William A. McEllhiney
To foster professional excellence in water well technology, the
National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation established
the William A. McEllhiney Distinguished Lecture Series in Water Well Technology.
2013 — John Jansen
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John Jansen, Ph.D., PG, RGp, is a senior associate and hydrogeologist for Leggette, Brashears & Graham Inc. and works on a wide variety of groundwater projects around the country, specializing in high-capacity wells and groundwater resource management. He holds three U.S. patents on water well-related technologies and is the lead author of the chapter on borehole geophysics in the third edition of Groundwater & Wells, published in 2008.Jansen has served as a member of the Advisory Council on Water Information, a federal advisory committee advising the U.S. government on water research priorities, where he was active in the development of a national groundwater monitoring network. He received the Keith A Anderson Award in 2012 for service to NGWA and was the 2013 NGWREF McEllhiney Lecturer. Jansen has a B.S. in geology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in geological sciences, with an emphasis in hydrogeology and geophysics, all from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
2012 — Marvin F. Glotfelty
The 2012 NGWREF McEllhiney Lecturer was Marvin F. Glotfelty, RG, cofounder and principal hydrogelogist with Clear Creek Associates, a groundwater consulting firm with offices in Scottsdale and Tucson, Arizona. He is a licensed well driller in Arizona and has served as the technical director of the Arizona Water Well Association since 1990. He is a registered geologist in Arizona and California. Glotfelty received his bachelor's and master's degrees in geology from Northern Arizona University, where he currently serves on advisory councils for the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences, and the Department of Geology.
During his professional career, spanning more than two decades, Glotfelty has participated in almost every aspect of the hydrogeologic sciences including recharge projects, water supply studies, water rights issues, groundwater quality, well installation programs, and well rehabilitation projects. He's been involved with the design, installation, rehabilitation, or abandonment of more than 700 water wells in the southwestern United States.
'Life-Cycle Economic Analysis of Water Wells — Considerations for Design and Construction' was the title of Glotfelty's 2012 McEllhiney Lecture which covered how seemingly more expensive initial water well costs may actually pay for themselves in the early life of the well, in addition to providing ongoing dividends in value and economics for many subsequent years.
2011 —Tom Christopherson
The Nebraska Grout Task Force Research: Unexpected Results — New Solutions
A scientific investigation into well construction practices will help ensure groundwater is safe to drink, thanks to research by government agencies, the Nebraska Well Drillers Association, the University of Nebraska, industry suppliers of drilling and grout products, and several consultants.
Through NGWREF's McEllhiney Lecture Series in Water Well Technology, this research will be shared firsthand with the water well construction community throughout 2011, perhaps leading to jurisdictions beyond Nebraska revising their water well construction codes.
The 2011 McEllhiney Lecturer was Tom Christopherson, the program manager for Nebraska's Water Well Standards and Contractors' Licensing Program for the Department of Health and Human Services. A licensed water well drilling and pump installation contractor, Christopherson has more than 25 years of hand-on field experience, complemented by his 12 years in water regulation enforcement and inspection.
He presented the findings that arose from a demonstration of how a well is properly constructed. Transparent Schedule 40 PVC casing allowed for well construction above and below the water table to be videoed from inside the casing of 168 water wells. For the first time, researchers could view actual grout conditions over time, documenting the ability of grout to stabilize the well within the borehole and maintain a contaminant seal.
More than 800 hours of videotape documented the progression of the sealing properties of all types of well grouts over 16 months in three distinctly different geologic regions of Nebraska. The materials the study looked at included bentonite slurry grouts less than, equal to, and greater than 20 percent solids; nonslurry chip bentonite; and various cement grout slurries that incorporated sand, water, and other additives.
The researchers found that all grouts performed differently than what was expected and what has been assumed by the groundwater industry for decades. The visual documentation of grouts provides the industry with a clearer insight of what is needed for adequate groundwater protection.
2010 — Mike Mehmert
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The 2010 McEllhiney Distinguished Lecturer Mike H. Mehmert is an NGWA member and an active ANSI/NGWA Well Construction Standard Committee member. He is the director of Sales and Marketing-Well Products at Johnson Screens, a Weatherford company. He obtained his B.S. in geology from Texas A&M University.
His career, spanning more than 38 years, has encompassed consulting, contracting, and manufacturing — almost entirely in the groundwater industry.
