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Well Sampling 101 Follow a step-by-step guide to get a good sample, page 19 Also inside: Radon precautions for water well contractors, page 24
The Complete Solution
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Vol. 66, No. 8 August 2012 www.waterwelljournal.com
A PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL GROUND WATER ASSOCIATION
FEATURED ARTICLES 19 Well Sampling 101 By Jennifer Strawn
Follow this step-by-step guide to getting a good sample. 22 Water Well Personalities By Mike Price
Keep ‘Em Pumping
DEPARTMENTS In This Issue Industry Newsline The Log Web Notes Coming Events Newsmakers Featured Products Classified Marketplace Index of Advertisers Closing Time
IN EVERY ISSUE 6 Editor’s Note When Customers Call, Show Off What You Do Best
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IATION ASSOC TER D WA GROUN NAL NATIO THE
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About the cover Greg W. Peters of Peters Drilling and Pump Service in Grass Valley, California, drills in California’s Sierra Foothills with an Atlas Copco T3W. Peters says he has drilled more than 14,000 wells in the foothills east of Sacramento. The average depth is about 400 feet. Photo submitted by Scott Ellenbecker of Ellenbecker Communications. ®
Member of BPA Worldwide. The Water Well Journal (ISSN #0043-1443) is published monthly by the National Ground Water Association, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Printed and mailed at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and additional mailing offices. Postal acceptance: Periodical (requester subscription circulation) postage paid at Westerville, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Water Well Journal, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Canada Post/ Publications Mail Agreement #40739533. Return address: 4960-2 Walker Rd., Windsor, ON N9A 6J3.
Water Well Journal August 2012 3/
JOURNAL A PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL GROUND WATER ASSOCIATION
Advancing the expertise of groundwater professionals and furthering groundwater awareness.
Chief Executive Officer Kevin McCray, CAE firstname.lastname@example.org NGWA President John Pitz, CPI Director of Publications/Editor Thad Plumley email@example.com Associate Editor Mike Price
Copyeditor Wayne Beatty
Production and Design Janelle McClary firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Shelby Fleck Vickie Wiles
Circulation Coordinator Katie Neer email@example.com Contributing Writers Ed Butts, PE, CPI; Donald W. Gregory; David T. Hanson; William J. Lynott; Michelle Nichols; Christine Reimer; Al Rickard, CAE; Ron Slee; Lana Straub; Jennifer Strawn; and Alexandra Walsh Editorial, Advertising, & Publishing Offices 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081 (800) 551-7379 Fax: (614) 898-7786 Selected content from Water Well Journal is indexed on Ground Water On-Line™ at www.NGWA.org/gwonline ©Copyright 2012 by the National Ground Water Association. All rights reserved.
Our circulation is audited, ask for a statement today.
An APEX award winner 10 consecutive years with 22 total awards, most in the groundwater industry.
FEATURED COLUMNISTS 24 Safety Matters by Gary Ganson, CIH, CSP Radon Precautions for Water Well Contractors Knowledge of radon is a plus for any crew at the job site.
26 Your Money by William J. Lynott Think Twice, Act Once Here’s advice on important money decisions that could affect you.
28 Savvy Selling by Michelle Nichols The Meat and Potatoes of Selling Learn and apply the sales lessons of fast food founders to your business.
30 Engineering Your Business by Ed Butts, PE, CPI One Man’s Story The author looks back on the man who introduced him to the water well industry: his father.
34 The After Market by Ron Slee The World of the Bankers and You Managing assets in this time of anxiety. The views expressed in the columns are the authors’ opinions based on their professional experience.
4/ August 2012 Water Well Journal
In a world of look-alike, sound-alike pumps & manufacturers, one fact stands clear...
> 4â€? Submersible > High Flow Submersible > Submersible Turbine > Jet > Booster Pump > Wastewater > Dewatering > Trash > Portable
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NOTE When Customers Call, Show Off What You Do Best
knew the life of my hot water tank was near its end when it began operating more like a mildly warm water tank. I decided to call the company that installed it and jotted down the phone number from the sticker slapped on the tank by the installer 16 years ago. That’s when things got strange. I told the employee answering the phone that I was interested in getting information on the replacement of a hot water tank. His reply? “We don’t do those this time of year.” I paused because while I knew it was “air conditioner season” I assumed more detail had to be coming. And it was. “Sorry.” That was it. You’re not a big ticket, sir, see you later. I know not all jobs are created equal, but c’mon! I was essentially told, “Call when it’s convenient for us.” Do people really act that way? In this economy? Customer service is more critical than ever today. Phones don’t ring like they used to and e-mail inboxes don’t contain quote requests like a few years ago. So it’s a must that every time you’re contacted by a potential customer, you take it as an opportunity to show off what you and your company do best. My call could have been handled so much better in so many ways. For starters, the company could have gladly taken my business. I know, I know, crazy talk. But I was on the
phone ready to spend money. Granted it was not air conditioner money, but a customer ready to write a check is a customer ready to write a check. The company could have asked if I was a past customer. They could have a no-tank policy for cold calls while asking everyone if they are someone they have already done business with. When hearing I was a past customer, they could have worked me into their schedule. A “past customer is a customer for life policy” is a sound one. I could have been referred to another company that the business has a friendly relationship with. Not all jobs are right for all companies, so from time to time a firm should work with another one on referrals—we’ll send ABC job calls your way if you send others to us for XYZ jobs. Any of those options is whole lot better than “Sorry.” Customer service can’t be taken for granted. Even if you seem busy today, you really don’t know when the next call is coming. Take every interaction with a customer as a chance to blow them away with great service so they will not think twice about calling you again. Oh, and allow the calls to come any time of year.
Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of publications at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl.
Advertise your products and services to the groundwater industry’s most influential readership. Call Shelby Fleck and Vickie Wiles in the NGWA sales department at (800) 551-7379. ● ● ● ●
Approximately 25,000 readers every month. More than 19,000 are groundwater contractors. Approximately 4000 reside in professions also allied to the field. Readers reside in every state, Canada, and other international locations. Circulation is audited by BPA Worldwide. Ask for a statement.
6/ August 2012 Water Well Journal
Disclaimer Water Well Journal and the National Ground Water Association provide information for guidance and information purposes only. This publication is not intended to provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information contained herein has been compiled from sources deemed reliable and it is accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief; however, Water Well Journal and the National Ground Water Association cannot guarantee as to its accuracy, completeness, and validity and cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions. All information contained herein should be independently verified and confirmed. Water Well Journal and the National Ground Water Association do not accept any liability for any loss or damage howsoever caused in reliance upon such information. Reader agrees to assume all risk resulting from the application of any of the information provided by Water Well Journal and the National Ground Water Association. Trademarks and copyrights mentioned within Water Well Journal are the ownership of their respective companies. The names of products and services presented are used only in an educational fashion and to the benefit of the trademark and copyright owner, with no intention of infringing on trademarks or copyrights. No endorsement of any third-party products or services is expressed or implied by any information, material, or content referred to in the Water Well Journal. Subscriptions/Back Issues For questions, changes or problems with your subscription call Katie McKee. Subscriptions: Water well contractors and other qualified groundwater industry personnel in U.S. and Canada — free; others in U.S. — $105 per year; $15 per copy. Canada – $120 per year; $24 per copy. International: $140 per year; $35 per copy. Subscriptions available through NGWA offices only. We reserve the right to refuse subscriptions to anyone not directly engaged in the groundwater industry. Claims for missing issues must be made in writing within three months of publication and will be subject to the availability of back issues. Advertising Disclaimer Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content (including text, representation, and illustrations) of advertisements printed and also assume responsibility for any claims arising therefrom made against the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to reject any advertising that it believes is not in keeping with the publication's standards or is deemed unsuitable or misleading.
Back in 1959, a Woodford Model Y34 Freezeless Yard Hydrant left the factory with a shiny new coat of paint, and found a home on a farm in Iowa. Fifty years later, after countless hailstorms, sleet, rain, snow, and subzero temperatures, it’s not very shiny. But it’s still working fine. In fact, we’ve seen some that date back to the 1920s, still doing their job every day. Should a Woodford hydrant ever need repair, even if it
was made decades ago, all parts are replaceable on site without removing the hydrant itself. And we’ll have those parts available. We can’t guarantee that every Woodford hydrant will last for 50 years. But, we can guarantee that when you specify Woodford, you’ll be drastically reducing the chance of callbacks, problems, and unhappy customers. We build everything possible into a Woodford hydrant. Except obsolescence.
IF ONLY WE ALL LOOKED THIS GOOD AFTER 50 YEARS.
WOODFORD MANUFACTURING COMPANY 2121 Waynoka Road Colorado Springs, CO 80915 800.621.6032 www.woodfordmfg.com
The Woodford Model Y34, part of the American landscape for decades. Immediate flow even in cold temperatures. Rod guide eliminates side pull, reducing wear on packing nut and stem. Cam can be set to obtain the same flow each time. Circle card no. 34
he August 2012 issue of Water Well Journal focuses on water quality and treatment and is one you will certainly want to refer back to on occasion.
A protocol for water sampling is addressed in freelance writer Jennifer Strawn’s article “Well Sampling 101” on page 19. Strawn points out while it may seem as simple as turning on a faucet and filling a bottle, there’s a whole lot more to getting a good sample. The type of sample bottles and even introducing Jennifer Strawn the sample to air can compromise your data. With that in mind, she provides six detailed steps to follow, while talking to a group of industry professionals who provide insight on each of the steps as well. Following the steps can lead to getting a good sample the first time, every time. Associate Editor Mike Price continues his three-part series highlighting the National Ground Water Association’s certification program, focusing on the designation of Certified Pump Installer (CPI). In this month’s Water Well Personalities article, “Keep ‘Em Pumping” on page 22, Price chats with Brian Lane, CPI, operations manager of Joe Samples Well Drilling Inc., a family-owned business in White Pine, Tennessee. Mike Price Lane has been employed in the groundwater industry for more than 20 years, leaving a suit-and-tie, 9-to-5 job to help continue the family business. He received his CPI
designation in 2005. The program is designed to demonstrate pride in the job and to promote professionalism in the groundwater industry. Lane, 35, is the youngest member of the NGWA Board of Directors and also serves as president of the Tennessee Water Well Association. The monthly installment of Safety Matters addresses radon, which can contaminate groundwater well systems and is found in all the 50 states. Columnist Gary Ganson, CIH, CSP, writes in “Radon Precautions for Water Well Contractors” on page 24 that radon is gaining notoriety because of its known health risks. High levels of exposure have an equal or higher cancer risk than cigarette smoking. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert radioactive gas formed by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water. There are precautions that water well contractors can take. All states have requirements for drinking water, but not all states require testing. Ganson writes that testing is a good idea for contractors working in an area where there is a high probability of radon. Making sound financial decisions is not only the key for every business owner, but key for managing the income for a family. That’s why the latest installment of Your Money by William J. Lynott is a must read for everyone. Titled “Think Twice, Act Once” and beginning on page 26, it covers key financial decisions faced by everyone. As Lynott puts it, “Earning money is hard enough, but keeping it can be even harder.” Among the questions he gives advice on: Should I be
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Waterwell Camera Inspection Systems
using a debit card? Should I let a maturing CD roll over automatically? Should I increase my payroll withholding or quarterly tax estimates? Earning money through increased sales is discussed in this monthâ€™s Savvy Selling column. Columnist Michelle Nichols provides sales strategies from restaurant titans Ray Kroc and Dave Thomas in â€œThe Meat and Potatoes of Sellingâ€? on page 28. Kroc, founder of McDonaldâ€™s, and Thomas, founder of Wendyâ€™s, wrote books about themselves that provided the insights that enabled them to gain success in the fast food business. Nichols details how these insights can be applied to other fields. Among their tips: Youâ€™re never finished. Try it, youâ€™ll Michelle Nichols like it.
