Well Recasing: It Can Get Messy!

A water system is only as reliable as its source. Wells are designed to provide many years of service; however, over time, steel well casings can become severely corroded and decreasing aquifer levels can cause water levels in the well to drop below existing casing levels. These issues can lead to water quality problems and potentially collapse of the well. To be safe, maintenance on a well is necessary and that goes beyond repair or replacement of pumps, motors and piping.

Why recase a well?  Construction of a new well is an expensive capital investment. In addition to the cost of drilling, a new well may require additional costs for land acquisition and construction of other facilities such as a new building and water mains. Recasing an older well can be a cost-effective means of extending the life of an existing well while reusing infrastructure already in place.

The capacity of the well and the quality of the water it produces should be evaluated before the decision is made to recase.  If capacity is not expected to meet current or future water needs or the well produces water of a quality that is highly undesirable, recasing may not be the best option and investing funds in a new well may be more appropriate.

It is important to note that, like any reconstruction project, recasing a well can have unexpected challenges. Unknown conditions encountered during the reconstruction process, such as the discovery of old equipment at the bottom of the well or issues encountered during the recasing process, can lead to delays or additional costs. In extreme cases, severe problems encountered during the recasing process could require abandonment of the well.

FOX Engineering can provide assistance in evaluating the condition of the utility’s existing wells and determining whether recasing is a viable solution for maintaining their source water supply.

For additional information on well recasing, Matthew Hawes will be presenting Well Recasing: It’s A Mess at 10:45 AM on Monday, June 24, 2019 at the Kirkwood Community College Annual Water Conference.

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FOX Engineering is an environmental engineering firm based in Ames, Iowa. We specialize in water and wastewater solutions for our diverse municipal and industrial clients. Our work varies in size and scope and can be found throughout the Midwest and beyond.