"You Drill a Hole — You Develop a Well" is the title of Mehmert's 2010 NGWREF McEllhiney Lecture. Holes are drilled every day for any number of construction or exploration applications that are not required to produce fluids. Examples include boreholes for foundation or structural footings, the installation of instrumentation or explosives, or the recovery of geologic core data. In these instances or even for observation wells — designed only to monitor groundwater levels — the intended purpose is not fluid production.
When a hole is drilled for a producing water well, then further steps are involved. These include design, installation, and completion considerations, all intended to achieve desired yield, operational efficiency, and optimal service life. It is within the completion considerations that we perform what has become commonly known in the industry as well development. All drilling methods disturb, alter, and reduce (to some degree) the hydraulic properties of water-producing geologic formations (aquifers). The objective of well development is to correct the negative effects of the drilling process and restore or improve the hydraulic properties at the borehole within the screen zone.
During the discussion we will examine what the negative drilling impacts are, what can cause them, what we can do about them, and the consequences when they are not addressed. Various development techniques will be presented, with the emphasis being on suitability of technique to completion design. We will discuss and attempt to answer the ever-present question, "When is a well developed?" The lecture will address both low- and high-capacity well development issues.
Well efficiency directly impacts operational cost. The lecture will discuss well efficiency and the vital role that well development plays in achieving maximum efficiency. This lecture is intended to emphasize the importance of well development and to challenge industry professionals to examine current practices and always seek improvement.
More on Mehmert...
His work has been published in the Water Well Journal®, numerous technical bulletins, manuals, technical sales support documents, instructional public and private technical training, and education programs for Johnson Screens around the country.
Groundwater & Wells.
2009 — W. Richard Laton
W. Richard Laton, Ph.D., PG, CPG, an AGWSE Board member and active NGWA volunteer, is an associate professor of hydrogeology in the Department of Geological Sciences at California State University, Fullerton. Passionate about teaching students practical knowledge they can apply to real-world circumstances, he teaches classes ranging from hydrogeology, environmental sampling, and groundwater modeling to oceanography and geology. Laton has also taught at the Western Michigan University Field Camp for the past 15 years. Topics covered during these 50-hour, weeklong intensive courses include drilling techniques and sampling, aquifer testing, and remediation technologies.
When he is not teaching, Laton also works as a consultant for a variety of companies and agencies seeking input related to hydrogeology, field hydrology, coastal/monitoring/geomorphology, field and sampling techniques, natural hazard assessment and mapping, and environmental remote sensing/GIS.
His main research focus recently has been on the arid region of San Bernardino County in southern California, where he has worked closely with a large water agency in the area to evaluate the hydrogeology of its sphere of influence. Laton's research has shown itself in many public reports and atlases regarding the region's geology, hydrology, and hydrogeology. One other result of this research is that Laton has pinpointed an issue important for drillers across the nation to address — the need to keep detailed well logs using standardized classifications.
"Boring Logs — What's Important and What's Not: A Scientific Viewpoint" was the title of Laton's 2009 NGWREF McEllhiney Lecture. Fundamental to any drilling contractor's business, there are many uses for boring/well logs including specifying location, groundwater levels, chemistry, and production capabilities — information used routinely by government and regulatory agencies, consultants, and academics. Beyond these usual uses, however, boring/well log information may be used for hydrostratigraphic interpretation, groundwater modeling, subsurface investigations, and general background information. In fact, through careful logging and data collection, both contractors and scientists can work together to develop better subsurface models that will help everyone in the industry.
Key to this sharing of information industrywide is the interpreting of well logs, which is made difficult by the simple fact that soil classification is not always uniform. While most people in the industry know how to use a Munsell chart for color, opinions differ on coarseness — gravel vs. silt vs. fine sand and the like. Further complicating matters is the variety of drilling methods employed throughout the country. Laton's lecture provided a refresher on proper classification techniques, emphasizing the use of standardized classification.
In addition, Laton discussed the widespread use of handheld GPS devices and the value of Google Earth for basic mapping of locations, which can help even the smallest contractor's business, not to mention that obtaining accurate location information — and its mapping — allows for a better understanding of the local and regional geology.
