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The British Columbia Ground Water Association
The British Columbia Ground Water Association



This Newsletter is published quarterly, March, June, September and December by the B. C. Ground Water Association. For more information please contact: Secretary Treasurer, Joan Perry, 1708 - 197 A Street, Langley, B. C. V2Z 1K2 Phone or Fax: 604-530-8934

Archived Newsletters:

December 2002 March 2003 June 2003 September 2003
December 2003 March 2004 June 2004 September 2004
December 2004 March 2005 June 2005 September 2005
December 2005 March 2006 June 2006 September 2006
December 2006 March 2007 June 2007 September 2007
December 2007 March 2008 June 2008 September 2008


Click here to download the PDF file of an important update on Ground Water Protection Regulation (GWPR) from the BC Ministry of Environment. (updated Sept 17, 2007)

Click here to download a PDF brochure for an intensive two-day short course on Aquifer Testing For Improved Hydrogeologic Site Characterization August 26 & 27 2008.

Click here to download a PDF brochure on WATER WELL PERFORMANCE: THE ECONOMIC BASIS FOR OPERATION, WELL REHABILITATION & MAINTENANCE DECISIONS A one-day workshop program on practical, cost-effective solutions to extend asset value by maximizing well performance. Langley, British Columbia– Monday, September 15, 2008

December 2008 Newsletter

President’s Address

As the end of 2008 approaches, let me take the opportunity to personally extend to each of you, your families and your employees, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It is important at this time of the year to take some down time with your families and celebrate the season in your own unique way. It is also important to reflect on how fortunate we are.

If I could summarize the year in a few sentences, it would start out with the comment that someone, clearly, has pushed the “drastic change” button. The year started with a bang (normally - I think) and finished with a thud (economic uncertainty). The net effect is that we probably all had a reasonably good year, but that we also have no idea what is in store for the future? My only response to this is that, “The only thing constant in life is change” and that our success as individuals and as an organization is how we adapt to this change. To put a personal note on this, my wife retired this summer and just recently decided to go back to work for a few more years due to the “financial crisis”. To make light of this, I just tell everybody that the longer she works - the earlier I can retire.

Some people say that you can see the uncertainty and, increasingly, real fear, in many people’s eyes. Furthermore, in my discussions with our members, I am told that work has slowed down to levels not seen for several years. My fear is that people will be afraid to partake in some holiday cheer. Surely, no one knows what will happen in the New Year, but we have to be careful not to let uncertainty take our spirit away.

The Holiday Season traditionally marks that time each year when we review our goals from the past year and establish new goals for the upcoming one. As President of the BCGWA, my goal for the past year has been firstly to fill David Slade’s shoes and secondly to ensure our association truly represents the interests of all of our members. We have made some progress in this regard, but I feel we still have a lot of work to do, specifically for our members who are pump installers and drillers from the geotechnical, environmental and geothermal industry. I should also add that I think we have made significant progress in elevating the profile of the BCGWA through collaboration with other water-related associations in the Province.

For the upcoming year, I am looking forward to working with our BCGWA Executive, the good folks at the Ministry of Environment and our new Managing Director (who should be in place by the AGM in March in Penticton), to map out and implement a strategy for continued growth for our organization. My personal wish is that part of the strategy will be geared towards promoting better internal communication, specifically programs, or member-forums, to promote education and understanding of the various inter-dependent roles we play in the Industry, as well as to promote consistent application of standards and regulations. We are already looking towards establishing a “members only” discussion group (blog) for this, which would be accessed via the BCGWA website.

In closing, all indications are pointing towards tougher times, at least for the next year, or so. Rather than be pessimistic, I encourage all of you to adopt a positive approach for the upcoming year and to take time (if you are slow, or not) to network with your colleagues in the Industry. We will all benefit individually, as will our organization.

From my wife Pina and myself, warmest wishes for the Holiday Season and all the best for a healthy and prosperous 2009.

Remi Allard
(Kelowna, December 1, 2008)

A Tribute to Bruce Wilson

At the October 2008 AGM for the Water Supply Association of BC at Sun Peaks Resort, President Remi Allard and Okanagan Regional Director, Doug Geller, presented a plaque of recognition from the BCGWA to Bruce Wilson. Bruce worked for years with the Province and then as General Manager for Rutland Waterworks District, all of this time as a strong proponent for groundwater protection and management in BC. We wanted to recognize his efforts on his departure from the industry and wish him well.


For those of you who attended this year’s AGM, you may recall that Gilles Wendling is unable to continue as our MD due to the time commitments that kept him from his consulting business and family. Gilles did a better than excellent job as MD over the two years he was our MD. The Executive, Directors and members wish to express their sincere appreciation to Gilles for all his efforts. The good news is; he has agreed to work with Joan co-managing the 2009 Pentiction Convention on a single contract basis with our association.

The Executive with considerable help from our past president David Slade has developed a “Terms of Employment” structure for the search for a new MD. A full page ad outlining the position is presented in this issue of our newsletter. So please read this over and if you know of anyone who may be interested, pass this information along. The ad is also posted on our website at www.bcgwa.org .


Proposed Roles and responsibilities for the position of Managing Director for the BCGWA.


• Assist the executive of the BCGWA in setting goals for the association and designing and implementing plans to achieve those goals
• Represent the BCGWA to provincial and federal ministries, other water related organizations and to the public as directed by the executive.

Accountability and Reporting

• The Managing Director will be accountable to the BCGWA executive. He/she will report to the president.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Managing Director will:

• Propose an annual short term (1 year) and long term (three year) action plan. The plan will be developed and discussed with the BCGWA executives.
• Implement and co-ordinate the agreed action plan.
• Represent the BCGWA and act as a contact person for other associations and ministries.
• Assist the various BCGWA committees through leadership and the delegation of tasks.
• Assist with the planning and organization of the annual convention.
• Provide support as required to Executive Secretary. (Joan)
• Oversee maintenance of BCGWA website.
• Assist with organization of regional meetings and workshops.

