Panoramic shot of a back-up supply well for an emergency agency-OAI news April 10, 2017!

O'Donnell & Associates, Inc.

" Putting geology to work for you."

What's New At O'Donnell & Associates, Inc.

April 18, 2024

OAI welcomes Satusuma Water & Sewer and its Director Chandler Roley as our 60th public water supply client.  We look forward to working with you.

April 11, 2024

OAI recieved a contract today with Onsyte Performance LLC and John Pierson, PE for permitting services associated with a de-centralized domestic wastewater treatment facility. 

January 16, 2024

An industrial supply well for a confidential client was completed today.  The well will be used for cooling water and off set purchased water costs.  This well is located in an area that was written off "by the experts" as not having the potential to develop groundwater sources of supply.  

December 31, 2023

Once again, Nell and I would like to thank all our clients who have placed their trustin on our company.  We appreciate you business.

November 2023

Data loggers in observation wells at five public supplu wellsites were download this month.  The data recorded by the loggers was evaluated and reports issued.  To date, the aquifers supplying eight public supply wells at thses sites are not being over produced and have the potential to supply additional wells saving thse systems tens of thousands of dollars or more in years to come as they plan futhere wells.  Call today to initiate a cost effective groundwater monitoring program at your wellsites. 

October 25, 2023

OAI completed a cursory review of a potential wellsite for a rural system client.  The review identified two potential aquifers and presented a drilling depth to allow them to be evaluated.  The report also pointed out the deeper aquifer was present at their exisiting site.

October 13, 2023

OAI awarded a contract for our 7th public supply well for Fairhope.  The well will be the fourth well a a wellfield OAI began planning for in 2003.  The well will bring site production up to a maiximum of about 3,300 gpm.

September 19, 2023

Father Charles "Chuck" McCabe died today.  Father Chuch was instrumental in my faith walk by showing me it is better listening more to God and less to myself. He got me to attend Cursillo in the Fall of 1997.  In the Palanca Room at Visitation Monestary during the Fall Cursillo in 1998, Father Chuck listened and counseled me on my career path encouraging me to pray, discern and ask God what direction I should take.  Well I did just that.  Eight months later, the answer was clear that Nell and I, in a leap of faith and with the help from familiy, opened the doors for O'Donnell & Associates, Inc.  I heard last night at his wake that if you get to heavem Jesus is going to look behind you and ask:  Who did you bring with you?  Father Chuck will have a very long line indeed.  Rest in peace brother.

                                                                        Reverend Charles "Chuck" McCabe

                                                                             Died September 19, 2023

January 25, 2024

OAI recieves a contract for our 8th public supply well for Fairhope.  The well will be an addition to Wellfield #1 bringing the maximum potential production from this four well wellfield to about 3,350 gom.  OAI's planning for this wellfield began in 1999.

September 5, 2023

OAI welcomes our 59th public water system client today.  Located in Daphne Alabama, Daphne Utilities is located on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay.  Welcome aboard Daphne Utilities.

August 15, 2023

Today Walter "Walt the Dog" Longmire turns two years old.  He has been and is a great little dog and always looks forward to my arival home if he's not with me at work.

August 9, 2023

Nell and I welcome our 6th grandchild today!  Lucy Monica was born at 00:09 this morning to Maggie and Sam in Leesburg, Va.  Lucy joins Irene, George and Cici.  Congratulations Maggie and Sam!

Lucy Monica O'Donnell

August 2, 2023

Groundwater level monitoring began today at Mexia Well #1.  OAI's data logger was placed in the site's observation well to evaluate water level trends and "operating" interference during normal operation of Well #1.  The observation well is located 136 feet from the production well.  Data gather from the monitoring will be compared to historic static and pumping levels in the well to evaluate the "health" of the aquifer and evaluate spacing options.   

August 1, 2023

Work began on a test bore for a new public supply well for Perdido Bay WSFP District in southeast Baldin County, see picture below.  The test bore location was identified during a hydrogeologic study OAI completed in 2019 for the system.  The target aquifer came in as expected measuring 88 feet thick.  A test well will be completed to evaluate the aquifer's water quality, obtain preliminary hydraulic data and, if the water quality is acceptable, serve as a monitoring point for water level trends after the production well is installed.

View from OAI's field office of pilot bore drilling effort

July 26, 2023

OAI welcomes Mexia Water System, Inc. as our 58th water system client and Utility Engineering Consultants, LLC as our 27th engineering firm for work on development of a new public supply well for the system.  Rod Hawkins, PE is the engineer for the project and Ariston Griffin is the system operator.  OAI met with Mr. Gerald Trawick, system President, and Rod to discuss the project and to visit potential wellsites.  We are looking forward to developing a new well for Mexia further expanding our Monroe County groundwater exploration and development work.   

June 30, 2023

OAI welcomes out 57th water system client.  Brewton Water Works was in need of updating their contaminant source inventory as part of their permit renewal process.  Working through Southern Engineering Solutions with Paul Darnell, PE,  OAI was contracted to complete the work.  If you are an Alabama public water system in need of updating your contaminant source inventory as part of your permit renewal, consider giving OAI a call or drop us an email today.  Welcome Brewton Water Works!

Brewton's ALCO Water Tower and Well

June 29, 2023

The new remote groundwater level monitoring stations are in and running.  These four systems provide up to the minute water level data from this municipal systems' three wellfields.  The data tracks the health of their aquifers over time and is used in the planning new wells.   The initial outlay for the remote systems run about $2,000 each with out year costs running about $200/yr.  Non-remote systems with yearly reports can be installed for about $1,500/year. If you are even considering a new well, OAI strongly encourages you to consider implementing a groundwater level monitoring program today.  Time and again, the information obtained from these systems has led to thousands if not hundreds of thouseand dollars in savings when searching for new wells.  Follow this link to view the data:

April 23, 2023

As some of you know, my associate Walt enjoys traveling with me to various jobs and going with me to work.  As you can expect, that is some hard work for a pup.  So, when he gets to the office, he enjoys a nap or two.

Walter "Walt the dog" Longmire

March 8, 2023

Well #2 is in the works for an industrial supply client.  This will be the second well developed for industrial supply for this client with the produced water offsetting the cost of purchasing water from a local water system.  The first well, a 300 gpm well completed January 2016, reduced purchased water costs by up to 432,000 gallons per day.  The second well, planned for a production rate of 500+ gpm, will work to further reduce purchased water costs.  It will be the sixth well OAI has developed in the area, each of which reduced purchase water costs for our clients.

February 24, 2023

Traveled to Lafayette, LA to give a presentation at the 27th Annual Joint Engineering Societies Conference.  The presentation's intent was to provide and explain critical concepts on aquifers and the problems that can arise if these concepts are not fully understood.  The presentation was aimed at those involved in groundwater work but are not properly trained in hydrogeology. 

Spreading the knowledge in Lafayette!

February 10, 2023

OAI was invited to speak to the Board of one of our oldest clients on the dynamics of their aquifers and to explain how aquifer supplying their wells are not in danger of running out of water as they have been repeatedly told by another system's "expert".  OAI used this opportunity to explan the benefits and advantages the deep confined aquifers supplying their wells have over the shallow aquifer supplying the rival system's lake source of supply.  In addition, the ongoing groundater level monitoring program OAI implemented supports our contention that the system's aquifers are fine with no imminent signs of drying up.  For more information on OAI's groundwater level monitoring program, please see the Groundwater Monitoring tab under Research tab above.  OAI's presentation was a follow-up to an aquifer depletion study completed by OAI for the system in May 2022.  It pays to know the "health" of your aquifers.

January 27, 2023

A deep Nanafalia Aquifer test was geophysically logged today.  This test bore was located by OAI to test this regional aquifer for possible use as a source of public supply.  The aquifer was present as expected from 730 to 776 feet deep.  A test well was set and pumped to obtain water quality.  Results from the testing indicated the aquifer is very productive but will require post production treatment prior to distribution.

January 13, 2023

OAI finalized a report for the Water Works and Sewer Board for the City of Prichard today.  The report details work completed confirming the presence of the two aquifers originall identified in OAI's 2015 Hydrogeologic Study and obtained water quality data and preliminary hydraulic on the aquifer through the completion of two test wells.  This project was Step 2 of a four step program which will change this water system from a purchase system to a producing system bringing the system's water resources back under their control.   Planning for the production wells is in the works. 

December 31, 2022

Good bye to 2022 and we look forward to 2023. As always, O'Donnell & Associates, Inc. would like to thank all our clients for their continued confidence in our work.  In addition, we would welcome consider of other water systems, industries or irrigators that would benefit from our Gulf Coast experience.  God Bless, Dan and Nell

 November 29, 2022

A second test well started today on Dauphin Island to evaluate a brackish water sand aquifer.  This test well was successful in that the aquifer targeted for development has some of the best brackish water beneath the island well suited for the system's RP treatment plant.  Currently, plans are underway to develop a production well in the 400 to 600+ gpm range. Once completed, this will be the third well developed by OAI for the island. 

November 21, 2022

OAI completes a Source Water Assessment Report for Butler Utilities, our 56th public water supply client and out third water system client in Choctaw County, Alabama.  Welcome aboard Butler Utilities.

October 30, 2022

Drilling began today on a replacement well for LeMoyne Water System in Mobile County, Alabama.  The new well, Well #1A, will replace Well #1 constructed in 1972.  Fifty years of excellent production from Well #1, not bad at all.

October 3, 2022

Drilling began on a test well on Dauphin Island, located south of Mobile county.  The test well, sited by OAI, was set to explore and develop a brackish water aquifer for use, after RO treatment, as a source of public supply.  The well was unsuccessful in that the targeted aquifer's water was beyond the treatment capabilities of the RO plant. 

September 22, 2022

OAI completed a cursory review of a long time Florida water system client on the potential to offset an exisiting well with a second well in the same aquifer.  While this options was problematic due to drawdown and saltwater intrusion concerns, OAI suggest looking at a differnt aquifer at the site that has good water quality and a strong production potential.

May 29, 2022

Work began today on the third well, Well #11, in an existing two well wellfield.  The initial work on the wellfield began in 2003 when the water system was offered additional property at their exisiting wellsite.  Preliminary work included drilling a test bore to evaluate the aquifer Well #3 was producing from and to check out a deeper aquifer.  The bore confirmed the presence of both aquifers and a monitoring well was completed in the shallower of the two aquifers.  Testing on Well #3, completed in the shallow aquifer, indicated minimal drawdown at the monitoring well 400 feet away.  The option to purchase the property was made at that point.  In 2008, Well #10 was completed in the shallow aquifer after several years of groundwater level monitoring indicated the aquifer could support another well.  Well #11, the third well in the aquifer and a new treatment plant designed to handle 4.54+ mgd* from the wellfield  is set for completion in the late Fall of 2023. 

