BCGWA convention hosts pump installers training
Some 130 attendees came to the BCGWA convention and trade show in April to shop, network and learn. Photo courtesy BCGWA
Langley, B.C. – The B.C. Ground Water Association’s annual trade show, convention and AGM, held a bit later than usual from April 4-5 in Langley, hosted about 130 attendees – up from 110 in 2017 – who came to shop, network and learn.
The location played a role in the healthy turnout, general manager Kathy Tixier told us, pointing out the Valley is in reach of many of the nearly manufacturers suppliers exhibiting and/or sponsoring.
A big draw was a pump installers course offered at the convention offered by member Dave Mellis of PSI Pump Systems Inc. with the focus of helping to prepare candidates to challenge the ITA Well Pump Installer certification exam, Tixier said. This was the first time such training has been available since the Canadian Ground Water Association held courses. Twenty-six people attended the training and 10 pre-approved candidates wrote the exam.
Day 1 was given over to government and regulatory talks, including a workshop led by senior ground water data specialist Lindsay MacFarlane on the GWELLS search tool under development by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“We saw some great ministry-industry interaction and people gave feedback on web-based tools,” Tixier said.
Day 2 focused on the theme of flowing artesian wells. One highlight was a speaker series on practical and technical matters relating to flowing artesian wells. These are a big issue, especially in B.C., Tixier said. Mike Piechowski, principal hydrogeologist with Robinson Noble in Washington state, compared notes on his experiences with drilling and managing artesian wells from across the border.
In his presentation, Piechowski touted the importance of keeping honest, accurate well logs, looking for clues, being prepared, and checking well logs, maps, artesian advisories and other publications.
“Fixing it after the fact is a LOT harder to do,” he noted in the presentation.
“It was interesting to hear how policy differs in Washington state and what quality of data is available to them before they go drilling,” Tixier said.
“Planning for and Managing Artesian Well Conditions,” a talk by Robert Stadeli, rotary manager for Holt Services, covered flow and pressure, planning an adequate seal, as well as rig, fluid, casing advance and well-killing capabilities.
Other educational highlights included a discussion by engineer Wally Wells on asset management, and a talk by Water For Life representatives encouraging drillers to provide professional knowledge, technology, field experience or funds to their work providing wells to communities in Benin, West Africa.
Next year may see the event held in Langley or Penticton, Tixier said.
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