3 Tips for Managing Water Loss When Drilling in Highly Fractured Ground

If you are a first-time water bore drilling contractor, you might not be aware that drilling bores in a highly fractured ground increase the risk of losing drill water through faults. When this happens, you won't get drill water return; therefore, you end up drilling blindly. Additionally, underground fractures leave you with dry holes, and these are difficult to deal with because they increase vibrations inside a drill hole. Moreover, losing water through underground fractures increases drilling cycle time, thereby prolonging project timelines as well as costs. Furthermore, if the area you are dealing with has limited water resources, then it will be impossible to recycle the drill water. So, what do you do to reduce water loss if you hit a void during drilling? This article highlights the active and practical steps that you can take to minimise drill water loss in bores.

Use Drilling Additives Beforehand

One of the best ways to manage drill water loss when drilling water bores in a highly fractured ground is to prevent the damage from happening in the first place. First-time contractors can do this by using industry accepted drilling fluid additives that plug faults along the drill shaft. These act like an insurance policy by ensuring that all cracks and faults are filled before you reach groundwater. When you hit an underground water source, you are guaranteed water return because there are no faults for the water to escape through.

Stop Operations Immediately

When you hit a fault, you might be tempted to continue drilling, especially if there are signs of a water source near the surface. However, it is dangerous because the moment your drill passes the fault you will start to lose your drilling water in large amounts. The best action to take is to stop operations immediately and identify the exact location of the fault. You can do this by checking the core since it indicates exactly where the fracture is located. Usually, the core will have a section that is covered with mud and another part that is covered with little to no mud. The intersection between these two points is where the fault begins. Once you find the fault location, you can pour down additives which will plug the faults, thereby preventing further drill water loss.

Use the Right Drilling Additives

The effectiveness of an additive depends on the size of a fault. If the faults are small cracks and fissures, then conventional drilling fluid additives will work just fine. However, for larger faults, you might need to prepare a pill and pour it down the hole. What pills do is to expand beyond their original size when absorbing water. Therefore, the pills are capable of plugging a large void and preventing excessive drill water loss.