June 2016

Affiliate State of National Ground Water Association – Member of the American Ground Water Trust

Wyoming Water Well Association’s Official Publication

PO Box 2705, Casper, WY 82602    www.wywaterwell.org


Dedicated to the efficient development & conservation of ground water in Wyoming!


  June 2016              



Greetings Fellow WWWA Members,


Happy summer to all….do you realize the days are already getting shorter? I’m sure we are all in the same work mode, ‘daylight to dark’ and there is still not enough time in the day!


The northeast area of Wyoming is extremely dry, and is under a ‘drought’ declaration. As of this writing there have been several, severe fires in the area, one covering some 13,000 acres. This means power lines and well sites have been affected by the burn. Of course, there is no grass for cattle now, but next spring power lines will be reconstructed and landowners will want water. That means ‘work’ for contractors in those areas. It’s always worth looking and planning ahead for tomorrow.


Speaking of planning, are you setting aside some time for continuing education, or meeting with your peers? Recently we had an afternoon CE class in Gillette and a lunch get-together beforehand. It would have been nice to have more in attendance, but the six of us were able to discuss some issues, visit about our industry, and add in some BS to make it a worthy time over a sandwich, and then later an informational presentation by Bill Kearns of Contractors Supply, on PVC pipe makeup and sizes; then another good presentation from Dave Wilson of Baroid.  You’re WWWA Board is attempting to do the same around the State, (CE class and an informal time to hear your concerns or to solicit your input for the betterment of the association). I know everyone is working hard and it’s tough to get away, but……. “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all”. We hope you will set aside a few hours to attend, as you are notified of meetings in your area.




Steve Barbour

WWWA Director

Area 2


Attention WWWA Members and Contractors!



There appears to be confusion within the Wyoming Water Well Association and the Water Well Contractors about the different Boards and Agencies that oversee our industry. A clear distinction is well defined here, as to the role each State Agency has in this industry, as well as what the WWWA’s function is. 


1). Each Water Well Contactor is required to have a licensed driller or pump installer to work on water wells. The Water Well Drilling and Pump Installation Contractors Board issues the licenses and is the regulatory Board for the licensing. Inspections of work, for the following of the Minimum Constructions Standards, is performed by this Board.


2). In order to drill a well, the first step is to apply for a drilling permit, and once the permit is issued, to adhere to the permit parameters, and the minimum construction standards as written by the Wyoming State Engineer. The State Engineer has the role of permitting of water wells, regulation and administration of the water resources in Wyoming.


3). For a contractor to install a pump or do any associated electrical work on a water system they are required to be licensed. The State Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety has a Board that issues these licenses and does the inspections of all electrical work performed by water well contractors. There may be other State or Local Authorities that have licenses or requirements, but they will also be self-governed, within that agency, and have their own administrative duties.


1)   Wyoming State Board of Examining Water Well Drilling Contractors and Water Well Pump Installation Contractors


The Board was created in 2003 to administer ‘voluntary licensure’, of water well drilling and pump installation contractors. In 2008 Wyoming State Legislature passed the Water Well Drilling Contractors and Water Well Pump Installation Contractors Act (W.S. 33‐42‐100 thru 33-42-117), which requires ‘mandatory licensing’ of water well drilling contractors and water well pump installation contractors.


The Board's role is:


1). Administering the licensing program.

2). Supervise the general administration of this act.

3). Enforce the provisions of the act and any rules and regulations promulgated under the act or the   statutes or rules and regulations of the state pertaining to underground water, and take all action necessary to carry out the provisions of the act.

4). Examine the qualification of anyone desiring to obtain a license pertaining to the act.

5). Adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of the act.

6). Conduct hearings upon complaints with respect to any person licensed under the act.

7). Establish continuing education for persons licensed to maintain knowledge of current industry standards.


The next WWCB Board of Directors Meeting will be on September 7, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the State Engineer’s Office in Cheyenne, WY. 


