Friday, April 20, 2012

Project Spotlight - Well Closure in New Mexico

HICAPS provided general construction services for the removal of all surface equipment, plugging and capping of one abandoned 997 foot production water well and four contaminant monitoring wells. Closure of the water well required the removal and reinstallation of an existing removable roof and wall to access the well water equipment and turbine pump. The well decommissioning was done in accordance with all applicable state and federal requirements.  Our teaming partner, Richardson and Richardson assisted us greatly on this project by providing quality control and directing the well house up-fit. 
HICAPS provided overall project management as well as on-site field supervision, quality control and enforced OSHA safety standards. HICAPS also coordinated all material delivery, ensured all personnel were prepared, scheduled and provided communication with the VA Contracting Officer Representative and other VA facility staff ensuring they were continuously aware of our plans and progress.
All New Mexico state water well compliance regulations and the ones from the VA campus that superseded them were met and provided unique aspects to this project. We faced the challenge of abandoning wells in high traffic / patient parking areas, which is uncommon and required extensive coordination efforts to ensure minimal impact to the Air Force dental patients and staff. Furthermore, two of the observation wells were beneath solar roof canopies. It was contingent upon HICAPS and our subcontractors to present a method of abandonment to the VA and US Air Force (USAF, the end-user) that would mitigate any impact to the photovoltaic panels and their supporting canopy structure. HICAPS performed extensive planning and logistics coordination to minimize the traffic impact of observation well abandonment in the USAF parking lot, and performed two of the abandonments during weekends. HICAPS developed expertise in VA hot work requirements as a result of the decommissioning of the production well and observation wells.  On several occasions HICAPS and Richardson and Richardson provided a finished well house and cleaned site with additional gravel that exceeded the contract requirements.  We were able to complete the project within 4 months after receiving notice to proceed, which was 2 months less than the project required.  This allowed us to save time and money in addition to further mitigating the inconvenience of occupying VA property near critical campus water infrastructure.