Water Well Journal Wins Apex Award
â€˘ Portable, Truck or Trailer mounted. â€˘ Retrofit compatible with Laval and most geophysical logging winches. â€˘ Full repair service and spare parts for CCV, Boretech, Wellcam and Laval cameras and controllers. â€˘ Forward and 360 degree side wall viewing color cameras. â€˘ Depths to 5,000 feet.
The Water Well Journal was honored with a 2012 Apex AwardÂŽ from Communications Concepts, a national company that provides educational resources for communicators. Editor Thad Plumley won an Award of Excellence for Regular Departments and Columns for the Editorâ€™s Note column in the March 2011 issue titled â€œ . . . But What You Can Do for Your Community.â€? It focused on groundwater professionals promoting their profession and business during Groundwater Awareness Week. This marks the 10th consecutive year WWJ has been honored by Communications Concepts. In all, WWJ has won 22 Apex Awards, the most of any publication in the groundwater industry.
Contact us for details 800-671-0383 â€˘ 559-291-0383 Fax: 559-291-0463 E-mail: email@example.com On the web at www.ariesccv.com
CCV Engineering & Manufacturing An Aries Industries Company 5748 E. Shields Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727
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Affordable. Convenient. Informative. NGWA Webinars to help you improve your business. s The Employee Stock Ownership Plans Solution (Webinar #863) September 5 s 2-3 p.m. ET Learn how employee stock ownership plans work and how they may be of benefit to you and your business. s Donâ€™t Let New Federal Requirements on Cargo Securement Drive You Out of Business (Webinar #831) September 12 and 13 s 2-3:30 p.m. ET You will gain a better understanding of the cargo securement regulations specifically pertaining to the groundwater industryâ€”an understanding necessary to keep you in businessâ€”in this two-part interactive Webinar. s Polymers and Additives: The Power to Modify the Behavior of Dirt (Webinar #846) October 3 s 1-2 p.m. ET Discover how to exert control over problematic downhole conditions that can impede the water well drilling process such as reactive clays or flowing sand.
ATTEND s LEARN s GROW
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NGWA Focus Conference and Fracturing Forum Draws Interest Industry professionals from 20 states attended the National Ground Water Association’s Focus Midwest Conference on Groundwater Issues and Hydraulic Fracturing Forum, June 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio. Frank Schwartz, Ph.D., Ohio State University and editor-in-chief of NGWA’s technical publication strictly for groundwater hydrogeologists, Ground Water, keynoted the event and shared his research on the Prairie Pothole Lakes and how they illustrate patterns of surface water and groundwater interaction and the important role of groundwater. Additionally, such issues as the frequent occurrence of naturally occurring contaminants emerged as well as the reality of what is available for consumption and what people are willing to drink. The effects of flooding on private wells and groundwater-based public systems were addressed and some effective
remedial actions were shared. Presenters from government and industry addressed common misperceptions relative to hydraulic fracturing and related activities, and when pressed, none could cite a documented case of hydraulic fracturing contaminating groundwater. Greater effort is being devoted to treating and reusing produced water on-site due to the expense of transporting wastewater and potential environmental impacts. Regulators from Ohio, Kentucky, and North Carolina addressed activities in their states related to current hydraulic fracturing, pending regulations, or alternatives to the process. To register for the upcoming NGWA Focus Conference on Gulf Coast Groundwater Issues, October 16-17 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, visit www.NGWA.org.
New Home Sales Jump to Two-Year High Transport Topics reports new home sales jumped 7.6% in May to a two-year
high, the Commerce Department said June 25. Purchases rose to a 369,000 annual rate, the most since April 2010, the Commerce Department said. The rate was higher than economists’ median of 347,000, Bloomberg reported. Purchases rose in two of four regions: a 37% jump in the Northeast and a 13% gain in the South. Demand fell 11% in the Midwest and 3.5% in the West. New home sales account for about 15% of residential real estate sales. Rising home sales can have a positive impact on water well construction jobs.
GenNx360 Capital Partners Acquires Schramm GenNx360 Capital Partners announced July 2 it has partnered with company management to acquire Schramm Inc. Schramm is a West Chester, Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of mobile land-based drilling rigs used in a variety
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THIS IS FRANKLIN www.franklin-electric.com
of demanding applications including water and geothermal drilling, oil and gas drilling, mineral exploration, and other drilling activities to depths of 15,000 feet. The company’s products are designed to make the drilling process safer, faster, and more efficient for its customers and end users and are sold globally under the registered trade names Schramm, Telemast, Loadsafe, i-Control, and air-Control to a diverse blue-chip customer base. Notably, in 2010, a Schramm rig dubbed “The Miracle” completed the escape hole through which 33 miners in Chile were saved after being trapped underground in a collapsed mine. “Schramm is a leader in drilling technology serving growing niches within the drilling equipment industry. GenNx360’s resources, Schramm’s business model, and the company’s talented management team will create a powerful combination,” says Drew Shea, managing partner at GenNx360. “We are excited to partner with GenNx360, whose principals have many years of success building industrial businesses such as ours. The operational
and leadership experience of the firm will strengthen Schramm and expand our reach even further,” adds Edward Breiner, Schramm’s president and CEO.
Layne Christensen Acquires Remaining Interest in Costa Fortuna Layne Christensen Co. announced in late June it had acquired the remaining 50% interest of Costa Fortuna that it did not previously own. Layne acquired its initial 50% interest in July 2010. Costa Fortuna, with operations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Montevideo, Uruguay, is part of Layne’s Geoconstruction Group and is one of the largest providers of specialty foundation and specialized marine geotechnical services in South America. Costa Fortuna specializes in the implementation of large-diameter bored piles, diaphragm walls, root piles, soil nailing, jet grouting, investigatory geotechnical services, and maritime and river specialized foundations. “Costa Fortuna has been a strong performer, and we believe that there is a significant opportunity to expand Layne's geotechnical construction capa-
bilities in South America over the next several years,” Layne CEO Rene Robichaud says. “The Brazilian construction market is estimated at well over $100 billion for the next five years, with a substantial portion expected in market opportunities generated by the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.”
OSHA and NIOSH Issue Alert to Protect Workers During Hydraulic Fracturing The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on June 21 issued a hazard alert notifying employers involved in hydraulic fracturing operations to take appropriate steps to protect workers from silica exposure. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy working conditions for their workers. The alert states that employers must determine which jobs expose workers
NEWS/continues on page 12
Water Well Journal Knows Your Audience “When Franklin Electric needs to share information with the groundwater industry, we call Water Well Journal. It’s a terrific resource that effectively reaches our groundwater audience.” —Tammy Davis, Director, Corporate Communications Franklin Electric Co. Inc. Whether it’s display advertising or classified advertising, Water Well Journal ® knows your audience—the groundwater industry’s leading professionals. More than 20,000 industry professionals pick up the magazine every month. To find out how you and your company can reach WWJ ’s readers, contact the National Ground Water Association’s Shelby Fleck at 800 551.7379 (614 898.7791) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @WaterWellJournl
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NEWS/from page 11 to silica and take actions to control overexposures and protect workers. A combination of engineering controls, work practice, protective equipment, and product substitution where feasible, along with worker training, is needed to protect workers who are exposed to silica during hydraulic fracturing operations, according to the OSHA/NIOSH alert. Further details on steps and actions to take are contained in the hazard alert.
detention basinsâ€”all part of an effort to boost the cityâ€™s groundwater supply by completely eliminating the use of potable water for campus irrigation at Grundfos. Dave Mortensen, senior vice president of finance and quality manager for Grundfos, said the project demonstrated Grundfosâ€™ commitment to â€œtake its own medicineâ€? with respect to sustainability and the appropriate use of potable water. The new master plan will feature a water-wise landscape design that replaces existing plants with species that consume less water and are more appropriate to the areaâ€™s demanding climate. The Grundfos Fresno campus originally consumed nearly 6 million gallons of potable water each year. The new design will reduce water demand by more than 83%. The water conservation initiative will also include a recovery system to reclaim, treat, and reuse rainwater to irrigate the new water-wise landscape. A 4-acre water detention basin is planned to collect enough recycled water to support the external water needs of the entire campusâ€”about the size of 21 football fieldsâ€”without the use of any potable water. Another basin will allow rainwater to seep into the earth and recharge the areaâ€™s groundwater supply. To help purify the water prior to entering the detention basins, the architects have designed a natural filtration system called a bioswale. The Grundfos Water Conservation/ Recovery Project was initiated last year to completely eliminate the use of potable water for campus irrigation by the end of 2012. The plan also includes installing a smart irrigation system that ties into existing Grundfos technology for monitoring and operation.
Grundfos Breaks Ground on Major Water Conservation Initiative Global pump manufacturer Grundfos celebrated the groundbreaking of a three-part project to recover and reduce irrigation water on June 6 in Fresno, California. Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Councilman Larry Westerlund joined Grundfos in marking the beginning of construction on a new master plan that features a water-conscious landscape, a natural filtration system, and two water
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Committee Considers Montana Water Wells Rules
Montana is looking at possible changes to its exempt well laws. A draft report, prepared for the Montana legislatureâ€™s Water Policy Interim Committee, was released in June. A series of public meetings are being held around the state to gather input on the draft report and five possible legislative approaches. Montanaâ€™s current law holds that a permit is not required for a
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well or developed spring that diverts water at 35 gallons a minute or less and does not exceed a volume of 10 acrefeet a year. However, a combined appropriation from the same source from two or more wells or developed springs exceeding this limitation requires a permit. Administrative rules define combined appropriation as “an appropriation of water from the same source aquifer by two or more groundwater developments that are physically manifold into the same system.” The current controversy centers on the use of multiple, individual exempt wells in subdivisions and the potential cumulative impact of the water withdrawals. The draft report summarizes the five draft bills for public discussion:
Xylem Expands Presence in Latin America with New Base in Panama In response to rapid growth in Panama, Xylem has opened a new sales and service office to provide greater customer support to the developing Latin American market. For Xylem, a global water technology company focused on addressing the world’s most challenging water issues, this expansion in Latin America reflects the company’s commitment to grow in
emerging markets. Xylem’s Flygt and Godwin pumps are already being used for dredging and construction work in the Panama Canal project, the first expansion of the Panama Canal since it was built 100 years ago. “Our technical collaboration with the Panama Canal Authority extends back many years and we are well positioned to grow this relationship to create new and exciting opportunities for Xylem,” says Simoni Dobrowolski, managing director of Xylem’s Panama office.