*  The deeper aquifer was tested and found to have an elevated iron concentration.  Treatment options are being considered the could bring another 1,000+ gpm of production to the wellfield.

March 30, 2022

Today marks the day we wrapped up St. Elmo's fourth well.  Well #4 was the third well sited by OAI based on our mapping of aquifer in southeast Mobile County, Alabama.  Well #4 tested out at 750 gpm with a permitted production rate of 500 gpm.  Well #4 produces from a prolific Miocene age aquifer that runs across the area.  To date, OAI has located three wells for three different water systms in this aquifer along a trend over a distance of 18 miles. 

January 24, 2022

Installed OAI's first remote groundwater level monitoring station today for an industrial client.  The equipment was easy to install and set-up.  The water level is recorded every 15-minutes and is uploaded on the hour using cell technology.  The data from these stations can be set up to share via the internet-thanks Al.  The unit installed for this client includes total pressure of the submerged logger, barometric pressure and automatic compensation for determining depth to water.  While not "real time", for the cost of the system, you can't beat it's usefulness in monitoring the health of your aquifer.  Call today, 251*285*5945 to get a remote water level monitoring station installed at your facility.  The data from this monitoring effort will be used to evaluate whether or not the aquifer can support production from a second well at this site.

January14, 2022 

Got word today that the remote groundwater level monitoring sytem we ordered for an industrial client is on the way.  This sytem uses cellular transmission from the data looger in the well to the desk top in the client's office allowing "anytime" checks on water level in their well.  We plan on installing the system on the 20th.

Janaury 14, 2022

Visiting with someone today that mentioned my brother Tom taught her daughter at St. Vincent DePaul School in Theodore, Alabama a few years back.  That reminded me of the field trip I took his class on to one of our clients public supply well located just down the street from their school.  This photo, below, captures the event.

  Pictured L-R: Dan, Stephen, Tom, Well #1 and Tom's class

December 28, 2021

Thirty seven years ago today Nell and I married in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  Since then, we have lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma (a great town), Whicita Falls, Tx (a dusty town), Tulsa again, Sioux City, Iowa (another great and cold winter town) and for the past 29 years in Mobile, Alabama.  We've met a lot of good folks over the years and one or two no too good but all in all it's been good.  As we move ahead into 2022, Nell and I look forward to working with our clients, water systems, engineers and industry, to make the best of their financial resources as we research, explore, develop and managed their groundwater resources.  Thanks to all of you that have allowed O'Donnell & Associates, Inc. the priveledge of working with you.  Dan and Nell 

December 6, 2021

Prepared renewal forms for both Mississippi and Louisiana geologist registrations today.  These renewals will keep us loaded and ready for projects in these two States.  Should you have a water supply project in either of these two states, it may well be worth your time to contact OAI as you begin planning your next well.  

November 25, 2021 Thanksgiving

Daniel, Krystin, Daniel and Sam opened their Memphis home for a Thanksgiving reunion of the O'Donnells again this year.  Sam, Maggie, Irene, George and Cici came in from Virginia, Kelly came up from Montgomery and Nell and I came up from Mobile for a great family gathering.  Daniel and Krsytin were wonderful host and had photos taken of the whole family. We have much to be thankful for indeed. Front row left to right: Daniel, Sam, George, Irene.  Back row left to right: Daniel, Kyrstin,Nell, Dan,Kelly,Sam,Maggie and Cici.

November 15, 2021 Two New Public Supply Wells

Work begins on the completion phase of two new public supply wells in west Mobile County, Alabama.  The wells were sited by OAI base on our evaluation of the area's hydrogeology. Work on the installation and testing will continue through December followed by the required sourcewater work for permitting purposes.

November 1, 2021 Holy Water

OAI recieved a call from a lady in Chicago asking for help with developing a well in Mobile County.  After some discussion, OAI was informed the client was Visitation Monastery and I was asked if I was familiar with them.  I responded that that was where I discerned starting OAI in the first place back in the Fall of 1998 while working a Cursillo weekend.  Eight months later, OAI opened our door.  OAI completed a hydro review to come up with a drilling depth for the new well and the sisters were put in touch with Dallas Drilling, a very capable local well driller.  Afterwards, we met on site with the driller, selected a favorable location for the well and scheduled the installation.  Thanks Julie for contacting me from Chicago!

As things go, this is the second well project for a monastery I've done this year.  Like the Visitation well, I helped the Carmelite Sisters get a well installed to head off rising "city water costs".  I did a review of the area, provided a drilling depth to target and recommended a local driller, Dallas Drilling (the same one as I recommnded for the Visitation project).  The Carmelite sisters are very happy with their new well.

October 2, 2021 Introducing Walter "Walt" Longmire O'Donnell

Nell and I would like to introduce y'all to our new dog Walt.  We got him from a local rescue group.  Walt was rescued during Hurricane Ida (September 28th).  He was was born on August 15th to a Austrailin Cattle Dog mom and a fence hopper dad.  We were told his mom had five pups and had put them up on a box to keep them out of rising water from the storm.  He is a good helper at work but seems to nap more than the official OAI nap policy allows.

September 16, 2021

Today OAI received word that our requested for a waiver for a permit was dutifully supported with facts and accepted by ADEM.  This waiver initially saved our client upwards of $15,000 to $25,000 in expenses and years of follow-up monitoring and testing.  OAI's knowledge of coastal aquifers and our firm understanding of the specific regulation were used to support the waiver request.  

September 8, 2021

Renewed my Kentucky PG registration today.  If you are in Kentucky and are in need of quality hydrogeologic services associated with groundwater resource exploration, development or management, give OAI a call.  We are also PGs in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Our specialty is porous flow aquifers. 

August 19, 2021

Completed a 10 well contaminant inventory update for a 22 year client for their permit renewal requirement.  As part of this update, we made recommendations concerning two new gasoline stations that were built in their wells' sourcewater assessment areas.  These recommendations were followed and should hedge against potential issues resulting from improper investigations should releases occur.

August 12, 2021

Completed a modified "test well" today.  The modification involved scaling back the normal TW design from 6-inch diameter steel casing and a stainless steel screen to 4-inch diameter PVC casing and screen.  The reasoning behind OAI's recomendation was based on our knowledge of area aquifers (hydraulics and production potential).  All we needed from the TW was information on the aquifer's potentiometric surface and water quality.  The 330-foot TW was completed for a fraction of the cost of a steel well and provided the information needed to plan the full scale production well.  BTW the water quality was good as OAI expected.

July 12, 2021  New Client

Earlier this month OAI met with a potential client* to discuss thier current groundwater resources situation.  Based on this initial meeting, we recieved the go ahead to monitor water levels in an un-used area well completed in the aquifer supplying their well.  The data obtained will be used in part to: 1) evaluate current water levels verse those when the well was originally installed 2) evaluate interference effects to determine spacing for, if the data looks favorable, a new well.  

* This "potential" client, Old Line Water Authority, became our 55th public water supply client!

July 19, 2021  Farewell our good friend Jonas

Very sad day today as we had to put Jonas down.  He was a great dog who brought our family much joy over the past 13.5 years.  A beagle, blue heeler mix, he never had good vision, never learned to jump into or out of the truck or how to go up and down stairs more than one step at a time.  He also blew out both ACLs on his hind legs beating the $800 dollar fix up limit by $10 each time.  He had a hard act to follow (Kramer) but he did so wonderfully.  As the neighbor's kid said one day when I asked her if she liked Jonas-she always came over and asked to pet him-her response was "He's wonderful". And so he was.  Rest in peace buddy you are missed.

July 2, 2021 Don't forget to Update!

OAI completed the contaminant inventory update required for one of our long time clients.  If your permit is up for renewal, call us today and stay on time with your renewal process.

May 21, 2021

Completed a contaminant inventory for a new public water supply client, our 54th, for their permit renewal.  Noted five land use changes that were of not concern and identified two wells that could be potential conduits to aquifers supplying their wells. 

May 14, 2021 #25!

OAI welcomes Ardurra as our 25th teaming engineering client.  Through teaming arrangements, OAI is able to provide quality hydrogeologic services to engineering firms that may need these specialized services from time to time but not enough to support a full time position.  By teaming with OAI, these firms get the serices they need for their groundwater projects without the full time expense of an in-house hydrogeologist.  How can this teaming arrangement work for your engineering firm? 

April 12, 2021 Project #12

OAI received word today that our proposal to assist a local water system was approved.  The project, our 12th for this client, will involve expanding a wellfield from two to three wells with the added potentail of two more wells as the project moves forward.  This original project began back in 2003 when property adjacent to the well was offered to the city.  OAI recommended a pilot bore be drilled and logged on the parcel and, based on what we saw, recommended the city purchase the property.  In 2008, after a bit of study and testing, a second well was completed with a deeper aquifer identified as a potential new source.  The current project will involve testing the deeper aquifer for water quality and completing the third well in the initial aquifer.   Should the deeper aquifer prove suitable for use as a source of public supply, two production wells will be completed in it bring the wellfield total to five wells. 

April 1, 2021 Post Covid Fog

OAI recevied calls on several projects placed on hold due to Covid.  Planning resumed on one industrial supply well project, planning began on another industrial supply wellfield project, a long planned third well at an area wellfield came under contract and a cursory hydrogeologic review of an area under consideration by a long term OAI client for a new public supply client rounded out the month.  Good bye Covid!   

March 3, 2021 New Public Supply Well

Work began today acquiring background water level data and research into developing a new public supply well, the 9th OAI will have done for this client.  The project started with evaluating interference effects and reviewing area hydrogeology which resulted in siting the new well's location.  Drilling is expected to begin in June. 

February 15, 2021  New PWS Well Siting Issues

Got a call today about a potential new wellsite for a rural public water supply well.  OAI's local knowledge of the area under reviewed pointed out a favorable test location originally drilled but not tested back in 1999.  Work began on re-acquiring testing rights at this location or nearby and, once secrured, moving forward with further testing to confirm the suitability of the Nanafalia Aquifer at this site.  

February 11, 2021  Sourcewater Assessment Completed

Sent out the Sourcewater Assessment Report for a recently completed public water supply well.  The report is required as part of the permitting process for new public supply wells in Alabama.  This was OAI's first project with the utility and second teaming effort with the engineering firm.

January 28, 2021 Test Wells

OAI released another article on Test Wells today.  This was promted by driving by a test well last week.  Does your "test well program" help or condemn your groundwater project?  You need to know the answer to that question.

January 20, 2021

Working on an industrial supply project in Louisiana and have to say their SONRIS program is a tremendous tool for use in conducting hydrogeologic research.  

