ASTM D6286 - 12

    Standard Guide for Selection of Drilling Methods for Environmental Site Characterization

    Active Standard ASTM D6286 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 The selection of particular method(s) for drilling monitoring wells (see Table 1) requires that specific characteristics of each site be considered. These characteristics would include, but are not limited to, the ambient hydrogeologic parameters and conditions existing at the site. This guide is intended to make the user aware of some of the various drilling methods available and the applications, advantages and disadvantages of each with respect to determining groundwater chemistry and other hydrogeologic properties data.

    TABLE 1 Well-Drilling Selection Guide

    Drilling Method

    Drilling
    Fluid

    Casing
    Advance

    Type of
    Material
    Drilled

    Typical
    Drilling
    Depth,
    in m (ft)A

    Typical
    Range of
    Borehole
    Sizes, in
    cm (in.)

    Samples
    ObtainableB

    Coring
    Possible

    Reference
    Section

    Power auger
    (Hollow-stem)

    none, water, mud

    yes

    soil, weathered rock

    <45 (150)

    12.7–55 (5–22)

    S, F

    yes

    6.2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Power auger
    (Solid-stem)

    water, mud

    no

    soil, weathered rock

    <45 (150)

    5–25 (2–10)

    s

    yes

    6.3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Power bucket auger

    none, water (below water table)

    no

    soil, weathered rock

    <45 (150)

    45–120 (18–48)

    S

    yes

    6.4

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hand auger

    none

    no

    soil

    <20 (70) (above water table only)

    5–15 (2–6)

    S

    yes

    6.5

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Direct fluid rotary

    water, mud

    yes

    soil, rock

    >300 (1000)

    5–90 (2–36)

    S, R

    yes

    7.3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Direct air rotary

    air, water, foam

    yes

    soil, rock

    >460 (1500)

    5–90 (2–36)

    S, R, F

    yes

    7.4

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    DTH hammer

    air, water, foam

    yes

    rock, boulders

    <600 (2000)

    10–40 (4–16)

    R

    yes

    7.5.1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Wireline

    air, water, foam

    yes

    soil, rock

    >300 (1000)

    7.6–15 (3–6)

    S, R, F

    yes

    7.6

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Reverse fluid rotary

    water, mud

    yes

    soil, rock

    <600 (2000)

    30–90 (12–36)

    S, R, F

    yes

    7.8

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Reverse air rotary

    air, water, foam

    yes

    soil, rock

    >300 (1000)

    30–90 (12–36)

    S, R, F

    yes

    7.7

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cable tool

    water

    yes

    soil, rock

    <1500 (5000)

    10–60 (4–24)

    S, R, F (F–below water table)

    yes

    8

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Casing-advancer

    air, water, mud

    yes

    soil, rock, boulders

    <600 (2000)

    5–40 (2–16)

    S, R, F

    yes

    9

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Direct-push technology

    none

    yes

    soil

    Typical 6-7
    (20-25)
    Maximum
    <30 (100)

    3.8–7.6 (1.5–3)

    S, F

    yes

    10

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sonic (vibratory)

    none, water, mud, air

    yes

    soil, rock, boulders

    <150 (500)

    10–30 (4–12)

    S, R, F

    yes

    11

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Jet percussion

    water

    no

    soil

    <15.0 (50)

    5–10 (2–4)

    S

    no

    12

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Jetting

    water

    yes

    soil

    <15 (50)

    10 (4)

    S

    no

    12

    A Actual achievable drilled depths will vary depending on the ambient geohydrologic conditions existing at the site and size of drilling equipment used. For example, large, high-torque rigs can drill to greater depths than their smaller counterparts under favorable site conditions. Boreholes drilled using air/air foam can reach greater depths more efficiently using two-stage positive-displacement compressors having the capability of developing working pressures of 12 to 17 kPa (250 to 350 psi) and 14 to 21 m3/h (500 to 750 cfm), particularly when submergence requires higher pressures. The smaller rotary-type compressors only are capable of producing a maximum working pressure of 6 kPa (125 psi) and produce 14 to 34 m3/h (500 to 1200 cfm). Likewise, the rig mast must be constructed to safely carry the anticipated working loads expected. To allow for contingencies, it is recommended that the rated capacity of the mast be at least twice the anticipated weight load or normal pulling load.
    B Soil = S (Cuttings), Rock = R (Cuttings), Fluid = F (some samples might require accessory sampling devices to obtain).

