Ground Water Canada

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Outdoor drilling demonstration


December 16, 2010
By Ground Water Canada magazine

Topics

The outdoor demonstration takes place at the former Swift’s Foods of
Canada Limited Site at 780 Marion St. Winnipeg, Man., an area known as
the Public Markets area. Prior to the First World War, rail lines were
set up, and a large stock yard was developed for cattle and pigs. This
facility was known as the Union Stock Yards.

The outdoor demonstration takes place at the former Swift’s Foods of Canada Limited Site at 780 Marion St. Winnipeg, Man., an area known as the Public Markets area. Prior to the First World War, rail lines were set up, and a large stock yard was developed for cattle and pigs. This facility was known as the Union Stock Yards. The facility consisted of stock pens, loading and un-loading facilities, auctions, and storage buildings. Animals were brought to the facility and sold at auction for meat processing. Several large capacity wells were drilled in the carbonate bedrock aquifer to supply water for watering and washing purposes.

In the late 1920s, the William Davies Company Limited of Toronto constructed a large meat packing facility south of the stock yards. The facility subsequently evolved into the Canada Packers Company, and used ground water for refrigeration, washing and processing.

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In 1939, an additional meat packing plant was set up immediately east of the Canada Packers plant. This facility was known as Swift’s Foods. Again, ground water from the seven on-site wells was used for refrigeration, washing, and processing.

These two plants became major features in the area, and employed thousands of people in Winnipeg. During the Second World War, the two plants operated 24 hours/day and produced a substantial amount of processed meat products for war torn Europe.

These two plants pumped well over 250,000,000 gallons per year annually from the carbonate aquifer, contributing to a significant drawdown cone in the central Winnipeg area.

Swifts Foods ceased operations in 1975, followed by Canada Packers in the early 1990s. The Union Stock Yards also ceased operations during this period. After a long period of dormancy, all three former operations were demolished and cleared.

The Manitoba Water Well Association and the Manitoba Geothermal Energy Alliance have secured the use of this site from the current owner, Canad Inns, of Winnipeg.

The geology on the site is approximately as follows:

  • 0 – 10 feet – Fill material and organics
  • 10 – 25 feet – Brown clay
  • 25 – 45 feet – Grey clay
  • 45 – 55 feet – Glacial till diamict
  • 55 – 450 feet – Carbonate bedrock (Fresh water)
  • 450 – 475 feet – Shale
  • 475 – 525 feet – Sandstone (Saline water)


The major source of permeability in the carbonate bedrock aquifer in the Winnipeg area is through fractures, joint sets, and bedding planes.

Sample demos
One demonstration involves testing two different Poly Diamond Crystalline (PDC) drill bits. This demonstration will employ two drill rigs to compare the speed and durability of two different PDC drill bits in the drilling of limestone bedrock. These will be an Atlas Copco TH-60 Air/Rotary drill rig using a PDC from Hamaman Inc.; and a Laibe Corporation Versa Drill VG-100 Air/Rotary drill rig using a PDC from Palmer Bits Company Limited. This demonstration will take the form of a “Drill Off” between the two rigs, each using a different brand of PDC. Participants will have the chance to review the performance of each bit, along with the type of cuttings produced, and the overall durability of each bit. By employing two different rigs, the participant will also be able to see each drill in action.

Another demonstration will feature a Shallow Auger Geothermal Loop Installation. This demonstration will see a water injection auger used to install a shallow geothermal loop in the overburden clays and tills. This method of installation is common in Manitoba and other parts of Canada for shallow geothermal loop installations. The participant will be able to see the rig operations, and the overall speed of installation of the shallow conductor loop. This demonstration is brought to CanWell by the Manitoba Geothermal Energy Alliance.These are just two of over a dozen different demos CanWell 2010 attendees can enjoy.


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