Well, oh well – Hydrofracture Journey
It was an extremely interesting day yesterday to absorb all there was on well hydrofracture…yes, it was my continuing education hydrofracture journey on wells in a client’s backyard. It was so worth the part of the day spent as this process unfolded! Hydrofracture a well you say…Definitely could have blown the well company off after opening the house up but I was determined to understand this process of letting the water out of the earth, understanding better the process of ‘fracking’ and being able to pick the brains of these well guys who’ve done it for 30 years.
Most well guys would be happy you take off so they can get to their work but I have to say that Dean, the technical well man from Laframboise Wells, spent time answering all my queries and questions on it(he told me that he’s never had a Real Estate Agent who wanted to understand the process). See we had tested the well pressure last week and it was a dismal reading below 1/2 gallon a minute for a 300 foot artesian well, the house had been vacant for a year and the owners were not prepared to drill a new well at this point. I suggested the hydrofracture process to my clients and they talked to companies about it and agreed on having it done. Not inexpensive – about $2000 but far less than drilling a new well and with a higher known success rate (usually about 95% effective). The water flow rate really needs to be at or above 1 1/2 gallons a minute to be acceptable.
So what they do is remove the well pump (which was newer at this house by the way) and force water down the well at a high PSI (with a cap on top) through pipes they place from their rig down the well hole. Now they bring a huge water tank on another truck that will be the reservoir for this process. The pressure of the water is forced through the cracks or veins in the earth and opens the old water veins as well as new ones. The high intensity of the water ‘fractures’ the veins thereby it’s name – hydrofracture.
Well it did take some time and the flexible piping hose taken up from the well was full of iron which I was told was a good thing because it showed the well men that the veins were probably clogged by the strong iron content in the earth. When they applied the intense water pressure besides the reading on their instrument you could see the pipe shudder when the earthy veins opened up. We were hopeful that the water pressure would increase from this ‘fracking’ process (slang term for the process).
They drained the well a couple of times because the initial recovery rate was 6 gallons a minute but they needed to drain it again to see what the true recovery rate would be…they timed it and calculated it out by depth, size of pipe,etc. We were going to end with 2 gallons a minute which was a lot better than the 1/3 gallon/minute we had last week during inspection. Yes, the dry summer weather had impacted the well too I was told.
Any well needs time to ‘recover’ (refill it’s holding reservoir) as I now understand from the constant use of water in a home. So one of the biggest lessons learned was NOT to have a sprinkler system running off a house well because there is no ‘recovery’ on this process unlike a washing machine (which fills, agitates, drains & fills again) for instance. A sprinkler system just runs for hours non-stop and draws a lot of water. This was a strong comment made by the well man based upon his experience and I’m listening. Dig another well for a sprinkler system would be the sounder way to go. This is information I’m passing onto readers especially considering the very dry summer we have had in the Northeast.
Oh, I had to ask the well man about water dousing since I had another client who was interested in finding water on land this way and it was noted in a prior blog I wrote). He said he’s never had a dowser find a place to drill a well that way…when he’s been involved it’s a 50-50 chance. However, he said a dowser, if good, can find broken water main pipes with the instruments if the pipes are not down to far in the ground…interesting.
Well I’m a more informed Real Estate Agent from this hydrofracture well process…more pieces to the home puzzle truly understood. My clients are happy with the outcome too. Looking for a RI real estate agent that knows her business well, call me Ginny Gorman at 401.529.7849 today. Well, well- it’s been a hydrofracture journey today!
Hydrofracture a Well – the Process
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