Contract Duration:

• The contract would be for one year and be renewable.


• Contract would be subject to termination without penalty upon one month written notice by either party.


Managing director must be familiar with the Ground Water industry, have proven oral and written communication skills, as well as the ability to work with government, other industries and associations, and with contractors and individuals. Managing director must be able and willing to travel to various regions throughout the Province.


The Managing Director will receive a monthly salary for time devoted to BCGWA activities. It is expected that this would be in the range of $1,600 per month. The Managing Director will report and submit expenses on a monthly basis in order to be compensated for out of pocket expenses. i.e.: travel and accommodation.
This monthly compensation will allow flexibility for both parties, as some months will require more effort, some less.

If occasional tasks require extraordinary time and/or expenses, those expenses will be discussed and agreed upon with the BCGWA executive on a case specific basis.

Conflict of Interest

Engagement of a person as the BCGWA Managing Director will not automatically exclude the person from undertaking projects funded by other private or public organizations.

Any perceived conflict of interest involving activities of the Managing Director will be discussed and resolved within the BCGWA executive.

The Llama Won! Poor Max!

Cougar attack on llamas sends semi-retired well driller and owner of Monashee Aquifer Testing to hospital with a badly fractured leg on November 5, 2008. Having had 3 llamas killed in as many days, we penned the rest of the herd up at the barn.

When checking them early the next morning, the herd sire in protecting his herd and not recognizing me in the dark, charged and knocked me down resulting in a broken left femur.

I’m recovering at home and in the mean time our daughter, Theresa is looking after the Cameral Surveys and doing some of the pump testing. Theresa will continue to work with us when I’m back on my feet.

I wish to thank the BCGWA for their well wishes and the basket of flowers.

Max Schibli

An Interesting history Lesson!

This explains a lot! Does anyone know the width of the streets in Washington, DC?

Railroad tracks. This is fascination.

Be sure to read the final paragraph; your understanding of it will depend on the earlier part of the content.

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.

Why was the gauge used? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a Specification/Procedure/Process and wonder ‘What horse’s ass came up with it?’ you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses’ asses.) Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRB’s. The SRB’s are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRB’s would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRB’s had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRB’s had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the worlds most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass. And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important? Ancient horse’s asses control almost everything…and CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling everything else.

submitted by Bill Tuytel

Langley Groundwater

Jim Clark and Allan Dakin gave presentations last week at the Salmon River Enhancement Society groundwater forum. The Salmon River runs through the middle of the Hopington Aquifer. Recent monitoring has revealed declines in its base flow to where a section of the river bed was dry at one point.

One purpose of the forum was to expose counselors and candidates to Langley’s current groundwater issues. I believe we had ten or so present. It went well. It looks like the proposed “Groundwater Management Plan” will be under great scrutiny now the election is over. The new mayor called the other day and is very interested in learning more about groundwater.

Looks like the BCGWA will need to meet with the new counsel and get them on track. I am thinking it would be good if about 3 or more could be available.

I will keep you posted.

Jim Clark

Starting a Forum

At the Okanagan Regional meeting, it was suggested by Derek McGladdery that the BC Ground Water Association open up a Forum on our web-site. Derek knows what is involved in running a forum and would be willing to run this one once we get it set up.

Forums generally require registration before users can post comments. In addition, forums often allow users to send private messages to one another. Ultimately, forums encourage “community.” When users register for a forum, they are not only able to find information on topics that interest them, but they can easily connect to other people who share the same interests. In this way, forums are just as much about connecting people as they are about providing useful information.

What I would like to see –

Open site: For the public to ask questions and people from the industry to answer. I would not allow bashing of competitors and this would be applied through out every forum topic.

Closed to public:

Engineers site for them to discuss things like flow meters, techniques, so on and so forth.
Drillers site for them to discuss things like rigs, methods, areas.
Pump site for them to discuss things like problem wells, stuck pumps.
Safety site – self explanatory.
For sale/ trade/rent – self explanatory.
News-sometimes a new piece of legislation comes out that needs to be discussed and we could all do it there.

There is also an option to open this forum up to the other provinces too as we may get questions from the public there as well.

For any type of forum to work we have to have the support of the members and that they are able to use it. The younger generation is very good at this but the boomers are not. It would be mice to be able to have something up and running for the convention, that way we could have a presentation and start the year off with everyone involved.

Derek McGladdery
Derex Drilling Services Ltd.
Ph: 250-546-3402
e.mail: info@derex.ca

Canadian Ground Water Association

New Board of Directors –

President – Francis Gale, Nfld/Labrador
Past President – Jim Fyfe, BC
First Vice President – John Friesen, Manitoba
Second Vice President – Kevin Constable, Ontario
Alberta Director – Darcy Schmidt
Saskatchewan Director – Michael Friesen
Quebec Director – Gilles Doyon
News Brunswick Director – Bill Kyte
Prince Edward Island Director – John Moore
Nova Scotia Director – Jamie McDonald
M&S Director – Clark Myers, Manitoba
Technical Director – Richard Tattersall, Manitoba

The CGWA Board of Directors meeting in Edmonton Alberta spent many hours on a very lengthy agenda. The Board discussed at length the possibility of jump starting our cancelled geothermal driller training program with the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC). The board agreed to allow President Gale and Vice President Friesen to negotiate a resolution to our issues with the CGC and their Directors. At this time we have not yet finalized our talks with the CGC. The Board of Directors is in complete agreement that we must work toward a geothermal driller certificate of qualification to allow for the protection and management of Canada’s ground water. If we are not able to work with the CGC we must review all of our options.