• Trout Unlimited’s LC8000 would
prohibit multiple exempt wells in new subdivisions anywhere in the state. In Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, and Ravali counties, a mitigation exchange would be established to offset the effects of new water uses. The Montana Building Industry Association’s LC8001 proposes that larger, denser subdivisions (30 or more lots, with an average lot size of 3 acres or less) install public water systems, which would most likely also require a water use permit. The MBIA also proposed LC8002, which would reduce the volume allowed under the exemption to 10 gpm and 1 acre-foot consumed. The amount of water consumed is that amount used by plants or lost to evaporation. The Montana Well Drillers Association’s LC8003 suggests that the exempt volume be lowered to 5 acrefeet for wells drilled in unconfined aquifers within closed basins, because those wells are more likely to be connected to surface water used by senior water right holders. The Senior Water Rights Coalition’s LC8004 would limit new subdivisions to an exemption of 35 gpm and 10 acre-feet a year using one or more wells. Appropriations of more water would be subject to permitting.
Discover the tried-and-true, as well as all that’s new . . . learn from industry experts during cutting-edge educational offerings . . . explore the latest in products and services from exhibitors. Connect with old friends . . . make new ones . . . forge partnerships across all sectors of the industry.
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NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL GROUND WATER ASSOCIATION
Market Your Business and Skills on Protect Your Groundwater Day Could you use more business right now? If so, then consider sharing your expertise publicly by promoting water well and groundwater stewardship during NGWA’s Protect Your Groundwater Day on September 11. The day is a golden opportunity to put yourself before the public as an expert who can help people including well owners learn about protecting the resource that contributes to the drinking water supply for nearly 45% of Americans. Among the ways you can promote groundwater protection to the public:
• Presentations (civic organization, • • • •
public meeting, business open house) Your Web site or Facebook page A news release A news event (invite the media to a well decommissioning) Newspaper or radio ads.
You can get more ideas on how to promote Protect Your Groundwater Day by going to www.NGWA.org and downloading from “Member exclusive” content NGWA’s Public Awareness Toolbox: A Simple Guide to Raising Public Awareness. You also can borrow content freely from NGWA’s Protect Your Groundwater Day Web page. Also, share the Web page with others in your community who also have an interest in groundwater protection, such as the local health department. The page can be accessed by going to www.NGWA.org, and clicking on the Media Center tab. If you have questions on how to promote Protect Your Groundwater Day, or to get feedback, contact NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens at (800) 551.7379, ext. 554, or e-mail email@example.com.
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NGWA Debuts Pump Safety DVD The National Ground Water Association has released a new DVD in its Online Bookstore covering water system installation and pump service safety. Created by NGWA Press and Training Without Boredom in cooperation with WellGuard and The Hartford, Pump Safe, Pump Smart is designed to help water well contracting firms learn about the hazards of pump installation and service and gain new insight to ensure everyone is kept safe. In a fun, highly watchable way, the DVD covers job preparation, site safety assessments, figuring your load, PPE, site mobilization and setup, blocking and leveling, proper handling of the pump column and wire, pulling the pump, inspection, transportation, moving equipment, tools, lighting, maintenance, and more. The DVD follows Drill Safe, Drill Smart, a DVD created by NGWA Press and Training Without Boredom in 2010. Since its debut at the 2010 Groundwater Expo, Drill Safe, Drill Smart has been one of NGWA Bookstore’s best sellers. Whether companies work on small residential wells, mid-size wells, or wells some thousands of feet deep, Pump Safe, Pump Smart is an ideal tool to get crews thinking about safety. More information on it can be found at www.NGWA.org in the Online Bookstore.
Safety Meeting Sheets Available from NGWA Press Safety is a critical issue for those working in the groundwater industry. With that in mind, NGWA has created a product that will enable companies to have detailed discussions on a variety of safety topics every week. Safety Meetings for the Groundwater Industry is a collection of 52 safety meeting sheets created so that a company can have an industry-specific “tail®
Safety Meetings for the
ry Groundwater Indust
Company name and location
Safety Meeting for the Groundwater Industry
Be a Safe Driver
Practicing good safety habits when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle is crucial at all times. It is not just for long trips or when you are on the highways. Two-thirds of all accidents occur within 25 miles of home and half of all fatal accidents occur at speeds under 40 miles per hour. Each year an average of 5% of water well driller injuries are incurred in traffic accidents and 30% of the reported drilling fleet accidents involve the drilling company vehicle striking another vehicle in the rear because the driver was following too closely or not monitoring traffic conditions and the road ahead. Before you even start your vehicle, you need to fasten your seat belt. And make it a rule that everyone in your vehicle wears a seat belt too.
When you are on the road, keep these things in mind: • Be alert and rested prior to each trip. • Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or fatigue is prohibited. • Drivers must have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle they are operating and have it with them at all times. • Other documents, such as DOT logs, may also be required. • Appropriate insurance cards must be carried at all times. • When you are on the road, travel at a safe speed, suitable to the surroundings and type of load you are carrying. Do not speed. • If the road you are on is wet or slippery, drive at a slow speed. • Never attempt to exercise the right of way; let others go first. • Watch for pedestrians—sound your horn to warn them that you are approaching. • Always look behind and to both sides of your vehicle’s rear before backing up. • If you are driving equipment onto a new site or a different part of a work site, inspect the proposed route to verify that there are no hazards (tight turns, under-rated bridges, low clearance areas). • Never follow vehicles so close that you will not be able to make a safe stop. A two-second minimum following distance in city traffic should be allowed for passenger cars and increasing following distances should be used when driving heavy trucks and trailers, including pickup trucks pulling trailers. Extra stopping distance is required when the road is wet or icy.
• Check your vehicle daily before each trip—check lights, tires, brakes, and steering. Never take an unsafe vehicle on the road. If required to complete a DOT vehicle inspection, do it properly and fill out the required form before starting your trip. • Verify load tie downs and security before each trip and at each rest stop. Dropped cargo or equipment is a financial loss to your company and may be fatal to another road user who hits it or swerves off the road while trying to avoid hitting the dropped item. • Clean mud, stones, and other debris off trailers and truck beds before going on the highway where these items can fly off and damage other vehicles or cause injury. • Report all accidents and incidents (dropped cargo, windshield claims, near misses) immediately to your supervisor/manager as well as reporting accidents to official agencies as required by law. • Rear-view and side mirrors should be viewed every three to five seconds. Know where vehicles are around you. Monitor your blind spots by twisting your head to look where the mirrors do not cover, especially during merges, lane changes, and turns. • Keep your eyes constantly moving to check road ahead conditions around you. Your sharp focus vision is roughly a circle 5 feet in diameter at 100 feet. • Be farsighted. In city traffic, look up into the next block or to the next traffic light so you know what problems ahead need to be avoided before driving into them. On the open highway, look at least one mile ahead or to the top of the hill, or as far around the curve up ahead as you can see. Remember, at 60 miles per hour you are approaching the hazard ahead at the rate of ¼ mile every 15 seconds and it can take you 400 feet or more at that distance to stop a medium truck when hitting the brakes. • Help other drivers to see your vehicle at all times. Use headlights early when driving in shadow areas like tree-covered roads, during inclement weather, or when low sun angles can blind other drivers. • Keep vehicle doors locked for security as well as to prevent them from flying open. • Do not transport passengers except in approved equipment. Never allow passengers to ride in the truck bed or the back of the cargo van.
Related topics discussed ______________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Employee recommendations____________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Related MSDS ____________________ Subject __________________________________________________________ a part of your meet sheets are safe Staff attending meeting ____________________________ ________________________________________________ following safety steps to ensuring Make sure the ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ plan. You’ll be taking your company. ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ company’s safety the employees at be practiced by work habits will Supervisor/Manager signature ________________________________________________________________________________ These instructions do not supersede local, state, or federal regulations.
gate talk” each week over the course of a year. The sets are available for purchase in NGWA’s online bookstore. Talking points on a variety of industry-related safety topics are at the top of the sheets. The bottom contains an area where related topics and employee recommendations can be written. There is also a place for all employees attending and the supervisor or manager to sign, signifying their participation in the meeting. The sheets are created on two-part carbonless forms so they can be filed in a manager’s office with a copy available if ever needed. Among the topics are combating heat-related illnesses, importance of eye protection, proper excavation safety, safety during rotary drilling operations, safety when raising the derrick, and wearing hard hats. The set of 52 sheets costs $40 for NGWA members and $50 for nonmembers. Visit NGWA’s Bookstore at www.NGWA.org/Bookstore today to purchase a set, or call (800) 551-7379 or (614) 898-7791 outside the United States.
NGWA Offers CSP–Drilling Operations Exam NGWA is offering a second component to the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) designation within its Voluntary Certification Program, the Certified Sales Professional–Drilling Exam. The CSP designation is specifically intended for suppliers and manufacturers. Earning the CSP designation is a remarkable way to demonstrate your commitment to enhancing industry professionalism and providing good customer service. Eligible individuals who wish to earn the designation will be required to take only one exam, but they can extend their designation to a CSP-II by passing both the drilling and pump installation exams. Exam appointments may be scheduled through NGWA’s third-party testing facility, PSI LaserGrade, by calling (800) 211-2754 or (360) 896-9111 outside the United States. waterwelljournal.com
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FIND IT ON THE NGWA WEB SITE, NGWA.ORG
Secure Booth Space at 2012 NGWA Groundwater Expo
• Reduce and Mitigate Problematic Concentrations of
The 2012 NGWA Groundwater Expo online booth selection database is up and running for industry manufacturers and suppliers at groundwaterexpo.com. With the online process, you can request your booth space, complete the exhibit application, and pay for the space with a credit card. The Expo gives you the opportunity to gain direct access to thousands of groundwater professionals. You can meet a year’s worth of contacts in just two days and showcase your products at the most prestigious show within the groundwater industry. Attendees at the Expo are there to inspect and compare products and equipment vital to their livelihood. Click on the “Exhibitor” tab to request your booth space and complete the exhibit application. If you have questions, contact NGWA Director of Advertising and Exhibit Sales Vickie Wiles at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (800) 551-7379, ext. 593. If outside the United States, call (614) 898-7791.
• Reducing Problematic Concentrations of Arsenic in
NGWA Provides Industry Best Practices on Issues with Water Quality and Treatment
A glossary of groundwater and water well terms is available from NGWA as an iPhone application downloadable online in the App Store at www.apple.com/iphone/apps-foriphone. The application for Apple’s iPhone is $4.99 and educational institutions can receive a discounted rate for multiple purchases. The glossary is based on NGWA’s Lexicon of Groundwater and Water Well System Terms. NGWA’s lexicon was selected by a task force of industry professionals and contains terms with the most relevancy to the various groundwater professions and to the use, protection, remediation, and management of groundwater. While there are often regional differences in the use of some terms, the document is certainly an ideal collection of the definitions that relate to groundwater and the professionals who work with it. The glossary is also available as a downloadable PDF file from NGWA. To learn more or to buy this product, visit the NGWA Online Bookstore at www.NGWA.org/Bookstore, or call (800) 551-7379 or (614) 898-7791.
NGWA has a variety of industry “best suggested practices” for issues with water quality and treatment. Among the topics covered on these issues are included:
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Some features of the GeoVISIONTM Deluxe System: ● Excellent video from places that no other systems will work. ● Five cable lengths for video inspection to 2000 feet underwater. ● Six interchangeable camera heads for use in bores from 1 inch to many feet in diameter. ● Motorized pan-tilt for use in mines and wells over 4 inches in diameter. Dual Scan micro camera for easy switching between down and side views All GeoVISIONTM systems come with excellent support, practical advice, and repair service.
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Stray Gases in Water Well Systems
• • •
Residential Well Systems Reducing Problematic Concentrations of Boron in Residential Well Systems Reducing Problematic Concentrations of Fluoride in Residential Well Systems Reducing Problematic Concentrations of Iron and Manganese in Residential Well Systems.