January 6 to 9, 2021

OAI assisted on a new public supply well's production testing.  The well was set to pump at 300 gpm and 24 hours after drawdown stabilization occurs the rate is increased to 450 gpm.  As expected, the test went off without a hitch and OAI's analysis of the test data was submitted for the well's report.  Of interest was the rise in groundwater temperature from 74 to 82 degrees F during the pumping portion of the test.  The pump was set at 490 feet, the aquifer is present at 1,100 feet and the static water level is at 300 feet. I suspect the rise reflects the difference in temperature due to increased depth.


December 17, 2020

Oh my, I turn 65 today.  I have no plans on retiring as I have been blessed in the work I do and hope to keep on doing it for years to come.  

December 14, 2020

Completed a screening model to assess the impact of three industrial supply wells on a regional aquifer in SW Louisiana in response to a question raised by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  This project included researching the area's aquifers, reviewing previous modeling work and then developing a screening groundwater model to show the projected drawdown from the wells' operation at various distances from the site.  The report was submitted ahead of schedule.

November 12, 2020

Got word that Mr. Braxton Platt of South Alabama Utilities died today.  I've worked with Braxton through his employer and for him personally to help out on an environmental issue he came across.  He was a class act and his knowledge in the indusrty will be missed.  May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace, amen.

October 12, 2020

OAI provided asistance to a local drilling firm on a recently completed public supply well.  OAI strongly encourages all drilling contractors to carefully read all specs and equally encourages all engineers to stop cutting and pasting other's specs that generally result in conflicts that don't help either party.  Sometimes I'm left wondering if anybody besides me read the specs?  I can tell you that if the specs go into more detail on how to install silt fences than in actually spelling out the drilling and completing the well, there will be trouble coming.  If there is an efficiency clause in them, the specs should clearly spell out the method used to determine well efficiency and have the money for that to happen (ideally an observation well).  If the specs spell out the penalty for not hitting the spec'd efficiency, they should also identify the bonus for exceeding that efficiency.  

October 7, 2020

The second well of a two well-single aquifer wellfield went on line today, see September 4, 2020 below.  Well #16, foreground, was completed to a depth of 85 feet and screened from 60 to 80 feet, is capable of producing 900 to 1,200 gpm 24/7 depending on river stage.  Well #17, background,  is completed to a depth of 92 feet with a designed production rate in the 1,000 to 1,500 gpm range depending on the river stage.  Both wells supply excellent quality groundwater using the induced infiltration method of production drawing water from the river through the aquifer for industrial supply purposes.  The river is just beyond the tree line on the left side of the photo.  Previous testing indicated the river water, cleaned by the aquifer, reaches the wells in about 16 days based on temperature and water quality parameter changes. 

September 23, 2020

Started a new public supply well project today targeting a regional aquifer at a depth of 1,200 feet.  The aquifer was found as expected and the production well was completed as planned.  This is the fifth public supply well for this system and OAI's first project with them, our 52nd public water supply client.  Testing and development is to follow.  OAI provided the required (in Alabama) geologic log and will provide analysis of the capacity test and complete the source water assessment requirements so the well can be permitted.  

September 4, 2020

On September 4th, the first well of a two well-single aquifer wellfield went online.  This well is the first of this wellfield that was reseasearch, planned, tested and completed to bring a new sustainable source of industrial supply to a long existing plant.  The method of production rests on the concept of induced infiltration and is, to the best of our knowledge the first of its kind in Alabama.   The well is completed to a depth of 85 feet and, depending on the river stage, will operate in the production range of 900 to 1,200 gpm 24/7.  Testing indicated that river water reaches the well in about 16 days at 900 gpm.  The produced water was tested and found to be excellent, in fact it was called "holy water" when compared to the facility's exisitng source.   The water produced at the wellfield is pumped to the plant via a 16-inch pipeline. 

August 13, 2020

OAI assisted a local drilling company (Griner Drilling) with data collection and analysis of an aquifer test on a Florida public supply well,  The test was a constant rate test with the well pumping about 830 gpm.  OAI used data loggers to obtain pre-test, test and post-test water levels in the pumped well and three observation wells.  Once the test was completed, OAI downloaded the data and completed anaylis of the drawdown and recovery recorded by the loggers.  

August 5, 2020

OAI wrapped up testing on a new public supply well for a 20+ year client.  This project off-set an existing public supply well negating the need for land purchase or extensive new piping.  The new well tested out at 720 gpm and will be initially permitted for 480 gpm.  Plans are to re-permit the well at 650 to 700 gpm once it goes online.  The photo below shows the well's screen being installed. 

July 18, 2020

OAI completed a water well survey for a decentralized wastewater treatment facility.  During the initial permitting process, this critical item was miss by the consultant.  OAI got the project done and submitted within two days of being contacted about this overlooked issue.  OAI has completed 25 similar projects and we include all required work with our submissions to ensure the permitting process runs smooth.  Experience with what is required is what OAI offers.

May 19, 2020

OAI celebrates 21 years of providing professional hydrogeologic services to our clients (public water systems, industrial clients, large scale irrigators and private individuals).  To each of you, we thank you for your confidence in OAI over the years and for years to come.  Dan and Nell

May 5, 2020

For the past six months, OAI has researched the #1 water quality problem facing groundwater producers in the Gulf Coast area.  During this time, we identified a novel approach to addressing this issue.  The down time brought on by COVID-19 has been put to good use.  If your system faces the dreaded "iron" issue, we'd like to talk with you.  Perhaps things are not as bad as they appear.  Call today.  

May 4, 2020

OAI received word that the waiver requested on April 13th was accepted saving our client system in excess of $70,000.  This was just another example of how OAI "puts geology to work for our clients" as part of our source water assessment services.  Our clients expect and receive more, so should you!

May 26, 2020

OAI receive a contract to develop a two well single aquifer industrial water supply project.  This project began with a hydrogeologic study OAI completed in 2017 followed by drilling and testing in 2018 to prove the feasibility of this "new to Alabama" method of groundwater production.   The new portion of this project was to drill, install and complete two new production wells and be ready to turn them on as soon as the 6,200+ foot pipeline needed to transmit the produced groundwater was installed and ready to go.  OAI coordinated the project and brought it in just ast the pipeline was completed. Five months later on October 7, 2020 both wells were on-line and the project was complete, see October 7, 2020 above for completion information on this project.

April 24, 2020

Got word today that one of our contracts was cancelled due to the drilling contractor's request that no "other company's personnel" be allowed on site while they drilled due to covid concerns!  No oversight?  Oh well.  BTW they drilled a dry hole here.

April 15, 2020

While working on a new well project for a long term client, OAI made a suggestion to the engineer and owner, upon accetance, cut the project cost by $38,000 without loss of critical data needed to complete our sourcewater assessment contract.  How can OAI help you? 

April 13, 2020

OAI working with a small water system on their new water well project suggested seeking a waiver from a standard requirement associated with permitting new public supply wells in Alabama.  OAI submitted the waiver request with documentation supporting the waiver to the state regulatory agency (ADEM).  If the waiver is granted, the system will save in excess of $70,000 as they complete and permt their new well without losing and benfit to the sytem.

February 17, 2020

Began a test bore for a new public supply well at a location favorable due to its proximity to a water tower but in an area where OAI's hydrogeologic work up showed the target aquifer thinning to about 20 feet.  Looked to find at least 20 feet of clean sand a pilot bore was advanced but it only encounterd about 12 feet so the bore was abandoned.  

February 10, 2020

Began an aquifer management program for this 20 year client to evaluate aquifer conditions with an eye for further development of the aquifer. 

January 26, 2020

It is not all fun (work) at OAI.  This evening, as part of our local vocations club, we cooked and provided dinner for 43 seminarians visiting the Mobile area from St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, Mn.  What a great group of young men.

December 17, 2019

Celebrated my 64th birthday with the reciept of two new public water supply well contracts for a client of 21 years.  The contracts involved an evaluation of two exisitng wells completed in 1983 and 1986.  OAI assisted with an evaluation of historic water level and declining production data and then made recommendations for off setting these two wells with new wells.  Work will include updating the new wells' sourcewater assessment originally completed by OAI in 2001.   

December 3, 2019

Got the OK to begin work for a long term industrial client that, if data is favorable, will result in development of two wells at their plant.  The original well was completed in 2005.  The well was the result of OAI's 2004 study that identified several vaible aquifers underlying the site that was "written off" as having no potential to develop a groundwater source of industrial supply with purchasing water as the only option.  The new project will involve conversion of an idle 6-inch diameter test well and the addition of a new production well. 

December 2, 2019

Began completion work on a new 600 gpm public supply well in an aquifer originally drilled and tested  back in 2017 but abandoned due to elevated chlorides.  The new well will produce water which will be treated with reverse osmosis prior to distribution.  The new well will be the system's first well allowing them to forego purchasing water from another area system.  The RO treatment process was orignially presented to the system by OAI in 2017. 

October 31, 2019

Set up today for the required pumping test on a new northwest Florida public supply well, see photo below.  OAI was contacted in March of 2018 to provide hydrogeologic input on this new well project.  Initially, OAI was asked to provide a target drilling depths to reach the pre-selected primary targeted aquifer at two wellsites for bidding purposes.  The area has several faults complicating OAI's assessment but the proposed depths given by OAI were right on the money.

Our second task was to provide wellsite geologic services.  While geologically logging the pilot bores, OAI noticed a very promising aquifer and suggest it be tested should the target aquifer prove unsuitable for use which it ultimately did.  The back up aquifer suggested by OAI proved to be prolific and contained water suitable for use as a source for public supply.  Once again, OAI's services were the key factor in turning this exploration program from a bust to developing a new aquifer that was not even considered as a viable source of groundwater.  New aquifer and new public supply well, OAI putting geology to work for our clients.

October 26, 2019

Got word tonight that Felicity Ann (Cici) O'Donnell arrived in Leesburg, Va.  She is our fifth grandchild and daughter of Sam and Maggie.  Both mother and daughter are doing well and big sister Irene and big brother George are excited to welcome this new baby home.  Congrats Maggie and Sam!!!

October 16, 2019

Deliver a hydrogeologic review to an area public supply system to aid in the groundwater exploration program to develop a new source of groundwater.  This project involved a review of 1,200+ well records across a 48+ square mile area to identify and target area aquifers (more than the one area reports identify) through subsurface correlation.  Using information provided in this report, the water system can efficiently allocate their resources to target the most promising aquifers for development.  By completing this study and implementing its recommendations before they located a wellsite and began drilling, this system can significantly reduce their chances of dry hole failures.

October 8, 2019

Received a new contract to implement OAI's groundwater management program at a new public supply well.  This cost effective groundwater management program tracks the "health and sustainability" of the aquifer that will be used to aid in future development of the aquifer as demand increases.  OAI is currently operating 12 of these programs monitoring aquifers supplying 18 industrial or public supply wells.  Call today for more information on starting a similar management program for your wells (251+285+5945).

