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Patrick Briody & Sons

Well Rehabilitation

Iron oxide clogging is a big problem in Water wells and anecdotal evidence suggests it affects around 40% of groundwater boreholes in Ireland. In addition, calcium carbonate scale builds up on the uPVC/steel screen intake section of a Production Well. Can you make cost savings on pump maintenance, improve the output yield and improve deteriorating water quality for your existing water well?? …more than likely, YES you can.

Using biodegradable chemicals as part of a structured Well Remediation Programme including the use of down hole camera surveys, physical brushing and jetting of the well screen and detailed performance testing at regular intervals can result in sustainable higher specific output capacity from the well, fewer maintenance intervals and lower water treatment costs. (The main ingredients of the chemical used are organic and fully and rapidly biodegradable. The product does not enter the production stream. All cleaner agents/chemicals are flushed to waste after cleaning).

Have a look at a 30 second video of iron encrustation and fouling of a screen section in a water well. Pumping output has reduced by 40% from the original output yield when the well was drilled in 2010.

Briody Well Drilling Ltd provides a turnkey well remediation service. We can offer a high quality camera survey of your well using our Laval RCAM1000XLT downhole camera system As well as offering chemical treatments to loosen and dissolve the deposits and related contamination, We would generally mobilise our Drill Rig to set-up over the well to carryout standard physical methods of surging, brushing, direct airlifting and well development by educting. Briody Well Drilling Ltd is currently developing a Mobile App “Well Track” that allows the Caretaker/Maintenance Manager/ the Private Well Owner to login to a cloud based Phone App that has all the relevant well drilling information on your water well. Any future drilling information data (well remediation services/water analysis results) can easily be uploaded onto your Well Track App.

We understand wells and their behaviour, their constraints and ultimately their sustainability , if the well is constructed properly and maintained. This is what we do for the past 50 years. We can offer lots of clever drilling accessories and treatments to make the world of difference to improve your well output and water quality. But we will undertake all well remediation works cautiously and expertly. We will employ specialist pump contractors for removal and reinstalling pumps, civils contractor to complete a high quality well head finish and qualified Engineers to support and enhance our well remediation services each step of the way including mixing of chemicals, interpreting pumping data and water quality.

It is normal for the efficiency of a borehole to deteriorate with time. A borehole is no different than any producing asset…..it needs maintenance, it’s dynamic by nature-there is lots happening down there that impacts on yield output and water quality overtime.

The production well in the Video improved output yield by 50% following remediation including physical cleaning and well development in addition to chemical treatment. Additional benefits included; reduced water discolouring, lowered THM's by reducing required chlorine levels and removal of pre-existing in-line scale and corrosion deposits.

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Company & Industry News

Alliance for Water Stewardship - (17-01-2022)

Have you heard of AWS Water Stewardship Standard(Alliance for Water Stewardship)

Definition; the use of water that is socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficially, achieved through a stakeholder inclusive process that involves site and catchment based actions.

Water Stewardship is much more about just doing the regulatory compliance and protecting the water supply for your own needs. Of course it is not strictly relating to groundwater abstraction, it applies to all surface and groundwater supplies, however the focus of this discussion is in relation to groundwater abstractions

Water Stewardship aims at addressing and managing the three components of risk for a User;
1. Physical Risk-relating to water availability, quality and pollution control
2. Regulatory risk-permissions/permits for abstractions,registrations of well installations
3. Reputational risk-relevant to community trust, avoiding opposition to installing for example a water well.

While larger businesses may come under the spotlight by campaigners focusing on "protecting the planet"- the smaller "anonymous" businesses/group water schemes are less driven by reputation.
They need to understand how water stewardship benefits the business/group scheme/agri food supplier from risks and costs.

Water stewardship and reliable water risk management require
Local data on water resources, geology, water quality issues etc
Site specific data
Water expertise

The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) is the leading the organization for setting a water stewardship standard and offering certification.

