Hydro-Fracturing and Low Yield Water Wells

We at Drillwell are often asked “What is hydro-fracturing?” and “I have a Vancouver Island water well. Can hydro-fracturing help me?”

Hydro-fracturing is a technology that was first developed in the oil and gas industry. The theory behind the technology behind Vancouver Island hydro-fracturing is that by injecting high pressure water into rock formations, the existing cracks, and fissures in the bedrock can be opened and flushed out, thereby allowing fluids to travel more freely through the ground. As well, some claim that new fractures can actually be created in solid rock.
Here is how it’s done. We lower a packer into the well. ( The packer is a 4 ft. long gland made of rubber and steel.) When the packer is in place at it’s first setting, we inflate it with water to approximately 1,000 psi. to prevent it from moving in the hole, and to seal the pressure below it. We then pump water through the packer using our triplex piston pump, which pumps 65gpm at pressures up to 2,000 psi.
Rarely does the formation maintain pressures as great as even 1500 psi., before it ‘ fracs’, and the pressure escapes into the formation. We continue pumping until the pressure stabilizes ( usually 5 to 10 min.) and then we release the packer, and lower it in the hole for the next setting. A full ‘ frac.’ usually consists of three settings in the well, and the pumping of about 1,500 gallons of water.
We have been doing Vancouver Island hydro-fracturing for about 12 years, and have got the largest volume/pressure system in the province. Consequently we have been called on to perform hydro-fracturing service in Duncan, Shawnigan, Mill Bay, Cobble Hill, Lake Cowichan, Sahtlam, Victoria, Sooke, Sidney, Saanich, Salt Spring, Thetis Island, Chemainus, Crofton, Cedar, Nanaimo, Parksville, Coombs, Merville, Courtenay, Comox, Uclulet, Quadra Island, Sointula, Port McNeill, Port Hardy, Qualicum, Campbell River, Gold River, Port Renfrew, Port Alberni, Powell River, Highlands, Sun Shine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Logan Lake, Merritt, Cache Creek, Kamloops, and Jordan River.
Our most dramatic Vancouver Island hydro-fracturing successes have been in turning wells which were basically dry, into wells capable of producing 5 to 10 gallons per minute. More typically though we see wells go from 1 gpm. or less, to 2 or 3 gpm.

Will hydro-fracturing work for your Vancouver Island well? The short answer to that question is… maybe. It depends on the rock type, the depth of the well, and the occurrence of good water bearing formations in a given area. To get more information on hydro-fracturing, or any other aspect of groundwater and wells please contact us.