September 16, 2019

Completed a cooling water/irrigation groundwater project for the Porch Band of Creek Indians.  This project, OAI's second for them, involved providing information on area aquifers, estimating potential drilling depths, geologically logging the pilot bore and planning and evaluating the aquifer test on the completed well.  All went well and the well was completed as planned.  Our first project for the PBCI was the completion of their first public supply well.

April 30, 2019

Walter "Scotty" Scott, an engineer friend and OAI client passed away today at his home.  Walter and I worked on several water supply projects over the years.  He was a very good engineer and worked hard for his clients.  It seems there are more and more losses to the industry of people like Walter with a wealth of experience with few trailing behind to take up the slack.  Walter, may you rest in peace, you will be missed.   

April 2, 2019

Just finished up OAI's second well effort for Dauphin Island Water and Sewer with the completion of the Public Awareness Meeting.  The PA meeting is the last hurdle in permitting the well we started in August 2018.  If you haven't been to Dauphin Island, located seven miles south of mainland Mobile County, please consider it for your next vacation get away.  It's laid back with friendly folks and great water!

March 26 - April 1, 2019

Made a quick vacation trip through O'Donnell, Texas (thanks Blake Nichols, AD at O'Donnell High), Roswell, New Mexico (did not get abducted but had a six hour time gap!), Carlsbad Caverns (worth it) and on through El Paso to Tornillo and a visit to Nell's Uncle Red for his 90th birthday.  What a great trip.   

January 24, 2019

Just received word this morning that Dr. Wayne Pettyjohn passed away in May 2017.  Dr. Pettyjohn was the person who put together the Hydro Program at Oklahoma State that helped me and countless other petroleum geologist transition into hydrogeologists.  He was one of the greats in the field and worked hard to help us newbees understand the basics to ensure we got it right.  As for the other stuff "we'll get to that".  He will be missed.  May he rest in peace. His full obit is at:

December 31, 2018

As 2018 winds down, OAI looks back and would like to thank all our clients for the trust and confidence you have given OAI for your hydrogeologic needs.  It truly has been a fantastic year from proposing, planning, testing and proving a new unique method of groundwater production that will be the first of its kind in Alabama to the disappointment of seeing trusted friends retire to the completion of projects years in the making. What a year it has been.

To all our existing clients and to those who aren't currently or those who may have gone with others, we wish you all a happy and blessed new year.

God bless,

Dan and Nell

December 7, 2018

Today is my brother Jim's birthday and the day OAI contracted with our 45th public water system since we formed OAI in 1999.  

November 17, 2018

As a means to stay fresh on all things drilling, OAI  attended and completed Baroid's Drilling Mud School with a special thanks to Dave Roberts of Baroid and Ray Smith of Griner Drilling for hosting this school. 

November 7-8, 2018

Completed a capacity test on a new public supply well (see August 1, 2018, below) with the well testing out at the rate of 1,500 gpm.  Once completed, OAI finalized the well's sourcewater protection report required for permitting public supply wells in Alabama.

August 6, 2018

Begin new "on island" test well with intent to convert it to a 400 gpm production well if favorable conditions found.  The site selected by OAI was based on research which identified a test completed on the aquifer at this location in 1954.  Well requires coastal zone permitting as well as PS permitting and will be designed to supplement the system's existing wells as needed and for emergencies purposes.

August 2, 2018

Completed a 30-day aquifer test at the rate of 900 gpm on an 8-inch diameter industrial supply test well to obtain hydraulic and water quality data over time.  All data suggests development of a new 4.3+ mgd wellfield is feasible in the targeted shallow aquifer using a new method of groundwater production, the first of its kind in Alabama.  This project, scheduled for completion in 2019, will provide a new high quality source of industrial supply for this facility.  The wellfield site was identified based on OAI's hydrogeologic investigation of the area along with OAI's study of the proposed new method of groundwater production.  Update:  The wellfield went on line in October 2020.

August 1, 2018

Began drilling a new production well, the system's third, based on field work OAI originally began in late 2008.  Project's target aquifer is a deep Miocene sand with a production potential of 1,000 to 1,5000 gpm.  

June 28, 2018

Today I attended John "Sparky" Wilson's retirement party.  I first came in contact with Sparky back in 1995 when I called on Griner Drilling to install a monitoring well as part of a wellhead protection project I was working.  Since then, Sparky has provided me with help on developing wellfields, borrowing equipment and giving me good reviews that have helped land many new clients.  He was always ready to share his knowledge of wells, aquifers and experience when I found myself perplexed.  Always.

If you have ever had the opportunity of working with him, I'm sure you have been treated the same.  Now he is looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren, his two kids and his wife and I wish him the very best in all these areas. 

As I've discussed with several of us older groundwater folks there is a coming brain drain approaching and with the retirement of Sparky we are losing a lot.  God bless you and know I have very much enjoyed the past 23 years working with you on the projects we shared.

May 2018

Did you know OAI has provided hydrogeologic services to 23 engineering firms over the past 19 years with 16 of these being repeat clients? 

April 17, 2018

As a follow-up to OAI's 2017 hydrogeologic study of an area around an industrial facility needing a new source of supply, OAI was given the go ahead with the installation of five monitoring wells and one 8-inch diameter test well in an area OAI's research identified as promising to a new unique method of groundwater production.  Over the course of the next few months, this new method will be tested to determine whether or not it is a stable, sustainable means of producing high quality groundwater for use as industrial supply.  Stay tuned as we feel it will be!   Update:  Wellfield succussfully completed in October 2020.

April 13, 2018

Initiated a groundwater management program for one of OAI's oldest clients in an effort to determine the potential for further groundwater development for them.  Under this program, four aquifers supplying a total of seven public supply wells in three different wellfields will be monitored to determine whether or not the aquifers can support additional wells.  Data from this cost effective management program will be key to planning and budgeting new wells if favorable conditions are found.

March 14, 2018

This system began a drilling program at a site recommended by OAI based on hydrogeologic mapping of an area aquifer.  The test site was in the "thick trend" of the sand aquifer originally mapped by Dan as part of a wellhead program back in 1997.  The aquifer came in structurally and on trend as mapped.  The target aquifer produced water suitable for use as a source of public supply and will be developed with the completion of a new public supply well with an estimated production rate of 900 to 1,300 gpm.  The new well will be the system's fourth well and the second well completed based on OAI's hydrogeologic effort.  

February 15, 2018

Received word today that my favorite brother-in-law Jack McCoy passed away.  We just had the pleasure of attending his daughter Jenny's wedding in Brooklyn New York two weeks ago.  Tempus fugit, rest in peace Jack. Condolences to Patty, Keven, Jenny, Jenn, Abbie, John Grady, Amy and Guilherme.  God bless you all.  A tribute to Jack can be found at:

February 3, 2018

Made a trip to New York City and Brooklyn for my niece's wedding.  Great time and the new couple are a perfect match.  Best wishes to Jenny and Guilherme deOliveira. 

January 25, 2018

Nell and I are pleased to welcome George Joseph, our newest grandson, to our family.  George is the son of Sam and Maggie O'Donnell and little brother to Irene. 

December 27, 2017

It's been a fast year but a good year and OAI hopes your year was equally good.  We've earned some new clients, welcomed back some old clients and teamed with some new engineering firms on some public supply well projects that should prove both challenging and interesting. 

Our research has opened possibilities for a new client and offered possibilities to another client.  Our groundwater level monitoring program identified a critical issue with one of our client's wells that left alone could have had catastrophic results but allowed them the chance to make corrections before damage was done. 

All in all, it has been a good year and we look forward to 2018 being a great year!

God Bless you all,

Dan and Nell 

October 27, 2017 OAI Welcomes CDG Engineers

Today, CDG became the 24th engineering client to contract OAI for professional hydrogeologic services on a project OAI completed earlier work for back in 2009.  The project involves consulting, field services and sourcewwater assessment services for a south Alabama utility's new well.  To date, OAI has been involved with planning, siting, developing, protecting or managing over 79 public supply wells including permitting 45 new wells.  We welcome CDG and, as always, work to provide them the same quality services we provide all our clients.

October 10, 2017 OAI's sourcewater work pays dividends

One of our municipal clients called today with growing concerns on the development of their next well.  Tentative plans centered on a 1998 test well that had favorable results but they had difficulty securing the land needed to complete the production well.  This led them to retain OAI in 1999 too quickly locate a favorable site for developing a new well.  We did and they got their new well.

Fast forward to October 10th and once again, they called OAI with the same issue relating to that 1998 test well.  While at first they had favorable talks with securing the land at the test well site this time, things soon fell apart.  OAI was asked to "quickly" help them locate a new site.  By early the next morning, a field survey was completed on two potential locations identified based on OAI's 1999 sourcewater effort.  One proved bad while the other was extremely favorable.  A Scope of Work was agreed upon and implemented that found the potential site was in fact a highly probable site both production wise and water quality wise. 

Currently, plans are being underway to the development a production well at the site.

September 6, 2017 Happy Birthday Well #10

Just about this time ten years ago, OAI completed work on Well #10 for a local utility.  Well #10 is part of the third wellfield OAI planned, tested and permitted using our hydrogeologic method of developing groundwater resources.  The benefits of this method outlined at the time were as follows:

               1)  No off-site land purchase required for this wellfield as the City owns the property under consideration
               2)  Reduced piping cost (estimated at $18 to $30/foot with old rule of thumb mile spacing of wells)
               3)  Reduced treatment costs (new treatment plant will be sized to handle additional volume eliminating costs associated with a standalone plant)
               4)  Eliminate exploration costs (the aquifer has known water quality and production potential allowing the City to forego cost of “test wells”)

               Hydraulically and economically, the development of a wellfield at the existing wellsite make sense.  It's only money.  

July 13, 2017 Welcome The Constantine Group

Today, The Constantine Group became the 23rd engineering firm to utilize OAI for hydrogeologic services for a mid-Alabama utility client of theirs in need of redundancy for their public water supply.  The project will involve planning, testing and permitting a second well for the water system.  As a side note, a good side note, the water system becomes the 44th public water system to benefit from OAI's training and experience.  Welcome to both. 

July 12, 2017

White House Water System's Well #1 went fully online today.  This, as noted in several notes below, is the system's first well which will serve too greatly reduce their purchased water costs.  Congrats to WHWS and thanks for selecting OAI for your hydrogeologic services.  Update:  In June 2020, this well was operating 16 hours per day and has reduced their purchase water cost tremendously.