2)   Wyoming Water Well Association


The Wyoming Water Well Association (WWWA) has been a trade association protecting ground water since 1965, and is dedicated to the development and conservation of ground water. The Association has a Board of Directors who shall have authority to engage and discharge employees and agents of the association, fix salaries, admit, suspend or expel members; create and appoint committees; and do everything necessary and desirable in the conduct of the business of the Association, in accordance with the Constitution and By-laws. 


WWWA was established as a non-profit organization to:


1). Promote the water well industry.

2). Promote education and techniques in drilling, well construction, well development, and science of the industry.

3). Promote cooperation between contractors.

4). Protect Wyoming’s ground water.

5). Inform and advise members as needed: Referring Wyoming citizens to member drilling and pump contractors, geologists, hydrologists, engineers, governmental employees, industry suppliers and manufacturers.


WWWA is a Trade Association without Statute Authority.


The next WWWA Board of Directors Meeting will be on September 16, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Parkway Plaza in Casper, WY.


3)   Wyoming State Engineer's Office and Board of Control


The Wyoming State Engineer's Office is charged with the regulation and administration of the water resources in Wyoming, and provides for the general supervision and protection of both inter- and intra-state waters of Wyoming. This includes the appropriation, distribution and application to beneficial use of water as provided under the prior appropriation doctrine, and to maintain the flexibility within that framework to meet the changing needs of the citizens of Wyoming. The State Engineer's Office collects, analyzes, maintains and provides water related information for ensuring the appropriate management and regulation of Wyoming's water resources. All ground water wells require a permit from the State Engineer before drilling can be commenced. The State Engineer has the authority to promulgate rules regarding minimum well construction standard upon advice and consent of the Board of Control, and to order the cessation of the flow of water from any well when necessary. In addition to processing and maintaining ground water permits, the Ground Water Division maintains a statewide observation well network, conducts interference investigations and water right adjudication inspections, prepares proof of adjudication for the Board of Control's consideration, reviews reports of water supply adequacy for subdivisions, and provides conflict resolution between ground water and surface water appropriators.


4)   Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention & Electrical Safety Electrical Division


The Electrical Safety Division's responsibilities Include:


1). Examination and Licensing of skilled Electricians.

2). Electrical inspections in homes, schools and businesses.

3). Interpretation of the National Electrical Code to local entities, Electrical Contractors and the general public.

4). Generating permits for electrical installations.

5). Oversees the licensing of Limited Electrical Contractors (Limited electrical work for wells and irrigation systems). A limited Electrical Contractor is defined as a person, partnership or corporation who contracts with another to perform limited electrical work, limited to the load side of equipment disconnected for certain electrical systems. A person shall not perform any limited electrical work without holding a proper license from the State Electrical Inspector.


The Board shall adopt rules and regulations to implement the licensing of master electricians, journeyman electricians, low voltage technicians, limited technicians, temporary permits, reciprocal licenses, the registering of apprentice electricians and apprentice technicians. The Board ensures electrical installations be performed by licensed electricians. They also determine criminal penalties and other remedies. The Board hears appeals to determine the suitability of alternate materials and type of construction and to interpret and grant variances from rules and regulations of the board regarding the installation of electrical equipment and electrical safety standards. The Board operates in conjunction with the Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety.




Finalized Occupational Injury Rule Goes into Effect in August

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its final rule to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, which goes into effect on August 10.

These new federal requirements state:

  • Employers must establish a “reasonable” procedure for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses, and inform employees of that procedure. The rule states: “A procedure is not reasonable if it would deter or discourage a reasonable employee from accurately reporting a workplace injury or illness.”
  • Employers must inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. OSHA has issued a Fact Sheet stating this obligation may be met by posting the “OSHA Job Safety and Health—It’s The Law” poster from April 2015 or later.
  • The rule also adds a provision prohibiting discrimination against an employee for reporting a work-related injury, filing a safety or health complaint, or asking to see the employer’s injury and illness logs.

These provisions have raised additional concerns for employers. The rule regarding “reasonable” procedures is targeted at employers’ safety incentive plans. If an employer has a safety incentive plan wherein employees get a bonus, or days off, or an award if the employee, department, or company has a certain number of days without injury—so the theory goes—employees may be hesitant to report injuries and illnesses. It is precisely these kind of incentive plans the new rule intends to eliminate.

