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Old 05-15-2009, 04:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
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Default Once I decide to have a well drilled, what is my first step

Question: Once I decide to have a well drilled, what is my first step?

Answer: The first step is to contact your County Environmental Health Department and tell them that you are in the need of having a well drilled and that you would like to apply for the proper permit for the construction of your well. At this point, the Health department will advise you of the proper steps that must be taken in order to obtain the required permit. These steps may include a check for the permit, filling out an application, and a site visit from the Health department to determine a possible location of your well site. One thing for you, the customer, to keep in mind is that in most instances, you can have your well located where you choose, as long as you meet your Health Department set backs and requirements from sources of contamination. Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Question: How do I know where the best "spot" is to drill my well?

Answer: There are a number of things to consider when selection a drilling site. First and foremost, the site must be accessible for the drilling equipment to get in and out of the drilling site. The well cannot be located on the side of steep hills due to the dangers of setting the equipment up. Also, trees must be considered in the drill site selection. Remember, a 30' to 40' boom must be raised into the air and if there are trees in the way, it would be impossible to raise the boom without tree work being done. Power lines must also be considered as well as other utilities. Many deaths are caused each year by drillers either raising a derrick into an overhead power line or drilling through an underground power line. Under no circumstances, should any driller drill within 15 feet of an overhead power line. It is always best to have the property marked by "Miss Utility" prior to beginning any excavation on your property. It is also very important that ample space is provided to your drilling contractor for the construction of your well. It is a very dangerous business and the workers need room to construct your well properly.
As far as locating the best "spot" to find water, it becomes a guessing game. Some geologic areas are more conducive to finding water than others. The formation or geology encountered will determine the success of your well in most cases. The Geology in Virginia varies considerably and along with this, so does the amounts of water that may be available. Some formations are more tightly packed than others with very little fracturing within the rock and as a results, very little water will be found. Other areas may produce large sums of water due to extensive fracturing within the formation.
If your well is being drilled in an area that is noted for low yield wells, more time should be put into the selection of your drilling site. While this is no guarantee that success will be obtained, every effort should be made to enhance the possibilities. We approach difficult drilling sites in much the same way that a Hydrogeologists would. It seems that more success has been obtained by drilling near visible faults or fractures then when not. Often times, it is advisable to locate a well off of the top of a hill. While this does not hold true 100% of the time, the percentages seem to be in your favor when this advice is followed.

Question: Once I have obtained my permit, what is the next step?
Answer: The next step would be to hire the services of a Professional Drilling Contractor that is Certified as a "Master Driller" through the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a Class "A" contractor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If your contractor does not meet both of these priorities, do not hire them.

It is very important to do your homework and become an educated consumer. Learn everything that you can about the company that you are considering for the job. Don't be afraid to ask questions! The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent source for information. Their phone number is 888-648-0030.

Question: What are some of the important things that I should consider in my selection of a drilling contractor?

Answer: Once again, be an educated consumer and ask questions. Always consider prices but never let prices alone determine your choice. More often than not, the cheapest price may not be the cheapest prices or the best price.
Ask yourself, are they a Class "A" contractor and are they certified "Master Driller's" through the Commonwealth of Virginia, (ask for a current copy of their license and certification), Do they have experience in what you are looking for? Look not only at the companies experience but the driller's experience as well. After all, he may be the one that is actually drilling your well. What types of guaranties do they offer? Anybody can offer guaranties but do they actually stand behind them? In most cases, you will be able to narrow your choices considerably from these questions. Once you have put the drilling contractors on a "short list", request a meeting with them to go over any concerns or questions that you may have. You can always tell a lot about someone if you are able to communicate with them face to face. The drilling contractor will have to look at your site to see if there are any problems getting the equipment in and out, so perhaps this would be a great time to meet your potential well drilling contractor. Meeting someone in person will answer a lot of questions for you without even having to ask them. By the end of your meeting more than likely you will have obtained a pretty good idea as to the contractors character, integrity, and honesty and you will find that your selection may have become much easier.
Don't be afraid to discuss financial matters with your drilling contractor. After all, he is in business to make money, you are in the process of spending money, and you want to know that you have made the correct choice in your selection of a drilling contractor.
You may also want to call The State Board of Contractors in Richmond Virginia to verify their license as well as to see if any complaints have been filed against that contractor, what was the nature of the complaint and has the issue been resolved?
You can also request the same information from the County Environmental Health Department.
Once again, the more you know, the better chance you have of making the correct selection.

Question: In searching the Yellow pages, how do I know which contractor to call? Does the size of the ad in the Yellow pages make a difference?

Answer: When looking at all of the ads in the Yellow pages, you will come to one conclusion. They all say the same thing. "we do this" or "we do that". At this point, confusion sets in and you are no closer to being able to make your selection than before. How do you know which one to call? At this point you need to look at what sets the contractors apart. What does this contractor offer that the others do not? Could it be the Class "A" license, could it be the experience, or could it be the fact that one particular company seems to stand behind their work better than the others? As an educated consumer, this is where you will be able to separate the various contractors listed.
You will not find your answers in the size of the ad that is written but you will find them in what is being said. Read the ads carefully. In this case, size does not matter!

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