June 5, 2017

Back to drilling at a location in north Baldwin County to evaluate potential by-passed production at a well originally drilled for another water system.  Due to continuous rain, OAI's field office required use of the  official OAI canopy, seen below, for the first time in two years.  If successful, water supplied from the new well will replace water requiring significant post-production treatment for the initial well.


May 19, 2017

Great day at OAI today.  First, on this day in 1999, we officially opened our doors as O'Donnell & Associates with a lot of prayers and a unique service.  We are thankful for all our clients who have placed their trust in our company.  Since 1999, OAI has provided hydrogeologic services on 70 test wells, 14 industrial supply wells, 4 irrigation wells, 79 public supply wells, completed 87 hydrogeologic studies, geologically logged 53,030 feet of well bores, complete 76 aquifer tests, 20 pumping tests, completed 80 groundwater modeling projects, developed wells capable of supplying a total of 36,234 gpm including 22,040 for public supply purposes and permitted 45 wells.   To you our clients, again, thank you and God bless you and your systems.

Second, we received a contract with our second oldest client to investigate by-passed production at one of their wellsites.  After a "geologic" absence of eight years, we are more than happy we have this system back as an OAI client.  With several well projects on the board, we look forward to many more years working with them to bring public supply water to their customers.

April 17, 2017

Stopped in at White House Water System today to complete the Public Awareness requirement of  their sourcewater assessment program.  While there, took this photo, seen above, of their new treatment plant for Well #1.  Expected to be online soon, Well #1 will reduce their purchased water cost by close to 63 percent.  Saving will be applied to system upgrades and a future well that will make them self sufficient.              

April 10, 2017

Began wellsite services on a backup groundwater sourced supply for a confidential client.  The back up water supply was required in the event the facility's primary source of public supply was interrupted.  The pilot boring was completed to a depth of 375 feet based on a hydrogeologic review OAI completed in 2011.  Two significant and promising sand aquifers were cut.  The sand targeted for development based on correlation to a nearby irrigation well that was sampled with favorable water quality in the 2011 review.  Of interest on this project was the change in color of the drilling mud as we drilled out of the Citronelle Formation (orange mud stream) into the Miocene Formation (gray mud stream) as seen in the photo below.

March 21, 2017

Chuck Barris of The Gong Show fame died today.  I named my college dog after him and enjoyed his show especially Gene Gene the Dancing Machine.  RIP Chuck.

February 13, 2017

Over the past years OAI has been called on to evaluate pumping test or aquifer test data where the well or wells are completed with their screens set in two separate aquifers.  While aquifer hydraulics can be evaluated if the testing isolates each individual aquifer such that the drawdown and recovery from that single aquifer can be monitored, none of the tests OAI was asked to evaluate were done in this manner.  As a rule, OAI won't provide an evaluation of the drawdown and recovery data when two or more aquifers are screened and supply water to a single well (pumped well alone or pumped well and observation well).  In the book Applied Hydrogeology, Fourth Edition, C. W. Fetter (the author) summed our reason not to perform these evaluations nicely on page 212 stating:

Observation wells should also not be screened in aquifers other than the one in which the pumping well is also screened.  The author has seen cases where very expensive pumping tests yielded meaningless results because either the pumping well or the observation well was screened in more than one aquifer.  Time-drawdown data can be obtained from such misbegotten wells, and misguided hydrogeologists have attempted to evaluate them,  The results, however are garbage.

OAI has seen similar test evaluations.  On a side note, OAI recommends against screening aquifers in more than one aquifer, call to find out why.

January 2, 2017 Groundwater Monitoring

OAI initiated groundwater level monitoring programs at two more public supply wells as part of this client's long term management planning.  The data collected from this program will provide them with critical information on the health of their aquifers allowing them to better plan their next well or wells as the need arises.  On similar projects for other OAI clients, we have used the information to:

  • 1) support the position that aquifers in coastal Alabama are not being over produced as alledged,
  • 2) saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in exploration costs for our clients,
  • 3) eliminated the "need" for test wells and
  • 4) busted the myth of "mile separation" between wells

To learn more about this program, see the Groundwater Monitoring tab under the Research tab above. Contact OAI to see how this simple but effective management program can be put into action for your system.

Hello 2017

OAI welcomes 2017 and looks forward to our 18th year of providing service to our 73 clients and welcomes others in need of professional hydrogeologic services to our website in the hope you will give OAI a call before you begin planning your next well.

December 20, 2016 Success!

On December 1st OAI submitted a request to the state regulatory agency for a review of a decades old underground storage tank closure report at a client's property, see December 1 below.  The UST closure, completed in 1991, was included in the Phase I report completed by a national firm that went on to recommend an $11,000+ Phase II assessment.  Nineteen days after OAI's submission of the closure report that was part of the ESA, the agency issued a "No Further Action" letter for the site.  It's only money...your money, spend it wisely.

December 10, 2016 Looking Good

The first year of monitoring is complete at this older well location and, despite a severe two month drought, the aquifer showed no significant impact due to lack of precipitation.  More importantly, the data suggests the aquifer is in balance and is likely favorable for the completion of another well in the aquifer.  An additional year of monitoring is underway to confirm seasonal effects and ensure stability in the aquifer is ongoing.

December 1, 2016 Environmental Problem

OAI was contacted to assist a client with a decades old environmental issue.   While OAI does not pursue "contamination related work", we do from time to time accept projects that are troublesome to the potential client if we feel we can help.  In this case, we did elect to help and outlined a process to follow to resolve the issue.  Stay tuned.

October 9, 2016 Trout Fishing

Spent a long weekend with my son Daniel and his family

(Krystin and Daniel and Sam) up in the Gatlinburg Tn area.

Trout Fishing

OAI's Temporary Field Office as MW-5 is Installed

October 4, 2016 Oklahoma Outreach

Continue OAI's efforts to bring hydrogeologic services back to the central Oklahoma area where I lived from 1981 to 1990. The area is plagued by recurring periods of drought the ultimately lead to water restrictions. If you are in the water sales business, restrictions are not something you want. Couple that with unsuccessful previous geologic efforts or low volume wells and it's time to look outside the box for solutions. That outside the box look should be eastward to OAI in Alabama. We are well experienced with the area's hydrogeology through our time in the area coupled with specific research that has identified promising opportunities to develop high producing wells with a sustainable source; wells resistant to periodic drought conditions that hamper lake based water supplies. To paraphrase our motto "it's time to put our Oklahoma State Hydrogeologic training to work in Oklahoma".

September 27, 2016 Groundwater Monitoring System

OAI developed a groundwater monitoring program for a waste water spray disposal field for domestic waste water, photo on left. The site is located in a rural area and is designed to manage and dispose of up to 120,000 gallons of treated waste water per day. The groundwater monitoring system consists of five strategically placed monitoring wells, see picture on left, that will allow monitoring of the groundwater in the upper aquifer for constituents required by the permit.

September 6, 2016 OAI's September E-mail: The Educated Guess


Football is here and for a few hours each weekend it offers an opportunity to escape the concerns of politics, work and how to handle the future of your water system. That's good news.

A while back while scanning newspapers, I came across the following quote in a newspaper; you know that thing that used to get ink all over your fingers each morning. Note: Names have been changed but the underlying facts are there.

“It’s an educated guess as to how long it lasts at that level,” he said. “Pumping is what dictates how much the water drops…the question is how low you can pump before you have to shut the wells off.” General manager of System X.

That quote is with respect to dropping water levels in the system's public supply wells and, with all due respect, if this guy is relying on an educated guess with such a critical factor for his source of water, best of luck to him and his system. The better answer is to obtain data to allow an evaluation of the situation and then formulate the appropriate response. That data can easily be obtained if one knows what needs to be obtained. (Hint: It's not just water levels.)

Unfortunately for this particular system, it has bee five plus years since the quote was made. Had the proper data been gathered over that five year period, the system would know what, if anything they needed to do and, as a side benefit, saved in excess of $60,000+ dollars on a fix that did them no good at all. But hey, it's just money...

If you are facing concerns with your water supply or feel you need a new well, now is the time to act. Proactive measures OAI offered "System X" could lead to significant savings to your development budget. Times are indeed tough and money is tight. We are available to meet with you or your Board to answer any questions you may have on our services. So make that call to OAI today. We look forward to hearing from you and are eager to address your needs.

Football anyone?

God Bless...

Dan O'Donnell, PG
(251) 285-5945 office
(251) 510-9355 cell

August 8, 2016

Another well completion in which OAI completed test bore logging (required in Alabama), pumping test evaluation and source water assessment services. Well #12, see below, tested out at 750 gallons per minute during the capacity test required for permitting purposes. The well’s design capacity is 500 gallons per minute. Well #12, photo on right, will operate at its design capacity on an “as needed” basis.

July 16, 2016

My oldest brother John died today (Obituary). Known as "OJ" to family, "unka John" to nephews and nieces, the "Dr. of Golf" on courses near and far and simply as Dr. O'Donnell to his many patients and their babies, John was a treasure to all he came in contact with. As the oldest, he was the one we all looked up to and he always was somewhere in the stories we’ve told for years; stories that made us smile. He knew how to lay a nickname on you and make it stick, he always was good to the kids and no gathering of Da Family was complete without him being present. From teaching checkers to nephews to doting on nieces, to tracking down that red solo cup (before red solo cups had their own song), or easing Judy’s car up to 56 mph to get down to a graduation (8th grade, high school or college-it made no difference), baptism or a Troy Home Coming game quicker, John made you feel special by showing up. May his soul rest in peace.

Well #12 Capacity of 500 Gallons Per Minute

June 22, 2016

Just got word out of Kentucky that effective May 18, 2016 that I have been issued a new License Number. I remain available for hydrogeologic consulting on groundwater projects in Kentucky with my current license good through December 30, 2017 before needing to be renewed.

June 21, 2016

In June 2000, OAI began a project that resulted in the successful completion of a 500 gpm irrigation well "on island" in south Baldwin County. This area was reported to be subject to "saltwater encroachment" according to the "experts". Well, based on OAI's sound research, our client pressed forward against heavy opposition. Sixteen years later and no telling how many millions of gallons produced, the well is running just fine. What about the "saltwater encroachment" you ask? Nodda, nothing, no where. The chart below shows chloride concentration data of the produced water over the years. If you need water and the "experts" are giving you the thumbs down, call OAI. This client did and they have had a dependable irrigation supply for sixteen years and will have it for many more years to come.

Chloride Concentration in a Coastal Aquifer Chart

June 2, 2016

Nell and I became the nana and papa to Irene Elizabeth O'Donnell, daughter of our son Sam and his wife Maggie. Irene, mom and dad are doing well. She's a beautiful little girl who we got to visit, hold and begin to spoil! Life is good and thank God for that.