The rule also outlines digital reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses for businesses with 20-249 employees in “high-hazard” industries. Water well drilling firms with more than 20 employees may be considered “high-hazard” by virtue of how their state compensation laws are written.   

Businesses with 20-249 employees in certain industries must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only. Businesses with 250 or more employees must also include information from Forms 300 and 301.

The new requirements on data submissions will be phased in beginning in 2017. These requirements do not add to or change an employer’s obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation.

In determining business size, the final rule states: “Each individual employed in the establishment at any time during the calendar year counts as one employee, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers.”

Employers should check with their respective state to see if the digital reporting part of the rule affects them.   

Click here for more information and how to contact OSHA regarding the final rule affecting your company.



A True Story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing 

(Franklin Electric)

“At some point in your water systems career, you have no doubt stood in front of a homeowner or other end-user who was indignant at his submersible pump cost. This conversation often stems from having replaced another motor around the house at some time. Maybe it was an HVAC motor, a sump pump, whatever; 'That motor cost me this much, and this submersible motor you want to sell me is way more than that! What gives?'

Here’s what gives. They’re not even close to being the same. The conditions and environment in which a submersible motor is expected to operate are totally different from any of their above-ground counterparts. Different environments, different motors.

Here are six things that make a submersible motor unique (and more expensive):

1). A submersible motor lives underwater. One of the first things we all learned about electricity is to never mix it with water. So, what do we do? We take an electric motor and install it not just a little ways underwater, as in the case of a sump pump, but potentially hundreds of feet underwater. That means a tremendous amount of water pressure trying to reach the electrical part of the motor.

There are numerous design and manufacturing considerations that go into keeping the water in the well away from the electricity in the motor.

2). All motors generate heat, and heat is the arch enemy of motor reliability. Engineers who design above-ground motors just give them enough surface area to dissipate all the heat. However, a 6-inch motor, by definition, has to fit in a 6-inch casing. So, a lot of heat is concentrated into a small cross-sectional area. Special and proprietary materials are required to make sure that the heat generated in a submersible motor gets carried away.

3). When we push water up the drop pipe, it pushes back with a lot of force. No above-ground motor ever sees this challenge. But, a submersible motor needs specialized and highly-machined thrust bearings to handle all the down thrust it generates when it delivers water out of the ground.

4). Electrical surges and lightning are looking for the easiest path to ground, and the water strata is ground. So, a submersible motor resides in the very place a surge is looking to go. As a result, submersible motors and systems need specialized surge protection.

5). Not all water that we place a submersible unit in is the same. Sometimes it’s corrosive and special materials are required. Once again, an above-ground motor will never see this challenge.

6). Finally, a submersible pumping system has to be extremely dependable for two reasons: it’s delivering a critical resource to the home, business or farm, and, it’s not easy to replace. Special equipment is required in the form of a rig, along with specialized troubleshooting and application expertise.

A submersible installation remains one of the most reliable things out there, performing flawlessly for years and years. However, that’s because of the engineering and manufacturing that goes into it, along with the expertise of the installing contractor. Beyond a couple of general principles, submersible motors aren’t even related to above-ground motors. And, the value and cost just can’t be compared. So next time, when someone doesn’t understand why a submersible motor or pump costs more than an above-ground one, don’t hesitate to pull these points out of your back pocket to explain the difference.”




By now those of you that receive email information have had an opportunity to read a monthly safety email produced by VolkBell Property & Casualty Insurance.  We have partnered with VolkBell to bring you this safety email as an added benefit to your membership in the Wyoming Water Well Association.  We encourage you to SAVE the pages and use them as you see fit for the success of your company.





September 7, 2016      WWCB      Board of Directors Meeting      Cheyenne, WY.

September 16, 2016     WWWA    Board of Directors Meeting      Casper, WY.





                       Until next time, everyone think SAFETY as you go about your day!