My name is Richard Estabrook and I am a retired petroleum engineer who worked in the geothermal and oil and gas industries for 34 years. One of the most interesting aspects of my job was analyzing well test data from newly-drilled geothermal and oil and gas wells to determine if the wells were economically viable. I often wondered if these techniques would work with water wells and I have spent much of the past 5 years studying aquifer testing and analysis techniques to find out. The answer is yes, the methods I learned in the energy industry will work with water wells and, in fact, the oil and gas well testing techniques are actually based on hydrologic testing methods developed in the 1930s. As a result, I use a combination of traditional aquifer testing methods along with innovations and improvements from the oil and gas industry adapted to aquifer applications.
Aquifer testing using these techniques has traditionally been expensive and is primarily used for large scale projects such as farms and municipalities. I have developed equipment and analysis software built for small scale applications such as residential wells, which makes the testing costs competitive with other water well testing methods.
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