How we capped an artesian well from 4,600 miles away

In October 2021, an artesian water well on Gregory Combs’ land in Lilliwaup, Washington USA was damaged due to a condition known as water hammer or surge flow. The water hammer effect occurs when flowrates change – it can cause high pressure, high force or even a reversal of flow.

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What is artesian water?

Artesian water is groundwater that flows naturally to the surface because pressure in the rocks underground force it to the surface.  Having water flow to the surface naturally is great - if you can control it.  However, in our extensive experience, uncontrolled artesian flow can be disastrous, and we’re often called in to cap or control the pressure.

How a damaged artesian well can flood a site

When William’s well was damaged, the well cap needed repairing.  He attempted to disconnect the water supply to make the repair, then also discovered the main line extending directly from the well cap was warped due to the rapid opening of the 2'' main line during the surge flow event.

Because William’s well was an artesian one, no matter what he did, he couldn’t stop water free flowing to the surface from his aquifer and flooding his land.

Artesian water pouring out of a broken well head

Capping an artesian well

As William explains: “The first well driller I called came and looked at the project and said he would call back with a solution but never did (his organisation, I have been told, is the second largest drilling company in Washington state)!  

“He strung me out until December 2021 when I called another driller.  With no response from the second driller either, I started my search on the internet for a company to help me cap my artesian well.

“My search led me to your website and late one Sunday I wrote a desperate note delineating my problem.” 

Igne can solve free flowing artesian water - even from over 4,500 miles away!

The email we received from William contained images and a video of the issue and read: “80 lbs. of pressure when well cap is secure.  Can you tell me how to fix this - would like to have welded flange with 2” outlet as you see in pictures.  Local well drillers will not touch this job!” 

As soon as he received the email from William, Igne’s Water Well Manager John Gowans wrote back offering to help: “Hi William, This is something we do on a regular basis here in the UK but we need to know a couple of details about the well before we suggest the best way forward…”

The communications whizzed back and forth and by Tuesday, William had his solution laid out by John in step-by-step detail including the sage advice: “Fit the top flange to the welded flange and pull down using fully threaded extra-long bolts about 8-10” long – you will get very wet at this stage!

Fixing damaged artesian wells

Trying one last time, William sent John’s detailed solution to the second driller and threatened to do the work himself – saying he really wasn’t sure it was a DIY job he wanted to take on! 

Fortunately, the driller agreed to try John’s solution to fix the damaged artesian well and by the Thursday the problem was solved.

Welder working on a borehole as artesian water flows

Commenting on the free advice and expert service he received, William said: “Once John had responded, with his direction my local guys and I decided we could tackle this project and be successful.  I received excellent information and service from a person on the other side of the world!  Thank you John and all at Igne from the USA.”

Expert solutions to complex problems

Is your site flooding due to artesian flow?  Has your well been damaged by surge flow?  Is your water supply degraded or contaminated?  There is no water-related problem that we at Igne cannot solve – put us to the test: call 01544 267 980 or email for immediate support.