Jackson Williams 2013-12-27 11:45:30
Water well drilling is a unique form of building services when compared to all other forms of contracting. With most other forms of construction you can see 95 percent of the completed work with only a fraction of the remainder hidden from view. Water wells typically have only 5 percent of their product visible to the eye with the remainder constructed underground and out of view. Oftentimes the success of their completed work (the well) is measured on performance (i.e., GPM) rather than on its structure, appearance or compliance with local building codes. Therefore understanding and explaining what happened during a well drilling and construction project requires an interpretation of what went into and on while drilling. This is the constant challenge for water well consultants and expert witnesses such as Gary Hix. Hix’s knowledge of drilling methods, equipment and techniques spans almost four decades. He has learned his trade from sitting and monitoring core drilling rigs for mineral exploration in the 1960s, and moved on to water well resource evaluation drilling in the 1970s, followed by ground water contamination monitoring well drilling in the 1980s and so on to date. Hix became an Arizona licensed water well driller in 1988 while employed for a national drilling company based in Phoenix. He maintained that license until 2007 when he retired from water well contracting and became a water well consultant. He chose In2Wells for the name of his consulting services as it best represented what he was really into, water wells. Hix has a Bachelor of Science degree in earth sciences from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. He is a registered professional geologist with the AIPG and a certified well driller and pump installer with the NGWA. As an expert in this little known construction trade, Hix has helped both private well owners and water well contractors work out their differences on many occasions. Not all conflicts go to court; many are resolved in administrative law hearings where issues between homeowners and well drillers are investigated by the registrar of contractors and resolved. He believes that the key to resolving misunderstandings and disputes between well owners and water well contractors is in the explanation of misperceptions that lay people (and some lawyers) have about ground water movement and well drilling methods. Often, the expectations of the property owner are quite different from what a water well actually yields, and they want to know what the well driller did during the construction. Hix helps to interpret and make sense of technical jargon and hydro geologic facts with both words and drawings. Hix is past president of the Arizona Water Well Association having just served a two-year term. During that time he worked hard to bring a renewed recognition of what water well drillers have contributed to the history of Arizona and what they continue to do for the people of this state today. His biggest challenge as president was in lobbying to make continuing education a requirement for licensed water well drillers and pump installers in our state as it is in many others. His reasoning is that their services directly impact the public’s health and safety. The people who have their hands in the public’s drinking water should be the most knowledgeable of their trade. Keeping up to date through continuing education requirements for licensing would assure that the public drinking water was being properly protected. For someone who’s supposed to be retired and enjoying the pleasures of senior life, Gary Hix still thrives on talking water wells with anyone who will listen.
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