NGWA’s BSPs are designed to aid groundwater professionals at industry job sites. They are not standards, but practices that have been demonstrated to show superior results. They are prepared by a consensus of groundwater professionals from around the country. NGWA members can download all BSPs for free as a member benefit under the “Member exclusives” section at www.NGWA.org. Nonmembers can purchase the BSPs.
NGWA’s First Phone App for iPhone Provides Valuable Information
NGWA’s Wellowner.org Helps You Inform Your Customers About Water Wells NGWA’s Wellowner.org is your one-stop resource for information relating to water well systems and groundwater. Throughout, the importance of regular well maintenance and water testing is demonstrated again and again. After all, your water well system is a direct link to an underground water reserve and the responsibility is yours to protect this valuable natural resource, as well as safeguarding your family’s health. Such useful tools like the Water Use Calculator and calculating your water footprint are available for you to download at www.wellowner.org. waterwelljournal.com
YOU DONâ€™T NEED TO GO IT ALONE. JOIN NGWA TODAY! Joining NGWA is like adding the expertise of thousands to your staff. s Make running your business easier and increase profits with resources such as cost calculators for drilling, geothermal, and pump installation; business management articles; and industry best suggested practices ranging from reducing problematic concentrations of microorganisms in residential well systems to residential well cleaning. s Increase your knowledge and skillsâ€”at reduced ratesâ€”with educational offerings ranging from online Webinars to the annual NGWA Groundwater Expo, bookstore purchases, and more. s Connect with thousands of other groundwater industry professionals around the world through the NGWA Community site where you can get answers to your questions, share your knowledge, and work to promote the importance of groundwater.
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Your reputation hangs in the balance with every drop of water you deliver. Today, customers want more than just water. They want quality water — free of minerals, bacteria and contaminants. And when you give them a water treatment solution, it better work. And it better last. Real pros can deliver the right water every time, all the time, with Water-Right as their water quality partner. We’re the perfect, single-source solution for all your water testing and treatment needs. Here’s why: • • • • •
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Well Sampling 101 Follow this step-by-step guide to getting a good sample. By Jennifer Strawn
hether you’re investigating a water quality complaint from a homeowner, conducting yearly water tests on a private well, or testing the water for a real estate transaction, sampling a private well can be a complicated process. It may seem as simple as turning on the faucet and filling up a bottle, but in reality there’s a lot more to it. The type of sample bottles you collect the water in, the order in which you take your samples, and even introducing the sample to air can compromise your data. Testing for bacteria is especially tricky, says Marianne Metzger with National Testing Laboratories Ltd. in Cleveland, Ohio. “If done incorrectly, it’s really easy to give yourself a false positive,” she says. To make things even more confusing, each analyte may have a different col-
Jennifer Strawn was the associate editor of Water Well Journal from 2004 to 2007. She is currently in the internal communications department at Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio. She can be reached at strawnj2 @gmail.com.
lection method, hold time, or preservation method. Plus, you could be testing on-site with test kits or could be sending your samples off to a lab for testing. It’s always a good idea to refer to your regulatory agency’s requirements or any specific instructions provided by the test kit’s manufacturer or by the lab you’re working with. Still, no matter what analyte you test for or what kit you use, there are a few general steps to follow to ensure you get a good sample the first time, every time.
Step 1: Determine what you need to test for. The exact analyte you’re testing for influences nearly every step in the sampling process. It determines what equipment you’ll need, how you’ll collect the sample, and how long you have to return the sample to a lab for testing. For example, if you’re running tests for metals like copper or lead, you’d want to take the sample from a first draw so you’d get the worst case scenario, says Metzger. On the other hand, if you’re running tests for bacteria, you’d want to let the water run for a bit so you’re getting fresh water from the well.
The type of test even determines what sample bottles or test kits you’ll need to have with you on-site. Depending on the company providing the kits or the lab you’re working with, the analyte may have specific sample vials and instructions. “For a volatile organic compounds test there’s a special vial you need to fill up,” Metzger says. “These vials usually have a preservative in them and a dechlorinating agent. Then, you would also need to add hydrochloric acid to the sample to bring down the pH.” Figuring out exactly what tests you want to run helps you be better prepared for the entire process, which saves you and the homeowner time and money.
Step 2: Choose a plan of attack. Although you can’t always anticipate what you’re going to find on the job site, it’s a good idea to have a plan in mind. First, know what the holding times and preservation requirements are for the samples you plan to take. Each analyte has different holding times, and you need to be able to get the sample to the lab within that amount of time. Some
SAMPLING/continues on page 20 Water Well Journal August 2012 19/
SAMPLING/from page 19 samples also need to be chilled, usually between –2° to –6°C (28° to 21°F), Metzger says. So, not only do you need to know what samples need to be chilled, but how you will keep the samples cold. Sometimes a lab will provide you a cooler, but it may also be up to you to keep your samples cold, says Mike Schnieders, president of Water Systems Engineering Inc. in Ottawa, Kansas. If you can, figure out how you will need to sample the well. The sample should be taken as close to the wellhead as possible. Do the homeowners have a sample port on their well? Will you need to collect the sample from a tap inside the house? Is your only option to take a sample once the water has passed through a tank or a treatment system? “Knowing this ahead of time avoids false readings or extra time in either sample collection or sample analysis,” Schnieders says. Tell the homeowner when you plan to take the samples and make sure you allow enough time to collect the samples and, if you’re sending the samples to a lab, that you allow enough time to drop them off or ship them. It’s also a good idea, if you’re using a lab, to give the lab a heads-up, Schnieders says. Each lab may have specific instructions for you to follow. For example, Schnieders’ lab asks for a minimum of one liter of water for each sample, collected from both after the well has been idle overnight and after the well has run for an hour. National Testing Laboratories’ kits also come with a specific set of instructions. It’s best to speak with the lab beforehand, especially if it’s a test you don’t perform often, Schnieders says. “The best projects are when everyone is communicating,” he says. “Everybody has talked about it beforehand. We know what the problem is, and we know what we’re going to test for, the materials are out there, and the contractor has set the time aside and knows what they’re getting into as far as the ease of getting a sample and the type of well.”
Step 3: Collect samples in order. If sampling from multiple wells, the 20/ August 2012 Water Well Journal
U.S. Geological Survey’s National Field Manual for the Collection of WaterQuality Data advises sampling in order from the least contaminated site to the most contaminated to avoid contamination of the samples. Also, if the analytes you’re testing for or your lab requires are “stagnant” water samples from the well, you should take those samples first. Metzger says when taking samples for lead and copper to meet the requirements of the Lead and Copper Rule, the rule requires the water must be sitting in the pipes for at least six hours, preferably overnight. Schnieders says the well should sit idle overnight for at least eight hours. For specific guidance, always defer to any state regulations or the instructions from the kit manufacturer or laboratory. Then, take the samples for analyses requiring water from the aquifer. Metzger says when she’s in the field collecting samples, she takes them in a specific order each time. “Depending on what I’m collecting, I usually collect the metals sample bottle first, then organics—because they sometimes come out of the same bottle,” Metzger says. “I usually collect volatile organic chemicals next, then pesticides and herbicides. I collect bacteria last.”
Step 4: Flush or purge the well to guarantee you’re collecting water from the formation. Before you take samples requiring aquifer water, you’ll need to flush or purge the well to make sure you’re getting water from the formation. If you’re taking a sample from a tap, you should flush the well out to make sure you’re not drawing stagnant water, Schnieders says. “It’s a step that’s commonly overlooked,” he adds. “Whether your sample port is right at the wellhead or is on a tap farther down the line, you want to flush that well.” And, it’s not just a matter of emptying the column pipe and cleaning out the pump. The whole well should be flushed—especially if the well has sat dormant for a long amount of time. You want to flush the standing water column to make sure you’re getting water from the borehole, Schnieders says.
If you have access to the wellhead and well-sampling instrumentation, consider sampling the well via the low-flow purge method. Low-flow purging pumps the well at very low rates (typically around 250 mL/minute), mimicking the natural recharge of the well, while monitoring field measurements such as pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, ORP, temperature, and turbidity. “You’re looking for these parameters to stabilize within a certain value for three consecutive readings taking several minutes apart,” says Laura St. Pierre, product manager with YSI Inc. in Yellow Springs, Ohio. “Once these parameters have stabilized within the regulatory agency’s guidelines, you know you’re getting formation water and you can start taking samples for lab analysis.” Although typically used for monitoring wells, St. Pierre says low-flow purging can yield samples that are representative of the groundwater surrounding the well and not just the water in the well.
Step 5: Collect the samples, taking special care to avoid contamination. In general, you want to take the sample as close to the wellhead as possible. Possible exceptions could include limited or no access to a sample point close to the well or if you want to test what might be in a homeowner’s water lines inside of the house. No matter where the faucet is located, remove any aerators or faucet screens from the tap. Then, turn on the tap and flush it of any debris that has built up around the threads. “Unfortunately, most of the sample taps or sample ports are put in after the fact,” Schnieders says. “They’re difficult to get to or can easily become dirty. Insects or rodents can also get into them.” Once you’ve flushed away debris, disinfect the spigot with a flame, alcohol swab, or a chlorine solution (about 5 to 10 ppb). Then, rinse the spigot again with fresh well water. Before collecting a sample from a tap, let the water run for two to five minutes, then slow your stream to about the size of a pencil to fill the sample bottle.
If taking multiple samples, continue to let the water run between each sample, says George Bailey, sales manager with Industrial Test Systems Inc. in Rock Hill, South Carolina. “We had a contractor call us and tell us he was having problems with our alkalinity test kit. He ran the test five times in a row and got different answers each time,” Bailey says. “He thought there was something wrong with the kit. What it actually was that he would turn the faucet on and off every time for each sample and that caused the chemistry to vary.” Once the faucet ran for a few minutes and the contractor collected samples without turning the faucet on and off, he was able to see consistent, repeatable results, Bailey says. If taking samples using the low-flow purge sampling technique, you should take the sample before the flow cell and not after the flow cell where it has come in contact with the equipment. “You don’t want anything to contaminate your sample and compromise your data,” St. Pierre says. When collecting water samples, use lab-approved bottles, preferably ones that are lab-sealed. Sealed bottles are especially important if your sample bottles come with reagents in them. “We send our bottles preserved with dechlorinating agent. So, you need to make sure the seal hasn’t been tampered with. You want to remove the cap and break the seal just before you collect that bottle,” Metzger says. “You don’t want to open it up and have it exposed to air because bacteria are everywhere. You could potentially contaminate your bottle that way.” Also, don’t let anything come in contact with anything that can contaminate the sample, like your mouth, hands, or dirt. “Don’t go using the Mountain Dew bottle you were just drinking from,” Schnieders says. “Bacteria from your mouth will contaminate the sample.” If the faucet is low to the ground, Schnieders suggests laying plastic on the ground to reduce the chances of dirt splashing back. You should also only handle testing equipment and sample bottles with clean hands that were washed using soap and water. Alcohol-based sanitizer Twitter @WaterWellJournl
the bottle. “It can be difficult to collect because you’re trying not to get rid of any of the preservatives in the bottle, but you’ve got to fill it up enough so there isn’t air bubbles in there.”