2008 — F. Michael Krautkramer
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F. Michael Krautkramer, LHG, RG, is a vice president and principal hydrogeologist of Robinson, Noble & Saltbush Inc. He began his career in 1973, in applying hydrogeologic principles to the definition, development, and protection of groundwater resources. Projects typically include groundwater, resource definition, well design, testing and drilling management, groundwater/surface water basin analyses, and identification/abatement of aquifer contamination problems. This work has required a partnership with the drilling industry that has endured throughout his career. In part because of this partnership, he has earned a reputation as a problem-solver who uses practical methods to efficiently accomplish project objectives. Krautkramer is a licensed hydrogeologist and geologist in the state of Washington and a registered geologist in Oregon. He is active in the regulatory and political aspects of water resource management, providing expertise to many entities including the Washington State Legislature.
"How Much Is Enough? Making Decisions in the Water Well Industry" was the title of Krautkramer's lecture. Every water well project begins with decisions about how deep to target a well and how large a borehole diameter should be to start. Hopefully it ends with decisions about how to test the well and what production rate and pump setting should be specified. In between there are decisions to be made every day that will determine the success of the project and the satisfaction of the customer. How those decisions are made is important. How those decisions are explained to the customer and how to include them in the decision-making process can be equally important, both to the customer and to your business.
This lecture discussed rational methods by which to address questions such as: How deep is deep enough when drilling for a given customer? How sophisticated should the completion of a given well be? How much development of this well is warranted? What testing method should be used, at what rate, and for how long? And the biggest question of them all, how much water should you tell the customer he/she can reliably expect from this well?
2007 — Edd Schofield
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"Water and Oil—They Really Should Mix" was the title of Schofield's lecture. This presentation employed a historical overview of the water well/oil drilling industries. Just as the oilfield industry that began in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, depended upon the history and technology of the water well industry for the majority of its technology, Schofield's lecture stated that the water well industry could, in turn, benefit from adopting various new techniques and practices developed and refined by the oil and gas industry. Lecture topics included, but were not limited to:
2006 — Fred McAninch
2005 — Dave Kill
In 1996, Dave Kill joined Gould Pumps ITT Industries as a territory manager based in Minnesota. He was promoted to regional commercial business manager in early 2002 and in 2004 became regional market development manager. Kill received his B.S. in agricultural engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1965.
Kill is a Registered Professional Engineer in Civil Engineering in Minnesota. He has been a lecturer at programs on groundwater, water well design, and pump selection and application, including several courses given by the University of Wisconsin Engineering Professionals Development Department and at many NGWA events.
The title of his 90-minute lecture was "Well Efficiency is Not a Myth" in which he stated that going back to the basics is often very helpful in designing and constructing water wells for any use. To construct sand-free wells in unconsolidated aquifers, the proper screen slot opening must be selected and an engineering guideline must be used. However, this does not mean that every well has the same size screen opening, and naturally developed wells are not old fashioned. But often we need to rethink our development methods as well as the design. Are we really effective with the method used or could we construct a much more efficient well that gives the customer a better water supply? Various development methods were reviewed.
2004 — Hank Baski
Baski started in the water well business while in high school when he helped build a cable tool drilling rig for the family drilling business in northern Minnesota. After earning a B.S. in geophysics from the University of Minnesota, he continued in the drilling business for a few years, then began a groundwater hydrology career with a consulting firm in Denver. While working in this field, he saw a need for groundwater tools and decided to develop such products himself. Currently, Baski holds seven patents and continues to develop new products.
What commonly believed fallacies hinder optimal development of water wells? What new technologies and innovations will impact the water well industry over the next decade? Baski explored both questions with his lecture topic, "Ground Water: Fallacies and Forecasts."
2003 — Dave Hanson
Dave Hanson is the president of Design Water Technologies in Shorewood, Minnesota. He started the company in 1991 to create products for the groundwater industry that safely solved problems in wells and systems. He has developed products that successfully treat iron bacteria, mineral scale, and coliform bacteria in wells, treatment facilities, and pipelines.
Hanson has also taught numerous seminars on water well design, well efficiency, well rehabilitation, pumping costs, groundwater biology, well problems associated with slime production, odors/corrosion, coliform, bacteria, and sales and marketing. He has authored several technical articles, and was one of the writers for the second edition of Groundwater and Wells.
Hanson's lecture was titled "Introduction to the Year of the Professional." It asked "Proactive or reactive? Which are you in your business and your life?"
It helped attendees "discover the 'P's' of business — professionalism, people, partnership, pride, profit, and purpose." It challenged attendees to answer the following questions:
2002 — John H. Schnieders
2001— Han-Olaf Pfannkuch
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