Other decisions coming out of the board meeting included acceptance of a three tier health and wellness program and a program which will supply $50,000 A.D.D. insurance to all of our active members with an additional option for our associate members.

CanWell 2010 will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba under the capable chairmanship of Clark Myers. He will be ably assisted by Wendy Myers, newly appointed Technical Director Richard Tattersall , First Vice President, John Friesen and Saskatchewan Director Michael Friesen.

The Board has agreed to continue to work with Annex Publishing and Printing Inc. to publish the CGWA newsletter in Ground Water Canada magazine. Congratulations to Chris Skalkos on his coverage of CanWell 2008; we have had many positive comments.

I would like to thank Past President, Jim Fyfe, who took time from his busy schedule and young family to be our President. Jim traveled thousands of miles to hold the Canadian flag high and made many friends during his two-year tenure.

It was great to see Alberta’s Environment Minister, Rob Renner, at CanWell as a guest speaker. He spoke passionately about the protection and management of Alberta’s ground water and the need for control of geothermal drill holes. I sincerely hope Mr. Renner’s message will be taken to the next meeting of Canadian Environment Ministers and adopted from coast to coast.

If you or your staff is interested in applying for Canadian certification, please contact the Canadian office. The CGWA must receive and approve your application and fee before you are given permission to write. The BCGWA will be offering the exam on March 5th, 2009 at the Convention in Penticton. Details, fees and applications can be found on our website at www.cgwa.org.

Wayne MacRae
Executive Director for the CGWA

Investment tips for 2008

With all the turmoil in the market today and the collapse of Lehman Bros and Acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America this might be some good advice. For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks.

Watch for these consolidations later this year:

1. Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W.R. Grace Co. Will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.
2. Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker
3. 3M will merge with Goodyear and become: MMMGood.
4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa.
5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUp.
6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild.
7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: Poupon Pants.
8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!
and finally…
9. Victoria’s Secret and Smith & Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBangBang.

submitted by Paul Slade

Membership Changes

Well Drilling Contractors:

Address change:
Thompson Drilling Ltd.
15-4775 Woodlane W.
Windermere, B. C. V0B 2L2
e.mail: thompsondrillingltd@cyberlink.ca
Ph: 250-342-0313

M&S Division:

Extreme Products and Drilling Supplies new website:

Filterco Water Treatment
1732 W. 61st Avenue
Vancouver, B. C. V6P 2C3
Rep: Julian Noel
Ph: 604-677-6777
Fax: 604-264-9777
e.mail: julian@filterco.net

Heron Instruments Inc. –
new Rep: Vicky Toon

Associate Members:

Bourne, Justin
Lorax Env. Services Ltd.
2289 Burrard Street
Vancouver, B. C. V6J 3H9
Ph: 604-688-7173
Fax: 604-688-7175

Carter, Joe
Blaeberry Valley Plumbing Ltd.
75 1400 12th Street
Golden, B. C. V0A 1H1
Ph: 250-344-8911
e.mail: carterj999@hotmail.com

Dubois, Gilbert
Laird Improvement District
Box 746
Armstrong, B. C. V0E 1B0
Ph: 250-546-8805
Fax: 250-546-8812

Suchy, Martin
Environment Canada
201-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, B. C. V6C 3S5
Ph: 604-664-4039
Fax: 604-664-9126
e.mail Martin.Suchy@ec.gc.ca

Prof & Technical Division

address change:
PO Box 9362
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B. C. V8W 9M2

Upcoming Events

The Fresh Outlook Foundation is hosting its third annual Building SustainAble Communities conference February 24th to 26th, 2009 at Kelowna’s Delta Grand Okanagan Resort. With more than 100 speakers from the public, private, non-profit and acedemic sectors, it promises to be a sensational event. To register online visit www.regonline.ca/bsc2009.

Please tell your friends and colleagues.

Joanne de Vries
Founder & CEO
Ph: 250-766-1777

B. C. Ground Water Association Convention and Trade Show
Penticton Lakeside Resort
Penticton, B. C.
March 3-7th, 2009

Alberta Waterwell Drilling Association Annual Convention & Trade Show
April 2-4th, 2009
Capri Hotel, Red Deer, Alberta

GeoExchange Conference and Trade Show
May 13-15, 2009
University of British Columbia Okanagan campus in Kelowna

For Sale

One pallet of 11 six inch bits and 3 six inch by 8 inch hole openers. IR 360 Shank. Some like new. Photo available. $2,000 takes the works.

Drillwell Enterprises (1982) Ltd.
4994 Polkey Road
Duncan, B. C. V9L 6W3
Ph: 250-746-5268 Fax: 250-746-8404
e.mail: drill@drillwell.com
website: www.drillwell.com



- Written and signed quotes should always be obtained
- Site visit, and on site consultation are always recommended.
- Safety considerations, including communication and emergency procedures, overhead electrical and underground services to be addressed.

Well Location

- Ensure minimum distance from septic and other sources of contamination.
- Locate well up gradient from contaminants if possible.
- Consider present AND FUTURE access issues i.e.: May require drill rig for future service or repair.
- Make sure that the client takes responsibility for ensuring that setbacks are adequate, and that the well is on the correct piece of land.
- Be aware of riparian setbacks from rivers, creeks, and wetlands, and allow for the requirement to keep drill cuttings, and discharge water out of water courses.

Drilling Operations

- Ensure that safety is the number one priority on all sites. Have a safety plan, and a means of contacting emergency services, and guiding them to a remote drill site.
- See that daily rig inspections are performed and documented as required by Works Safe BC.