Step 6: Preserve the sample if necessary and send it to the lab. Photo courtesy YSI Inc.
can sometimes work in a pinch, but soap and water is best, Metzger says. Bailey suggests avoiding hand sanitizers because the alcohol could contaminate the samples. When in doubt, wear powderless, disposable nitrile gloves. Don’t put your fingers inside of the bottles or the inside of the cap. Always place the cap face up to avoid having the inside of the cap come in contact with the ground. Take care to follow any specific lab instructions, but in general, you want to fill the bottle to the very top and cap it immediately, making sure there are no air bubbles. Actual procedure can vary by the type of collection bottles and the analyte you’re testing for. For example, Schnieders suggests filling his sample bottles, rinsing them with the well water, dumping it out, and filling it again to the very top. If your bottle comes with dechlorinating agents or preservatives, you wouldn’t want to rinse the bottle first. In fact, you would want to make sure you don’t spill any of the water from
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If you are using a lab to analyze your samples, you should label them with the date, time, and how the sample was collected and turn them into the lab within proper holding times. In general, most states require a maximum of 30 hours hold time for bacteria samples. You should always know the specific hold times and preservation required by your lab or regulatory agency. Metzger says you can also check hold times and preservation methods for specific analytes using the National Environmental Methods Index located at www.nemi.gov. If you’re using on-site test kits, follow the instructions on the kits to get your results. And, hopefully, by following a few extra steps, you get the results you need. Schnieders offers one more piece of advice: When in doubt, call the lab or the test kit’s manufacturer and ask them questions. “Don’t be afraid to call the lab from the wellhead and tell them what the situation is,” he says. “Ask us how it will affect your tests. That’s what we’re here for.” WWJ
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Keep ‘Em Pumping Brian Lane earned the Certified Pump Installer certification in 2005. This is part 2 in a three-part series on NGWA’s certification program.
t looked good on the surface for Brian Lane. He lands a cozy job in the private sector after graduating from the University of Tennessee in 2000 with a degree in business administration, management, and operations/ finance. Soon the plush benefits arrive. Great income, great car, great hours, and on. Brian is doing the 9-to-5 gig for a mutual life insurance company as a registered representative for nearly four years. But the job—despite its perks and comfortable lifestyle—just isn’t for him. He returns in 2004 to work for the family business, Joe Samples Well Drilling Inc. in White Pine, Tennessee. “I traded in a suit and tie and dress shoes and a nice little car for a fourwheel-drive truck and work boots and I love it,” Brian says without hesitation. “I literally do. I love getting up and going to work every day. It’s fulfilling.” As operations manager, Brian earned the Certified Pump Installer (CPI) certification from the National Ground Water Association in 2005. The Well Construction and Pump Installation Cer-
Mike Price is the associate editor of Water Well Journal. In addition to his WWJ responsibilities, Price produces NGWA’s newsletters and contributes to the Association’s quarterly scientific publication. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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tification Program, which started in 1970, is the only national certification program for contractors and pump installers in the groundwater industry. Nearly 400 hold the CPI designation, including Certified Well Drillers/Pump Installers (CWD/PI). More than 90 of these industry professionals are CPIs who hold no other designation. “I’m a CPI. That doesn’t mean I work on pumps all day long,” the 35year-old says. “I may be in the office one day, I may be at a drill site one day, and I may be installing loops one day. “Whatever needs to be done is what we do. We all take that approach to help out the different divisions we have as far as pump installation, water treatment, pump repair, and geothermal.” Brian and his middle brother, Jared, are fourth-generation contractors in the water well industry. Jared became a CWD/PI from NGWA in 2005 and is the systems designer for the company. He received a degree in communications and information systems technology from ITT Technical Institute and deals with the technical aspects of large water systems, like pump sizing and figuring head calculations. “He’s definitely the brains of the operation,” Brian says. One weeknight in late June, Brian pulls back into the office. It’s nearing 1 a.m. and he is finishing up a 10-plushour workday. “The number of hours we’re working
BY MIKE PRICE
(Top left) Brian Lane has been an active member of both NGWA and the Tennessee Water Well Association. (Top right) From left to right: Joe Samples, owner; Velma Samples, owner; Rickey Samples, Brian’s uncle; Pat Lane, Brian’s mother; Jared Lane, Brian’s brother, and Brian Lane. is increasing, but it’s manageable,” he says. “Long hours typically mean profitability.” Summer months have historically been the busiest time of the year for the water well drilling industry. Work is completed until sunset; 50-, 60-hour workweeks are common. There are 11 employees on staff at Joe Samples Well Drilling, which was established in 1954 by Brian’s grandfather, Joe Samples. Business shifted from primarily residential and light commercial 20-30 years ago to municipal, commercial, and industrial pumping system applications. This past year was one of the first in the company’s history that a larger percentage of sales came from pump work rather than water well drilling. Two years ago the company added a large account, a manufacturing facility with 28 high horsepower pumping systems. The customer had gone through several service providers while encountering numerous problems. The customer was looking for “someone who could do it all.” waterwelljournal.com
“We touted the fact that we’re certified pump installers of NGWA and pursue continuing education,” Brian says. “We’re motors, drives, and controls specialists through Franklin Electric, and we try and stay abreast of the latest technology and new ideas taking place in the industry. We really feel that was one of the main reasons we were able to get that account, which has greatly benefited our business and helped us through some really tough times.” Joe Samples Well Drilling celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2004. In its heyday the company ran eight drill rigs and drilled in more than 20 counties in East Tennessee. It has since scaled back its operation, drilling in a little more than 10 counties with two air rotary rigs and two service trucks. Brian speaks with fervor about continuing the company’s namesake. It’s one of the reasons why he decided to come back and work alongside Jared and their mother, Pat, who is the office manager, along with uncle Rickey Samples, general manager. Pat and Rickey are the children of Joe Samples. Brian and Jared’s father, Doug, a Vietnam veteran, is retired and worked in the business for about 16 years. He offers his insight when needed. Brian’s youngest brother, Darin, is a police officer who lends a hand at times. “The best thing I enjoy the most is figuring out those problems that nobody else can and trying to come up with a solution that’s both effective and cost effective,” Brian says. Joe Samples’ father owned a preWorld War II cable tool drilling rig. Joe was drilling a water well down in Sevier County, 25 miles southeast of Knoxville, using his father’s rig when he met Velma, his bride-to-be. “It’s kind of a neat story,” Brian recalls. “Long story short: They communicated back and forth before he went to war and after he came back. He looked her up and the rest is history.” In 1954, Joe financed his first drill rig for $70,000, a large sum at the time. Joe’s saying is “Anyone can dig a hole, but it takes much more than that to make a good well.” Brian has heard it before. That the water well drilling industry won’t survive or be like it once was. This was maybe 20 to 30 years ago at state association meetings when he was Twitter @WaterWellJournl
How to Become a CPI The Well Construction and Pump Installation Certification Program, which started in 1970, is the only national certification program for contractors and pump installers in the groundwater industry. Through this program, you may earn the Certified Well Driller (CWD) and/or the Certified Pump Installer (CPI) designation. Other designations may be established. “The certification process lets the customer know that choosing a licensed and certified groundwater professional is in their best interest and will assure them that the man or woman on the job understands their project and is up to the task at hand,” says Todd Hunter, CWD/PI, owner of Ground Water Pump Systems in Boulder, Colorado, and a member of NGWA’s Board of Directors. To learn more, visit www.NGWA.org. Under the “Professional Resources” tab, click on “Certifications and exams.”
a youngster. He hesitated at first to get involved in the business and stake his family’s livelihood on this industry. “Now what I see as far as the future goes,” he observes, “is if we all as water well contractors take a more professional approach and change the overall mentality of the industry from well digger to private water systems contractor or something of that nature, it’s going to promote us and set us apart. “By doing that I’m now eager to have my children involved in this business. I see a future when my sons can be doing what I’m doing and doing it better.” His two boys, 7-year-old Caleb and 4-year-old Hudson, were on their first drill site soon after they were born. His wife, Dara, is supportive. “She’s never complained. I take phone calls pretty much 24 hours a day,” he says. Besides an aging workforce, Brian is concerned about the industry’s pricing method. He feels some water well contractors fail to understand they’re handling, supplying, and repairing devices that supply the most precious natural resource: water. “Contractors charge as though we’re working on a refrigerator,” he explains. “I see some who are working for literally the next two to five years. I’m working for the next 50 years, so I’ve got to charge accordingly to maintain, replace, and do everything else to operate our business.” NGWA offers the Pump Installation
Get Resources to Help with Pump Installations Go to the National Ground Water Association’s Online Bookstore to get resources that will help with your pump installations. The NGWA Pump Installation Cost Calculator (Catalog #X964) enables you to plug in costs to all of the categories that contribute to your overall cost of pump installations to help you see what is needed to achieve the profits you want for your company. The NGWA Pump System Sizer (Catalog #X967) is a digital tool that helps you determine the size of the various components found in a typical water pump system. Both products are designed as easy-to-use Excel workbooks and are free to members of NGWA. Nonmembers can purchase the products in NGWA’s Online Bookstore at www.NGWA.org.
Cost Calculator and Pump System Sizer (see sidebar) to help contractors run their business. Brian has leaned on these resources and recommends them to others, adding that creating a company Web site helped increase business. Once he committed to Joe Samples Well Drilling, Brian immersed himself in the industry. He’s been a member of NGWA for eight years and serves on its Board of Directors. He also has served on the Tennessee Water Well Association Board of Directors for five years and currently holds the position of president. “I feel as though it’s my turn to pull some weight,” he says. “Our local and state associations are having trouble attracting ‘younger’ participants in the inner workings of our governing bodies. Without the addition of new blood in our association, the seasoned veterans will eventually move on and the vast knowledge they possess will as well.” He replaced Tony Morgan of Morgan Well Drilling in Athens, Tennessee, as state association president. “Brian treats people well and is a good speaker. He’s a good leader,” Morgan says. This past winter Brian attended his first NGWA Groundwater Industry Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., with Morgan and Chris Wilson of Tennessee. He made contact with Tennessee Congressman John Duncan Jr., who happens to play golf near where Brian grew up. It’s a relationship that he feels wouldn’t exist unless he volunteered. Guess that suit and tie is still needed after all. WWJ Water Well Journal August 2012 23/
By Gary Ganson, CIH, CSP
Radon Precautions for Water Well Contractors Knowledge of radon is a plus for any crew at the job site.
adon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert radioactive gas formed by the decay of naturally occuring uranium in soil and water. It is found in all 50 states. The amount of radon in the soil depends on soil chemistry and ranges from a few hundred to several thousand picocuries per liter in air or water. Unless you test for it, there is no way of telling how much radon is present.
Radon Risks for Humans Radon is gaining notoriety because of its known health risks. Its type of radioactive decay is by alpha emission, which means it is not penetrating and canâ€™t enter through the skin. The health risk comes from being either ingested or inhaled, thus bringing the gas in close proximity to human lung tissues or our internal organs where the radioactive particle does its harm. Researchers have extrapolated the cancer risk of high levels of exposure and found radon to be equal to or higher than cigarette smoking. To some degree this is a best guess based on a lot of extrapolated data where the high level of exposures is compared to cancer clusters where people might be exposed only to radon. Be that as it may, radon is a true health risk. It is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, according to estimates of the U.S. Environmental Gary Ganson, a certified industrial hygienist and certified safety professional, is a senior consultant for Terracon in Lenexa, Kansas.
