For many families, farmers, businesses, and municipalities throughout the country, a connection to sources of groundwater is essential to ensuring a reliable source of drinking water. Traditionally, a tap would be drilled hundreds of feet to the aquifer and lined with pipe installed in increments. Although this method of tapping into groundwater still works well, installing pipe in confined areas is difficult, and problems associated with corrosion and scaling can arise. Hose Solutions, Inc., has sought to address some of the challenges many groundwater users face on a day-to-day basis. Tyler Young, a writer for Irrigation Leader, spoke with Carlos Guerra, territory manager for Hose Solutions, about the company’s Boreline Flexible Drop Pipe solution. By offering customers across the nation a custom product that is easy to install and is resistant to corrosion and scaling, Hose Solutions hopes to make groundwater more accessible and to return the control of wells to their owners.
Tyler Young: Please tell us how you got your start with Hose Solutions.
Carlos Guerra: I started working for Hose Solutions almost 5 years ago. I found the opportunity online, and when I interviewed for the job, I learned that the company had an innovative technology that I felt could make for a decent career, and it has.
Tyler Young: Would you tell us about Hose Solutions and some of the problems it hopes to address?
Carlos Guerra: The company started in Europe in the 1800s, and the factory in Cape Town, South Africa, started producing fire hoses 50 years ago. From there, it has developed more advanced products, such as lay-flat hoses for fuel, hoses for snow making, and high-pressure mine dewatering hoses. Returning Control: Carlos Guerra of Hose Solutions, Inc.
Drop Pipe is one of the smaller pieces of the puzzle when it comes to pumping water out of the ground and into water treatment facilities for consumption. Before Boreline, traditional steel drop pipe offered zero benefits, so depending on the depth and gallons per minute you were trying to pump out, you had to use steel, polypipe, or PVC pipe.
Tyler Young: What sets Boreline Flexible Drop Pipe apart from traditional pipe options?
Carlos Guerra: You get many benefits with Boreline. For example, during installation, users can go from putting 20-foot pieces of steel in the ground at a time to being able to install a single piece of Boreline at once. With respect to removal, for a 1,000-foot well with traditional pipe, you would have to pull out the 50 20-foot pieces of steel pipe one at a time until all 1,000 feet were removed. With Boreline, you can pull as high as your boom can lift. If you have a boom truck that can pull 37 feet or a crane that can pull 200 feet, that is the length of hose you can pull out at one time.
Another benefit is the ability to install Boreline over a rolling wheel. You simply attach one end of the pipe to a truck and drive it into thewell. I have seen people pull around 750 feet in less than 10 minutes. It is a pretty quick, safe, and efficient process. Another area in which we really shine is in restricted spaces. If you are in a restricted area that has overhead restrictions such as power lines or roofs, you can install the pump on Boreline relatively easy by rolling it up on the spool.
Another great benefit is that Boreline maintains a low friction loss over the long term. Plus, it will never scale or corrode over time, which restricts water. We have seen steel pipe corrode in 12–18 months and have replaced it with Boreline; the Boreline pipe has been running for over 10 years without scaling or corrosion. This ensures the pumps are always operating within the design curve, and the result is a more efficient system and a longer life for the pump. No more premature pump failure due to an inefficient pumping column.
Boreline saves on electricity costs because the pump does not have to run for as many hours per day. In energy savings alone, the Boreline can pay for itself in 3–5 years. We have had towns, for example, Forest Lakes, Arizona, get a rebate check from their electrical company because they are running a more efficient system. Forest Lake installed Boreline 2 years ago, and it is achieving the same flow as when it first installed the pump on Boreline.
When we first met the Forest Lakes water operator, he had a well that was problematic. We learned he was having an issue with scaling in the steel drop pipe that was causing the screen to get clogged. When Forest Lakes initially began the restoration project, it had a drilling company redrill the well. When Forest Lakes installed the Boreline, it was able to choose the gallons per minute and set additional specifications after the rehab was completed and the Boreline was installed.
We donated a length of Boreline to some schools in Haiti so they could get water from the well. The schools were able to install it themselves with a forklift and a wheel instead of hiring a company to come in and install the pipe.
Tyler Young: What are some of the challenges your company faces?
Carlos Guerra: I think the biggest challenge is that the water well industry is not eager to transition to new technology, and educating industry participants on the benefits of Boreline is imperative. We have been manufacturing this product since 1990; it is not new technology. We sell Boreline around the world. In the United States, we are in all 50 states for agricultural and mining use and in many states for municipal use. Even the U.S. military uses Boreline.
Tyler Young: Where would you like to see Boreline go in the future?
Carlos Guerra: We started out on the industrial side of water wells, focused on mining, municipal use, and agriculture wells. We have done well in North and South America in all those categories. Our next product will be a pipe called WellHose, a do-it-yourself drop pipe that targets our end user. We want to let people know that this product exists and that if they have a water well, it should not cost $5,000–10,000 to have the existing pipe replaced. We want them to know they can do it themselves. We want to put people's water wells back into their own hands.
In Colorado, residential well rights are pretty restrictive. One individual had a well that was only 250 feet deep, but she had to pay $80,000 to have the well rehabbed. With Boreline, she could install it herself as long as she could get the existing pipe out.
The biggest pump we have installed was a 400-foot deep, 380-horsepower pump pumping 3,300 gallons per minute. That is a huge well, considering that the average household well pumps 10 to 15 gallons per minute maximum. Usually, they are in the 5- to 10-gallon range.
Tyler Young: What should customers do to get their wells ready for Boreline?
Carlos Guerra: Customers only need to remove the existing drop pipe. Once that is removed, they should call us so that we can select a customized solution for them. Boreline is cut to fit the exact specifications of a customer’s well, so if the well is 250 feet deep, we will cut 250 feet of hose. In most cases, the customer can use the same pump if it is still in good condition.
We have an instructional video online that walks users through the installation process. It costs a lot of money to have a well driller do a site visit, so anytime our customers can avoid that cost, it is a good thing. People are pretty eager to try to install the pipe themselves, and with Boreline, that is a reality.
Tyler Young: What piece of advice do you have for individuals interested in pursuing this solution?
Carlos Guerra: I would ask them to please call Hose Solutions, and we will walk them through the step-by-step process of installing their pump on Boreline. If they have any questions, we would be more than happy to talk to them, show them how many projects we have, give them references, and make them confident that they can install their pumps on Boreline Flexible Drop Pipe.