May 25, 2016

Congratulations to Griner Drilling Service Company, Inc. and North Baldwin Utilities on the recent completion of Well #12 just north of Stapleton, Alabama. As part of the project team for this well, OAI provided wellsite geologic services including completion of the required geologic log of the pilot bore, aquifer testing coordination and analysis and completion of the required sourcewater assessment report for permitting the new well. The well’s design capacity is 500 gallons per minute. This is OAI's 31st project for Griner and OAI's seventh public supply well project for NBU.

May 20, 2016

Completed a cursory hydrogeologic review for a south central Alabama water system to identify potential aquifers in their service area with the best potential for development. In addition, the report identified one means of evaluating the primary targeted aquifer for a fraction of the cost of a test well program. The report is set to help guide the new well exploration program for the system.

Birth of Irene Elizabeth O'Donnell

May 19, 2016

Happy birthday #17 to O'Donnell & Associates, Inc.

April 2016

Congratulations once again to Mobile County Water Sewer and Fire Protection Authority on wining the Alabama Rural Water Association's Best Tasting Water 2016 Award!!! The honor went to Well #8, a well sited based on Dan's mapping of the aquifers underlying Theodore. OAI always enjoys seeing our clients' water receive the awards they truly deserve. So again, to the Board, employees and customers of Mobile County Water Sewer and Fire Protection Authority, congratulations!!!

Best Tasting Water in Alabama!
2016 Winner
Mobile County Water Sewer and FPA!

March 18, 2016

OAI completed select distribution sampling for a local client. I wish my grand kids were here for this work at the fire hydrant!

OAI Completed Select Distribution Sampling for a Local Client

March 17, 2016

I know what you are thinking so Happy St. Patrick's Day. It was indeed a wonderful day I spent the morning working on an aquifer test to rule in or out the possibility of developing a second well at a client's existing wellsite, see below. While the test is ongoing, the initial data is favorable. The test involved pumping the existing production well at its design rate of 752 gpm and recording water level in it and an observation well 50 feet away. Once the test is finished, the data will be analyzed and it together with historic data will be used to determine if a second well can be developed on-site.

OAI's Portable Field Office Next to Well #2's Test/Observation Well; Production Well's Discharge to Left of Laptop Screen

March 2, 2016

As many of you have come to know, OAI's hydrogeologic approach begins with research. This includes the accumulation of all existing available hydrogeologic data, the evaluation of that data and the formulation of a concept (prospect) that can then be pursued in a planned manner. Much like an oil prospect, a carefully developed groundwater prospect enhances the chances for success and lessens the chance of failure. OAI's research has led to the development of fresh water wells without "test wells", located "new" aquifers and led to a more efficient method of exploration and development of groundwater resources.

In the past, our research located three out of service wells, two for one system and one for another, that the current system employees didn't even know about. The two wells still had the pumping equipment and infrastructure present.

Numerous Abandoned Wells

In a current project, OAI's research lead to the discovery and location of numerous abandoned wells including the well pair seen below thought to be abandoned in 1956. While only the foundation remains, evidence of the two wells can be seen in the two holes in the foundation where the well's casings extended downward with the pump motors bolted to the top of the foundation. Additional research on this project found that this well pair consisted of one deep well and one shallow well with each capable of producing 600 gpm.

Research is key to OAI's groundwater development efforts. How about yours? If you have plans for a new well, contact OAI today. We are ready to put geology to work for you!

Discharge Piping to be Completed by Client

February 19, 2016

The finished product seen in the photo below will allow this OAI industrial client to reduce their purchased water cost with production from this new 300 gpm well. This well, the fifth well developed by OAI in the Theodore Industrial Canal area, tested out at 428 gpm. It will run as needed for makeup cooling water reducing the amount of water purchased for this use.

January 26, 2016

OAI welcomes our 43rd public water system, Perdido Bay Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District. OAI will be working with Perdido Bay WSFPD and their engineer Paul Darnell of DMD Engineers, Inc. to evaluate feasible and efficient means to increase their current production capacity through the development of a wellfield and to evaluate potential well locations for future planning purposes. OAI thanks Mr. Mark Bohlin, Manager and the entire Board for their vote of confidence in awarding OAI a contract.

January 20, 2016

Work on an industrial water supply project continues with the completion of a new 300 gpm well, the fifth industrial supply well under the direction of OAI in the Theodore Industrial Canal complex since our initial hydrogeologic research on the area in 2003. Total available production from these five wells is 2,800 gpm (4.0+ mgd).

January 11, 2016

OAI completed a modified pumping test on an industrial supply well with en trained gas in the aquifer's water. Due to the gas, specialized equipment was needed to produce the water and to monitor the production rate. Griner Drilling Service Company, Inc.'s custom designed wellhead configuration, see below foreground, was installed, a catch tank, background, configured and the test went off without a hitch.

Custom Fabricated Wellhead to Test Aquifer's Production Capability

Happy New Year 2016!

December 28, 2015 Thirty one years ago, I married this beautiful lady and she gave me three great kids. I'm a lucky man.

Holiday in a Tropical Paradise

November 23, 2015

We were recently asked: I didn't know you worked outside of Alabama. Where else do you work? In answer to that question: OAI now has active or completed projects in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Need water for industrial, public or irrigation supply purposes? Give us a call and let's put geology to work for you where ever you may be.

November 20, 2015

Finished the official OAI 2016 calendar and sending it to the printer!

It's Always an Honor to Be a Part of the Veterans' Day Parade! L-R: Dan, Griffin, Charlie and Tim

November 11, 2015

God bless our Veterans. It's always an honor to be a part of the Veterans' Day parade!

Sourcewater Report for the White House Water System

November 4, 2015

Bacon is named as the official meat of OAI.

October 26, 2015

OAI's Dan O'Donnell passed the TBPG Ethics test and received 1 PDH credit for watching the video and passing the test with a 90% score.

October 21, 2015

Just finishing up a sourcewater report for the White House Water System with a Monday delivery scheduled. This new well is the system's first public supply well. Congratulations to Mr. Ruffin Crook, Chairman, the Board and staff of this water system on their new well.

May 9 to September 29, 2015

Where or where does time go? This past summer has been very busy at OAI, so busy we have gotten way behind on our newsletters and this page. So to update:

  • OAI completed one new public supply well project working through Griner Drilling Service Inc.'s contract.
  • OAI completed the testing of a second public supply well for a rural water system with the surface completion currently underway.
  • OAI assisted a non-community water system, OAI's 42nd water system client, servicing an RV resort in their permit for public supply, our second effort for this type of NC water system.
  • OAI completed a hydrogeologic study that will lead to the development of an independent source of groundwater supply for a municipal water system currently purchasing their public supply placing them in full control of their system.
The Night Shift on a Deep Southern Louisiana Exploration Effort
  • OAI completed a deep well project, see below, that located a brackish water source to be used for industrial supply purposes in southern Louisiana (Dan is a PG in La.).
  • OAI provided an evaluation of and consultation on a pumping test data for a Mississippi public supply exploration effort.
  • OAI modeled a planned industrial supply well to determine if a permit was needed (it wasn't) and is in the process of developing that new well.
  • OAI complete three system wide Sourcewater Assessment/Contaminant Inventory updates required for re-permitting purposes.

May 9, 2015

OAI's president, Nell O'Donnell, obtained her BS in Nursing from the University of Mobile today. Congratulations to Nell on her earning this degree.

April 29, 2015 Welcome to Louisiana!

OAI received a contract to explore a deep brackish aquifer to determine it's potential to be developed as a source of supply for solution mining several gas storage caverns at a Louisiana salt dome. With this job, OAI now has established its presence in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.

April 16, 2015

Received a contract to complete a hydrogeologic study for a municipal water system that should lead to the development of an independent groundwater source of supply. Control your source and you control your system's future.

April 3, 2015

OAI updated its Review webpage located under the Research page to include Case #5. If your exploration program relies solely on test well data for production well development, you may want to read over this Case Study.

St. Patty's Day Selfie

March 25, 2015

OAI delivered a hydro study that ruled out drilling in one area of the system's service area due to geologic factors (faulting and aquifer thinning). The study did identify a drilling location that targets a 71 foot thick section of a regional aquifer tapped by many public supply wells and several drilling sites that target a shallow aquifer with excellent production potential and equally excellent water quality. Plans are under way to implement the drilling program recommended in the hydro study. Stay tuned.

March 17, 2015

Well 'd like to say hello and God bless to all those of you out there that bleed red, white, blue and, on occasion, green! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 2015

The happy birthday well this month is the 3rd industrial supply well OAI planned, modeled and permitted for one of our industrial clients. Not bad for an area where "groundwater was not available"!

March Industrial Supply (3rd Well) Celebrating a Birthday

February 20, 2015

OAI is pleased to welcome the CWM Water System as the 41st public water supply client to our fold. OAI will be working with Mr. Walter Scott, PE of Millennium Technologies, Inc. to determine the feasibility of developing a groundwater system for this rural utility. Initially, OAI will complete a hydrogeologic study that provides information on area aquifers, recommends drilling depths for targeted aquifers and identifies promising drilling locations for exploratory bores.

February 2, 2015

OAI has two public supply wells celebrating birthdays in February. One located in Mobile County and one in Baldwin County. Both are completed in a hydraulically correct manner. As seen below, not every well is an 1,500 gpm well. Sometimes in a quest for higher production from a single well, well design mistakes are made. OAI works to prevent design mistakes by recommending well completions that maximize what the aquifer will provide based on the hydraulics of the aquifer system. Get it? Got it? Good!

Wells Celebrating Birthdays in February

January 27, 2015

OAI's Dan O'Donnell received License #430 from the great bayou State of Louisiana Board of Professional Geoscientist. Should your project require a "PG" for work in Louisiana, please do give us a call.

January 12, 2015 And then there were 40!

OAI is pleased to welcome the Water Works & Sewer Board of the City of Prichard, Alabama as the 40th public water supply client to our fold.

January 7, 2015

It is now official; OAI's Dan O'Donnell is now a licensed geoscientist in the great bayou State of Louisiana. If you have a Louisiana groundwater project and need an experienced, licensed PG, contact us. Don't get caught without properly licensed personnel on your Louisiana groundwater project.

January 1, 2015

Came across this article on understanding LNAPLs and wanted to pass it along. Illustrated Handbook of LNAPL Transport and Fate in the Subsurface. The LNAPL illustrated handbook provides a blend of technical detail and real world conceptualization of the LNAPL problem and appropriate methods to investigate and manage it. The handbook also facilitates access to a wealth of detailed research, guidance and case study literature within the various topics covered. It will be useful to the practitioner and research communities, and also provide a valuable educational resource to others having a less direct interest or specialized knowledge.

