The extremely dry weather in Scotland this summer has been welcome amongst our drill crews, to say the least. The heat can bring its own challenges but generally things are just that bit easier during the summer months.

We are fast approaching the autumn and winter months, however, when conditions become wetter and ground conditions particularly soft.

One of the challenges on a Ground Investigation project can be in figuring out how to get all the drilling equipment across site. There’s the rig itself, plus the compressor, rods, drillbits, casing, core boxes, core barrel…and not forgetting the drill crews.

Moving the crew / equipment around site and setting up at each position can take time, especially on larger sites. Add soft, boggy conditions into the equation and it becomes a whole new challenge.

At Hydracrat, our HYCAT rotary drilling rigs were built with these conditions in mind. They offer practical solutions to many of the most common headaches and frustrations.

1) Low Ground Pressure -: Each rotary drilling rig is fitted with soft, wide tracks. These tracks help to reduce the ground pressure, enhancing the prospects of being able to track across soft, boggy or uneven terrain compared to standard tracked rigs.

2) Significant additional storage space -: Each rotary rig offers a high volume of onboard storage space for our regular drilling equipment, such as 6 metre drill rods, drill bits, core barrels, core boxes. This additional storage helps to reduce the number of return trips for equipment between borehole positions and the need to mobilise additional support vehicles is reduced.

3) Onboard compressor -: Most rotary drilling rigs typically utilise an air compressor which is separate to the drilling rig and towed around site. Where site conditions are soft, compressors would usually need to be transported separately using additional support vehicle.

Each of Hydracrat’s HYCAT drilling rigs, however, have a high-pressure compressor housed onboard, which helps to reduce moving and set up times further and enables drill crews to maximise productivity.

So as we move towards the winter months (and the more challenging conditions that the season invariably brings), Hydracrat are ready to offer our pragmatic approach and unique low ground pressure drill plant to help meet our client’s objectives on Ground Investigation projects.

To learn more about the services Hydracrat offers for Ground Investigations across Scotland, click here.

To learn more about Hydracrat’s drilling fleet solutions, click here.

Ground Source Heat Pumps are set to heat millions of homes across the UK in the years ahead. Many of our population, however, aren’t sure of what Heat Pumps are or how they work.

Hydracrat was therefore delighted to host a live webinar this month on behalf of the GSHPA. The webinar was developed to answer some of the most common questions about Ground Source systems.

Hydracrat was also able to cover the role of the rotary borehole drilling contractor during installations. This included the dynamic with the installer, practicalities of site works and methods used by the drilling contractor.

Interested in catching up? You can watch a recording of the webinar here.

You can learn more about the drilling services Hydracrat provide for Ground Source Heat Pumps here

Water. Clean, fresh water. It’s the world’s single most important resource but one that many of us may take for granted.

…but not by the farmer who needs a guaranteed supply to produce their fruit and veg.

…not the greenkeeper whose fairways and greens get extremely thirsty during the summer months.

They, along with distilleries, factories and recycling plants (to name a few more) need water, and lots of it. But from where?

Public mains water is an option, but for larger consumers that can mean expensive water bills and heavy usage of a sometimes already stretched mains network.

Many instead seek to use the groundwater stored in the bedrock, beneath ground level on their property. This groundwater can be accessed via a borehole drilled into the bedrock, with a water pump near the bottom to continuously push groundwater to the surface.

This is a simple concept but there is more to it than initially meets the eye, especially for those who need large volumes of water. Before pressing ahead, it’s important to establish the answers to some key questions.

Is there water in the ground beneath my property?

How deep will the drilling contractor need to drill to find the water?

Is there sufficient ground water to meet my needs?

Is the water suitable? The groundwater needs to be fresh…salt water is of little to no use (NB: drilling beside the sea doesn’t automatically mean the groundwater will be saltwater…in our many years drilling for links golf courses by the sea, many of them have had successful boreholes installed producing large volumes of fresh water)

Is there a steady, continuous supply of groundwater from the bedrock or will it quickly run dry?

There are a few common approaches to answering these questions.

Some choose to engage a water diviner.

Our first step is usually to commission a chartered geologist to assess the ground conditions beneath the site. This helps to judge the potential likelihood of a water supply beneath the site and recommends areas within the site offering the best water potential for drilling.

No matter the initial methodology, the truth is that the only way you will gain certainty on the answers to the key questions, is to drill into the ground to check.

That’s where a probe borehole comes in.

The probe borehole involves one of our rig and crew drilling a small diameter borehole into the ground, and then to flush the water up to the surface with high-pressure air.

It also helps to inform us of the required specification of the equipment for the final production borehole, like the water pump. Water samples can also be collected for subsequent testing, helping to confirm that the water is clean and safe.

Simply put, commissioning a full production borehole without knowing the answers can often be a potentially expensive gamble, especially for those who require a larger supply.

The probe is about de-risking the project. It’s about certainty. It’s about not taking the answers for granted.

Hydracrat offers a 3-Stage Process to Establish Water Wells. The process puts the probe borehole at its heart and has helped thousands of clients since 1960.