Addressing the First Nations drinking water crisis, one community at a time

Addressing the First Nations drinking water crisis, one community at a time

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the First Nations water crisis.

Enduring influence

Enduring influence

Gord Bailey was born to teach, but he didn’t always know it.

Choppers at work

Choppers at work

Who says installing pumps can’t look like Mission Impossible?

Groundwater Week: 5 gems

Groundwater Week: 5 gems

The National Ground Water Association’s annual expo

New Minas, N.S. – The Village of New Minas, N.S., plans to put in place protection for its water supply in the event of flooding from extreme storms like those that have hit the U.S. recently. The Chronicle-Herald reports. | READ MORE
Victoria – More than half of the 60 school districts in British Columbia had unsafe levels of lead in drinking water sources in 2016 and early 2017, according to new water testing ordered by the provincial government. The Vancouver Sun reports. | READ MORE
Ristigouche-Sud-Est, Que. – A town in Quebec says it will be driven into bankruptcy if it loses a $1-million lawsuit launched by an oil company in response to a bylaw the town passed prohibiting drilling oil within two kilometres of a well or surface water. The National Post reports. | READ MORE
Niagara Region, Ont. – Researchers studying fish from the Niagara River have found that human antidepressants and remnants of these drugs are building up in the fishes' brains. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Houston, TX – Lurking within the flood waters in Houston, Texas, could be a toxic soup from untold sources, including the dozen or more EPA Superfund sites in Harris County. Forbes magazine reports. | READ MORE
Saint John, N.B. – A special underground wall installed on a contaminated Canada Post property is working to prevent the spread of toxic creosote through ground water into Saint John's Marsh Creek, according to an environmental study. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Moncton – Fears that glyphosate, which the New Brunswick forest industry uses to kill maple, oak and other hardwood growth, might be dangerous to water are unwarranted, says a toxicologist from the University of Guelph. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Ottawa – Dalex Canada of Concord, Ont., pleaded guilty and was fined $100,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice to one count of contravening the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations made pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada said in a news release.
Ottawa – The price to clean up the former brewery lands for a new Ottawa hospital – which includes dealing with metals and inorganics in the ground water – appears to be higher than previously known, according to a report commissioned by the federal government. Ottawa Business Journal reports. | READ MORE
State College, PA – A recent Pennsylvania State University study of compounds from pharmaceuticals and personal care products provides insight into the transport of emerging contaminants in aquatic ecosystems and ground water, according to researchers in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Pictou County, N.S. – Researchers are looking for homeowners in several Pictou County communities to participate in a study that will measure methane emissions through atmospheric, ground water and soil gas testing in areas close to historically developed coal mines. The New Glasgow News reports. | READ MORE
Aberfoyle, Ont. – Councillors of Puslinch Township, Ont., recently heard a presentation on concerns over plans by nearby Cambridge and Guelph to increase city water supplies in the future. The Wellington Advertiser reports. | READ MORE
South Jordan, UT – The "Village Drill," a model envisioned by John Renouard and developed by Brigham Young University students, is human-powered and capable of drilling up to 295 feet into the ground – deep enough to reach clean, unpolluted ground water almost anywhere in the world. The Deseret News reports. | READ MORE
You provide high-quality wells and servicing, but are you meeting your customers’ less tangible need for information and peace of mind? We spoke with a ground water educator, established drilling companies and a satisfied would-be customer to get insight into what constitutes great customer service.
Qualicum Beach, B.C. – Ken Fyfe of Fyfe Well Drilling in Qualicum Beach, B.C., has worn many hats during some 43 years as a water-well driller. Fyfe shared with  Ground Water Canada photos of his recently restored steam drill rig made by Keystone Company in Beaver Falls, Penn.
Toronto and San Bernardino County, CA – NewCastle Gold recently reported on the water supply drilling program for its Castle Mountain gold project in San Bernardino County, Calif.
