Winter drilling

To prevent damage to a borehole that can affect a private water supply during the winter, it’s important that you take measures to properly safeguard exposed components of your borehole from the colder temperatures that we can experience during the colder months in the northern hemisphere.

We recommend protecting exposed elements such as pipes and filtration systems from extreme weather by investing in borehole insulation to guard against frost, ice, and snow. If the ground temperature falls to zero or below, any water present will freeze. Unlike most liquids, water expands when it solidifies due to the forces between the H2O molecules becoming fixed and as a result, are held further apart. This reduces the density and so the ice consumes more space than the water did. This expansion can cause filtration systems equipment and pipes to crack and break.

Naturally, when the temperature rises, as it can during winter in a temperate climate, the ice will thaw but the cracks and damage in the equipment will remain. Of course, this can cause leaks to occur and result in dangerous contamination in the water supply as well as a loss in efficiency.

Mike Bushby, the head of our Borehole Engineering Services explains what kind of damage can occur if exposed components like borehole filtration systems and pipes aren’t protected against extreme weather conditions.

“We were called to a commercial operator where the client had not installed the recommended insulation in and around the borehole – leaving essential parts completely exposed to harsh weather conditions.

The client was benefitting from an Ecomix filtration system together with a Clack valve to remove nitrates present in the water produced from the borehole.  After some rather harsh cold weather, the client noticed a coloured substance leaking from the filtration vessel. The leak had occurred due to cracks in the base of the vessel when water within froze, allowing the media resin that’s essential in the filtration process to escape.

Obviously, this had serious implications for water quality and safety because there wasn’t a sufficient amount of resin to remove excess nitrates from the water. Additionally, we noticed further damage in the way of burst pipes due to lack of insulation again, after exposure to very cold weather and we ended up replacing more than just the filtration vessel that day.”

To avoid this kind of failure happening during winter, safeguarding measures can be introduced in the form of adding lagging to exposed pipes, fitting insulation jackets to filter vessels and any cartridge filter housing and installing an insulated kiosk over existing boreholes. These kinds of preventive actions can only take hours to complete meaning minimal downtime. 

To speak to one of our expert team about insulating your borehole and filtration equipment get in touch here, or call us on 0191 527 3970.