ASTM D5875 / D5875M - 13

    Standard Guide for Use of Cable-Tool Drilling and Sampling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    Active Standard ASTM D5875 / D5875M | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Cable-tool rigs (also referred to as churn rigs, water-well drilling rigs, spudders, or percussion rigs) are used in the oil fields and in the water-well industry. The Chinese developed the percussion method some 4000 years ago.

    4.2 Cable-tool drilling and sampling methods may be used in support of geoenvironmental exploration and for installation of subsurface water-quality monitoring devices in both unconsolidated and consolidated materials. Cable-tool drilling and sampling may be selected over other methods based on its advantages, some of which are its high mobility, low water use, low operating cost, and low maintenance. Cable-tool drilling is the most widely available casing-advancement method that is restricted to the drilling of unconsolidated materials and softer rocks.

    4.2.1 The application of cable-tool drilling and sampling to geoenvironmental exploration may involve sampling unconsolidated materials. Depth of drill holes may exceed 900 m [3000 ft] and may be limited by the length of cable attached to the bull reel. However, most drill holes for geoenvironmental exploration rarely are required to go that deep. Rates for cable-tool drilling and sampling can vary from a general average of as much as 7.5 to 9 m/h [25 to 30 ft/h] including setting 200 mm [8 in.] diameter casing to considerably less than that depending on the type(s) of material drilled, and the type and condition of the equipment and rig used.

    Note 2As a general rule, cable-tool rigs are used to sample the surficial materials, and to set surface casing in order that rotary-core rigs subsequently may be set up on the drill hole to core drill hard rock if coring is required.
    Note 3The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    4.2.2 The cable-tool rig may be used to facilitate the installation of a subsurface water-quality monitoring device(s) including in-situ testing devices. The monitoring device(s) may be installed through the casing as the casing is removed from the borehole. The sand line can be used to raise, lower, or set in-situ testing device(s), or all of these. If necessary, the casing may also be left in the borehole as part of the device.

    Note 4The user may install a monitoring device within the same borehole wherein sampling, in-situ, or pore-fluid testing, or coring was performed.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide covers cable-tool drilling and sampling procedures used for geoenvironmental exploration and installation of subsurface water-quality monitoring devices.

    1.2 Several sampling methods exist for obtaining samples from drill holes for geoenvironmental purposes and subsequent laboratory testing. Selection of a particular drilling procedure should be made on the basis of sample types needed and geohydrologic conditions observed at the study site.

    1.3 Drilling procedures for geoenvironmental exploration often will involve safety planning, administration and documentation. This guide does not purport to specifically address exploration and site safety.

    Note 1This guide does not include considerations for geotechnical site characterizations that are addressed in a separate guide.

    1.4 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

    1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.6 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project's many unique aspects. The word “Standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D1452 Practice for Soil Exploration and Sampling by Auger Borings

    D1586 Test Method for Penetration Test (SPT) and Split-Barrel Sampling of Soils

    D1587 Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Soils for Geotechnical Purposes

    D3550 Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling of Soils

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4428/D4428M Test Methods for Crosshole Seismic Testing

    D5088 Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.060.10 (Water of natural resources)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 81151902(Geophysical exploration)


    DOI: 10.1520/D5875_D5875M

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