Surface Seal

- Use bentonite chips or pellets whenever possible. (highest solids, least shrinkage).
- Drill a hole that creates a large enough annulus to permit the introduction of the sealant, and ensure that the seal is minimum one inch thick. Drive shoe on surface casing can create a larger annular space when casing is withdrawn.
- Always try to use a surface casing/hole that is 4 inches or more, larger than the final casing. i.e.: 10 inch hole drilled for surface seal for a 6 inch well.
- Center casing in hole before placing surface seal.

Well Completions

- In overburden, screened wells are preferable to “Open Bottom” wells in most cases.
- In bedrock wells, liners should always be installed in cases or areas where rock stability is questionable.
- Plastic well liners should always be materials approved for potable water usage.
- Casing should always be left at least 12 inches above ground, higher is better.
- Well MUST be left with a secure vermin proof, tamper resistant cap.

Development and Yield Testing

- 2 to 3 hours of developing and yield testing is advisable to maximize well efficiency, and to assure adequate flow rate.


- Chlorinate the well after you are done drilling or working on a well.
- Secure the well from damage and vandalism. Welded lids are the most secure.
- Complete a well record with ID Plate # and submit a copy for entry into the Provincial Data Base.

If you have comments or suggestions on the Draft of Best Practices for Water Well Construction please send them to David Slade via fax @ 250-746-8404, or email to david@drillwell.com

Thanks for your participation.

David Slade

A driller having a rough day!

A driller was having a quiet evening, watching a hockey game and drinking a cool one, when his wife asks him one of “those” questions.

If I were to die do you think that you would remarry? She asks. He carefully considers, and says “probably”. She then asks “Would you have your new wife sleep in my bed”. He considers again and says “probably”. “Would you give her my car” Another pause then “probably” Finally she asks “Would you give her my golf clubs”. This time without hesitation he says “No. She’s left handed”.

The poor driller was found in front of the TV after having been accidentally\killed by his wife’s practice golf swing.


1. When quoting or setting up a drilling job, check with the client regarding the expected soil conditions and anticipated depth. This way the proper equipment and supplies can be brought to site on drilling day for borehole construction and closure.

2. Check out the site. Are borehole locations accessible? Look around; our clients usually don’t see it all from a driller’s perspective.

3. Safety meetings where required, check overhead hazards, also Utility check, Health and Safety issues etc. Make sure sites are clearly marked, drill on the marked sites.

4. The driller should discuss with clients’ representative on site the reasons for drilling and procedure expected. Find out what depth or resistance the client is expecting.

5. Always ensure that service locates are done by an onsite qualified locator (not witched), and/or daylighting with a hydro-vac truck is completed prior to drilling.

6. Read contracts that are sent to you, and refuse to sign agreements that are one sided, unfair, or unreasonable.

7. Perform daily rig inspections and document them as required by Work Safe BC.

8. While drilling borehole for clients, keep in mind where hole depth or strata may change closing procedure, from using Bentonite chips to requiring Grouting. This should be relayed to client and discussed.  If a hole is all clay or silts with few sand lenses or layers, Bentonite can be placed fairly deep by filling the bottom 5 ft. of the auger and pushing this to the closure plug area and spinning the chips off then retrieving the stem and refilling the hole with cuttings, and then placing subsequent plugs in the same manner until hole is completed to regulation. Normally the upper part of the borehole remains open and can be closed with chips poured into the borehole.
     Where sand and gravel layers are encountered, and sloughing is causing the hole to fill with granular materials, Bentonite cannot be pushed to depth. In these cases one can only go 20 ft into this layer and placing the first closure plug at the slough level. If the borehole must go deeper then grouting must be done at least for the lower closure plugs. This can be done by rotating AW rods, or similar, down the borehole with a triangle cutting head on it to turn through the granular slough and then placing Grout at the desired levels. Even then, the upper plug can usually be placed by pouring bentonite chips into the borehole.
If you have comments or suggestions about the above draft of best practices, please send your comments to David Slade via fax at 250-746-8404, or email to david@drillwell.com

Thank you for your input.
Bill Tuytel


Water System Installation Checklist

o Meet with the client onsite to discuss well depth, capacity and location of electrical service.
o Discuss with the client his needs ie: sprinkler system, the need for a Cistern, if there is a secondary accommodation that will require servicing etc.
o If there is a Cistern required what will the use be irrigation only or a potable supply. The location of the Cistern and the ground conditions for either standing or burying.
o Go over any water tests that may have been done to determine water quality and the need for possible treatment.
o Discuss with the client any concerns regarding site access and egress and who will be responsible for the costs incurred.
o If the well is flowing discuss with the client the appropriate action to take to control the flow.
o Obtain a copy of the well record, and retain for reference.

Designing the Pump System

o Size the appropriate pump for depth & volume required.
o Determine proper drop pipe size & material required.
o Calculate the distances to the electrical service and the wire gauge required to meet local electrical codes. Talk to the electrician involved regarding permits and electrical needs for the installation.
o Talk to the plumber regarding pressure tank location and any plumbing concerns ie: bypass for water treatment, plumbing outside taps separate of treated supply etc..
o Calculate the size of Cistern if required

Installation of Pump

o Determine installation depth of Pitless Adapter & cut casing to desired height in keeping with Government Regulations
o Sound well first to confirm depth and static water level
o Install pump to desired depth
o Chlorinate well to remove any bacteria introduced during the install
o Install pressure tank
o Install vermin proof well cap to prevent vandalism & contamination
o Back fill trench & replace Bentonite seal removed during pitless install
o Apply power to system, run pump take amp readings to insure proper power consumption
o If possible, run water to waste until water is clear and sediment free prior to filling household system with well water.
o Take digital pictures of pump system installation and take GPS reading for invoice and records.
o Record ID Plate # , and reference ID # on all documents.

