Unlike anything we've heard of before in the past, we recently heard about how one oil rig crew in California came together with water well rig professionals to unconventionally aid with drought relief. California, was recently in a bit of a dry spell, but one team, headed by Scott Belknap in Dinuba, California, figured out a way they could help.
After having a conversation with a salesman of Atlas Copco named Joe Beloso, Scott Belknap was able to learn that a piece of equipment called the Atlas Copco RD20 could be used as a water-well drilling device. Traditionally speaking, the RD20 is a 120,000 pound powerhouse and is fully capable of pullback strong enough for the oil fields, but it turns out that the RD20 is also compact enough to take on municipal water wells and agricultural water wells too.
Beloso got on the phone with his colleague, Ray Kranzusch after their talk, who connected Beloso with some of the top RD20 hole contractors in the oil and gas industry, and from there they developed a mutually beneficial solution for both the water and oil industries.
"Although RD20s were developed for presetting casing in oil and gas projects, Kranzusch says their use in other applications is not unusual, ranging from ventilation shaft drilling and creating grouted pilings, as well as drilling water wells," as explained to us by the Water Well Journal.
That being said, the crew was able to put the RD20 to work with no extrenuous amount of additional time or training, as they would normally with unfamiliar rigs. While working under a water well contractor, the crew was able to use a reverse circulation technique with the RD20 while making the transition. It was a perfect situation, since Scott Belknap is quite familiar with the area, since his family has lived in California for almost 100 years.
Belknap told the Water Well Journal that, "We don't need a map to tell us 7 miles that way, you'll be drilling in 'Old Faithful,' getting 1000 gallons per minute, but 10 miles this way, you'll be lucky to see 20 gpm."
With his knowledge of the land's agriculture and his connection with the local community, his history within the area helps Belknap get his done easily and efficiently. At the end of the day, the switch from drilling into water wells instead of drilling into oil patches was simple and effective for this crew using the RD20 and reverse circulation techniques. All in all, the cooperation between the water and oil professionals was great for the agriculture of this California town, as well as for some of California's driest areas, and even more drillers are showing an interest in this new innovative technique.
Although we normally say that water and oil don't mix, this tactical solution to drought relief in California shows us that when great minds come together, anything is possible.
If you haven’t already heard in the media by now, Flint, Michigan is in the middle of what we’d like to call a serious water crisis. There is huge controversy and a debate on whether or not Flint’s water meets healthy drinking standards. Government officials are trying to cope with the public as a whole, but for the most part, the people are not having it because they truly believe the water is unhealthy to drink on a regular basis. The problem with Flint’s water is that the lead levels are much higher than most areas, and now, The Lead and Copper Rule, which dictates that amount of lead that is allowed in order for water to be considered healthy drinking water, is now under consideration for revision in response to Flint’s crisis. The full details on the crisis can be examined in the video below:
There is now pressure on the EPA to raise healthy drinking water standards, and although the The Lead and Copper Rule was not set to be revised until 2017, there is a good chance now that it could be revised much sooner. Even officials in the state of Ohio are calling for the revision of this rule, especially after the town of Sebring, OH also had a surplus of water that was not considered healthy for drinking by the current regulations. The head of the Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), Craig Butler, has actively called for the citizens of Ohio to test their own water on their own accord. He says that 60 days is far too long for a resident to go without realizing they could be consuming lead-contaminated water, and urges the local citizens to test their water today instead of waiting.
Now, the country is turning to President Obama, who is in charge of the water budget moving forward into the new fiscal year. Obama released a $4.1 trillion budget in February for the fiscal year of 2017, where he takes a stand in his case on energy and environmental friendly initiatives. $260 million of this budget is set to go toward activities that specifically boost the data and research focusing on these water issues, as well as $88 million being handed to the National Science Foundation to help them understand and increase the overall U.S. water supply.
What does this mean for us here in Connecticut, or the future of the water industry? Overall, the people in charge are responding pretty positively to the problems that have been put into focus surrounding the water crisis in Flint, which is great for our industry. This means there could be healthier drinking water standards on a national basis, which is in fact a good thing. These problems shouldn’t affect us locally, but remember, if you ever have even a doubt or concern in your mind on the quality of your water, you can get your water tested for free! Aqua Pump is here to help, with all needs, worries, or issues surrounding water here in Connecticut.
Get this: each person, on average, uses about 120 gallon of water in just one day. For a family of four, this could mean using about 480 gallons in just one household per day, and for a family of five, that's going to be upwards of 600 gallons a day.
Shocked yet? We imagine you might be with numbers like that. The thing about the water industry, though, is that the marketing and selling of “going green” is nothing new to our space. At first, it almost seemed like going green would just be a fad or phase that would pass, but we can proudly say that the industry is always looking for ways to be more efficient and more green-friendly.
Here’s something else you should think about. With a one horsepower motor on your water pump at $0.13 per kilowatt-hour, with a 10 gpm pump, you would spend roughly $5 per month to provide water to a four-person household. That being said, we’d also like to mention that this could be compared to a cable bill, which is (on average in the United States) roughly $98.15 a month (data comparison provided by Water Well Journal). This is shocking. It only costs $5 a month to provide water to a family with the water industry’s initiatives to go green, yet we can spend nearly $100 a month on cable at the same time. That’s a deal you simply can’t pass up.
The only alternative to a point-of-use private well system would be to have longer lines of pipe that could deliver water from a community-based water system. Unfortunately, the problem with that is that it could be a heavy cost if leaks were to happen, and it could even use more energy just to move the water along. Point-of-use water systems have become efficient in their delivery for just about anything, and that’s including water. With technology on the rise in our industry, and the leaders of our industry focused on making our processes and procedures more green friendly and efficient, we are proud to say that the water industry is always changing for the better.
We live in a day and age where technology makes rapid progressions, and for the water industry, that’s no different! We’ve seen a lot of new technology hitting our industry in recent times, and that allows us to solve your problems either quicker, more efficiently, or more easily. The water industry is thriving, and is positioned on several ongoing trends, one of which is predominantly the evolution of water technology, even right here in Connecticut.
Let’s take a look at how these changes have affected our industry more recently, one of which is the development of the VFD, or a variable frequency drive. Prior to the development of this device, water motors and pumps were started by a QUD, also known as a quick disconnect. The quick disconnect was only made up of two parts, being a relay and a capacitor. Nowadays, the QD is being replaced by the VFD, which is made up of several of hundreds of components that allow the VFD to do the same job, but more efficiently. Although both of these devices are used to start the motor and pump, you’ll notice an immediate difference in the constant pressure of your water if you install a VFD, and trust us, the pressure is great compared to the QD! By using a VFD, we can get your water pressure almost equivalent to that of city water, even if you have a private well at your home.
Aqua Pump has taken the initiative in implementing new technologies in how we service our customers, because we want to provide the best possible solutions for any and all water related issues. By implementing this new technology, we are adapting with the trends of the industry, and have even taken the time to hands-on train our employees on how to technically support this new technology as well. If you’d like to see how new technology in the water industry can help you, give us a call here at Aqua Pump with any questions you may have at 1-800-642-0420.
To keep up with changing trends in the water industry, check back on our blog again next Thursday, where we will go over the changes in residential wells!