Pump Technology Evolves: Darwin Water Sampling Pumps Offer Many Efficiencies

Since the beginning of Superfund in 1980, project managers have struggled with the breakdown and inefficiency of traditional pneumatic pumps as they sample water in the most challenging environments. Included among them are significant depths, low hydraulic submergence, degradational water chemistry, and extreme temperatures, just to name a few.

The good news is that pump technology has evolved.

Field Environmental Instruments (FEI) discovered the BESST Darwin Pump Series, pumps that are uniquely adaptable and agile to perform in both common and uniquely challenging groundwater environments. One of the pumps in the series, the BESST Blatypus Pump, is fast becoming a popular addition to the company's rental pool.

The BESST Darwin Pumps work in a wide variety of subsurface environments, site conditions, and applications including sites where:

  • The hydraulic head is limited for any depth well.
  • Wells are deep (from 400 feet to 4,000 feet below ground surface).
  • Permeability is low.
  • Groundwater temperatures are extreme (up to 180 degrees).
  • The fluid environment is chemically harsh (LNAPL, DNAPL, high concentrations of SVOCs, metals, salts, etc.).
  • Site location altitudes are greater than 10,000 feet above sea level.
  • Groundwater is briny.
  • There is a need to bury the pump directly in the ground.
  • A desire to install a monitoring pump at any angle.
  • Vertical and angled multilevel installations (ZIST, Barcad, HydroBooster) are required.

These unique groundwater pumps are designed by the experienced team of geoscientists and engineers at BESST Inc. The company's pumps, probes, sensors, and multi-level or single well groundwater sampling systems (ZIST) are ideal for the variety of projects our customers manage. They can be retrofitted to current monitoring systems (Retro ZIST).

"We are very excited about our partnership with the team at BESST," explained Gary Yamron, FEI president of west coast operations and Los Angeles branch manager. "We have spent a considerable amount of time with their team of scientists discussing how customers can benefit from the adaptive pump technology and what it brings to any project scenario."

Earlier this year, Noah Heller, BESST president and founder, invited Gary to a customer site in Los Angeles, California. "Once I saw the pumps in action, I knew they would be ideal for many of our customers and for a variety of project requirements," Gary said.

"Because their pump design is unique, customers think it's too good to be true," continued Gary. "It took some convincing to get the first few customers to see the potential advantages of deploying the pumps."

After agreeing to give the Blatypus a try on their one inch wells at sampling depths of 200-400 feet, one of FEI's customers experienced a dramatic reduction in purging and sampling time; from one to two weeks, to one-half day per well. For projects that have a large number of wells, the time-efficiency and cost-effectiveness become dramatic.

Since the success of the first project, FEI continues to see the potential applications. "The FEI team digs deeper into customer needs because we are focused less on rentals and more on how we can bring value to their projects," said Tony Visco, FEI managing partner. "We are in the perfect position to know the instruments and equipment from the inside out."

Noah Heller explains why their pumps can withstand extreme environments, "We take a HAZMAT and extremophile approach to developing pumps."

Through its exclusive distributorship of BESST pumps and full range of technologies and services, FEI can better support customers in environmental hydrogeology and groundwater monitoring, geotechnical engineering, groundwater resources monitoring and production, groundwater, soil vapor and sampling, subsurface resource exploration and production for water and oil and gas.

Although BESST produces and offers a standard line of products and services, it has shown great "Darwinian" flexibility and adaptability to design, develop, and manufacture just about any customized subsurface sampling and monitoring technology.


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