This outline was supplied by Mike at Wellmaster Pumps. Any questions or suggestions for this outline should be sent to David Slade at david@drillwell.com

Mobile Crane Safety

Mobile Crane Safety orientation and certification are here at last! We are hoping to offer a ½ day workshop at the March Conference to help prepare crane operators to get certified at their own place of business using their own cranes.

Fulford Harbour Group’s BC Yukon CraneSafe Certification program is recognized by WorkSafe BC as proof of competence to operate mobile hoisting (cranes) equipment as per newly revised Occupational Health and Safety regs.

The CraneSafe assessment is a practical assessment of operator competence. Holders of CraneSafe Certification are competent operators in that they can demonstrate correct pre-operational inspection procedures and operate a crane with control of the hook and load.

Lee Middleton has developed the CraneSafe Certification in close partnership with industry and a group of experienced operators and hoisting and rigging educators. Lee will explain how the assessment process came about, how it works, what the common pitfalls are for operators on the assessment and will give information on how to prepare yourself and your operators for successfully assessing as a competent operator.

In addition to Lee’s presentation, prior to the conference, Fulford CraneSafe will be offering a half day orientation seminar to the assessment process for Folding Boom Crane (HIAB type) operators. This half day focuses on ‘Getting Ready for your Assessment’ and runs through the essential competencies of load chart use, rigging calculation and safe set up. Fulford’s CraneSafe assessors have found that a good, in depth orientation to the assessment, allows experienced operators to tie their experience together in a way that greatly increases their changes of success on the assessment.

Lee Middleton
Managing Partner
Fulford Harbour Group Ltd.
425 East Point Road
Saturna Island, B. C. V0N 2Y0
Ph: 250-539-3274 Fax: 250-539-5837

The 39th annual B.C. Ground Water Association Trade Show and Convention

The 39th annual B.C. Ground Water Association Trade Show and Convention will be held from Tuesday, March 3 to Friday, March 6, 2009 at the Lakeside Resort in Penticton. The Trade Show is scheduled for Thursday afternoon (March 5) and Friday morning (March 6). The Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday, March 7th, 2009 from 9:00 – 12:00.

This year, four workshops are offered. The first workshop, to be held on March 3 and 4, is a Pump Course for Level 1 & 2 Pump Installers in preparation for challenging the Canadian Ground Water exam as a prerequisite for Provincial Registration as a Qualified Well Pump Installer. A Well Drillers Workshop is offered on March 4, providing technical and practical knowledge for drillers and field technicians. The Confined Space Entry training course, hosted by Arbor Safety Consulting (http://www.arborsafety.com), is offered on Wednesday, March 4. This training is a Worksafe B.C. requirement (http://www.worksafebc.com/) for all people who work in confined spaces, like well pits, sumps, pump houses, and tanks. On the same day, a Sustainable Operation and Management of Water Systems Workshop is offered for water purveyors.

The Technical Sessions, scheduled for Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, are designed to bring together practitioners, manufacturers, water purveyors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, consulting firms, and researchers. A lot of good and important ground water related work is done in B.C. and nationally, pertaining to aquifer characterization and mapping; well drilling technologies; and governmental and non-governmental initiatives to achieve sustainable use of ground water resources. Further, good and important work is being done in the field of water governance and ground water protection at watershed and local level. These technical sessions provide an excellent opportunity for everybody to meet people, learn about (new) initiatives, to get informed, and to share viewpoints and ideas.
If you have any questions or topics you would like to present or speakers you would recommend, please contact the BCGWA. We hope to see you all at the Trade Show and Convention!

Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2009 from Flexcon, proud supporters of BCGWA
Eric LeMay
e.mail: elemay@flexconind.com
Ph: 519-635-3539

Regional Meeting Reports

Fraser Valley Regional Meeting

The meeting was held on October 4th, 2008 at the West Country Hotel
President Remi Allard attended from Kelowna along with special guests, Antigone Dixon-Warren from the Township of Langley and Mike Simpson from the Fraser Valley Ministry of Environment in Surrey.

Hot on the topic was the “Water Management Plan” which is still under construction. The Township of Langley has been chosen to initiate the Plan once it is finalized. Drafts of the 31 point Plan which covers all facets of ground water issues have been presented to the local public on a couple of occasions and have been the subject of much controversy. The long and the short of it is the water tables in some of Langley’s aquifers have been declining for some time now and it has become very clear that the resource needs to be managed or we will be in trouble. The general public does not seem to be comfortable with this yet. Due to much controversy the Plan is being reworked and the public is slowly being educated. In the mean time, water levels continue to drop.

Numerous uncontrolled flowing wells and diminishing recharge areas are added to the problem.

The lack of enforcement of the new regulations was challenged. Limited staff at the Surrey MOE office and reluctance from the government to be aggressive with groundwater infractions has been minimal enforcement of the new regulations.

Jim Clark
Regional Director

Summary of 2008 Okanagan Regional Meeting

Regional Director Doug Geller convened the annual Fall Workshop for Association members on 24 November 2008. The meeting was held in Vernon at the Village Green Hotel. Invited speakers included Oleg Ivanov, MOE regional hydrogeologist, Mike Adams, Senior Drinking Water Officer with Interior Health Authority, Jacquie Foley of Golder Associates. Two other speakers had to cancel due to circumstances beyond their control (Max Schibli and Jeff Quibell).

Approximately 45 people attended the workshop, with some traveling from as far north as Heffley Creek to the north and as far south as the Okanagan Falls area in the South Okanagan. Most of the water well drillers and pump installers operating in the area attended, as well as several hydrogeologists , material suppliers and geoexchange drillers.

