Fundamentals of Water Wells Design Short Course

February 8-10, 2016 in CHYN, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Three days course on the water wells design ( visitors )

Group Photo


How to design an efficient and sustainable water well ? This is often a function of many local conditions. Therefore, the practical aspects of designing water wells are far from uniform and, the efficiency of the wells and their lifetime varies significantly from one country to another and often even within the same country. Furthermore, new methods and tools are becoming available and are changing the way one can design a well. But this expertise is rarely shared. The purpose of this short course is to analyze each of the constituent elements of the water wells and for all of them identify the best design and construction practices which will allow to optimize construction costs, operating costs, and sustainability for each type of well.

Who will benefit?

Hydrogeologists, well engineers, site owners, project managers, purchasing engineers that are involved in water well decisions, construction, siting, design, drilling etc.

Course content

Day 1: Basic concepts

  • Wells: Types and basic concepts: hi-level introduction to wells, describes types of wells (hand dug wells, tube wells, horizontal and directional wells, well points, Radial Collector Wells, Monitoring wells and piezometers, multi-level wells etc

  • Wells main elements: casing, screens, packers, reducers etc

  • Well siting: how to locate a well and how to place screens

  • Planning a water well project: typical tasks and duration, HSE protocol, what not to forget

  • Main factors for selecting a well design:

    • Static Water Level, Dynamic Water Level, pump placement

    • Efficiency of the sealing techniques

    • Clearance rules

    • Back filling, bentonite sealing, gravel pack, cementing: rules, diameters and installation options.

  • Examples of standard and advanced well design

Day 2: Well hydraulics, mechanics and design rules

  • Expected flow rate: hydraulics constraints

    • Diameter Min and Max of the pumping chamber

    • Optimal diameter for the production section

  • Production zone:

    • Geology and definition of the production zone, open hole versus screened intake.

    • Types of engineered screens and corresponding casing materials, adjustments based on water geochemistry

    • Open areas and slot size calculations based on sieve analysis

  • Tensile and collapse strength during well construction, Casing selection

  • Well completion materials and installation: cementing, bentonite seals, filter pack versus naturally developed wells; determining filter pack type and size based on sieve analysis

  • Conducting casing, well head design and main elements

  • Practical exercises of water well design

  • Monitoring wells: main elements and why they are different than pumping wells (hydraulic seal, small screens, locked well head, flush-mount design

Day 3: Well construction contract: site preparation, drilling and logging

  • Site preparation and HSE

  • Introduction to drilling methods: Percussion (Cable tool), mud rotary, reverse circulation, ODEX, diamond core drilling etc.; selecting the drill bit

  • Drilling fluids basics and associated risks: bentonite mud, air/foam, water, salt based muds, special additives

  • Geological description: Mud logging techniques; formation samples collection and sieve analysis)

  • Well logging: typical combos (resistivity, gamma ray) ; other advanced methods (imaging techniques such as optical/acoustic TV, FMI, geochemical/mineralogy tools)

  • Exercise: Interpreting a borehole logging and locating the well screens

  • Verticality / Alignment

  • Specificity of the radial collector wells

  • Well completion: installing the well

  • Well development techniques: methods, duration, achieving a sediment-free water

  • Surface facilities and well protection

  • Plugging and Abandonment: why?, typical steps and methods, HSE protocol; dealing with deep

François Bertone


François Bertone. International freelance consultant in hydrogeology, François graduated from the French National School of Geology (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Géologie) in 1991. He dedicated his career to provide technical, professional, and direct personal services to the groundwater industry. In the last 20 years, he has been heavily involved in the design and construction of hundreds of wells in more than 25 countries. His experience range from the low-budget shallow monitoring wells to deep highly producing wells as water supply for millions of people.

Practical information

Date: February 8-10, 2016

Time table: 9h00 – 17h00

Access: Map available here.

Room: Millenium (E026) – Unimail Building.   11 Rue Emile Argand, 2000 Neuchâtel

Hotels: Informations are available through the touristic information desk of Neuchâtel. Students can benefit from attracting price in the student residence of the University.

Cost: 1200 CHF (before December 15th, 2015), late registration: 1700 CHF. Half-price for students with a proper student-id card. Note that the number of participants is limited. Professionals paying the full fees will be registered in priority.

Contact: Philippe Renard

Université de Neuchâtel
11 Rue Emile Argand
CH-2000 Neuchâtel, Suisse


Registration is now closed Click here to let a message.

Cancelation policy: Cancellation should be notified as soon as possible. The cancellation date is effective when the notice of cancellation is received. No expense is billed if cancellation is sent a month before the start of the course. Otherwise the following expenses are billed:

  1. Between a month and fifteen days before the beginning of the course, CHF 300.- are billed;

  2. Within the week before the beginning of the course, 50% of the fees are billed;

  3. From the first day of the course, the complete fees are billed.