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Protection Agency. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Close to 3,000 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. As more data are gathered about residential radon exposures, the risk estimates may be adjusted further. Enough data exists now, however, to be able to say with certainty that thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths annually in the United States are attributable to indoor residential exposure to radon. A report released in 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences is the most comprehensive accumulation of scientific data on the public health risks of radon in drinking water. The report was required by the Safe Drinking Water Act and confirmed radon is a serious public health threat. This report goes on to refine the risks of radon in drinking water and confirms there are drinking waterrelated cancer deaths, primarily due to lung cancer. The Centers for Disease Control estimates up to 1,800 deaths per year also occur from radon concentrations in drinking water, primarily from wells. More information about residential exposure to radon is needed to answer important questions about radonâ€™s effect on women and children. Although children have been reported to be at greater risk than adults of developing certain types of cancer from radiation, currently there is no conclusive evidence that radon exposure places children at any greater risk.
Some studies indicate that for the same total exposure, a lower exposure over a longer time is more hazardous than short, high exposures. These findings increase concerns about residential radon exposures. Epidemiological case control studies are under way in the United States and Europe, and their pooled results should enhance the understanding of the risk of residential exposure to radon.
Radon Program Radon is enough of a concern to the government that a federally funded program has been established at Kansas State University that is providing information on and supporting training for radon testing. Kansas requires all personnel involved in commercial radon testing to complete this training program and be certified by the state. Kansas is just one of many states that have started requiring that individuals who test for or design mitigation systems for radon should be trained and certified. As radon percolates up through the ground, it can be found in the groundwater underneath homes as well as in a homeâ€™s airspace. The amount of radon that escapes from the soil to enter a dwelling depends on the weather, soil porosity, soil moisture, and the suction within the building. Although there are some exceptions, in general, the migration of radon up from the soil contributes the largest percentage of radon found in the average home. Radon from a groundwater supwaterwelljournal.com
ply source, particularly a bedrock well, contributes the next largest amount. My company does thousands of water and air tests for radon each year for commercial clients. Banks that are lenders require radon testing before a real estate loan can be secured. Real estate investment companies require radon testing before property is purchased. The federal government requires radon testing for any new development that is a federal project or federally funded.
Radon Hazards for Well Drillers There is certainly a true risk for well drillers who might be exposed to radon. This is especially true if radon exposure is combined with:
• the concentration of the radon gas • the frequency of exposure • the person is a smoker, has high blood pressure, or decreased lung capacity. If a contractor works in areas with a high probability of radon in the water table, they most likely will have an exposure to radon if when they’re drilling they hit the water table and drill down farther below it.
Precautions Well Drillers Can Take The precautions for water well contractors who might be exposed to radon are safety actions they should take anyway once they hit the water table. They should not work directly over the wellhead without good ventilation, even if they just use a fan to blow the radon out of their breathing zone or use wind direction to work upwind. If the contractor is setting the wellhead or setting pipe, they might have to work in closer proximity to air coming out of the wellhead. Time and distance away from the wellhead are both good factors for avoiding breathing in radon. Even a distance of 1 or 2 feet makes a huge difference if a person is outdoors as gases tend to dissipate quickly in the open air environment. When we analyze exposure on the job, we look at it in 8-hour timeweighted exposures to hazardous air pollutants over time. This means the duration of exposure over the workday, typically 8 hours, and the concentrations during that time period. For the water Twitter @WaterWellJournl
well contractor, this might mean there is the potential to exposure periodically during the time when drilling is occurring, and peak concentrations when water is reached. Minimizing these peak exposures will reduce the overall daily exposure to radon. States have specific requirements for drinking water, but not all states require radon testing. State testing examines radio nuclei (different isotopes that could be in the water) but not necessarily radon. The EPA has a recommended standard that is being reviewed. If it becomes a regulated standard, it will be enforced either by the EPA or the individual state for testing radon in drinking water. I recommend always taking an air or water sample for radon and having it tested. While the costs will vary between laboratories, a test typically costs between $25 and $50. That’s not that much when it might protect you from the health hazards in breathing in or ingesting radon gas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidance documents on radon, but not standards. However, OSHA can cite a company for failure to act on a recognized hazard, which radon is, under the General Duty Clause. It is also considered an ionizing radiation source, for which there is a standard, but again the standard does not specifically cite radon. Training in radon awareness would be a plus and can be addressed from the standpoint of encouraging workers to be more aware that it does exist. Make sure workers know that radon can be found in most water tables throughout the country at various levels, so it is important they increase their Circle card no. 27
awareness and understand the nature of this hazard. Plus, this information and heightened awareness is something they can apply to their own homes as well. WWJ
Best Suggested Practice for Radon The National Ground Water Association has a best suggested practice for dealing with concentrations of radon in well systems. Reducing Problematic Concentrations of Radon in Residential Well Systems, an 8-page document, is free to NGWA members and can be downloaded in the Online Bookstore at www.NGWA.org/Bookstore.
More Information Additional help is readily available on these Web sites: Centers for Disease Control www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/ private/wells/disease/radon.html U.S. Environmental Protection Agency www.epa.gov/radon/index.html National Radon Program Services www.sosradon.org
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By William J. Lynott
Think Twice, Act Once Here’s advice on important money decisions that could affect you. cost, buying is for you. On a straight financial comparison, buying is almost always the lower cost option over the long term. For the ultimate in pennypinching, you should buy your car and drive it for as long as it will get you where you want to go. However, economic considerations are not at the top of the priority list for every driver. If you like the idea of lower monthly payments, driving a car that’s always under warranty, and tooling around in a model that’s never more than two or three years old, then leasing may be the right choice for you. (For more information, visit www.leaseguide .com/lease03.htm.)
ife would be easier if you didn’t have to make so many tough business management decisions—ones that only you can make. Fortunately, most decisions involving money management are less difficult. Here are six important money decisions you may encounter, along with advice to help you make the best choice.
Should I be using a debit card? Possibly, but you need to be aware of how debit and credit cards differ and the unique risks of debit cards. Unlike credit cards, debit cards give you no grace period for paying your bill. The money will be deducted from your account immediately each time you use it. Unless you’re a fastidious record keeper, keeping your account in balance can be a problem. It’s easy to misplace a receipt and forget to notate the transaction in your check register, resulting in overdrawn accounts and heavy financial penalties. Total liability for fraudulent use of a credit card is limited to $50, and credit card issuers often waive that amount. With a debit card, unless you notify the bank within 48 hours after learning your debit card was lost or stolen, your liability for fraudulent use could be much higher. Fail to notify the bank within 60 days, and your entire account could be wiped out. Bill Lynott is a management consultant, author, and lecturer who writes on business and financial topics for a number of publications. His book, Money: How to Make the Most of What You’ve Got, is available through any bookstore. You can reach him at wlynott@ cs.com or through his Web site: www.blynott .com.
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Many banks regularly offer temporary promotional rates at substantially higher interest than their regular rates, but you probably won’t hear about them unless you ask.
With credit cards, you may dispute errors or unauthorized charges and withhold payment until the matter is resolved. With a debit card, your money is spent the moment you complete the transaction.
Should I lease or buy my new car? Most experts agree—it all depends. When you lease a car, you’re paying for the use of the vehicle over a specified period of time. When you buy a car, you’re paying for its entire cost regardless of how long you keep it or how many miles you drive it. What’s best for you depends on your situation and personal preferences. If your primary interest is driving the car of your choice at the lowest possible
I have a bank CD maturing. Should I just let it roll over automatically? Absolutely not. When a CD matures, you should always call or visit the bank and ask to review all current interest rates, especially any promotional rates that may be available. Many banks regularly offer temporary promotional rates at substantially higher interest than their regular rates, but you probably won’t hear about them unless you ask. An automatic renewal is practically guaranteed to get you something less than the bank’s best available interest rate.
Should I sign up for a service contract on my new flat screen TV? Most insiders say you’re most likely to come out ahead by passing up the salesman’s pitch to sell you a service contract, not only on television sets but other electronics as well. Service contracts are the most profitable items sold by many appliance stores. Sellers of contracts have a big waterwelljournal.com
advantage over buyers. By using repair history records, sellers simply add a substantial markup to the average cost for maintaining a given product, thus guaranteeing themselves a nice profit. Thatâ€™s why only buyers who consistently require substantially more than the average amount of repair service can hope to come out ahead. Hint: If youâ€™re one of those people whose products collapse 24 hours after the warranty expires, you may be a good candidate for service contracts.
Should I increase my payroll withholding or quarterly tax estimates? You may be thinking if you do, then you wonâ€™t owe the IRS money every year at tax time. It may give you emotional satisfaction to know Uncle Sam owes you money at tax time, but donâ€™t be fooled. The IRS gets the last laugh on this one because you have given them an interest-free loan at your expense. The least expensive way for you to pay your tax liability is to try to have your withholding and estimated payments come out as close as possible to the amount owed.
But some consumer advocates say there is no shortage of complaints ranging from funeral homes that skimped on the quality of caskets to funeral homes that went out of business to outright fraud on the part of disreputable operators. Prepaying for a funeral is a large financial commitment, so it shouldnâ€™t be made on the spur of the moment. A traditional funeral costs about $6,000 according to the Federal Trade Commission. And that doesnâ€™t include extras like flowers, obituary notices, and cemetery costs. If youâ€™re concerned about the risks of prepaid funerals, but want to protect your loved ones from being burdened with the costs and responsibilities of your final arrangements, there is a simple alternative. You can prearrange your funeral without paying for it in advance. Some experts suggest that you set the necessary money aside in a special account, write out your wishes, and give the information to a trusted friend or relative. Earning money these days is hard enough, but keeping it can be even harder. Thatâ€™s why when it comes to money decisions like the six you asked about here, it pays to think twice and act once. WWJ
Should I prepay for my own funeral?
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Since the idea was first promoted, Americans have spent billions of dollars on prepaid funeral expenses. Proponents cite several advantages, perhaps the most important of which is the comfort of knowing your loved ones will not be burdened with making arrangements and financial decisions at a sensitive time.
Go to www.waterwelljournal.com and see other complete Water Well Journal articles that will help you with your sales skills. WWJâ€™s online home features current and past articles, daily news posts, buyers guides, and links to other valuable information. Bookmark the page today!
Protecting the groundwater resource protects your livelihood.
Urge your customers to ACT on Protect Your Groundwater Day, September 11. s Acknowledge CAUSES OF PREVENTABLE GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION SUCH AS IMPROPER DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS HOUSEHOLD SUBSTANCES MALFUNCTIONING SEPTIC SYSTEMS AND IMPROPERLY ABANDONED WELLS
September 11, 2012
s Consider WHICH APPLY TO YOU s Take action TO PREVENT OR CORRECT CONTAMINATION 6ISIT WWW.'7!ORG09'7$ FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERSÂˆ AND YOUÂˆCAN DO TO MAKE THIS YEARS 0ROTECT 9OUR 'ROUNDWATER $AY A SUCCESS
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By Michelle Nichols
The Meat and Potatoes of Selling Learn and apply the sales lessons of fast food founders to your business. ur family often eats fast food when we’re on vacation in summer. So, looking for sales ideas, I read the autobiographies of the founders of McDonald’s and Wendy’s— Ray Kroc and Dave Thomas. I found that each man’s wisdom can be applied to selling any product or service. So you don’t need to attend McDonald’s Hamburger University. Here are a few of my favorite sales lessons drawn from both books.
