Regulation Can Be an Obstacle, Opportunity for Training
In the middle of September this year, Piglet and I traveled to the southwestern part of Virginia to assist some fellow water well drillers in obtaining their Virginia Master Drillers Licenses.
The drilling company they work for has been in business since 1905. Here’s where the problem started! The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) licensed the company as Heavy Highway (H/H) instead of what it should have been, Water Well Pump (WWP). When the DPOR required individual well drillers to be licensed, the DPOR only notified the companies in the WWP category that each driller must have a Master Driller License. At that time, all active water well drillers could be grandfathered in. The DPOR dropped the ball, since the H/H contractors weren’t notified of the grandfathering option.
Therefore, to be licensed, all drillers and pump installers must prove a minimum of six years of experience, attend a 48-hour drilling school and take a written state examination.
We saw this coming, so we qualified with the state to present this 48-hour school. To our knowledge, our company Drilling Consultants International is the only company in Virginia approved to present this 48-hour school.
We travel to the client’s location and watch them drill wells and install pumps (this allows the student or students to continue working). Then we have a 16-hour class at the client’s business (or, if not available, a motel or other location) where we discuss the client’s drilling and pump installation procedures and practices, then provide PowerPoint presentations. We finalized the training by discussing questions drillers and pump installers may have, and providing answers.
This six-day seminar takes us away from our office for more than a week. However, it allows the students and company to continue to operate and make money while learning and qualifying.
NOTE: The Virginia DPOR is almost impossible to reach by telephone and, because of the security officers, it’s nearly impossible to walk in to visit with and discuss problems with anyone.
Piglet talked to a person at DPOR about the above situation and, after considerable conversation, the person admitted that they knew nothing about well drilling.
Watch “Porky’s Hole Thoughts” for more upcoming articles about DPOR experience from the above company.