The following steps are focused on the practical aspects of water stewardship for which accurate and reliable knowledge is the starting point. The ultimate aim is to reduce tangible risk for the user, for others in the catchment and for the natural environment. The key practical steps to effective water stewardship are as follows;
Know how much water you use, your future needs and your water sources.
Know your water catchment-it's extent and boundaries, other water users and water in the natural environment.
Know your stakeholders, their water needs, concerns and challenges.
Assess and understand the water risks to your business, to your catchment and to others.
Identify opportunities to reduce risks and address shared water challenges.
Develop a water stewardship plan to cover monitoring, stakeholder engagement, short and long term actions.

Communicate the principles and benefits of water stewardship and influence others by your example, your actions, your achievements and the benefits gained.

The information presented in this article is largely abstracted from a Presentation by Peter Easton-Easton Consult for Borehole Users Conference, UK, 2021.

Tannins & Groundwater - (17-01-2022)

What are the health effects of Tannins?

Tannins are considered an aesthetic problem. While they may make water unappealing to
drink and stain laundry, they generally present no health hazard. It should be noted that tannins can sometimes interfere with equipment used to treat other water problems. For example, the resins or medias in iron filters, cation exchange filters and neutralizing filters can become coated by the tannins, and may no longer work properly.

Should I test my water for Tannins?
Tannins create a light yellow to dark brown discoloration in the water. A simple test for
tannins involves filling a clear glass with water and letting it sit overnight. If the colour settles to
the bottom of the glass, the discoloration is most likely caused by iron and/or manganese and
not tannins. If the intensity of the colour remains intact, it is most likely caused by tannins.
If you suspect your water may contain tannins and wish to know how much tannin is present in
your water, contact an Accredited Water Testing Laboratory that can perform tannin testing.
You may also wish to test for sulphates, alkalinity, iron, total dissolved solids (TDS) and hardness,
as these may help determine which treatment method(s) will be most effective for your
situation. There is another reason to test for iron along with tannins; iron creates a false
positive for tannins and must be subtracted from the tannin result to determine that true
tannin concentration.

What can I use to remove Tannins from my water?
Treating by oxidation and filtration is one method to remove tannins. Another treatment method includes using an anion exchange resin. The anion resin is sensitive to hardness, so most systems include a water softener as a pre-treatment.

We are happy to refer water treatment specialists in your area for assistance.

Proper Borehole Grouting NOT "grouting" for the Aesthetics - (18-07-2017)

Proper borehole grouting NOT "grouting" for the aesthetics

Unless a water well is properly "grouted" or sealed into bedrock, surface water  with potential ecoli & faecal coli and other harmful bacteria will leak down the outside of the permanently installed steel or uPVC casing and enter the groundwater under the bottom of the casing in the rock or through perforations in the welded steel casing joints.. When a borehole is drilled a wider diameter socket is drilled into the rock to accommodate the smaller diameter permanently fitted steel casing or uPVC casing.....so there is little or no resistance to prevent contaminated surface water "destroying" your groundwater source.

We are regularly asked.... can you effectively grout the annulus of a permanent uPVC or steel casing installed in a borehole without a temporary conductor casing being fitted to faciliate injection of the cement grout ?...

This is an important question to consider when it comes to drilling a properly sealed well to adhere to IGI Guideline (Water well guidelines,March 2007) and EPA Advice Note 14 "Borehole Construction and Wellhead Protection",Sept-2013.

Too often, lately,  Drilling Contractors will suggest that they can place grout/cement into an open hole (with no conductor casing) and push down the permanent steel casing or uPVC casing through the cement and ........"magic" the well will be sealed. There is no magic in drilling or well sealing. That blob of cement tipped into the openhole prior to installing the permanent steel or uPVC casing is not down and tightly packed around the outside of the permanent casing achieving an even annular column of cement/grout at this critical interface where the overburden changes to competent rock.The blob of cement is perched at the first point of collapse of the sides of the well,near surface, before installing the casing and pushing a liner through it clearly doesn't push on the the cement down the hole following the casing.