Just Do It In Dave’s Way: A New Approach to Old-Fashioned Success, Thomas says restaurants “are an execution business, pure and simple.” Both Thomas and Kroc knew the competition could copy their systems, but each man was confident no rival could exactly reproduce the results. Why? It’s the repetitive execution of that system that leads to success. The same is true in sales. It’s not your terrific selling plan that makes you a star. It’s the daily execution of that plan that helps you meet and beat your goals. In a similar vein, Ray Kroc says in Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s: “Work is the meat in the hamburger of life.” Likewise in sales, it’s cold-calling, presenting, closing, and servicing customers that lead to success. Oh sure, Michelle Nichols is a professional sales speaker, trainer, and consultant based in Reno, Nevada. Her Savvy Selling Success Pack is available through NGWA. She can be reached at (775) 303-8201 or at email@example.com.
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Find a benefit your products or services offer that your customer wants or needs. bigger sales mean larger commissions, promotions, and trophies at awards banquets. But look beyond the glittering prizes and the fact remains successful salespeople spend most of their time in the trenches, selling and servicing customers.
Focus on the Customer For Thomas, the most important marketing lesson grew out of thinking about the people he really wanted as customers and then going after them. This is especially true for salespeople. Think about it: You can drive yourself crazy trying to please every potential customer. It’s better to target your sales efforts on those who would benefit most from what you have to offer. Customer focus also extends to sales contracts. One day, when Kroc was speaking to a lawyer about a contract, he said, “Listen, you can hog-tie these guys with all the ifs, buts, and whereases you like, but it’s not going to help the business one bit. There will be just one great motivator in developing loyalty in this operation. That is, if I’ve got a fair, square deal, and the [other guy] makes money.” Likewise, if you keep the focus on helping customers achieve success, everyone wins.
You’re Never Finished Kroc said, “Business is not like painting a picture. You can’t put a final brush stroke on it and then hang it on the wall and admire it.” The same is true in sales because the work you put into a customer is never finished, either. You have to keep working with customers if they’re to continue buying from you. Thomas adds that you never win a customer for life. You have to win their business all over again at every visit. Don’t assume just because customers bought from you once, they will do so again.
Less Choice = Less Trouble Both Kroc and Thomas recommended keeping choices to a minimum. Thomas pointed out that by offering eight condiments on a hamburger, there are 256 combinations. That means there are 255 ways for the order to be wrong. In sales, it’s the same. The more customization you offer, the more painstaking you have to be when fulfilling the order.
Keep Trying Like all good salespeople looking for new customers, Kroc and Thomas were always searching for new products. Many didn’t work out, but that didn’t stop either one of them from trying again. Kroc invented the “Hulaburger”— two slices of cheese with a piece of grilled pineapple on a toasted bun. It was a flop. One customer said, “I like the hula, but where’s the burger?” If you’re selling to a new customer, or using a new selling strategy that has waterwelljournal.com
not panned out, you’re in good company. Just keep trying.
Stress-Free Sleep All entrepreneurs and salespeople live with stress. It comes with the territory—particularly when things aren’t going smoothly. This can interfere with your sleep, which can keep you from being at your best for your customers. Kroc taught himself self-hypnosis. He pictured in his mind a blackboard with all of his worries and problems written on it. Then he imagined erasing all the writing. Then he would relax his body, from head to toe. He said he could operate on less sleep than most people because he extracted maximum benefit from every minute of slumber.
Find the Benefit In 1922, Kroc sold paper cups and bowls for a living. It was tough going because most restaurants already had plenty of glassware. Then Kroc realized ice cream parlors had a problem his products could solve! Sterilizing steam would leave the dishes so hot that the ice cream would melt. The moral: To succeed in selling, find a benefit your products or services offer that your customer wants or needs.
tomer, be extra sharp and really shine. Then, when business picks up again, you’ll be remembered as a salesperson who really hustles for the customer. On the other hand, if this is your peak season, focus on doing a great job for every single customer. Whining that you’re just too busy to provide superior service earns no sympathy from those on whom your success depends. When time is tight, make a point to demonstrate, even in adversity, that you are your customer’s greatest ally.
adoption and Ray’s donations to the Ronald McDonald Houses. While both Thomas and Kroc took different paths to grow their companies, their hard work, persistence, and salesmanship paid off. Although both have since passed away, they left behind major corporations. Their lessons of sales and business success apply to every salesperson, regardless of what they sell. Happy selling! WWJ
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Kroc warned that thinking small means staying small. And so, think big. If you’re planning to call on only 10 customers today, bring along enough sales supplies for 15. This will encourage you to make more calls and see more customers.
Share the Wealth
Go to www.waterwelljournal.com and see other complete Water Well Journal articles that will help you with your sales skills. WWJ’s online home features current and past articles, daily news posts, buyers guides, and links to other valuable information. Bookmark the page today!
Have a reason to sell that’s bigger than yourself. That is, give to a charity whose goals mean something to you. Both Thomas and Kroc supported many fine causes, including Dave’s support of
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Try It, You’ll Like It Kroc believed in sampling. When he was selling paper cups, he believed one prospect, a store in a large chain, could sell more milk shakes if it used paper instead of traditional glass. Paper cups would make take-out business possible. To prove his point, Kroc gave his customer a month’s supply of paper cups. The trial was a huge success. Not only did that store become a customer, all the stores in the chain bought his paper cups, too. It was a huge win for Kroc. The lesson: If you’ve got reluctant customers, find a way for them to sample the benefits of what you’re selling.
Perfect Timing In all businesses, there are natural lulls, like in a restaurant between the lunch and dinner crowds. Thomas saw those moments as the times to hustle. When business is slow and the phone rings or you are meeting with a cusTwitter @WaterWellJournl
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Water Well Journal’s Special Section for the Northeast
ater Well Journal knows that industry professionals face some issues that are unique to their immediate area. That’s why it has created this special section for those working in the groundwater industry in the northeastern region of the United States. Only professionals in your region are receiving this section of WWJ. The articles and advertising are just for you. One feature article focuses on how keeping an orderly job site promotes safety. Another is an interview with Jim Paulhus of F.W. Webb Co., a firm located in Cranston, Rhode Island, and the largest distributor of plumbing, heating and cooling supplies, pumps, and industrial pipe, valves, and fittings in the region. WWJ hopes this section proves to be beneficial for you and your business! WWJ
Feature Articles 3 Keeping Your House in Order By Mike Price
Practicing good housekeeping on the job site is essential for preventing safety accidents. 6 WATER WELL JOURNAL Q & A Jim Paulhus, F.W. Webb Co.
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The smaller required tank reduces system size and overall footprint.
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Water Well Journal Special Section 1/
From exhibits and education to activities and awards, you’ll not want to miss a minute of this year’s stellar groundwater industry event. “I was very satisfied with this year’s . . . Expo. The classes which I attended were full of valuable information . . . My only disappointment was that I couldn’t attend every class . . . .” — Bill Himes, Himes Drilling Co.
www.GroundwaterExpo.com 614 898.7791
Discover the tried-and-true, as well as all that’s new . . . learn from industry experts during cutting-edge educational offerings . . . explore the latest in products and services from exhibitors. Connect with old friends . . . make new ones . . . forge partnerships across all sectors of the industry.
Grow your business and your industry, as well as professionally and personally.
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“Expo is the premiere groundwater event for education and new equipment technology.” —Andy Cato California Department of Toxic Substance Control
“The seminars that I attended were . . . excellent and well worth the time . . . . The exhibition hall was awesome . . . What a wonderful opportunity to connect with drillers not only from around the United States but also from other countries.” — Mike Wahlfield Wahlfield Drilling Co.
GR O W .
Photo courtesy WDC Exploration & Wells
Keeping Your House in Order Practicing good housekeeping on the job site is essential for preventing safety accidents. By Mike Price very detail matters in today’s work environment. Take a clean job site for example. It seems straightforward, but housekeeping affects much more than just slips, trips, and falls. Good housekeeping in vehicles helps during a Department of Transportation roadside inspection. A neat truck is more likely to get waved through or receive a clear inspection. Keeping a tidy vehicle cab is crucial because a bottle or can may roll out from under the seat and block the brake pedal or accelerator. In
Mike Price is the associate editor of Water Well Journal. In addition to his WWJ responsibilities, Price produces NGWA’s newsletters and contributes to the Association’s quarterly scientific publication. He can be reached at email@example.com.
an accident, loose objects in the cab can become deadly projectiles. The same for a neat and clean job site in the event of a safety inspection, whether it’s by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the local fire department, or other type of safety inspection. Fire, environmental, and general chemical hazards/incidents can be reduced with good housekeeping. “That first impression of being neat and clean goes a long way to influencing the outcome of the inspection,” says Jim Wright, director of health and safety for WDC Exploration & Wells in Shawnee, Kansas. Wright chairs the National Ground Water Association’s Safety Subcommittee. Housekeeping also improves work efficiency and production. Knowing where your tools and supplies are and being able to get to them quickly saves time and money. What’s more, good
housekeeping can improve tool and equipment life. Taking care of equipment and keeping it clean makes it last longer and saves money. Case in point. While reaching for a box on a messy shelf, a worker might not see the hammer that gets knocked off onto their head, or that bottle of paint thinner that falls off the shelf and spills. Reports of contractors reaching into a cluttered toolbox for penetrating oil and accidentally engaging the spray can because the lid came off are not uncommon.
Key Safety Points to Consider Joe Neri, owner/operator of All Star Drilling and Probing in Laurence Harbor, New Jersey, who sits on NGWA’s Safety Subcommittee, points out three things to consider.
HOUSEKEEPING/continues on page 4 Water Well Journal Special Section 3/
“That first impression of being neat and clean goes a long way to influencing the outcome of the inspection.”
Studies show a safer job site results in higher employee morale, which improves productivity. Photo courtesy WDC Exploration & Wells
HOUSEKEEPING/from page 3 1. From an environmental point of view, the importance of possible cross contamination needs to be addressed. If the job site is a mess, there is a good possibility someone could be spreading contamination from one area to another. 2. From a safety standpoint, keeping a clean job site will help prevent slips, trips, and falls. It will also help prevent workers from being put in the line of fire. 3. From an equipment and tooling perspective, they’ll always work best and last longest when clean and organized. “I have always taken a lot of pride in running a clean, organized drill and job site and stress this to my guys daily before they go out in the field,” Neri says. “You can tell a lot about someone just by the way they keep their job site organized. Be safe and organized. By keeping your site clean, this will help you to be more efficient.” Other points to consider are that housekeeping affects relationships— those between the general contractor and the client and a working relationship between a subcontractor and the general contractor. Poor housekeeping by a subcontractor can also lead the general contractor to believe the subcontractor is not taking pride in the project itself, and can even affect the insurance rates of the subcontractor as well.