View Or Download

January 2015

Two of OIA's public supply wells are celebrating birthdays this month. Well C was the first well OAI was involved with for this system and their engineer. The well was completed at a location by-passed two years earlier due to misconceptions involving a "shallow aquifer". The aquifer was identified by OAI in our review of the system's exploration effort to date. The shallow aquifer was found suitable for public supply purposes and permitted as a shallow aquifer public supply well. MMHS-2, pictured below, was completed as the second well at a location originally developed in 2000. The well is completed in a deeper aquifer at the site and boosted site production to 1,200 gpm (See June 10,2008 below for more information).

Two OAI Wells Celebrating Birthdays in January

MMHS #2 During the 24/6-Hour Capacity Test; MMHS #1 in Background

Hello 2015!

Happy New Year

I was watching an old episode of the TV show Goldbergs where pops was helping out at his old furniture store. His big idea was to have a "Going out of Business Sale". Not that they were going out of business but to sucker people into the store so they could sell them furniture. That got me thinking about the hydrogeologic consulting business. While I haven't seen any going out of business sales, it seems a variety of means are used out there to lure customers (that's you) to various hydrogeologic firms. Be careful when this happens.

OAI's "lure" is our reputation as presented by our clients to their peers in the water production business. In fact, word of mouth is how we have attracted the bulk of our client base over the years. At present, we have 39 public water supply clients, the majority of which are repeat clients. Many of those who aren't repeat clients are so because they haven't had a need as yet for additional services such as developing a new well. We are confident that when they do have this need, they will fall into the repeat category.

To those who have entrusted us with your business over the past 15+ years, Nell and I are grateful. For those of you who are considering expanding your groundwater resources in 2015 and have not used OAI, we welcome you to check us out before settling for what may be a sales gimmick no more clever than the old "Going out of Business Sale".

In any event, God bless you all and have a great New Year.

Dan and Nell O'Donnell

November 4, 2014

November News sent out via e-mail. For your copy, click here.

November 1, 2014

November well birthdays include wells with the combined capacity to produce 3,900 gpm (5.6+ mgd). Ranging in age from 7 years to 14 years these wells are key components of these systems' groundwater resources.

October 21, 2014

Received notice from ADEM today that the industrial supply well OAI researched, planned, tested and permitted was issued Time Extension No. 3 to operate at its designed rate of 800 gpm. This well was the first of four wells OAI developed in the Theodore Industrial Canal area. The four wells are permitted for a combined production rate of 3.6 million gallons per day. That's a lot of water that does not have to be purchased!

July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day! Please keep our soldiers and their families in your prayers this Independence Day.

July 1, 2014 July

News sent out via e-mail. Here it is for you.

Hello all,

It seems summer is underway with a very short break between a cool spring and the heat of summer. For the past two weeks the Mobile area weather has acted like there was “something” in the Gulf but no official storms yet. Let’s hope it stays that way.

OAI well project birthdays this month include:

  • Dauphin Island Water and Sewer Authority’s Well #6, permitted at 1,200 gpm, turns nine
  • Kushla Water District Well #4, permitted at 1,000 gpm, turns eight
  • Bay Gas #1, produces at 1,200 gpm, turns 4
  • Bay Gas #2, produces at 1,200 gpm, turns 4

We had a good time at the ADEM Groundwater Conference and did have a couple of key questions concerning what is a potentiometric surface and what is not a potentiometric surface. To be sure, failure to understand this term and how it is used will lead to confusion and erroneous groundwater maps. Erroneous groundwater maps should not be used for decision-making purposes. The figure below shows the electric logs of two public supply wells with their screened intervals represented by the hashed boxes in the depth column. The well on the left is screened in and produces from four different sand aquifers, color-coded blue, orange, yellow and red. The well on the right produces solely from the aquifer colored yellow. By definition, only the water level from the well on the right represents a potentiometric surface and, in this case, the potentiometric surface only for the yellow aquifer. Water level from the well on the left does not represent a potentiometric surface for any of the aquifers tapped by the well and, if used to develop a potentiometric surface map will provide erroneous information.

April 21, 2014

OAI introduces new service! Beginning today, OAI makes available to our clients Rate Surveys to help them formulate an effective rate for them and their customers. Who needs this service? Well, if you have not looked at your rates in the past few years, if your revenues are not covering your expenses (and that includes reserve accounts) and you have trouble covering emergency and preventive maintenance cost, you could benefit from a Rate Study. This process doesn't have to be painful or expensive as it uses information you should have readily available. Using the sound, proven methodology while working with you, OAI will assess your rates and make recommendations that will ensure they are equitable for all your customers, large and small.

April 10, 2014 OAI Selected to Present

We received word today that our presentation entitled "Aquifers" has been accepted for inclusion at the 14th Annual ADEM Groundwater Conference to be held in Montgomery on June 10th. The presentation covers aquifer terminology and attempts to present technical terminology in a manner that will be helpful to water system personnel, Board members and engineers (Yes even engineers!). Once properly understood and put into practice, many systems can use this information to save tens of thousands of dollars on developing/expanding their groundwater sources as many of OAI's clients have already done. Save the date. We hope to see you there!

April 9, 2014 Belated Congrats!

A much belated congratulations to Dan McCrory, Superintendent, and the City of Fairhope for their winning the ARWA's Best Tasting Water Award two years running! Fairhope is the third OAI client to win this award, Mobile County Water (1st Place) and East Central Baldwin County Water (2nd Place) in 2005, see below for their stories.

ARWA Best Tasting Water Award

April 8, 2014 Sticker Shock?

At some point down the road, your system will need to increase its groundwater supply to meet demand. Fortunately, you can take steps now to reduce exploration and development costs tomorrow. We know. OAI has done just that with several of our 39 water system clients in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. So, as time presses on toward that point you will need your next well, consider one or more of the following actions now to greatly enhance your opportunity for significant savings "down the road".

  • Completing a hydrogeologic assessment of your existing groundwater resources
  • Implementing a groundwater level monitoring program
  • Aquifer testing to located "missed production"

O’Donnell & Associates, Inc. measures success for our clients by the volume of water produced not by the size of the project’s budget. Our projects have resulted in savings from $10,000 too as much as $1,000,000 dollars without loosing any production of groundwater resources. How does that compare to the cost of your last well development project?

Call OAI today for a no cost meeting to discuss your groundwater program. You potentially have tremendous amount to lose by not making the call.

April 5, 2014 Good bye Mary Nell

Today we lost Mary Nell, a beloved member of the "Mulherin Gang" who visited Woodlawn Swim Club each Wednesday evening all summer long. God Bless you and may you Rest in Peace. Mary Nell is seen in the August 8, 2012 newsletter brief below. She's sitting in the chair on the right end of the second row wearing a white t-shirt.

March 31, 2014

OAI issues our Asset Management educational email. This month's email concerns asset management and how it can (and should) work for your benefit. Asset management in this sense is defined as "a process for maintaining a desired level of customer service at the best appropriate cost."

Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) is an easy to learn program developed by the EPA in response to a clear need from communities to consolidate and package asset management materials in an easy-to-use, clear and update-to-date fashion. EPA's Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water (OGWDW) developed CUPSS with the help of a workgroup that included representatives from state agencies, technical assistance organizations, EPA Regional offices, and small waste water and drinking water utilities. With this collaborative approach, EPA was able to develop a comprehensive application that provides all the tools required to implement an asset management program and develop effective asset management plans.

OAI, an EPA Certified trainer for CUPSS, is available to put our training to work for you and your water system. To get started, simply contact us and put CUPSS in the subject box. In just a few short lessons, you will be in control of this new program and well on the road to:

  • Making more informed decisions
  • Saving time by planning work schedules ahead
  • Backing up budget talks with solid facts you can then present to your Boards
  • Improving customer service
  • Preparing an asset management plan in seven steps

CUPSS is valuable tool all water systems (and waste water systems) should be using. Start now by sending that email!

February 28, 2014

OAI issues the March educational email "OAI’s Hydrogeologic Input Pays". If you missed this informative email on how OAI's area experience turned a poorly performing and most likely "dry hole" leading test well into a very successful new 1,300 gpm public supply well. This well project was not far from where another utility initiated a ten test well drilling program that came up dry! Perhaps they should have called OAI first.

February 4, 2014

OAI issued the February educational email. This month's email focuses on OAI's Research and Planning services with an example of published data indicating only one aquifer is present and our research showing that there are in fact five aquifers present between ground level and a depth of 500 feet. This research led to the development of several public supply wells including several wellfields, the development of industrial supply wells that targeted aquifers not used by public water systems and no dry holes. If you did not get your copy, contact us and put OAI's Research and Planning in the subject box.

If your system is thinking about a new well, now is the time to contact OAI to learn more about the benefits our research offers your system.

If your system has drilled "dry holes" in the past year, learn how this information can be used by OAI to better your chances at a successful completion.

If you need more water but not enough to warrant a whole new well, our research of your existing system may be the answer that solves your needs.

Make that call today and get back to what you do best sooner...selling water.

January 2, 2014

OAI issues it's first 2014 educational e-mail on Hydrogeologic Terminolgy. This email defines some of the terms you may come across but are not sure of what exactly they mean. If you did not get your copy, contact us and put Hydrogeologic Terminolgy in the subject box.

January 1, 2014

Happy new year to all our clients, friends and teaming partners. May 2014 be a blessed year for you all.

Dan and Nell

December 31, 2013

Thanks to all who relied on OAI for their hydrgeologic services. It was a very good year. Again, thanks, Dan and Nell

December 19, 2013

Received notice that Dan's Louisiana PG (professional geoscientist) registration is being processed. Should your project require the services of a Louisiana PG after January 1, 2014, please do give OAI a call.

On December 4, 2013

OAI received certification that we had successfully completed the Environmental Protection Agency’s Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) Train the Trainer Series. CUPSS is an easy-to-use asset management tool for small* drinking water and wastewater utilities that provides a simple, comprehensive approach to help you develop:

  • A record of your assets
  • A schedule of required tasks
  • An understanding of your financial situation
  • A tailored asset management plan

CUPSS allows you to put your office PC to work in new ways that provide you with the information need to efficiently manage your system with the tips of your fingers. It can't get much easier than that.As an EPA certified Trainer, OAI is available to assist you with setting up the CUPSS software on your system’s computer and work with you as you set up your asset and financial base information. Once the basic information is input to the CUPSS program, daily, monthly and yearly work orders can be easily generated. Detailed asset maintenance schedules can be printed that target maintenance tasks using a risk matrix analysis approach. Financial inputs can be used for planning purposes by generating reports with raw numbers or easy to understand charts and tools.

If CUPSS sounds like a tool you would like to put to use for the benefit of your system, please contact O’Donnell & Associates, Inc. today and let OAI, an EPA certified trainer, get you started with this easy to learn management tool. Contact OAI.

