.

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slide2

Percentage of Flowing Wells Drilled in Michigan (1997)

100

80

60

40

20

0

Flowing

Nonflowing

3.17

96.83

Percent

Figure 5

slide3

“Flowing wells (along with springs and geysers) symbolize the presence and mystery of subsurface water, and as such they have always evoked considerable public interest”.

(From Groundwater, Freeze and Cherry, 1979)

slide5

ARTESIAN WELL

  • A WELL WITH ARTESIAN

PRESSURE SUFFICIENT TO CAUSE

THE WATER TO FLOW ABOVE THE

GROUND SURFACE

slide6

ARTESIAN WELL

  • A WELL THAT PENETRATES A

CONFINED AQUIFER.

  • WATER LEVEL RISES ABOVE THE

TOP OF THE CONFINED AQUIFER.

slide7

GEOLOGICALLY-CONTROLLED FLOWING WELL

Artesian well

Recharge area for artesian aquifer

Water table well

Piezometric level

Flowing

artesian well

Ground surface

Water table

Stream

Water table aquifer

Upper confining bed

Artesian aquifer

Lower confining bed

Consolidated rock

Upper Confining layer

Lower Confining Layer

slide8

Surface water

Water table

Potential line

Flow line

TOPOGRAPHICALLY – CONTROLLED FLOWING WELL

Unconfined aquifer condition

slide9

Unconfined Aquifer

Recharge Area

Natural Discharge Area (Stream, Lake)

slide10

OFTEN LOCATED NEAR GROUND WATER DISCHARGE ZONES…

AT LOWER ELEVATIONS NEAR STREAMS OR LAKES.

slide11

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DEFINES AN “ARTESIAN” WELL?

  • A well having a static water level at the top of the aquifer.
  • A well having a static water level above the top of the aquifer.
  • A well constructed by a well driller of Artesian nationality.
  • A well having a static water level above the top of the casing.
slide12

Well Construction Code

R 325.1621(3)(c):

“A well shall be constructed, equipped, and operated to prevent unnecessary discharges from flowing wells.”

R 325.1638(1):

“A well shall be grouted to protect the aquifer, prevent erosion, and confine the flow within the casing.”

slide13

SPOOL HOLD-DOWN ASSEMBLY*

WELL CAP

ELECTRICAL CONDUIT

(WIRING NOT SHOWN)

FLOW CONTROL USING FLOWING WELL PITLESS UNIT

(SPOOL TYPE)

SURFACE

HOLD-DOWN PIPE

CABLE SEALS

SPOOL WITH O-RING SEALS

WATER SERVICE LINE

WATER CONFINED IN CASING

FLOW STOPPED BELOW FROST LINE

* SEE MANUFACTURERS’ SPECIFICATIONS FOR RATED PRESSURE (PSI) FOR HOLD-DOWN ASSEMBLY.

slide16

KEEP THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT IN THE LOOP!!

USE YOUR WATER WELL AND PUMP RECORD TO EXPLAIN FLOWING WELL CONSTRUCTION ISSUES

slide17

“BENEFICIAL USE”

Maintain pond levels for:

IRRIGATION

FISH REARING

WILDLIFE

ENHANCEMENT

RECREATION

OTHER

COMMERICIAL

USE

FIRE

PROTECTION

slide19

“BENEFICIAL USE”

Supply water for:

HEATING

COOLING

INDUSTRIAL

PROCESS

POWER

GENERATION

slide20

DEVIATION – RULE 113

FLOWING WELL DISCHARGES

FLOW CONTROL NOT PRACTICAL

OR

FLOW CONTROL WILL CAUSE SAND OR TURBIDITY IN WATER

OR

DISCHARGE IS FOR BENEFICIAL USE

slide21

R 325.1638(2): FLOW CONTROL METHODS

VALVED PIPE CONNECTION

WATERTIGHT PUMP CONNECTION

PITLESS ADAPTER

OTHER APPROVED METHODS

RECEIVING TANK

PACKER

slide22

FLOW DISCHARGE PIPING AT WELL HEAD

(Discharge permitted with written deviation from local health department official)

