Drilling a well is hardly a process for just anyone to take on—you can’t simply drill down and down until you hit the water table! Well drilling is actually very calculated and precise, and includes a number of nuances that make it something reserved only for trained and seasoned professionals.
One of the intricacies that comes with a proper well drilling is the installation of the actual well piping and, around it, grout seal. Grout seal is a very important factor in the stability and longevity of the well installation and plays an integral role in ensuring the well is drilled appropriately.
What is it?
Grout seal is concrete mixture that lacks aggregate—meaning sand hasn’t been mixed into it. In essence, it’s very similar to the grouting you’d use in a bathroom to seal tile. Sometimes called “neat cement,” grout seal is pumped into the earth around the well, from the surface down to the point of the bottom of the casing, where the drive shoe is located. Grouting fills what’s called “annular space” around the casing, providing a barrier between the well and the earth around it.
What does it do?
So what exactly does this step of well drilling in Missoula, MT actually accomplish? A number of critical things, in fact! Grouting is pumped in around a well to protect it from shifting earth, underlying erosion, pressure and more weathering variables that can occur over time.
- Natural soil erosion is actually a huge problem for many wells because it starts to shift the well casing, which can cause issues in the way of improper pump function and potential down-well damage. Grouting acts as a barrier between the casing and the earth, to offer malleability in the face of shifting over time.
- Contamination is more easily kept at bay with a grouting installed around the casing of the well. Grouting protects the annular area, which is an area that’s primed for contamination if left unchecked. Both contaminated soil and contaminated groundwater runoff can infiltrate the annular space around a casing to cause unmitigated contamination of the well itself.
- Grouting adds structural stability to the well when underlying erosion occurs. High soil saturation levels can quickly impact or become marshy, which causes structures embedded within them to shift and fail. Grouting adds stability that protects the well and casing by leaving it impervious to soil conditions that may cause erosion.
In a nutshell, the reason grouting is such an important step in well drilling in Missoula, MT is because it provides yet another resilient level of protection to your well in the face of variables that may otherwise damage it.
Consider this final piece of information. In 2002, the United States Geological Society conducted a study in Pennsylvania, focused on 100 private wells. The study found that grouting—when used in conjunction with proper well capping techniques—reduced the presence of water contaminants (including e. coli) up to three time over those wells left un-grouted and improperly capped. When consider this information, it becomes quickly evident that grouting is an important aspect of well drilling in Missoula, MT.