Learn how to use a Sediment Filter Bag as a BMP

to treat muddy drilling water and contain drill cuttings

at the PGWA 2016 Summer Field Conference

Friday, June 10, 2015 at the same location as last year west of State College, PA.

 By Todd Giddings, Ph.D., P.G., Education Committee Chairman 

Each year, for the past fourteen years,  the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association has held one-day, totally outdoor, summer field conferences that have had live demonstrations of water-well and geothermal borehole drilling, casing, grouting, development, test pumping, hydrofracturing, and decommissioning.

What will be demonstrated on Friday, June 10, 2016 ?  We are going to demonstrate how to use a Sediment Filter Bag as a Best Management Practice (BMP) to treat muddy air-rotary drilling water and to contain the drill cuttings. Managing and treating the muddy drilling water and drill-cuttings during the air-rotary drilling of a water well or a geothermal borehole can be a very challenging task, particularly when the drilling water is going to flow right into a stream or flow into a storm drain pipe. Pennsylvania’s Erosion and Sediment Control regulations require the use of BMP’s such as silt sox, silt fences, straw bales, and sediment filter bags.

Sediment Filter Bag Web Captioned

A Sediment Filter Bag is constructed by sewing together two sheets of non-woven geotextile fabric (that resembles the wool-felt fabric in a felt hat) to make a large fabric bag. A spout on the bag is secured over a pipe or a hose that is connected to a diverter bolted onto the top of the well casing. The 800 to 1,200 cubic feet per minute of compressed air, that operates the down-the-hole hammer in air-rotary drilling, also carries the drill cuttings and groundwater up to the diverter. This mixture of air/water/clay/silt/sand/and the gravel-sized chips of bedrock is blown through the hose or pipe into the Sediment Filter Bag.

The non-woven geotextile fabric strands filter out some silt particles and the fabric contains the sand and gravel-sized rock chips within the bag. The air and the water flow through the geotextile fabric. The minute openings between the fabric strands do allow clay and some silt particles to pass through, so the water discharging from the Sediment Filter Bag is muddy in appearance because it contains suspended clay and silt material. Because the bag fabric filters out and contains most of the sediment, a sediment filter bag is considered a Best Management Practice device to meet Sediment and Erosion Control Regulations. 

This Sediment Filter Bag demonstration will be at the same location as the past four years, next to the Home Depot store at the I-99, Route 220, and Route 322 Exit 69, located just west of State College.  The Gatesburg Formation overburden at this site is a silty and clayey sand material that is notorious for its caving conditions and flowing sand zones, so it will provide a very good demonstration of the treatment and containment capabilities of a Sediment Filter Bag used as a BMP.  A map of this site location with driving directions is at this link.  

Why attend these demonstrations?  This Summer Field Conference program will demonstrate live procedures that you may only have read about in text books. By the direct observation of these demonstrations, you will gain a much better understanding of the procedures. During this demonstration of how to install the Sediment Filter Bag and use it as a BMP, the process will be explained step-by-step, and there will always be opportunities for questions. There will also be a trade-show with tabletop product displays at this 2016 Summer Field Conference.

Pennsylvania State Police Motor Carrier Enforcement Supervisor Mitchell Scalia will conduct a simulated DOT roadside-walk-around inspection of a rig-tender truck. This truck will also be used to demonstrate how to use plastic mats to support the truck across soft ground. Concurrent with this truck inspection, there will be a PowerPoint presentation in the big tent on “How Hydraulic Stimulation Increases the Yield of a Water Well”. You will learn what caused the 4 times increase in the specific capacity of the well from 0.09 gpm/foot to 0.37 gpm/foot.

In the last hour of the program, there will then be a demonstration of the proper well decommissioning procedures to comply with the Spring Creek Watershed drilling ordinance. Concurrent with this well decommissioning demonstration, there will be a hands-on training session in the big tent on how to troubleshoot Variable Frequency Drive submersible pump systems.

Who should attend? This program is designed for anyone who wants to learn how a Sediment Filter Bag works, and the program is especially designed for air-rotary water-well and geothermal drilling contractors who want to learn a new method to treat the drilling water with a BMP and contain the cuttings. This program will also be of interest to geologists, sanitarians, watershed specialists, hydrogeologists, water-supply regulators, municipal officials, planning commission members, members of watershed associations, and anyone else who is interested in learning about an advanced BMP to treat drilling water and contain drill cuttings. 

Equipment manufacturers and suppliers to the ground-water industry and the geothermal industry should also attend and take advantage of this opportunity to display their products.

2016 SFC Schedule Web

Registration is FREE for any employee or member of any federal, non-PA state, or local government agency or entity, Master Well Owners, faculty, and students.   

The registration fee for PA state employees is $15.

The FREE and PA state employee on-line email registration form is at this link.  This form is filled out on-line and is submitted by clicking on the Submit to PGWA button at the bottom of the form.  If this on-line email registration form does not work and send you an automated confirmation email, then click here to open and print another form that you will fill in by hand, and then use the US Postal Service to mail it to us at the address on the bottom of this alternate form.

The registration fee for PGWA members is $25, and the registration fee for non-members is $45.  A hot-pork barbeque sandwich lunch is included with all registrations. Parking is provided right on the site.

To print a PAID registration form for the Summer Field Conference and Trade Show, click this link. 

To print a Trade Show exhibitor and sponsor registration form, click this link.

The registration deadline is Friday, June 3, 2016!

This PGWA Summer Field Conference program will provide 4.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH’s) for licensed Professional Geologists and licensed Professional Engineers. PGWA will provide Certificates of Participation for 4.5 PDH’s upon request to P.G.’s and P.E.’s who attend.  Check the Certificate of Participation request box on the registration form.

For hotel, motel, bed-and-breakfast, campground, and local attraction information, click this link.

For a location map with driving directions, click this link. 

To qualify for a Free Registration, you must be an employee or member of any federal, non-PA state, or local government agency or entity, a Master Well Owner, or a teacher or student. Commission and authority members and employees also qualify for a free registration.

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