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Groundwater is one of the world’s most important and undervalued resources. Providing access to groundwater safely and efficiently is imperative to help sustain life on Earth as we know it. This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the principles and practices of water well drilling with an emphasis on drilling techniques, soil classification and well installations. A variety of drilling methods will be discussed including hollow and solid stem augers, rotary, sonic, direct-push, cable tool and hand drilling. An emphasis will be placed on the proper field identification, classification and description of earthen materials, sampling and logging procedures and the properties of soils and rock as they relate to groundwater and wells. The installation, completion and development techniques of water wells will be covered in detail including well materials, grouting, screens and proper well abandonment techniques.
Students who complete this course successfully will be able to:
- Apply basic knowledge of drilling techniques to identify preferred methods of drilling available for the site-specific conditions.
- Design and construct a variety of water well systems dependent on the desired capacity and volume of water needed for a specific purpose.
- Work collaboratively as a team with a variety of specialized personnel including regulators, hydrogeologists, engineers and industrial drillers, drawing upon the strengths of each member, to safely and efficiently create water supply systems.
- Utilizing a variety of sampling methods and techniques to characterize earthen materials and use the information to create useful data reports.
- Take detailed field notes and use the site-specific data acquired to determine suitable well materials, development techniques and procedures for optimizing well efficiency and longevity.
- Begin to evaluate groundwater conditions to safely and sustainably extract and provide groundwater to a variety of consumers while ensuring the health and safety humans and the environment.
- Select appropriate techniques to economically acquire needed subsurface geological data.
- Solve problems encountered while doing field work and identify, analyze and resolve communication and ethical issues while advocating for sustainable solutions.