    4.2 This guide can be used in conjunction with Guide D6169. There are several guides that deal with individual drilling methods (see Guides D5781, D5782, D5783, D5784, D5872, D5875, and D5876) and how to the complete them for water quality monitoring device installation (see Practice D5092).

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide provides descriptions of various drilling methods for environmental site characterization along with advantages and disadvantages associated with each method discussed. A comprehensive description of these drilling methods can be found in individual ASTM standards, see Section 2. This guide is intended to aid in the selection of drilling method(s) for environmental soil and rock borings and the installation of monitoring wells and other water-quality monitoring devices.

    1.2 This guide does not address methods of well construction, well development, or well completion. These topics are covered in other ASTM documents, see Section 2.

    1.3 This guide cannot address all possible subsurface conditions that may occur such as, geologic, topographic, climatic, or anthropogenic. Site evaluation for engineering, design, and construction purposes is addressed in Guide D420.

    1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. Because dimensions of materials used in the drilling industry are given in inch-pound units by convention, rationalized inch-pound units also are used in this guide. Each system of units is to be regarded separately as standard.

    1.5 This guide does not specifically address methods of lithologic sample collection, such as coring, that may require the use of a specific drilling method. Other ASTM guides should be consulted for sampling methods (see Guide D6169) and equipment necessary for specific projects.

    1.6 This guide does not purport to comprehensively address all of the methods and the issues associated with drilling for environmental purposes. Users should seek qualified professionals for decisions as to the proper equipment and methods that would be most successful for their site investigation. Other methods may be available for drilling and qualified professionals should have flexibility to exercise judgment as to possible alternatives not covered in this guide. The guide is current at the time of issue, but new alternative methods may become available prior to revisions; therefore, users should consult with manufacturers or producers prior to specifying program requirements.

    1.7 Pertinent guides addressing specific drilling methods, equipment and procedures are listed in 2.1. A comprehensive list of guides, methods, practices, and terminology for drilling is contained in Guide D5730. Other documents covering procedures for environmental site investigations with specific objectives or in particular geographic settings may be available from federal, state, and other agencies or organizations. The appropriate agency or organization should be contacted to determine the availability and most current edition of such documents.

    1.8 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.

    1.9 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 and 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

    D420 Guide to Site Characterization for Engineering Design and Construction Purposes

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    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

    D2113 Practice for Rock Core Drilling and Sampling of Rock for Site Investigation

    D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)

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

    D5092 Practice for Design and Installation of Ground Water Monitoring Wells

    D5730 Guide for Site Characterization for Environmental Purposes With Emphasis on Soil, Rock, the Vadose Zone and Groundwater

    D5753 Guide for Planning and Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging

    D5781 Guide for Use of Dual-Wall Reverse-Circulation Drilling for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5782 Guide for Use of Direct Air-Rotary Drilling for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5783 Guide for Use of Direct Rotary Drilling with Water-Based Drilling Fluid for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5784 Guide for Use of Hollow-Stem Augers for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5872 Guide for Use of Casing Advancement Drilling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5875 Guide for Use of Cable-Tool Drilling and Sampling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5876 Guide for Use of Direct Rotary Wireline Casing Advancement Drilling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D6001 Guide for Direct-Push Ground Water Sampling for Environmental Site Characterization

    D6151 Practice for Using Hollow-Stem Augers for Geotechnical Exploration and Soil Sampling

    D6169 Guide for Selection of Soil and Rock Sampling Devices Used With Drill Rigs for Environmental Investigations

    D6429 Guide for Selecting Surface Geophysical Methods

    D6910 Test Method for Marsh Funnel Viscosity of Clay Construction Slurries


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.99 (Other standards related to soil quality); 73.100.30 (Equipment for drilling and mine excavation)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 20110000(Well drilling and operation equipment); 81151902(Geophysical exploration)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D6286-12

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6286-12, Standard Guide for Selection of Drilling Methods for Environmental Site Characterization, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012, www.astm.org

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