In 2018, DA Smith (formerly Agapito Associates, Inc.) drilled one test well and two associated monitoring wells near the U.S. National Park Service’s Phantom Ranch located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Drilling was completed under contract to HDR Engineering, Inc. in support of a larger study to develop alternate water supplies for National Park Service facilities at the Grand Canyon. AAI’s crew, supplies, fuel, and heli-portable drilling equipment was airlifted to site via helicopter. Crews resided on site for the duration of the drilling campaign.
Work activities were carefully coordinated with NPS personnel to minimize ground disturbance and impacts to tourists, including tourists traveling via mule train past the drill site. One 8-inch diameter test well (4-inch casing) and two 6-inch diameter monitoring wells (2-inch casing) were drilled through unconsolidated gravel and boulders to depths reaching 50 feet.
The test well was completed with steel casing and screen, a test pump, and wellhead piping containing a flow meter, pressure gauge, isolation valve, and a stainless steel sampling tap. A 4-hour step drawdown test, followed by a 24-hour constant rate pumping test was conducted by DA Smith personnel under the supervision of an HDR hydrogeologist.