BCGWA President Remi Allard provided opening and closing remarks, emphasizing the need for all members of the Association to work together to improve communication about issues affecting the membership as well as with our partners in the provincial Ministry.

Ministry of Environment Update

Oleg Ivanov’s update from MOE focused on the pending Phase 2 Groundwater Protection Regulation, which is currently being drafted for Cabinet approval. The plan is for the regulation to be finalized in 2009 with effective dates for various requirements to be determined. It is likely that Phase 2 will be phased in like Phase 1. During the question and answer period, there was discussion around whether or not the new regulations would provide detailed specifications, such as for well liners. It does not appear that the regulation will be more outcome-based than prescriptive in this regard.

Interior Health Update
Mike Adams’ IHA update included a summary of the various activities being undertaken in the region by health staff. Most of their drinking water protection resources are directed at community / public water supplies (both surface water and groundwater), although IHA does comment on private water sources as part of the subdivision referral process. IHA continues to require construction permit for new well sources that may be considered for potential community water supplies. Ideally, this should happen before the well is drilled, or whenever an existing well is identified as a possible community well source.

Joe Rich Rural Area Hydrogeologic Study
Jacquie Foley of Golder presented on a recent hydrogeological study completed by Golder in the Joe Rich Rural area east of Kelowna. This study assessed potential groundwater availability in both bedrock and alluvial aquifers, at the request of the regional district because this area is being developed through re-zonings and subdivisions, and most if not all of this development is groundwater-dependent. Golder evaluated the water balance and water use in both bedrock and alluvial aquifers using various techniques and found that existing use of the bedrock aquifer could be approaching the limit of the resource. In the discussion that followed, there were questions about the implications of the study findings and would this lead to a moratorium on further subdivision or the drilling of new wells. The outcome of discussions is that the report recommended that regional district planners proceed with caution and strongly consider further study in the Joe Rich and other similar areas. Also, the report’s findings underscore the need to “raise the bar” on the level of hydrogeological study that is being done to support large-scale or incremental land use changes that increase residential lot density in upland regions with aquifers that may be recharge-limited.

Groundwater Bylaws Toolkit
Doug Geller provided a summary of an effort underway led by the Okanagan Basin Water Board to develop and publish a Groundwater Bylaws Toolkit targeted for use by local government planners. It is envisaged that the toolkit would present the case for local government’s role in groundwater protection (primarily through land use planning and decisions), and would include an introduction to groundwater hydrology and wells for planners, and then present a series of model bylaw tools (written in appropriate legal-ese) that local governments can incorporate into their official community plans, zoning bylaws and subdivision bylaws, for example. A component of the toolkit will be guidance for standardizing the reporting of groundwater quantity and quality testing (and associated hydrogeological studies) for subdivisions as a replacement for the outdated and inconsistent “proof of water” requirements that currently exist in various regional district and local government bylaws. A first draft of the toolkit should be available for public comment in early 2009. Meeting attendees were provided with information on how to obtain a copy of the draft and to provide comments.

On behalf of the Association, Doug Geller thanked everyone for attending, and has invited feedback from attendees on the meeting as well as suggestions for future Fall Workshops.

Doug Geller
Regional Director

Vancouver Island Regional Meeting

The Vancouver Island regional meeting was held on November 29th, 2008 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Grand Hotel on Rutherford Road, Nanaimo, B. C.

A good cross reference of drilling contractors, pump installers and professional consultants attended (22 total).

Topics of Discussion

1. Surface sealing
2. Bringing old wells up to code
3. Flowing wells
4. Pump Systems
5. Surface well construction and tagging

The topics covered, generated and sparked a host of questions to do with current and future regulations. A special thanks to Jillian Kelly from Ministry of Environment for talking about the current regulations. Also, thanks to Jim Fyfe for answering questions and clarifying regulations. Clarity of rules and regulations were of the most concern.

Paul Anderson
Regional Director

Live and Work in the Okanagan!

Mearl’s Machine Works Ltd. - Pump Department:
Contact: Greg Anderson Phone: 250-763-0109 Fax: 250-763-5894
Email: grega@mearlsmachine.com Web: www.mearlsmachine.com

* Distributor of Pump and Control Valves
* OEM of Pumping Packages, Piping Packages, PRV Stations and Skid Mounted Pump Stations
* Repair Facility for Pump, Valve and Related Equipment

Markets: Municipal, Industrial, Commercial and Agricultural

Inside Sales/Tech Position
We are looking for a dynamic self starter that can work both in a team environment and individually to reach objectives. This position is available due to growth in our company and the basic responsibilities include:
• Inside sales and support of pump and control valve products. Preparing quotes for new equipment and pump repairs and organizing projects and repairs, some system design opportunities exist.
• Customer support
• Some opportunities for outside work and trips
Other Key Points:
• BC Pump Installer Registration, Electrical ticket, etc… considered a strong asset but not required
• Knowledge of pumps, valves and/or systems preferred
• Typing and computer skills also an advantage
• Benefit package including Extended Health, RRSP, BC Medical, etc…
• Salary and Compensation based on experience

Please forward inquiries with resume or requests for more details to Greg Anderson at grega@mearlsmachine.com


Notice of Motion to amend the Bylaws under the Association’s Constitution & Bylaws; Article 8, Section 1 – Board of Directors & Executive Committee – Government, as follows:


I Bruce Ingimundson, Secretary of the BCGWA, move that Article 8 – (Board of Directors & Executive Committee) - Section 1 (Government); be amended to include the office of a “Past President” be added to the Executive Committee.

Currently our Executive Committee consists of 4 members (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer). This is an even number of members.