Ground Water Canada visited Fleming College to see what students in the Resources Drilling and Blasting program were up to.
Alberta – After years of being a magnet for job seekers, Canada’s oilpatch is turning into a bit of a no-go place — and that’s making a recovery harder. The Calgary Herald reports. | READ MORE
Princeton, NJ – A new report breaks down the international water well drilling rig market by size, share, trends, industry growth, application, and other characteristics through 2022.
Midland, TX – In the last year alone, Big Oil has spent more than $25 billion US on deals in the Permian basin, an area of West Texas and New Mexico. The land grab has put these oilfields back at the centre of the petroleum universe, a spot that not long ago was occupied by Canada's oilsands. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
This issue we’re showcasing a few items to give you an idea of what’s available in technology and capacity to suit your needs. All information has been supplied by the manufacturers and compiled by Ground Water Canada into an easy-to-read reference guide.
Denver, CO – The average Canadian rig count for December 2016 was 209, up 36 from the 173 counted in November 2016, and up 49 from the 160 counted in December 2015, according to the latest report from Baker Hughes Incorporated.
San Francisco, CA – GE said it was working with Maersk Drilling on a pilot program that uses advanced algorithms and sensor data to potentially increase productivity as well as cut maintenance costs of marine drilling. UPI reports. | READ MORE
Canada – Drilling activity should increase slightly next year but will fall well short of pre-recession levels in 2014, suggests a new forecast for the oil and gas industry. The Calgary Herald reports. | READ MORE
Montreal – The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition announced that work has begun to create a detailed resource map of ground thermal conductivity at depths up to 200 metres (650 feet) in one of Canada’s most densely populated areas.
Pittsburgh, PA – A collaborative research paper published in the journal Energies looks at the effects of various conditions on the fluid flow, particle migration and heat transfer in non-linear fluids encountered in drilling and geothermal applications.
Valemount, B.C. – A demonstration project in a small B.C. community aims to use geothermal energy for power and for a wide variety of heat applications that could help transform the local economy. ThinkGeoEnergy reports. | READ MORE
Stauffen, Germany – A German town’s decision to invest in geothermal energy backfired badly after underground drilling penetrated a layer of earth and struck ground water, causing hundreds of buildings began to fall apart. The Local reports. | READ MORE
Mountain View, CA – Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. is venturing into the residential geothermal heating and cooling market with a "slender" drilling technique. Tech Times reports. | READ MORE
Vancouver – BC Ministry of Environment government staff overseeing environmental and natural resource sectors will provide regular updates to GeoExchange BC members, and to the geoexchange industry at large, related to legislation and policy development and program activities that may affect the geoexchange industry.
Gibsons, B.C. – Gibsons, B.C., council has decided to exclude Park-land Phase 3 from the requirement to connect to the Town-owned geothermal system, the Gibsons and District Energy Utility, writes Sean Eckford for the Coast Reporter. | READ MORE
Edmonton – Thousands of unemployed energy workers are looking to the federal budget hoping their jobs can be brought back to life, when and if abandoned oil wells are used again. News 880AM reports. | READ MORE
Hamilton, Ont. – New Horizon Development Group is starting construction on the third phase of its City Square condo project in downtown Hamilton, Ont. It is the 10th structure the company has built in the Hamilton-Burlington area to use geothermal energy rather than natural gas. The Hamilton Spectator reports. | READ MORE
Sussex, N.B. – PotashCorp's original mine at Penobsquis has been capped and allowed to slowly to fill with water, and according to the town's economic development co-ordinator, that water could play an unexpected role in the town's energy future. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Gibsons, B.C. – More than two-dozen Parkland, B.C., residents packed Gibsons Town Hall Feb. 15 hoping for answers about the problems that plagued the geothermal heating system during one of the coldest stretches of the year, says The Coast Reporter. | READ MORE
Reno, NV – A small-scale geothermal district heating system in Reno, Nevada – the largest in the state – is likely to be shut down due to expensive investments required to update the system. ThinkGeoEnergy reports. | READ MORE
Twelve thousand years ago, Earth was a frigid place.
