Life-Cycle Economic Analysis of Water Wells - Considerations for Design and Construction
Marvin F. Glotfelty
Co-Founder & Principal Hydrogeologist, Clear Creek Associates
This presentation includes discussions of several key elements of well design/construction that impact the total (life cycle) cost of water wells, such as well screen type, construction material, well development method, and frequency of well cleaning. An example life-cycle economic analysis will be presented, comparing low-carbon steel vs. stainless steel well screen. The economic analysis will include consideration of the actual construction cost of 70 municipal wells that were installed between 1993 and 2011. The economic elements to be considered will include initial capital cost; energy requirements for water pumping; operations & maintenance costs; probable well longevity and replacement schedules; etc. The operations & maintenance costs are actual values from a large water purveyor in Arizona. Previously, this economic analysis was performed independently in 2003 and 2008, with essentially identical results to those of the economic analysis that was conducted for this lecture. The life-cycle economic analysis results provide the lesson that in some cases, more expensive well installation costs pay for themselves in the early life of the well, with dividends in value and economics for many subsequent years.
Marvin F. Glotfelty, R.G. is a co-founder and Principal Hydrogeologist with Clear Creek Associates. He received his BS and MS degrees in geology from Northern Arizona University, and is a Registered Professional Geologist in Arizona and California, as well as a Licensed Well Driller in Arizona. During his professional career spanning over three decades, Mr. Glotfelty has been involved with the design, installation, rehabilitation, or abandonment of over 800 water wells in the southwestern United States, and he has served as Technical Director of the Arizona Water Well Association for about 25 years (since 1990). Mr. Glotfelty has given over 100 presentations on hydrogeologic and water well topics, including lectures in 17 U.S. states as well as in five other international countries (Australia, Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, and Columbia). He has authored over 20 publications, including a Glossary of Driller’s Terms published by the National Ground Water Association (2004), and editorial review of Chapter 10 of the 3rd ed. Groundwater & Wells published by Johnson Screens Co. (2007). In 1995, he received the City of Phoenix Mayor's Environmental Award for his work with rehabilitation of municipal wells to improve their water quality, and he received national prominence by being selected as the National Ground Water Association’s Distinguished McEllhiney Lecturer for 2012. Mr. Glotfelty managed the design and installation of three Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR) wells for the City of Phoenix, for which the City received the 2013 NGWA Outstanding Groundwater Project Award as the top groundwater supply project in the nation.
Tom McCarthy works for the City of Anaheim as the Water Planning and Resources Manager in the Public Utilities Department. He also has professional experience working with private firms on water resources and management problems around the world. He is a State of California registered professional civil engineer, as well as a California registered professional geologist. Mr. McCarthy has a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences from the University of Oregon and a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.