It is common and more efficient, that a leadership group have an odd number of members, so that in case of a tie vote the group leader can cast the deciding vote. In this scenario the President would cast the deciding vote.

As noted above it is common for [say], a town council to have an even number of councillors plus a mayor; whereby the Mayor will cast the deciding vote in case of a tie.

It would also be beneficial to have the out-going President on the Executive Committee for a limited term of continuity with the incoming President. Also, the experience of the past president would be of value to the new Executive Committee’s on-going projects and activities.

It is intended that the Past President position be extended by nomination to the out-going President. In a case where the out-going President is unable or is not willing to take on the responsibility of the position of Past President, the office will be open (by nomination) to a previous Past President. In harmony with our Constitution and Bylaws (i.e., all Director’s positions), will be voted upon at each Annual General Meeting.

The change in the Bylaw (Article 8, Section 1) will be voted upon by the voting members of the BCGWA at our next AGM on March 7th, 2009 and if passed, the last Past President will be nominated for the position or an alternate if necessary.

Bruce Ingimundson

Why Join an Association?

If I have learned anything in this business, it’s that you cannot put all of your eggs in one basket and you must always look for new technology to remain diversified. If you are an owner or a manager, take 30 minutes of your time to walk around your facility and take it all in. Think about how much money you or your firm has invested in drill rigs, trucks, material, etc. Now take into consideration the money owed to the bank and, most importantly, how many lives are in the balance based on the success of your company. Take pride in your work and do something to improve the industry as a whole.

I have met a lot of individuals in this field and made a lot of friends along the way. Two of the most frequently asked questions I hear are:

Why join an Association?

- Learn about the success and failure of businesses and projects like yours.
- Attend conferences and seminars where topics of interest are presented to you.
-Learn from expert speakers who share their knowledge with you.
-Network with professionals and competitors who do the same work you do.
- Connect with multiple suppliers and manufacturers.
- Keep up to date with new and exciting technologies.

What is the Association going to do for me?

- The answer is nothing, unless you are willing to put something into it. Simply, you get out of it what you put into it.
- Associations bring a sense of professionalism, education, and individual support which will eventually bring money back to our worn individual pockets.
- Associations provide continuing education, which is a self-preservation and marketing tool. If properly instituted, it will eliminate part-time or less-reputable firms from competing with you.
- No one has the time to keep up with all of the changes in technology, government and legal issues, employment situations, and other topics. Your association can do this for you.

In closing, Associations are created and run by individuals just like you. They are working hard for you. Support the BCGWA by joining and take a little bit of time from your schedule to contribute to it. If you do so, you will see the benefits.

Todd Bromley,
Buckeye Chapter President
Drill Bits, 2008

Green Living, The Way it Used to Be

In bygone days when life was not so busy, summer meant languid afternoons on a vine-shaded veranda, drinking lemonade from freshly squeezed lemons, and often without ice. The home was situated in such a manner as to draw in the cooling afternoon breeze, while the greenery and deciduous trees provided natural shade. Homes were small then with a total of a thousand square feet, being considered on the larger size. There was more land to grow gardens and everyone had clothes lines where Monday’s wash could be seen dangling in the wind.

Small home living now means crowding the largest home as feasible on to the smallest lot as possible, with a reduction of green space. There certainly isn’t room for the kids to get together to play baseball in someone’s backyard and clothes lines are never seen, in fact; they are prohibited in many cities. We need to consider how much space is actually necessary for our homes. We need to bring back those porches and vines to reduce the need for air conditioning, and the deciduous trees that provide shade need to be replanted in lots large enough to allow backyard gardens.

We need to dry our clothes in the sun’s free solar power, which also freshens and whitens without chemicals. We need to drink freshly squeezed lemonade without ice and learn that living green doesn’t just mean recycling. Doing with what we need, not what we want, even if we can afford it, is a good place to start. By downsizing, maybe we could even afford to work less and spend a lazy afternoon sitting on the veranda just being, just enjoying the bounty of life offered to us. Wouldn’t you like to do just that?

Six Ways to Live a Greener Lifestyle

1. Quit buying ‘stuff’. Buy what you need only. Do not replace what is not broken or worn because you found something more attractive. Use what you have and here is the clincher, be thankful for it.

2. Live in a smaller house. Without all that ‘stuff’ you do not need, you can move to a small natural home with a big yard and a clothes line. This means less energy costs for drying, heating, cooling and living in general.

3. Plant a garden and trees around your home. In elementary school, we learned how trees use carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. An acre of trees will support life for 12 people. How many are in your family?

4. Live large for less. Throw more parties at home, eat out less. Spend less on entertainment outside the home and spend more time playing games, creating and building with the family at home. Turn off the electronics. Going nowhere cuts many costs in the whole chain of where monies are spent, while saving many costs to the environment.

5. Quit driving. Now that you are living green in a large way, you will not need to drive to the mall to shop for stuff you no longer have to have. Gas costs too much, vehicles are still too large and most people live fairly close to be able to walk where they wish to go. Kids should walk to school, so why not walk along with them?

6. Eat smarter. This means no processed, pre-packaged food, since the processing and packaging both contribute negatively to the environment and to health. Buy natural or organic foods in larger quantities and put small amounts in reusable containers for daily consumption. This goes for all packaged products from shampoos to laundry soap. There is more value and less packaging in dry or frozen products.

When you are thinking about green living, think about by gone days and how it used to be. Way back when, green living was not a conscious thought; it was the only way of life. Make it your way.

by Eileen Wosnack

Christmas Price Index Rises for the ‘12 Days’

Given the economic downturn, even the most romantic might balk at the $86,609 price tag for the items in the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

That’s this year’s cost, according to the annual “Christmas Price Index” compiled by PNC Wealth Management, which tallies the single partridge in a pear tree to the 12 drummers drumming, purchased repeatedly as the song suggests. The price is up $8,508 or 10.9 percent, from $78,100 last year.