SEALED ELECTRICAL CONDUIT

WATERTIGHT WELL CAP

GATE VALVE (HANDLE REMOVED)

SCREENED OUTLET (IF PUMPING RATE HIGHER THAN WELL FLOW RATE)

AIR - GAP

2 X DIAMETER

OF VALVE OUTLET

PITLESS ADAPTER

WATER SERVICE LINE

DRAIN TO DITCH, LAKE, RIVER, POND, OR SURFACE

DRAIN PIPE SIZE MINIMUM OF TWICE DIAMETER OF WELL DISCHARGE PIPE

slide23

FLOW CONTROL USING ELEVATED FLOW TANK

(Discharge permitted with written deviation

from local health department official)

FLOW RATE

CONTROL VALVE

DISCHARGE LINE TO BUILDING

NONPRESSURIZED STORAGE TANK

PRESSURE TANK

(DIAPHRAGM OR

BLADDER TYPE)

JET OR CENTRIFUGAL PUMP

UNION

PRESSURE SWITCH

PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE

FROM WELL

GATE VALVE

AIR GAP

(PREVENTS CROSS-CONNECTION)

FLOW DRAIN LINE

AIR GAP MUST BE AT LEAST TWICE THE DIAMETER OF THE FLOW TANK DISCHARGE LINE

DRAIN PIPE MUST BE AT LEAST TWICE THE DIAMETER OF THE TANK DISCHARGE PIPE

slide24

FLOWING WELL PROBLEMS

-NONBENEFICIAL DISCHARGE-

  • WASTES RESOURCE
  • REDUCES ARTESIAN HEAD
  • OVERLOADS STORM SEWERS & DITCHES
  • CREATES ARTIFICIAL STREAM FLOW AND “WETLANDS”
  • ALTERS NATURAL GROUNDWATER FLOW
slide25

FLOWING WELL PROBLEMS

-LOSS OF CONFINING LAYER-

  • FLOW BREAKOUT AROUND CASING
  • REDUCTION OF ARTESIAN HEAD
  • ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE OF UNCONFINED AQUIFER
  • EROSION & PROPERTY DAMAGE
  • DAMAGE TO RECEIVING WATERS
slide26

UNAPPROVED ANNULAR FLOW DISCHARGE PIPING

WATERTIGHT WELL CAP

SURFACE

LAKE OR STREAM

GRAVEL POCKET

PITLESS ADAPTER

DRAIN PIPE

WATER LINE TO HOME

FLOW FROM UNSEALED ANNULUS DIVERTED INTO DRAIN

(SHOULD HAVE BEEN GROUTED TO STOP FLOW)

UNSEALED ANNULUS

CONFINING LAYER NOT SEALED

(CORRECTION NEEDED TO SEAL ANNULUS)

slide27

FLOWING WELL PROBLEMS

-DISCHARGE PIPING HAZARDS-

  • BURIED UNPROTECTED SUCTION LINES
  • SUBMERGED INLETS OR OTHER CROSS-CONNECTIONS

CAN RESULT IN DRINKING

WATER CONTAMINATION

slide28

WATERTIGHT WELL CAP

NONPRESSURIZED BURIED LINE

(POSSIBLE SUCTION LINE)

SURFACE

CHECK VALVE

(DOES NOT PROVIDE POSITIVE PROTECTION AGAINST BACKSIPHONAGE)

UNAPPROVED PITLESS ADAPTER CONNECTION (GASKETS OF CLAMP-ON PITLESS ADAPTERS MUST BE PRESSURIZED BY PUMP)

WATER SERVICE LINE

UNAPPROVED BURIED FLOW

DISCHARGE PIPING WITH CHECK VALVE

slide29

10 GPM FLOW DISCHARGE WASTES:

14,400 GALLONS PER DAY

5.25 MILLION GALLONS PER YEAR!

slide30

Fire-Service Test – Arcadia, Manistee County

FLOWING WELL PROBLEMS OCCUR WHEN:

