REMOVAL OF OBSTRUCTIONS FROM ABANDONED WELLS
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REMOVAL OF OBSTRUCTIONS FROM ABANDONED WELLS . Why Are Abandoned Wells a Problem?. UNPLUGGED ABANDONED WELLS CAN ACT AS DIRECT CONDUITS BETWEEN NEAR-SURFACE CONTAMINANTS AND DEEPER DRINKING WATER AQUIFERS. OLD STEEL WELL CASINGS CORRODE. DEFEAT NATURAL PROTECTIVE FORMATIONS.

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REMOVAL OF OBSTRUCTIONS FROM ABANDONED WELLS

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Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

REMOVAL OF OBSTRUCTIONS FROM ABANDONED WELLS


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Why Are Abandoned Wells a Problem?

UNPLUGGED ABANDONED WELLS CAN ACT AS DIRECT CONDUITS BETWEEN NEAR-SURFACE CONTAMINANTS AND DEEPER DRINKING WATER AQUIFERS.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

OLD STEEL WELL CASINGS CORRODE

DEFEAT NATURAL PROTECTIVE FORMATIONS

FACILITATE MIGRATION OF CONTAMINANTS

DRINKING WATER AQUIFER


Well abandonment regulations

WELL ABANDONMENT REGULATIONS

Part 127

ACT 368 PA 1978

GROUNDWATER QUALITY

CONTROL RULES


Plugging an abandoned well

PLUGGING AN ABANDONED WELL

STEPS

  • LOCATE ABANDONED WELL

  • REMOVAL OF OBSTRUCTIONS

  • MEASURE DEPTH & DIAMETER OF WELL

  • SELECTION, CALCULATION OF VOLUME, & PLACEMENT OF PLUGGING MATERIAL

  • CUT OFF CASING & RESTORE SITE

  • COMPLETE ABANDONMENT RECORD


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Part 127 - Act 368, P.A. 1978Abandoned Water Well Plugging Regulations

Rule 162 (2)

A pump, a drop pipe, a packer, other equipment, debris, or obstructions shall be removed from the well, if possible, before plugging.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

If obstructions are not removed from abandoned wells before plugging attempts are made, the lower portion of the well casing below the obstruction will not be effectively plugged, resulting in a open conduit for contaminant migration.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

An obstruction can prevent grout from sealing the lower portion of the well casing.

Contaminants can still move through the unplugged portion of the well.

DRINKING WATER AQUIFER


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Is this abandoned well ready to plug???


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Preparing for obstruction removal by removing bent section of casing.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Homeowners do not have the knowledge and equipment necessary to successfully remove obstructions.

We recommend well owners hire Registered Well Drilling Contractors to perform this work.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

RIG USED FOR ABANDONED WELL OBSTRUCTION REMOVAL AND PLUGGING WORK

  • Hoist

  • Bumping Tool

  • Torches


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Truck Mounted Hoist

BUMPING TOOL (HAMMER)


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Heavy drive weight used to loosen stuck parts.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

The most commonly used “fishing” tool. TAPERED TAP


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Tapered tap

Bremer check


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Tapered Taps

and

Box Taps


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Solid Box Tap (the opposite of a tapered tap).

Goes “over” the fish.

Tapered internally as indicated on markings.

Not mechanically releasable.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Reusable Overshot

Used for removing obstructions from 4” steel casings.

Variable size grapples used for various size “fish.”


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Grapple for overshot fishing tool

When renting these tools, return tool with fish still attached to avoid damaging grapple.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Key

Grapple


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Cut lips on Box Tap


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Overshot for 2 inch well casing.

Grapple

Key


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Internal Spear

Used for grabbing the inside surface of a drop pipe or casing sleeve.

May be mechanically disengaged.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Magnet


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Slots cut in pipe.

One side hammered in to create “tooth.”

Homemade tool for removing pump rods


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Gripping action on the pump rod is caused by slot/tooth configuration.

Pump rod


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Carbide Tips

Junk Mills


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

2 inch

“Junk Mill”

Crushed carbide-faced cutting teeth.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

DEEP WELL JET ASSEMBLY REMOVED

  • INITIALLY STUCK

  • FREED-UP WITH BACKHOE


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Encrustation causes resistance and makes for a rough pull.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

In comparison to other types of pumping apparatus, Submersible Pumps are “easy-to-remove”


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Hard-to-pull parts


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Capacitor potentially contained PCB Oil

Older Pre-1980’s 2-Wire Submersible Pump


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHEN DEALING WITH Pre-1980’s 2-WIRE SUBMERSIBLE PUMPS.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

THIS UNPLUGGED ABANDONED WELL WAS FILLED WITH SEDIMENT AND DEBRIS.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

WELL WAS IN A FLOODED LOCATION. CONTRACTOR DECIDED TO AIR LIFT DEBRIS FROM THE WELL.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

BLOWING OBSTRUCTING SOIL & DEBRIS OUT OF THE WELL


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

DEBRIS REMOVED FROM THE WELL.

FRACTURED ROCK AREA.

WASHING FRACTURES BEFORE FINAL PLUGGING.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

What if an abandoned well has an annulus around the well casing?


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Where an annulus is present, it must be grouted too. In some cases, a tremie pipe may be placed in the annulus and slurry grout pumped in to fill the void area. In other more severe cases, the well casing may have to be removed to properly seal the well. Over-drilling or otherwise pulling the casing may be required.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Pulling the conductor pipe after having placed grout in the bore hole. Obstructed well casing was over-drilled & removed.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Hydraulic Pressure “Inside” Casing Cutter

Will cut ½ inch steel casing.

Crushed carbide “knives”


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Inside Casing Cutter

“Spear Grapple”


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Mechanical Casing Cutter

For removing sections of well casing anywhere along its length.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Once tool is in place at desired depth, drill string is rotated to set slips in place against casing wall.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Spring-loaded drag blocks

Turn clockwise to set slip dyes.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Cutter Knives Deployed


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Casing Ripper Used on Cable Tool Rig


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Cuts the threaded area between the two well casing sections.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Flush Joint Wash Pipes and Outside (external) Casing Cutters.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Outside Casing Cutter


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Perforating Tool (used on cable tool rig)


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

Casing Perforator (used on rotary rig)

Cutter Wheel

Will cut 1” x 1/10” slots in 5” thick steel casing


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

DIRECT POURING OF BENTONITE CHIPS CAN RESULT IN FINES CAUSING BRIDGING…

SLOW POURING FROM THE BAG IS OFTEN INEFFECTIVE.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

UNSCREENED BENTONITE CHIPS BRIDGED IN THIS 2” WELL…

BREAKING THE BRIDGE CAN BE DIFFICULT.


Removal of obstructions from abandoned wells

PLACING PRE-SCREENED BENTONITE CHIPS BY HAND INTO 2” WELL CASING.


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