National Ground Water Association to Develop Loop Well Standard

Geoff Grisso
February 18, 2013 — 929 views  
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The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has announced plans to develop an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) third-party accredited standard for the construction of vertical boreholes used in closed loop ground source heat pump systems.

The decision was reached by the NGWA Board of Directors earlier this month.

"This effort will use our now nearly 15 year old guidelines document on this topic as the basis from which to develop the standard," explains NGWA Executive Director Kevin McCray.

The guidelines, first published in 1997, have been revised by NGWA twice in the intervening years, most recently in 2010.

"NGWA's motivation is to strengthen our contributions to this important drilling market segment heavily served by water well drilling contractor firms," McCray said.

"We want to help assure that the drilling of loop wells—the vertical boreholes of many ground source heat pump systems—is done in a way that protects the groundwater from contamination risk. The number of boreholes typically drilled for such systems makes groundwater protection especially important," McCray continued. "We also want to assure that loop wells are drilled to the design specifications so these systems operate effectively over their lifetime. This will strengthen customer satisfaction and customer support."

The guidelines contain chapters, or "articles" on topics such as loop well field design, test loop wells and samples, borehole construction, loop tube installation, loop well grouting, loop well field identification, and permanent loop well decommissioning. NGWA anticipates the standard will ultimately cover similar interests.

"Having much of the standard completed by way of the guidelines, we hope will lead to rapid development of the standard and introduction to the required public comment periods on the draft," McCray says. "However, the ANSI process is very deliberate and thoughtful, with an aim toward consensus agreement. We will follow the procedures to produce our best possible work."

To learn more about NGWA's guidelines for the construction of vertical closed loop heat pump systems, visit www.NGWA.org, or call 800 551.7379 (614 898.7791).

NGWA, a nonprofit organization composed of U.S. and international groundwater professionals — contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, scientists, and engineers — is dedicated to advancing groundwater knowledge. NGWA's vision is to be the leading groundwater association that advocates the responsible development, management, and use of water.

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Geoff Grisso