If anyone gets around, it’s Gary Sprowls, MGWC, a drilling supervisor at Jackson Geothermal, based in Mansfield, Ohio. Sprowls oversees commercial geothermal closed loop jobs in states including, but not limited to Ohio, Missouri, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Kentucky. The 42-year drilling industry veteran spends a great deal of time on the road. With jobsites typically consisting of anywhere from 60 to 300 boreholes, it isn’t unusual for him and his team to spend two to six months away at a time. He’s dealt with everything from pumps to water wells to environmental wells to irrigation wells. He even ran his own business before joining Jackson Geothermal almost a decade ago. Sprowls says the work he does comes with a lot of challenges, but that the tests and trials are ultimately what keep him going.
A. What I do every day is basically make sure the crews have everything they need: Water, fuel, loops, sand, grout, all the paperwork’s done, we have the right equipment there. That’s what I’m pretty much responsible for doing every day. Sometimes, if a driller’s sick or something, I still operate the equipment itself. I haven’t done that on a consistent basis in six or seven years. I’ve been with Jackson for nine years and for pretty much that whole time I haven’t been on a drill rig day in and day out. What makes me come back every day is pretty much the challenge. With the particular job we’re on right now, each and every hole is different, so it’s a challenge and it’s somewhat of a battle to accomplish what we’re trying to do — get a 400-foot hole in the ground and then get coiled up plastic to go down a straight hole, two of them. We don’t do anything with the horizontal stuff anymore. We used to.