Horizontal Well Maintenance

Recently, the Senior Engineer at Des Moines Water Works asked Hydro-Klean to  televise and clean a horizontal well near a river at an area treatment plant. This well had been placed in service only a few years earlier, with initial water yields of 1,800 gallons per minute. However later, the water yield shrank by almost half, raising the possibility that the pump intake, well screen or aquifer might be clogged by debris and sediment.

Initial televising indicated that trash such as fasteners, banding, and plastic pipe wrap from construction of the well had collected near the pump and throughout the well screen. The debris was restricting the flow of water into both the pump and the well system.

Client Involvement a Plus
Hydro-Klean and the client now teamed up to create a cleaning solution for the well. After researching potential clearing methods, we began by using our 80 GPM @ 2,500 PSI water jet/vacuum truck to jet the 18-inch well casing and the first 800 lineal feet of well screen from the opened access point. As debris jetted  back to the pump, we inserted a six-inch aluminum vacuum pipe in twenty lineal feet sections, approximately 370 feet down the casing and retrieved large plastic and paper debris.

Unfortunately, another video inspection revealed that much of the small debris and sediment had now settled, coating the first seventy feet of well screen and the area near the pump, itself. We continued to jet through the casing up to the well screen and pull back slowly but netted little debris.

Adapting to Conditions
After much brainstorming, Hydro-Klean came up with the idea of developing a wiper tool that we could jett through the casing in a closed (shut) position. Once the wiper was in position, we opened the wiper's fan blades and used the jetter hose to pull it back. This process was an overwhelming success. We collected various articles of debris, from bolts to steel rods and fasteners.

HK performed a final video inspection, which showed that the well was so clean that the casing pipe, pump and well screen appeared to have been sandblasted. The horizontal well again began to pump consistent yields of 1,800 gallons per minute and continues to do so to this day.

A Satisfied Client
The client expressed his approval saying, “...[we] tried many different approaches to this job. Some of these approaches worked and some did not. Ultimately, the job was successful. Hydro-Klean’s crew kept their heads in the game, answering all questions to the best of their knowledge, and made a conscientious effort to solve the problem. I really enjoyed working with all their crew and would call on them again in the future."

Back to Project Library