This spring season started much earlier than most years and as a result we are not as rushed as we would normally tend to be in May which is a nice change. Having completed a number of surveys through the winter, we were in a position to head north as soon as the frost was out. Surveys have already been completed this spring in the northern regions of BC, AB, central AB and SK. We will be heading into N. SK and S. BC and possibly western MB later in May. Drillers also got an early start, so we already have a number of successful drill behinds this season, most in some very tough areas.
Though a little older news we do have to report the results of a November survey done 2 hours north of Fort St John where 2 locations were identified and drilled producing over 4o gpm from two wells. The first success of this year was a March survey up near Grande Prairie for a residence nearly built, and with 4 failed drill attempts totaling over 400 meters of drilling (one dry hole at 200 meters). The owner called with some urgency and we were able to do a survey of six soundings sites within a few days. Back in the office the data analysis showed the best site as being a moderate risk. The driller commenced drilling and was able to develop over 2 gpm, and above the depth noted in the report as the maximum depth to drill (70 meters). We did however, after a call during drilling have to advise the owner he should insist the driller keep drilling, when after drilling to over 50 meters, he had suggested to the owner it wouldn’t produce as it was the same formation he had been drilling in. But he did get the water. We have had 3 added successes though 2 were from surveys we completed last year.
The picture below was taken at the S. SK River from a survey a few years ago and was near surveys done just a couple of weeks ago. This site took a second follow up survey to finally get adequate water. Though water was struck on the first attempt on the best of survey site from the initial survey, the yield was not viable. After the second survey a 2nd site was identified as marginally better but still risky. This time the driller was able to develop and pump test the new well at over 2 gpm which was enough to get the highly desired water supply needed for the new home about to be built. This is only the second property owner to drill in recent years in a near 3 mile perimeter area, on the south side of the river. This after literally decades of most not even attempting to drill due to a number of past dry holes in the area.
This success near Redcliff is added to a number of good wells after a number of our surveys the last year and a half producing anywhere from 2- 15 gpm in the area from Redcliff to as Far East as Walsh. All the new well locations drilled were determined as best of survey by a WaterFind survey, and most were completed with surveys on each property with only our minimum survey package of only 6 sounding sites. Nearly all were also completed by the same driller. Just yesterday that driller called with what seens another good result after a survey WaterFind did over year ago for a rancher in S. AB. Again in an area where most people had near given up on drilling after to many failed attempts. Most of the formations in this area, also like the area described, above do not “give” water easily. Not sure of the final pump test result for yield but sounded like a zone that could be developed.
Though not a perfect record the success in our surveys and successfully locating producing wells in these tough areas is no less than remarkable. Our surveys minimize risk and at the very least will alert our clients to the degree of risk drilling on what can only be rated as a “best of survey” site. Many of these areas that only show what we call “glimmers” of water, make it difficult to decipher the signal and even more difficult to interpret a quantifiable yield when we analyse the data. That said even with a miss we still limit the depth of drilling by identifying when to stop drilling with a “maximum depth to drill” saving what can easily be a lot of wasted dollars. If the seismic equipment doesn’t at least give us “glimmers” it makes no sense to blindly chase water to greater depths.
The ability to find water is why WaterFind is experiencing its 10th successful year and is looking to add more operators. We do share and give credit to the many experienced well drillers who construct wells in these areas and follow our surveys. These areas with low yield aquifers require the driller have experience, technique, equipment and knowledge to successfully develop the groundwater that might be available. We learned that not all drillers have it. In low yield aquifers patient drilling and proper construction of the well can make the difference between a well with long term viable yield vs. one that may be deemed dry at the start or end up drying up in a few days, weeks or a year.
Even In areas where water is more readily attained we still add considerable value by maximizing the yield of the well. With acreage developers or big ranches that means drilling just 1 good well vs. 2-3 weak ones to obtain the necessary water required. From experience we have seen as many as 12 wells drilled in a 40 acre development after a survey with an attained yield range of nearly dry to-10 gpm. We were called to this do this survey after 2 dry holes with over a 100 meters of drilling. The next 10 drill attempts all got water. It is why we always say…………….
“CALL BEFORE YOU DRILL!”