FED prepares to welcome new Water Well Drill Rig to fleet

Far East District
Published June 23, 2020
Caption: FED's only water well drill rig. In July, a brand new rig will join
the fleet (FED File Photo).

FED's only water well drill rig. In July, a brand new rig will join the fleet.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Far East District (FED) will receive a new water well drill rig in July as part of the renewal of its fleet. The rig was funded by the Korean Ministry of National Defense and FED engineers are performing quality assurance testing to ensure its integrity.

The Far East District is recognized as one of only nine in-house drilling & subsurface exploration production centers (drilling production centers) and one of only eight in-house materials testing laboratories for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers providing professional services during design and construction. The water well unit, exploration unit and materials testing laboratory is part of the geotechnical and environmental engineering branch in the engineering division of the district.

The district has one water well drill rig and three soil drill rigs. Drill rigs have been part of the district since 1959. Since the district’s inception there have been 629 sites test drilled by our water well drill rigs and 310 sites have been used as supply wells for the distribution of water. The district is currently maintaining 120 water wells at 20 installations across the peninsula.

Song Hyon Pak, Chief, FED Geology and Hydrology Section, said the drill rigs test water deep in the earth and provide a security element for the installation and those who work here.

“Water is very important at Camp Humphreys. We need to source our own water if there is some contingency or if the Pyeongtaek city water is compromised. We need it for drinking, firefighting. In a contingency the only source is groundwater,” said Pak.

Much of the water used on Camp Humphreys comes from ground water wells. Water well locations pump out water and send to water treatment plants and then to water storage tanks on the installation. FED geotechnical and environmental engineering branch evaluates the water quantity and quality in house.  Water well maintenance is typically conducted once a year by FED engineers, geologists and well crews and the district also provides support within 24 hours of an emergency.