“True loves may take it on the chin for a peck on the cheek,” said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, which has been calculating the cost of Christmas since 1984.

In this tight economy, what’s a romantic to do?

The creative but cash-strapped consumer might consider some modifications. After all, who needs dozens of birds?

Instead of two turtle doves ($55) why not two Dove chocolate bars at about a buck each? Don’t have $4,414 for 10 lords-a-leaping? How about a “Riverdance” DVD? Plenty of leaping there, and it’s only about $25 on Amazon.com. Save a couple grand by skipping the 11 pipers piping and getting a CD of Scottish bagpipe music for less than $20.

“The price of creativity, I think, has to be measured against the value of true love,” said Dunigan. “Necessity is the mother of invention. So this year, it might pay to be a little more inventive.”

While some sources suggest the gold rings actually refer to ring neck pheasants-apparently, all the birds were for feasting-Dunigan advises sticking with jewelry.

“At least in my experience, if you had to lead with something, gold rings probably wouldn’t be a bad idea,” he said.

They are down about 11 percent, from $395 last year to $350, the result of pressures on discretionary spending, Dunigan said.

But sticklers for tradition might also save by procrastinating. With the economy in its first consumer-led recession since the early 1980s and energy prices falling as of late, prices could come down between now and Christmas, Dunigan said.
PNC Financial Services Group Inc. checks jewelry stores, dance companies, pet stores and other sources to compile the list. While it is done humorously, PNC said its index mirrors actual economic trends.

For instance, gasoline costs topped $4 this summer, driving up shipping costs for many goods. So a pear tree that cost $150 last year will cost $200 this year. (The partridge is up $5 to $20.)

Luxury items are also up, as reflected by the price of the seven swans-a-swimming, which are up 33 percent to $5,600.

But the faltering economy has also brought down the cost of some items.

The three French hens (down $15 - $30) and six geese-a-laying (down $120 to $240) reflect declines in food prices.

The eight maids-a-milking will cost 12 percent more, $52.40 from about $47 last year, thanks to their second annual minimum wage increase.

The 10 lords-a-leaping, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming are all up about 3 percent, reflecting the general average wage increase.

Newsbot, December 1, 2008

Merry Christmas

The B. C. Ground Water Association would like to thank its members for their continued support. We would also like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Remember, it’s not about the gifts, it’s about the family and the friendships and if you can, don’t forget about your local charities. Wishing you all the best for 2009.


Report from the Ministry of Environment

Seasons Greetings! We hope that everyone is in the spirit of the season. We would like to take this opportunity to update you on what has been happening since the last newsletter.

WELLS Database Update

We are continuing to chip away at the backlog of well records. Since our last update in the August newsletter, the backlog has been decreased by another 3,092 well records! This has been done through the funding provided to the BCGWA through the Agri-Food Canada ‘Canada-British Columbia Water Supply Expansion Program’.

This joint project between the BCGWA and the Ministry has enabled us to see substantial progress in processing and spatially locating many well records. In the past year we have seen a decrease in the backlog by 6,935 well records! The graph below shows the progress of well record processing from December 2007 to November 2008.

MOE Dec 08

If drillers have well any well records that have not been submitted to the Ministry, please consider sending us your records. You can mail them to:

Sr. Ground Water Data Specialist
Ministry of Environment, Water Stewardship Division
Victoria BC V8W 9M2

EWELLS Training

Just a reminder that if anyone is interested in EWELLS training to contact Lindsay Macfarlane at (250) 953-3408 or Lindsay.Macfarlane@gov.bc.ca. The training will also include how to use the BC Water Resources Atlas and accessing well records from the WELLS Database.

Well Closure Reports

Many well closure reports received by the Ministry have been incomplete. Please familiarize yourself with the reporting requirements for well closure reports outlined in Schedule 3 of the Ground Water Protection Regulation.

The most commonly missed fields on the Well Closure Reports are:
• Well Location: this includes either the site address or the legal description (e.g. Lot, Plan, Land District), or the PID of the property on which the well is located.
• Geographic Coordinates: either UTM or latitude and longitude.
• Diameter of the well
• Method of Drilling: for example whether the well was originally drilled, driven or excavated.
• Details of Closure: describe the depths, types and amounts of sealant and backfill material used to close the well.

Reminder to Qualified Well Drillers and Qualified Well Pump Installers – Maintaining Up-to-Date Contact Information

Please inform our office of any changes to your place of employment and contact information on the registry of Qualified Well Drillers and the registry of Qualified Well Pump Installers.

Under Section 5 of the Ground Water Protection Regulation, any changes to the information contained in the register must be advised to the comptroller within 60 days of:

a) updated company/contact information, or
b) if no longer actively working in BC as a qualified well driller or qualified well pump installer

Please contact: Emilia Saarinen: (250) 356-6792 OR Lindsay Macfarlane: (250) 953-3408

What’s New on the Web

There is a new link on our website that provides all of our brochures and forms. On the “Brochures and Forms” site, you can find brochures and forms such as: Water Quality Fact Sheets, ‘How to Find a Septic Tank’, ‘What Private Well Owners Should Know’, Application forms for Registration as a Qualified Well Driller or Pump Installer, Well Pump Installation forms, Well Construction/Closure Forms, and much more.

A new form that we have put on the web is the Pumping Test Form. Contractors conducting pumping tests may want to try this form out. If you have any comments please let us know.

Please feel free to print the brochures and forms to use or to provide to your customers.

The site can be accessed form: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/plan_protect_sustain/groundwater/brochures_forms.html

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