5 STREAMS FROM A SINGLE FLOWING WELL

(FROM LEVERETT, ET AL. - FLOWING WELLS AND MUNICIPAL WATER SUPPLIES IN THE MIDDLE AND NORTHERN PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN PENINSULA OF MICHIGAN, U..S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, 1907)

slide31

RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN DRILLING IN KNOWN FLOWING WELL AREAS:

  • Plan ahead – In case something goes wrong!
  • Schedule aquifer penetration appropriately.

AVOID LATE NIGHT WELL COMPLETION

slide32

IN KNOWN FLOWING WELL AREAS:

CEMENT CASING INTO CONFINING LAYER BEFORE PENETRATING ARTESIAN AQUIFER

CONFINING LAYER

ARTESIAN AQUIFER

slide33

USE STATEWIDE GROUNDWATER DATABASE (WELLOGIC & SCANNED LOGS)

  • AND
  • WELL PERMITS TO:
  • IDENTIFY FLOWING WELL AREAS
  • NOTIFY PROPERTY OWNERS CONTRACTORS
  • SUGGEST WELL CONSTRUCTION METHODS
  • PREVENT FUTURE PROBLEMS.

Without the Internet, you are at a disadvantage!

slide34

FLOWING WELL PROBLEMS OCCUR WHEN:

CONTRACTORS DRILL IN UNFAMILIAR AREAS

CONTRACTORS ARE NOT PREPARED TO DEAL WITH HIGH VOLUME FLOW OR HIGH ARTESIAN HEAD

(Poor choice of drilling method)

slide35

UPWARD LEAKAGE AROUND UNGROUTED CASING

STATIC WATER LEVEL

UNCONFINED AQUIFER

CONFINING LAYER

CONFINED AQUIFER

UPWARD LEAKAGE

slide36

LEAKAGE FROM UNGROUTED ANNULUS

WATER ON SURFACE

BRIDGED SOIL AROUND UPPER CASING

UNCONFINED AQUIFER

CONFINING LAYER

WATER FLOWING UPWARD IN UNGROUTED ANNULUS AROUND CASING

CONFINED (ARTESIAN)AQUIFER

FLOW FOLLOWS PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE

slide37

Alcona County Flowing Well – Case Study

Recommendation:

Carefully document steps taken

HELPS PROCESSING OF INSURANCE CLAIM

PICTURES HELP

slide38

Factors to Consider

  • KILL OR SAVE WELL
  • FLOW RATE & PRESSURE
  • LOCATION OF BREAKOUT
  • SOURCE OF FLOW
  • DEGREE OF EROSION
  • WATER DISPOSAL
  • WATER REQUIREMENTS
slide40

EVALUATE SITE SAFETY

TURBID DISCHARGE = UNSAFE

(BOREHOLE EROSION OCCURRING)

CLEAR DISCHARGE = SAFE

slide42

WATER SAMPLING MAY BE USED TO DETERMINE SOURCE OF FLOW

WATER INSIDE CASING

WATER OUTSIDE CASING

  • PARTIAL CHEMICAL INDICATORS:
        • HARDNESS
        • IRON
        • CONDUCTIVITY
slide44

CORRECTING FLOW BREAKOUTS

  • DRIVE LARGER PIPE AROUND CASING
  • JET TREMIE PIPE(S) INTO ANNULUS AND PUMP CEMENT GROUT
  • PUMP CEMENT GROUT DOWN CASING
slide45

BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR FLOW BREAKOUTS

WHEN DRIVING OUTER CASING…

USE PIPE MINIMUM 2 IN. LARGER THAN BOREHOLE OR WASHOUT

DRIVE PIPE INTO CONFINING LAYER

slide46

ESTIMATE VOLUME OF MATERIAL ERODED FROM BOREHOLE

USE TO DETERMINE VOLUME OF PLUGGING MATERIAL NEEDED

slide47

BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR FLOW BREAKOUTS

ESTIMATE THE ANNULAR FLOW RATE…

PUMP PLUGGING MATERIAL AT HIGHER RATE THAN FLOW RATE

slide48

HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE

Pressure at bottom of borehole due to weight of fluid column.

