By Jackie Taylor
Have you heard of WellJet yet? If you haven’t, you are missing out on an incredibly important resource for your wells. I first encountered WellJet virtually and have been intrigued ever since. After months of planning and learning about the well jetting process online I had the pleasure of meeting the company in person in February at a well rehabilitation for Dutra Farms in Hanford. I was hesitant to be around such expensive equipment but WellJet’s Vice President Charlie Carner helped me ease into the process as it began, although he did not say how wet I would get in the process! I was intrigued to note that the WellJet system is more complex than I had even imagined and I saw first-hand that day that jetting your well is the way to go if you are losing water pressure, efficiency, and profits. Why pay PG&E extra power costs when you can pay for real professionals to come out and service your well and do it right the first time?
WellJet® inventor Jeffrey B. Glass has been designing, building and operating high-pressure hydrojetting equipment for more than 30 years, across multiple disciplines from hydro-demolition to surface preparation to abrasive cutting. Jeff came up with the idea for WellJet more than a decade ago, earning US Patent No. 8,312,930 B1 in 2012. Since then, WellJet has successfully developed and rehabilitated more than a thousand wells around the world – from Hawaii to Abu Dhabi and just about everywhere in between.
WellJet’s keys to success are tool design, process, and pressure. Hydrojetting has been around since the 1960s. But prior to WellJet, it was of limited value in water well development and rehabilitation. The problems were how to maintain pressure downhole, providing a coherent jet, and using enough pressure to overcome the bonding strength of encrustation and deposits – without damaging the well itself.
Glass was able to solve those problems, enabling WellJet to succeed where others had failed. WellJet utilizes multiple nozzles on a self-rotating head, attached to a continuous length of custom-built high-pressure hose. After testing at the surface, the WellJet tool is inserted in the well and lowered to the bottom of the perforated portion of the well casing. The system is pressurized to the desired level (usually 15,000-20,000 psi for steel casings, 5,000-7,000 for PVC or other plastic), and then the tool is retrieved hydraulically at a slow rate of ascent to ensure 100 percent of the perforated area is jetted.
An important factor in WellJet’s unrivalled success is the use of laminar flow (up to 10” from the tips) to not only remove encrustation within the casing and open plugged perforations, but also to generate energy into the gravel pack and near-wellbore formation, breaking down harmful deposits that prevent free water flow.
Every element of the WellJet process – tool size, pressure, rotational speed and retrieval rate – is adjustable, to suit the specific conditions of individual wells. This enables WellJet to be effective in everything from brand-new stainless steel wells to 70-year-old cable tool wells thought to be on their last legs.
WellJet routinely reinvigorates wells upon which other methods proved ineffective and recovers like-new performance metrics even for wells that have been idle for years.
One such example was California Water Service Group’s Dominguez 294 well. When first put into production, DOM 294-01 produced approximately 1,200 gpm with 45’ of drawdown, for a specific capacity of 26.7 gpm/ft. Over the next several years, the well was mostly idle for extended periods of time (due to water quality issues), punctuated with periodic pump-to-waste events. When the well was pumped once more, it could only sustain 160 gpm – 13% of previous output.
WellJet was a key element in reinvigorating 294, which after rehab produced 1,200 gpm – with only 24’ of drawdown, for a specific capacity of 51 gpm/ft – considerably better than when it was new.
WellJet has had great success helping Central Valley farmers restore production and efficiency in their wells, such as Giacomazzi & Sons, whose well had dropped from 2,000 to 500 gpm. WellJet was successful in restoring that flow. “It’s like a new well,” Bill Giacomazzi said, “Unbelievable.”
WellJet has also enjoyed great success with new well development. One such project was for LADWP’s Van Norman wells, which after jetting improved output by over 120 precent and increased efficiency by more than 200 percent.
WellJet successfully rehabilitated an entire 21-well field for the Jordan Phosphate Mining Company, restoring the 25-year-old wells to better-than-new performance.
WellJet has successfully rehabilitated more than 25 wells for the Corcoran Irrigation District over the past four years. Some of those wells were drilled in the 1950s. They suffered from encrustation, biofouling, excessive sand production, numerous breaks and patches, and collapses at lower depths. WellJet adapted to meet every challenge. As CID General Manager Gene Kilgore says, “WellJet has been an important part of several successful well rehabilitations for Corcoran Irrigation District.”
WellJet is based in Ventura County, California – but operates all over the world, wherever people need productive and efficient groundwater wells to supply their agricultural, municipal, industrial or mining needs.
Call Charlie at (818) 292-7135, or email him at ccarner@WellJethpc.com to find out how WellJet can improve the performance and extend the working lifespan of your critical groundwater infrastructure.
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