Safety Products There are many safety products designed to keep job sites clean in the groundwater industry, including a fairly new technique for sediment control to meet the requirements needed for well construction. Sediment filter bags have commonly been used on small bridge construction jobs where space is not available to con4/ Special Section Water Well Journal
struct a sedimentation basin. Muddy, sediment-laden water is discharged into a sediment filter bag where the suspended sediment is contained. The sediment-free water (almost all of it) discharges through the walls of the bag and flows into the stream. Frank Roberts & Sons Inc. of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, has been manufacturing the sediment filter bags for 10 years. The most common size filter bag (6¼ feet wide by 15 feet long) is made of non-woven geotextile fabric and is rated for an initial water flow rate of 800 gallons per minute. “In drilling operations, just the nature of the drilling bit and the uniformed rock they’re going through in layers, they produce all the particles that are all very fine and very uniform and tend to build up and pack together and restrict flow,” Roberts says. “That’s why you’ll see a lot of drillers beat the bags to dislodge those particles that are building up on the inside of the bag and allow them to realign and increase the life of the bag. It’s difficult to sell one product with one average opening size across the country to satisfy all applications.” The size of sediment filter bags ranges from 5 feet by 6 feet to 60 feet by 60 feet. Bags can even be as large as 12 feet by 300 feet. “Everybody wants a site that doesn’t allow any sediment runoff off site,”
Roberts says. “The cleaner you can keep it the better it looks, the safer it is, and you don’t have sediment all over the place. It’s a more contained area, so it’s been widely accepted.” The use of a 6¼ feet by 15 feet bag was demonstrated recently at a field conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association. Drilling in shale, the hammer drill rig created the typical size chips along with sand, silt, and clay size particles. Some of the silt and clay was of natural origin from within the fractures and bedding planes of the shale bedrock. “Even the surges of water and the blasts of air when the rods were changed didn’t affect the filter bag,” the PGWA reported in its newsletter. “The water seeping from the filter bag was muddy in appearance, but contained only clay size particles.” The day after the demonstration, a drilling crew used a forklift to pick up the filter bag and carry it away. The bag didn’t split or burst when lifted and the field grass beneath had little fine sediment on it.
Good Financial Sense Numerous injuries that happen on the job and require an employee to be on restricted duty, depending on the severity of the injury, can affect the contractor’s EMR (Experience Modification Rate)
HOUSEKEEPING/continues on page 8 waterwelljournal.com
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WATER WELL JOURNAL Q & A
Jim Paulhus F.W. Webb Co. ater Well Journal regularly interviews groundwater professionals throughout the year. For this special supplement geared toward the Northeast, we thought it would be a good idea to catch up with someone from F.W. Webb Co., the largest distributor of plumbing, heating and cooling supplies, pumps, and industrial pipe, valves, and fittings in the region. Jim Paulhus joined Webb Water Systems, a division of F.W. Webb, a year ago as water sysJim Paulhus tems product manager to facilitate the expansion of the company’s growing presence in the water systems industry. He has been active in the field for nearly 30 years as a member of the executive team of several leading pump manufacturers and in water systems distribution. “Overall, I’ve done everything you can do in this marketplace,” he says. Paulhus has been an active member in the water industry. He served for 25 years on the Board of Directors of the New England Water Well Association. He also was treasurer of the Rhode Island Ground Water Association for many years and other regional organizations. Paulhus also recently served on the National Ground Water Association’s Board of Directors and Suppliers Division Board of Directors. Water Well Journal: What is the history of F.W. Webb’s entry into water systems product distribution? Jim Paulhus: Webb became committed to this field about four years ago when the company brought in several industry veterans from other companies. These professionals knew the field well and have been establishing Webb’s presence, servicing pump installers and water well contractors, as well as introducing
6/ Special Section Water Well Journal
“Give the customer the best value and you’ll capture the business. Make sure you have a diversified product offering.” plumbing and heating customers to the potential of adding water systems to their businesses. We are still adding water systems specialists throughout the region and investing in training. Our specialists can not only point customers to the right products and technologies, but provide essential expertise and advice as well. WWJ: What are some of the challenges suppliers and contractors face when they begin selling and installing water systems equipment? Jim: The slowdown in residential construction in the Northeast has definitely affected the water systems marketplace. There is more competition for the business that is out there and lower margins than many people would like. WWJ: Given these challenges, what advice can you offer? Jim: Do your homework. Take the time to become knowledgeable about the most cost-effective, profitable way to serve the marketplace. Give the customer the best value and you’ll capture the business. Make sure you have a diversified product offering. And be active in organizations that monitor trends and influence regulatory changes. Get involved. On the customer side, one thing we have noticed is that contractors are taking advantage of new technology to become more knowledge-based. While prior generations did a great job with just memory and experience, the guys who are out there now can look up information on a smartphone right out in the field and are using this advantage.
WWJ: How important is professional development to these efforts? Jim: It is essential to everyone in the groundwater industry. The industry changes constantly. Professional development helps us bring new and innovative solutions to the marketplace. Contractors should become certified by the National Ground Water Association to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. And keeping their state licensing up to date is not a choice, it’s a requirement. We bring life’s most precious resource to the market—potable water. There has to be standards for this important resource. WWJ: What are some water systems products that are becoming more popular? Jim: One growing product area is VFDs—variable frequency drives. When homeowners move from municipal water to well water, they can experience a noticeable fluctuation in water pressure. VFDs keep the system operating at a constant pressure. This accounts for about 15 percent of our water systems business and it’s a growing market. Water treatment equipment is also important in the Northeast, especially in northern New England, where arsenic is often found in wells drilled in granite. Iron and manganese are other minerals that are treated in residential and light commercial settings. Once again, people moving out from the city are accustomed to drinking treated water and they prefer that comfort level. WWJ: Geothermal heat pumps are a relatively new market. What activity have you seen in that area? Jim: Geothermal pipe, pumps, and wells are definitely an emerging market; geothermal tends to be hot when the price of oil is high. But balancing that is the fact that some water well contractors are now drilling geothermal wells to aug-
PAULHUS/continues on page 8 waterwelljournal.com
A PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL GROUND WATER ASSOCIATION
is looking . . . . . . for a few good pictures!
Do you have any high-quality color photos that depict water well or pump work? Photos of any step in the design and installation of a water system are welcomed. The selected photos will appear on the covers of upcoming issues of WWJ. Look through your files and mail in your best photos today! Name ____________________________________________________________________________ Company name ____________________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip ______________________________________________________________________ Phone __________________________________________ Fax ______________________________ E-mail ______________________________ Enclosed you’ll find ______ photos for Water Well Journal. I understand that these photos become the property of the Water Well Journal, and will not be returned. If any photo is selected for use on a WWJ cover, I further understand that I will be paid $250 and my photo credit will appear on the issue’s contents page. Signed ______________________________________________________ Date ________________ Instructions: Mail to WWJ Photos, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081-8978. Please enclose glossy prints, slides, or send high-resolution digital photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a description of the activity taking place in the photo.
PAULHUS/from page 6 ment their business. So this too is a competitive market and the same advice applies: Do your research. F.W. Webb is fortunate to be able to supply geothermal products for both inside and outside the home or building.
WWJ: What else can state associations do to provide the support its members need? Jim: In addition to professional development, associations provide all of us in the industry with vital information and a collective voice in regard to regulation
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or the contractor’s DART (Days Away, Restricted or Transferred). This in itself could affect the subcontractor’s insurance for three to five years. Though poor housekeeping habits might not necessarily result in a fatality, it might cause a recordable injury, meaning time away from the job. “Ankle, foot, and knee injuries tend to be the result of poor housekeeping,” says Scott Honer, corporate safety and health director for Vee-Jay Cement Contracting Co. Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri. “Due to a financially strapped economy, housekeeping tends to take a backseat to productivity.” A typical response from employees can be, “We’ll clean it up when we have time.” Under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, the contractor must provide a safe, healthful working environment, free of recognized hazards. The employee also has a responsibility. The employee should notify the contractor when there are hazards and if possible reduce the hazard. Management commitment and job site hazard recognition on a regular basis is the key to success. Finally, employee training makes for a safer job site. “General contractors, subcontractors, employees, and even the client can benefit from a safer workplace,” Honer says. “Studies have shown a safer job site results in higher employee morale, which improves productivity. The time spent on housekeeping will benefit your workplace.” WWJ waterwelljournal.com
By Ed Butts, PE, CPI
One Man’s Story The author looks back on the man who introduced him to the water well industry: his father.
s I write this column, it is Father’s Day 2012. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the weekend with my family, including my own two children and my two grandchildren, which has resulted in thoughts of my own father who passed away in 1989. Anyone who has read this column knows I was born into the water well industry. Although I’ve had no trouble referring to my life and background in many of my past 130 columns, I’ve made only fleeting references to the single person most responsible for setting me upon my career path. Well, I feel the time has come to unabashedly use this space to share with you some of the life of Edward Oren Butts, or more simply, one man’s story.
The Early Years My father was born in Corvallis, Oregon, home of the Oregon State University Beavers, on May 14, 1933. His formative early life and school years were mostly spent in Corvallis and Alsea, Oregon, until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1951-52, serving on a minesweeper during the Korean Conflict. Upon satisfying his military service in 1953-54, he married and became the father of two children, my stepbrothers Stuart and Alex. However, the couple subsequently divorced around 1956. Ed Butts, PE, CPI, is the chief engineer at 4B Engineering & Consulting, Salem, Oregon. He has more than 35 years experience in the water well business, specializing in engineering and business management. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
30/ August 2012 Water Well Journal
The few months of working together culminated in the most important “bonding” experience that we shared. When I was born in 1958, my father, freshly retired from the life of a toolpusher in the oil fields of California— and with a new wife (my mother) and two stepchildren (Denny and Jannice) from her previous marriage—relocated to Albany, Oregon. There he started a small water well drilling firm, Valley Well Drillers, using a single Speedstar model 240 two-line cable tool rig. My kid sister, Debbie, was thereafter born in 1959 and—as with many business ventures during that period—my father’s firm grew like all of us kids throughout the 1960s. He later added Speedstar model 71 and 55 cable tool rigs, a Western Geophysical (later, Mayhew) model 1000 mud rotary drill rig, and later a Caldwell bucket boring machine, along with various other pump hoists and support vehicles. While I grew and developed into a bigger kid, it did not take me too long to recognize well drilling was definitely in my blood and I was destined to be associated with the business most, if not all, of my life. The time between my earliest memories in 1963 and 1968 were filled with unique and interesting projects beyond ordinary water well drilling. Two distinct events I recall were the search for the Neahkahnie treasure on the Oregon coast during the mid-1960s and the bucket machine borings for the
largest free-standing neon sign on the West Coast. The treasure hunting experience occurred well before the state banned any exploration on public beaches and consisted of the use of my father’s Caldwell bucket machine with a 48-inch-diameter bucket. Based on research and old maps, several separate borings, some up to 30 feet deep, were conducted in various sites on the beach. Although the treasure was never found, the excitement of the search itself was enough to be etched into the memory of an 8-year-old kid. The second project involved a series of 60-inch-diameter borings to 20-25 feet in depth that were required to support a large free-standing sign adjacent to Interstate 5, at the time the largest on the West Coast. Although I was only 10 years old in 1968, I was nonetheless given the opportunity to work with my father on the rotary drill rig through the summer months as his quasi-helper. Even though I wasn’t the “official” helper, I was still the one responsible for shoveling drill cuttings from the mud trough—a very tough job indeed! This was well before the threat of an OSHA inspection. The few months of working together truly culminated in the single most important and meaningful “bonding” experience that we shared during the span of our relationship. You see, my father was not the most demonstrative of men. He was a child of the 1930s and 40s when emotion from a boy or man was not often encouraged, so he tended to dole out compliments and recognition in small, but worthy doses. Oh, but when he did, I thought
ENGINEERING/continues on page 32 waterwelljournal.com
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