The unsung hero at landfills with a landfill gas collection system is the humble Wellfield Technician. The position of Wellfield Technician is multifaceted; this individual needs to be well equipped to deal with constant changes. A good technician is capable of:
All while communicating effectively with those on their team, during all kinds of weather and changing conditions.
One practice that most good Technicians embrace is keeping effective field notes. Those not engaging in this practice should consider doing so. Field notes and comments added to a row of monitoring data can be of great future value to the technician and the rest of the team. Accurate and detailed field notes contain information that can help the project team when it comes time to diagnose, repair, or troubleshoot various wellfield issues.
Whether it’s a handwritten entry in a logbook, a comment stored in a field instrument, or notes saved in a smartphone, tablet, or computer, the information recorded in field notes is indispensable for the proper, efficient maintenance of the wellfield.
Technicians are hard-pressed to recall every detail during the hectic daily push to get the wellfield read, while multitasking and keeping up with items that pop up at a moment’s notice. By keeping track of this information through note-taking or SCSeTools®, the technician can be more efficient over time – they won’t be scratching their head, trying to remember a detail important to a task.
Examples of items we track in our database include: wellhead valve positions, surging in vacuum supply risers at wellheads, required maintenance of sample ports, flex hoses, audible wellhead leaks, ponding water around wells, surface cracks around a well, and borehole backfill material settlement.
Regardless of how recorded, save field notes as valuable points of reference.
Handwritten notes are entered into a preventative maintenance program or a wellfield database so that they are accessible for use in planning repairs or troubleshooting problems. Another option is to capture them automatically, even noting the GSI coordinates into a database such as SCSeTools, to save time and lessen transcription errors.
Once completing wellfield monitoring and tuning, technicians then use comments or notes as a punch-list to return to the wellfield − ready to perform maintenance or repairs. These are the actions that keep the landfill gas collection components operating efficiently, and clients’ happy.
About the Author: Ken Brynda is an SCS Field Services OM&M Compliance Manager in North Carolina. He is an active member of SWANA’s Landfill Gas and Biogas Technical Division, Field Practices Committee serving clients for over 30 years. Ken’s expertise includes the design, construction, operation and maintenance, evaluation, troubleshooting, and assessment of landfill gas collection and control systems and LFG-to-energy production facilities.
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