Vancouver – Scientists at the University of British Columbia have released a policy paper highlighting how metagenomics is being used to study the microbial communities in the water in order to develop new tests to assess water quality. READ MORE
Australia – Scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia have proposed a novel method for optimizing ground water monitoring well network design in which many plausible future outcomes of water quality are considered and synthesized to help the design of a network. Read more about the study on Wiley Online Library. | READ MORE
John F. Jones was a scientist and educator who left his mark on ground water in Canada. Jones passed away on Nov. 26, 2016, at the age of 82. Through Jones' former students, now practising professionals, we reflect on his immeasurable contribution to ground water education and policy.
Lindsay, Ont. – In April, Fleming College’s Frost Campus in Lindsay, Ont., opened its doors to Ground Water Canada and I spent an eye-opening couple of days with students in a unique course at Fleming College, called Well Constructed, that helps prepare well technicians for the Well Technician Licence exam.
Fort Wayne, IN – STAR Island, an off-grid sustainable resort in the Bahamas, is working with Franklin Electric on innovative potable water and pumping systems.
Cleveland, OH – The Northeast-Midwest Institute and the Council of the Great Lakes Region have signed a collaboration agreement that aims to conduct high-quality research and policy analysis on issues affecting the broader Great Lakes region. Signed on July 7, the agreement launches an ambitious effort by CGLR and NEMWI to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the United States (U.S.) and Canada by undertaking joint policy research on a variety of economic, social and environmental policy issues facing the Great Lakes region, the Council of the Great Lakes Region said in a news release. It also aims to provide outreach to federal, state-provincial and local legislators and policy-makers in both countries. “This new collaboration will enhance our impact by bringing a bi-national perspective that will broaden the Great Lakes policy agenda and ensure that we respond more fully to the challenges and opportunities ahead," said Michael Goff, President and CEO of the Northeast-Midwest Institute. "For sure, this bi-national perspective is essential for our continued progress protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and enhancing regional economic growth.” The goals of the new partnership include: Conducting high quality research and policy analysis on issues affecting the broader Great Lakes region; Expanding the range and impact of policy solutions designed to protect the Great Lakes and spur economic growth by adding a bi-national perspective to legislative debates; Convening diverse perspectives and interests at conferences, roundtables and legislative briefings, Shaping opinions about the region’s long-term competitiveness and sustainability; and, Acting as a strong voice for the bi-national Great Lakes Region. “This new partnership presents a tremendous opportunity for CGLR and the Northeast-Midwest Institute to leverage each organization’s policy resources and outreach efforts in raising awareness about the world’s most successful bilateral relationship and how we can make it even better in a vital cross-border region like the Great Lakes," said Mark Fisher, president and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. The Great Lakes region spans the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Oxford, U.K. – Smart systems, big-data technologies and decentralized solutions for water treatment are expected to grow in the next five years as aging infrastructure, leakage management and intelligent sewer networks rise up the utility agenda.
Five free webinars to help household water well owners with issues including drought, turbid water, and well disinfection are being offered July through early September by the National Ground Water Association. The Globe reports. | READ MORE
Forest, WI – An artesian well, set back just a few feet from the road in the town of Forest in Wisconsin's Fond du Lac County offers a continuous flow of water from a stainless steel spigot. The Fond du Lac Reporter details the history of the artesian well. | READ MORE
Canada’s Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water recently released a report on lead in drinking water with an eye to updating the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Comments were taken from the public until March 15.
Kitchener, Ont. – The Waterloo Wellington Children's Groundwater Festival welcomed more than 1,000 students on May 31, the last day of the annual event at Doon Heritage Village in Kitchener, Ont.
Krohne has a new line of liquid level measurement products featuring better measurement, enhanced software, and an improved and more powerful signal processor.
