Jack Blake wants to dig a big pond, drill a 4" water well to fill it and sell frac water.

Any advice?

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When you say 'dig', that tells me you don't have a spring/creek and your land is flat.  If you dig a hole, you have to put that dirt somewhere, and there is a lot of dirt in a hole.  99% of that dirt will be clay and if you spread it out over the rest of your land, you will be looking at clay for about a hundred years. 


Haul the dirt off, $$$$$.


The equipment to dig the hole, $$$$$$.


Drilling a deep well, $$$$$$.


Well Permits??????


Gas drillers pack up and leave???????


Try this, get a shovel and dig a hole 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep.  Multiply that by several thousands and see if Jack Blake wants to dig a hole for water to sell. lol

Jack has thought about those issues and my project is feasable.  Jack will have a hill around part of the pond.  He is hoping to put topsoil on top of the clay to get grass growing back.

The gas drillers are not packing up and leaving. 


Here's my thought -- maybe crazy --  SWEPI is the main operator in your immediate area.  Why not approach them, and see if they'd pay to dig the pond and well, in exchange for rights to the water for some number of months or years.   After that, then you could sell water by the barrel.  I assume you want a pond anyway???  At least this way, you have no up-front expense, and you get a pond.

Yes, Jack is also working this angle. 

In fact he has had coorespondence with two different Shell guys about this.  Jack thinks he is at least in contact with the right person at Shell now. 

 Jack's problem is that Shell is a giant company and they have to think about things, study them, meetings, evaluate and then have contractors evaluate, meetings. 

 Jack's water deal is a huge thing for Jack, but to Shell it is miniscule, insignificant and not worth their efforts. They want to do projects that will save hundreds of thousands of dollars- not tens of thousands of dollars.

It'll take them six months to decide and then if they decide to do it it'll take them another year to do the project.

Anyway,  Jack is on the journey to being a water supplier.  I'll bet he becomes one......................

Jack appreciates any advice or input.  He is learning more and more about water.......................


That is why Jack is thinking of going it alone or finding a water management company to do the project for him.  Who is a water management company that will pay to dig a pond and drill a 4" water well where jack has to put no cash into the project.?  sect 21,   t10n   r11w 

Why wouldn't the driller just dig his own water well?

The drillers are trying to use surface water (conservation of the aquifer) and they also have to have a right to water in the initial lease.  If they don't have it, they would have to get the landowner to do another deal for the water rights.  This makes it hard for them to drill water wells. 

Plus, they are in the gas well drilling business - not the water well drilling business.


If DNR catches you using a water well to fill a pond for frak water, you will be up a creek.

Jack, you may want to read the Groundwater Divisions rules. When you permit a well you have to state its purpose.


I suggest you call DNR before proceding.

Jack is describing a commercial frack-water supply well that needs authorization from the Office of Conservation.  Jack needs to follow the rules.  This will keep Jack out of a crack.

"Plus, they are in the gas well drilling business - not the water well drilling business."


It is not uncommon for a driller to drill a rig water supply well. We can do this without a permit as long as we aren't using it for frac water. 

Good luck.  We have a former pond both spring-fed and which also drains a fair-sized area which could be easily restored by repairing the dam.  I exchanged emails with the Chesapeake rep responsible for water over the course of weeks (and weeks).  He alternated between encouraging and nonresponsive.  We finally just gave up.  I guess they don't need it that badly.


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