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Recordkeeping

 

Q: TCEQ recently inspected our facility and requested a review of our well records. Unfortunately we did not have the records available. Some of our wells are from the previous water system we took over and that system did not have any records to transfer.

               

We already searched TCEQ central records, but could only find the driller’s logs and sanitary easements for the wells. TCEQ is requesting that we seek approval for the wells, conduct the 36-hour pump test and water quality analysis, and submit all these with the driller’s logs and sanitary easements that have an engineer’s seal of approval.

 

What records do we need for these wells to obtain overall approval from TCEQ?

 

A: The TCEQ rules are very clear that if a system does not have well records for each well then they can be served with a Notice of Violation by the TCEQ inspector. It does not matter how or when this well in question was traded, sold, inherited or transferred to your system. TCEQ still requires every system to maintain well records and the most common ones are listed below:

 

·         Drillers Log— Shows the drillers record of the types of dirt, clay, rock or sand that was observed as the drilling of the well was done.

·         Electric Log<--- This is the “electric resistivity” chart recording taken by a set of equipment which gives a pretty accurate readout of the types of geological formations that were drilled through.

·         Annular Alignment– This shows the well is more or less “vertically straight” without any bends in the casing or drill hole that would compromise the setting of a well motor and pump assembly.

·         Cement Log– This states that the contractor used a certain type and volume of cement to fill the voids and all annular spaces outside the casing pipe.

·         36-hour Pumping /Production Test -- This would have been conducted by the driller to determine the maximum or sustained yield of that particular well. This would include the record showing the drawdown every five minutes after the pump was turned on until the drawdown stabilized.  The drawdown is recorded every 30 minutes to  one hour until the pump is turned off. Once the pump is turned off, the recovery rate of the well would also be logged to determine how quickly the water level was returned to the “static” water level before the pump was turned on.

·         Chemical analysis – A complete testing to determine what if any minerals and metals were present in the well sand. This report must be completed by a lab approved by the state.

·         Disinfection Log- The detailed report of how much and type of chlorine was added to the completed well and any amount of potable water used to flush the disinfectant out into the gravel pack of the well.  Also includes the pumping records to demonstrate this concentrated disinfectant was pumped from the well properly.

·         Bacti Samples – Must maintain the test results of the three-consecutive daily bacti samples after the well was disinfected.

·         Engineer’s documentation of the request for approval by TCEQ of the original plans and specifications for this well and related production piping and facilities.

·         Final Approval Letter by TCEQ allowing the system to begin using that well for a public water supply.

 

I recommend that you try to contact the previous system owners or managers and hopefully someone with past knowledge of this well will come forward with their copies of these reports. Otherwise, you will have to go through the process of recreating each of these reports/records.

 

If you have the driller’s logs you should be able to tell the dates of drilling and from these, you may be able to gather more information from the Texas Water Development Board or the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which regulates well drillers. You may get lucky and find that some of these records will be housed at one of these other agencies. These two agencies also run a joint website for well report submissions and searches which is: https://texaswellreports.twdb.state.tx.us/drillers-new/index.asp

 

Published September/October 2014


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