From an Irish drilling experience....it's highly unlikely that you can confidently expect an unprotected  openhole to remain stable while you install an inner uPVC or steel casing and proceed to effectively grout the annulus of the inner casing. (.......Leave aside the exceptions,for example; mud drilled boreholes & the occassional borehole with particularly stiff firm boulder clay overburden from surface to rock head).

An openhole in overburden is typically unstable,liable to lateral movement as drill spoil is removed from the well during the overburden drilling process,susceptible to shallow water strike ingress,drilling strata often comprising loose sand & gravel layers/weathered rock encountered and by its nature,this drilling strata collapses as soon as you drill through these layers.

The "open" borehole in the unlined overburden generally collapses as soon as the drill tools are removed from the borehole and prior to casings being installed.

It's essential to use a outer temporary conductor casing to ensure that the cement slurry has a clean open annulus around the inner casing in order to grout from deep into the competent rock socket into which the inner casing is fitted right back up the borehole to surface to ensure an effective grout seal.The grout is generally injected at the annulus of the inner uPVC casing/steel casing by a tremie pipe method ( nominal 1" hollow pipe).This grouting operation is undertaken by use of a suitable Grouting Plant which displaces cement slurry to a specific gravity under pumping pressure through the tremie pipe and maintaining the pressure until displaced deep into fissures into the rock. As grout returns to surface,sections of the threaded tremie pipe are pulled back,unscrewed and removed from the tremie pipe string.In addition, the outer temporary conductor casing needs to be retrieved in sections ensuring that it remains just above the level in the borehole where the grout is being displaced. Pumping of grout should continue in one continuous operation until the grout slurry clearly returns to surface having displaced any standing water in the annulus of the hole as the grout returns to surface.

Please refer to a related article on Domestic Borehole Grouting Review which puts the facts and figures around how a domestic well can be sealed effectively. Yes,it does cost more money to achieve an effective domestic well seal vis-a-vis an aesthetic attempt at sealing a standard 6" diameter well where cement is placed into an openhole prior to hammering in 6" steel casing. (Extra costs arise due to wider drilling diameters,grout band & bentonite pellet seal etc).The article attempts to dispell the myth that a 6" diameter domestic well in which no temporary conductor casing is fitted and cement is emplaced into the openhole prior to installing the 6" steel casing in the overburden.... that while it may aesthetically tick a box that the well is cement/sealed......in reality........save the €100-€200 that the Driller may charge for this element of works. Borehole grouting needs to be done right or its ineffective.

Borehole Grouting is advised in all instances for water wells per IGI Guideline (Water well guidelines,March 2007) and EPA Advice Note 14 "Borehole Construction and Wellhead Protection",Sept-2013

The Benefits of Geothermal Well Drilling - (06-05-2014)
  • One of the major  benefits of geothermal well water drilling is that it provides  renewable energy, meaning that as long as we don’t pump too much cold water into the earth -cooling off the hot rocks- the energy will just keep on coming. Vertical geothermal wells  may be installed in almost any type of geological formation. Underground groundwater strike is not absolutely necessary.
  • A second benefit of geothermal well water drilling is that its operation  produces minimal  pollution (1 kw electricity should produce 4 KW/heat) minimising its contribution to the greenhouse effect. The carbon footprint longterm is very limited. There is no impact on the groundwater resources.
  • A third benefit of geothermal well drilling is the surface aesthetics  for geothermal  installations is very discrete....flush surface well covers and underground ducting into the plant room where the heat exchanger is located. There is  very little impact on the surrounding environment.
  • A fourth benefit of geothermal well drilling is the efficiency it offers frugal homeowner - once you’ve borne the costs of  installing  the geothermal energy heating system, the energy producing costs should be very reasonable. Equipment & materials used are very durable and generally involve minimal maintenance. The system may offer an optional extra  to reverse the system during summer time to give cool air within buildings.
  • Consider the benefits of grouting geothermal vertical closed looped wells.Whilst specialised thermally enhanced grouts will add to initial installation costs,the operational efficiency of the system and thereby running costs will be lower.

Enterprise Award Video

Briody Water Well Drilling - National Enterprise Awards 2013

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SYSTEM DELIVERY

PATRICK BRIODY & SONS 2013

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