News - June 2013 - Richmond Virginia - Groundwater Protection and Drilling Geothermal Loop Boreholes

The mid-Atlantic region of the United States is a growing market for geothermal heat pump space-conditioning systems.  The American Ground Water Trust hosted the sixth anPresenter Dennis Duty of Baroidnual Geothermal Heating and Cooling Innovations workshop in the Delaware-Maryland- Virginia area on June 5.  Drilling boreholes is the most common ground loop installation method for geothermal systems.  When properly designed and installed a vertical loop field provides a very stable energy source leading to great system performance that can be sited on small property spaces. 

Dennis Duty (picture) of Baroid IDP with over 25 years experience in the geotechnical and water well drilling industry described the various drilling processes involved with vertical loop fields and the critical importance of protecting groundwater quality during the drilling, geo-pipe placement and grouting activities.  Dennis stated that, “a successful drilling project begins before the first turn of the drillbit.”  Determining what drilling methods and materials will be needed to complete the loop field installation correctly and also maintain groundwater quality requires pre-planning incorporating the best available information on the geology, groundwater and site conditions of the project site.  One size does not fit all.  Sources of local information reside at nearby universities, state environmental agencies and with the state and federal branches of geologic surveys.

A CD of the presentations (PDF format) offered at the Cincinnati Geothermal workshop is available for a small fee that supports the education programs of the American Ground Water Trust.  Send an email to the Trust for more information.