FORMULA

HP (PSI) = SLURRY WEIGHT (LBS./GAL)

X .052 X DEPTH

slide49

BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR FLOW BREAKOUTS

USE PLUGGING MATERIAL WITH ENOUGH WEIGHT TO OVERCOME HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE OF FLOW

slide50

BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR FLOW BREAKOUTS

PLUGGING MATERIAL

HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE FROM FLOW

slide51

DENSITY COMPARISON

VS

BENTONITE

(20-30% solids)

9.4 -10.4 lbs./gal

NEAT CEMENT

(65% solids)

15 lbs./gal

slide52

Shows Influence of Depth and Artesian Head on Grout Material Suitability

SHADED AREAS SHOW CONDITIONS WHERE CERTAIN GROUTS ARE NOT HEAVY ENOUGH TO OVERCOME THE HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE OF THE FLOW

slide53

BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR FLOW BREAKOUTS

ATTACK FLOW AT SOURCE…

NOT ABOVE

PLACE TREMIE PIPES INTO FLOWING ZONE

slide54

LOWERING HEAD WHILE CEMENTING

PUMP DISCHARGE

GROUTER

FLOW OUTSIDE CASING LOWERED BY PUMPING

TREMIE PIPE FOR CEMENTING

CONFINING LAYER

ARTESIAN AQUIFER

HIGH CAPACITY PUMP

slide55

STOPPING ANNULAR FLOW

NEAT CEMENT

GROUTER

PIPES PENETRATE CONFINING LAYER

1” TREMIE PIPES ON SIDES OF CASING (JETTED INTO PLACE)

CONFINING LAYER

CONFINEDAQUIFER

slide57

CATASTROPHIC FLOW BREAKOUT

-Characteristics-

TECHNICALLY CHALLENGING – NO TWO ARE ALIKE

COSTLY (NON-PROFIT WELL) – NO STATE FUNDING AVAILABLE

STRESSFUL!

slide58

CATASTROPHIC FLOW BREAKOUT

-ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN-

SEDIMENT DEPOSITION INTO SURFACE WATERS

  • SMOTHERS FISH SPAWNING BEDS
  • DESTROYS MACROINVERTEBRATE HABITAT (MAYFLIES, CADDISFLIES, WORMS, ETC.)
  • FILLS IN STREAM BOTTOM – CHANGES VELOCITY
  • ALTERS WATER QUALITY (CHLORIDES, SULFATES, TDS)
slide59

FLOW BREAKOUT

DISCHARGED INTO

NEARBY DRAIN

slide61

1997 HILLSDALE COUNTY FLOW BREAKOUT

-COSTS-

Cementing subcontractor $26,292.82

Calcium chloride $111.30

Portland cement $2,317.29

Grout pipes, valves & bent. chips $2128.34

Safety fencing $33.21

Permit to close road $10.00

Water trucks & labor $1,950.00

Miscellaneous $481.58

Total = $33,324.54

slide64

INFLATABLE PACKER DESIGN

AIR LINE TO SURFACE

SHALE PACKERS

HEAVY DUTY INNER TUBE

CASING

slide65

FIRST STEP:

GET THE “FLOW” UNDER CONTROL.

INSTALL CASING EXTENSION

slide66

SPECIAL GROUT PLACEMENT METHODS ARE NECESSARY.

NEAT CEMENT IS REQUIRED.

TREMIE PIPE.

WELL CASING RIZER.

slide68

Reducing the area to be plugged in fractures or lost circulation zones using aggregate.

slide69

INITIAL WATER RETURN.

NEAT CEMENT RETURN.

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