MilliporeSigma’s Milli-Q HR 7000 series offers laboratories and research facilities a high-throughput water purification system as a connected and sustainable central pure water solution.
Merrill Manufacturing has acquired H2Optimal, a pitless unit business for the professional ground water market.
Flomatic Corporation’s 80E check valves sizes quarter-inch through four inches are now NSF/ANSI standard 61 certified for drinking water systems, the company announced in a press release.
The Lone Star LST1G+HDA Geotechnical Drill from Little Beaver provides engineers and soil technicians with a precise and easy-to-operate drilling solution for standard penetration tests and soil sampling in nearly any soil.
Wellntel has come out with new Sensor Firmware V2 (SV2) designed to improve the ability to find and track ground water levels with little or no calibration in a wide range of physical and acoustic well conditions, and when situations in the field change.
Goulds Water Technology’s line of submersible turbine pumps features hydraulic coverage that delivers the pump head and capacity a system requires, while maximizing efficiency and extending pump life.
Rockmore International has added the ROK 550T to its T Series down-the-hole (DTH) hammer line. The tubeless Rockmore T Series DTH hammers use drill bits with industry-standard shank connections without the imbedded plastic blow tube/foot valve.
Franklin Electric wants to help water-well contractors and pump product dealers run their businesses smarter. The company’s Key Dealer Program provides a suite of services to help contractors distinguish themselves from their competition and elevate their business.
Rock Monster HD backreamers from Ditch Witch are desgined to help horizontal directional drilling operators improve drilling performance in hard-rock conditions.
Bay Shore Systems' TR40-30/50 features adjustable width and height, ease of transport, and drilling depths from 30 to 80 feet.  
At Groundwater Week in Las Vegas, Brian Curliss and Phil Chatlosh of Proheat in Richmond, B.C., described to us the company’s 45,000-BTU coolant heater, which may be used to preheat engines, heat vehicle interiors and prevent freezing of fluids.
Victoria – GeoExchange BC recently welcomed Maria Nguyen to the Aquifer & Watershed Science team in Victoria.
John Larson started in the well drilling industry in 1973, when he was 18 years old. Once he had his apprenticeship ticket and had worked for a while, he started Larson’s Water Well Drilling and Servicing out of Lougheed, Alta.
Paul Conrad has built his business – and his life – around a simple concept: treat others the way you want to be treated and that good will come back to you. It’s a karmic perspective that influences everything he does, from the wells he drills and the service he offers, to how sees his role in the protection of ground water, and how he works with other businesses and people in his community.
Personalization can mean anything from remembering customers’ names to issuing timely email reminders. As customer service expert Shep Hyken writes, creating a great personalized experience for customers leads to the best kind of word-of-mouth marketing.
When was the last time you called your business? I recently spoke at a conference. After the speech, the client gave me a gift: the list of everyone in the audience with their contact information. She suggested I pick up the phone and let everyone know they should hire me to speak at their next meeting. (Now, that’s a nice gift!)
The Ontario Ground Water Association drew a good crowd for its annual convention and general meeting at the tranquil Nottawasaga Inn, Resort and Conference Centre in April.
Sonoma Valley, CA – The new order of ground water regulation is just starting to come into shape and will take several years to implement, with still-undefined costs, monitoring and limits that may fall primarily on rural well owners, including residents and farmers. The Sonoma Index-Tribune reports. | READ MORE
Westerville, OH – Terry Morse has been selected as the incoming chief executive officer of the National Ground Water Association. He is the successor to Kevin McCray, CAE, who, after 22 years as CEO and 35 years in the ground water industry, is retiring Dec. 31, 2017.
Ottawa – The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum will host a two-day workshop on apprenticeship technical training in Ottawa in October.
Your most effective and cost-efficient source of new business is referrals. However, many business owners feel it makes them appear needy, desperate, or imposing. Here are five ways to ask for referrals without making you – or your customer – feel uncomfortable.
What does it mean to be a customer-centric business?
Started by his father, Maurice, in 1964 under his own name, it quickly became M&M Drilling Rivers Ltd. (not to be confused with M&M Drilling of Alberta).

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