Predictable & Long Lasting Outcomes
There are a lot of things people do not realize about water wells and the industry itself has not been aware of or accustomed to. In turn, things have been done to wells believed to be beneficial and rewarding, and yet technically, in most cases, short term, temporary relief is followed by bigger trouble to come, over a shorter range of time than previously, and at a higher cost time over time with diminishing recovery of water production. This is called “Declining Specific Capacity” and it’s the reason HCT got into the business – We believed we could reverse the trend, and we did.
Years between ineffective rehabilitation
So the questions were why is this a common occurrence?
What we discovered is a direct correlation to chemistry, science, biology, metallurgy and physics. One way to explain it; consider building a pool or spa out of some form of steel, whether HSLA, Copper bearing steel or stainless. Now, put in a layer of dirt, followed by a layer of sand, and turn on the pump periodically, but without filtration or chlorination. How will that body of water look after a freezing cold winter? Great! After a cool winter? Okay. After a moderate or warm summer? Terrible. Without circulating? Terrible.
Why? Mainly biology! Pathogens, namely bacteria, exist everywhere. What we discovered after assessing over 1,000 wells in 4+ years, most wells have become colonized by masses of bacteria which hinder the water flow, and water quality. Usually, most wells (90% we’ve dealt with), even new wells, become colonized by bacteria at 12 to 16 years of age. We’re not saying just by bacteria. The matrix of may include corrosion products, metals and minerals, along with the potential for biology, an usually iron bacteria in the upper zones (aerobic, oxygen containing) of the well and sulfate reducing bacteria in the lower (anaerobic, oxygen depleted).
Historically, the go to well rehabilitation techniques utilize various methods; brush and bail – disinfect/chlorination of some sort – descaler – dry ice / CO2 freezing – bursting with air – small blasts using explosives (fracking) - high pressure water jetting – sonic impulses – citric acid – phosphoric acid – sulfuric acid – polyacrylamides/polyphosphates. If any of these products, individually or combined will help in the cleaning, depth of cleaning and durability of the cleaning longevity, we’d incorporate them into our program, which we have done! It’s much easier to dissolve small pieces of scale than larger ones, yet not all wells have scale problems. Where the problems in the well are biological, energy products are not effective at mitigating bacteria “OUT” of the well and or filter pack / strata. Therein, energy products would tend to spread the bacteria throughout the well, realized by the well operator 1-3 years later as each unit of bacteria reproduces exponentially and with ideal conditions of water flow/stagnation, temperature and nutrients (minerals, metals, iron alloys), the reproduction rate can be as high as every 10-15 minutes. Take this a few steps further – when iron bacteria are threatened they produce a slime that is impervious to disinfectants and most all acids – as sulfate reducing bacteria populate within the well, they form nodules that can pit mild steel at the rate of ¼ inch every 10 years, while exuding hydrogen sulfide gas (rotten egg odor, lethal) and sulfurous acid. The impact of their corrosion can be detrimental to perforations – but are not often.
Several other conditions; Did you know chlorine disinfectant does not remove biofilms - it is corrosive to steel casing – it is commonly the cause of the need to flush wells continuously after a rehabilitation? If we embed biomatter and bio-films into the filter pack with energy, how will we ever get them out? Will the bacteria colonize within the filter pack?
Did you know most acids absorb into metals and some are a food source for bacteria and where some can create pitting corrosion which in turn become pits for biology to inhabit? One of the worst things you can do to a well is let it sit stagnant for a given period of time without treating it with Layup chemistry. Bioremediation is more effective with uncreased soak times, and where some acids, like ours, can rain downhole indefinitely without causing damage. Some oxide scales require acid soak times, yet scale is usually removed as little as 12 hours and sometimes quicker. Does anyone consider the gradient water flows through a well to consider chemical retention? Does chemistry added to the top of the well make it to the bottom? The answer is NO, and all these things play an enormous role in the assists longevity and cost of operations and maintenance.
HCT’s Well-Klean© Program;
Let’s see the ground water analysis – is the water capable for forming scale or biology or both and to what degree. How can we tell - LSI, food sources for pathogens and flow/or lack of flow, stagnation, alloy of casing and age.
When was the well created and how well does the casing alloy hold up by age and to the water quality.
What impact does the casing alloy have on the scale or biology (stainless, PVC versus iron, HSLA, copper bearing).
How has this well been operated, maintained – has it been offline and if so for how long.
What’s been done to the well? Jetted, one directional energy cleaning, phos acid, lined,…
Are there known issues – coliforms, E.coli, holes on the casing, deterioration of the casing, is the casing wire wrap steel and fragile.
2. Preliminary Assessment, Interpretations and recommendations based on Discovery and HCT’s empirical data
3. Pull pump and do video
4. HCT assesses the video and appends the Recommendations
5. HCT produces either short form or detailed Scope of Project including processes, procedures, brushes, plungers (not swabs), tremie, soak times, flushing, development and disinfection. Processes usually include physical removal of matter – bioremediation x 1-3 times – interim soak times and plunging - descaling - neutralization / passivation / zonal pumping and lifting – flushing (NSF 60), disinfection, layup chemistry where applicable (all, each if necessary, uniquely designed to the specific well). In other words, not all wells need each procedure. The problems with the well are identified and the prescription is then determined.
Notes: For large data files, videos – visit www.wetransfer.com
HCT Well Rehabilitation Consulting Services
Making Water a Better Solution
Sustainable Chemistry & Biology to Water
Well-Klean©, WaterSOLV™, Water Treatment for Agronomy™, Water pHix & WaterSOLV™ Grow are trade names of HCT, LLC
Select products are accredited by NSF Standard 60, ANSI, Standards Council of Canada, and the California Department of Food & Agriculture