*While the target market for CUPSS is small water systems with less than 1,000 connections, larger system benefit equally from use of the program.

October 16, 2013

The Southwest Alabama Geological Society will have its quarterly meeting beginning at 7:00 PM at the Original Oyster House on Mobile Bay's causeway. John Barksdale will present a talk on "Results of a Vapor Intrusion (VI) Investigation of Public Buildings and Residences Near the Former Brookley Air Force Base, Mobile, Alabama".

October 8, 2013

OAI releases "Water level trends" e-mail. This e-mail explains the importance of tracking water levels in your wells over time. Not doing so may cost you money; doing so may save you money. The choice is up to you.

September 26, 2013

Will the beating up of BP ever stop? We recently received a call from a law firm telling us we could get money from the BP settlement without having to show any damage! Enough already. Just to show BP wasn't the first to cause an oil release in the Gulf-certainly news to some-here's a figure from a 1910 article showing fields of floating oil on the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The map was put together from reports of Captain's logs.

1910 Article Showing Fields of Floating Oil on the Waters in the Gulf of Mexico

August 13, 2013

OAI initiated a sampling program to establish "background" methane concentration in a series of aquifers for a repeat client. The project included developing the area's hydrogeology, selecting representative wells for sampling targeted aquifers, selecting and implementing the appropriate sampling methodology. Several wells had to outfitted with pumps for the sampling event. Analysis of the samples provided the samples' methane concentration and its isotopic nature.

July 24, 2013

OAI has coordinated a meeting of Gulf Coast area geologist on July 24th. If you are a geologist interested in meeting with other area geologists for presentations, pdh hours, networking and the like, contact us and put "SWAGS interest" in the subject box. We'll be in touch.

June 26, 2013

OAI releases "When Bad news is good news" flyer. Access your copy here.

May 19, 2013

Today marks OAI's 14th anniversary in business. We are thankful to all our clients that have placed their trust in OAI over the past fourteen years and, above all, thank God for all His blessings on O'Donnell & Associates, Inc. Thank you all, Dan and Nell

March 28, 2013

OAI successfully permitted a new well in the Alabama Coastal zone for a local plant, see below. This well further reduces this facility's dependence on "purchased" water. This is the third well in the wellfield planned and permitted by OAI for this facility. With the addition of this new well groundwater production is now 2.4+ mgd.

March 21, 2013

Fairhope Utilities, one of OAI's Baldwin County water system clients, was awarded best tasting water in the State at the Alabama Rural Water Association's 2013 Annual meeting. Fairhope is the third OAI client to receive taste test awards; the other two include Mobile County Water, Sewer and Fire Protection Authority and East Central Baldwin County Water. Way to go Fairhope and good luck at the National convention in Denver.

Permit for a New Well in the Alabama Coastal Zone

March 16, 2013

With about two year's complete data, the picture is well developed at the Gulf Coast Groundwater Research Center of the influence of precipitation on the surficial aquifer, see graph below. Base groundwater level runs between 6 and 7 feet of water over the logger, cooler groundwater is found in March and warmer groundwater is found in October. Of interest from the stand point of recharge are the temperature anomalies noted in the groundwater temperature during periods of heavy precipitation indicative of rapid recharge to the aquifer. Read moe about the importance of a groundwater monitoring program at OAI's Management page.

Two Years' Data on the Influence of Precipitation on the Surficial Aquifer

March 14, 2013

Aquifer testing began on one of OAI's central Mobile County public water systems to obtain information needed to evaluate the feasibility of developing a two well single aquifer wellfield. This test involved pumping the system's existing public supply well and recording drawdown and recovery in an adjacent test well. Preliminary data suggest the "interference" will not be excessive. OAI is obtaining additional data and will make a "go/no go" recommendation based on an evaluation of all relevant site data.

March 13, 2013

Aquifer testing began on a test well for one of OAI's north-central Baldwin County public water client's 8-inch test well to determine the production potential of a targeted aquifer. A decision to proceed with a public supply well will depend on both water quality results and aquifer hydraulics. The drilled site was selected from several promising location because it is extremely favorable to the system's hydraulics. Should the water quality and aquifer hydraulics prove acceptable, the system's first well will be completed at the site.

March 4, 2013

Work halted on one of OAI's Baldwin County public supply well projects due to disappointing aquifer test results. OAI received word that all further efforts to develop the aquifer tapped by the new well would cease after testing determined the aquifer's recharge rate was not favorable for long term usage. The aquifer in question was identified during exploration efforts and was found to have excellent quality water. Unfortunately, the aquifer's production potential was below expectations and would not support the desired 500 gpm rate needed to replace the Town's #2 Well. After meeting with the Town Council and later with the Mayor, the system's superintendent and the system's engineer, it was decided to regroup and, as finances are squared away, proceed with a new effort without the severe limitations that were placed on this exploration effort. Without restrictions, the chance of success will be greatly increased.

February 28, 2013

OAI completed geologic logging a 500-foot test bore in northern Baldwin County. The test bore was completed to evaluate potential sands (aquifers) underlying the site for consideration of being developed for public supply purposes. Geologic logs are required for all public supply well in Alabama. OAI has over 160 hours of wellsite geology training and 31 years of experience on bores ranging from less than 10 feet to greater than 29,000 feet. Geologic logs are a critical part of every exploration effort. If you are planning an exploratory bore for a new well, call OAI and ensure you cover all your bases for this required log. OAI's wellsite services have made the difference between a dry hole and a new public supply well.

Mardis Gras is here!

If you are planning to be in the Mobile area for Mardis Gras and your water system has an issue of concern about your groundwater resources, why not plan to visit with us about your situation? All it takes is a phone call to lock in a meeting time. Perhaps, working together, we can identify a solution to help you keep the water flowing. Contact us today and set up an appointment.

January 29, 2013

Putting the finishing touch on a new industrial supply well set to produce at the 750 to 800 gpm rate. This is the second well of this facility’s shallow wellfield. Once on-line the production from the shallow aquifer will be about 1,350 gpm (1.94 mgd). A third well developed by OAI at this site adds another 300 gpm for an overall daily industrial supply production potential of 2.37 mgd.

January 24, 2013

South Alabama Utilities' Calvert-Thyssenkrupp Deep Well is set to go on-line. The first of two wells planned for this location tested out at 1,865 gpm and will produce at the 1,200 gpm rate (1.72 mgd). The development of the second well with a target production rate of 1,000 gpm (1.44 mgd) will proceed as demand requires.

Good bye 2012, Hello 2013!

Nell and I would like to thank all those who have placed their trust in and business with OAI over the past year to make it a good year inspite of trying economic conditions. As we wound down 2012, I had a chance to visit a well OAI sited and permitted back in 2001. The well is our client's strongest well testing out a 1,900 gpm and permitted for 1,000 gpm. Since its completion in 2001, the well has produced in excess of 4.4 billion gallons of drinking water. Currently, the well's static water level is four feet higher than originally measured in 2001.

December 5, 2012

At 18:30 CDST Our second grandchild, Samuel Christopher O'Donnell, was born in El Paso, Texas. Congratulations to our son Daniel and his wife Krystin. Mom and baby are doing fine.

Birth of Samuel Christopher O'Donnell

South Alabama Utilities' Calvert Wellfield

October 17, 2012

Stopped by South Alabama Utilities' Calvert wellfield today to see how things are progressing, see pic below. This is the third wellfield OAI has developed for SAU. The first well is in and work continues with the plant and the water tower. When complete, the wellfield will have a potential production capacity of 2.88 million gallons per day.

September 13, 2012

Received contract to proceed with development of the new public supply well for a central Baldwin County water system today. The work is a continuation of an exploration project begun earlier this year. The pilot bore for the new well shows the aquifer present as expected. Work on the production well is set to start October 1st.

September 11, 2012

Testing finished up on a new industrial supply effort for a Mobile area plant. Tests showed the water quality and production are acceptable. The planned production well will be the third OAI has completed at the plant further reducing the plant's purchased water expense.

September 1, 2012

OAI's work for Dauphin Island Water and Sewer Authority began in 2002. The project evolved into teaming with DIWSA and their engineering firm to research and identify a new source of drinking water for the island that is located some 3+ miles off shore Mobile County, Alabama. The target aquifer was identified, tested and ultimately a 1,200 gpm well was permitted. Due to Hurricane Katrina, the well was not brought on line for several years. It was recently brought on line along with its treatment plant and a new ground tank. Yes, OAI can help with developing new water supplies in the most difficult of circumstances. Need water? Give us a call and we will work to get the job done.

August 24, 2012

Fairhope's Well #10 turned five years old today. This 1,000 gpm public supply well is the fourth well OAI has done for Fairhope with no dry holes. It completes the third wellfield OAI has planned, tested and permitted for Fairhope.

August 22, 2012

Gulf Shores Golf Club's 500 gpm irrigation well turns 11 years old today. This well was researched, planned, tested and permitted by OAI under ADEM's Coastal Zone Regulation governing wells producing >50 gpm. Information gained from an aquifer mapping research project completed by OAI's Dan O'Donnell back in 1996 was instrumental in the development of this "on island" fresh water well.

August 18, 2012

OAI was awarded a contract for a central Mobile County water system to begin an evaluation on the potential to develop a second wellfield for the system. The system's first wellfield is three years old and operating as planned. The second site is home to the system's Well #1 and is underlain by four sand aquifers.

August 8, 2012

Pat Ryan, a friend of mine for the past 15 years, died today. I first met Pat in 1997 when I attended a Cursillo weekend. Pat sat at my table and for the next 15 years I would meet with him more or less each week to discuss how we were living our Catholic faith. In more recent years I would visit with him at the Little Sisters of the Poor home after he moved in in 2004. Pat was a master gardener who oversaw and managed the gardens at Bellingrath Gardens for over 30 years retiring in 1995. He was married to his wife JoAnn for 57 years with JoAnn preceeding him in death by one week. To all who knew you Pat, you will be greatly missed.

August 8, 2012

Tonight marked the end of "Mulherin Wednesday Night" at Woodland Swim Club. Each Wednesday I help with the Mulherin Home's adult mentally retarded as they visit and swim at Woodland. It is always a blast and a pleasure to be around such happy folks. Til next summer, be safe and I'll miss the "Mulherin Gang": Barbie, Marie, John, Brian Pat, Ricky, Lenny, Debbie "C", Mary Nell, Dana, Lorraine, Donald Wood, Debbie Huff, Tiffany and Ashley "the Driver".

July 11, 2012

Looks like this headline "Summerdale finds water source to replace contaminated well" sums up OAI's lastest effort with the Town of Summerdale and Krebs Engineering.

The Mulherin Gang in 2012

OAI updated the hydrogeologic study we completed for Summerdale in 2002 and worked with Krebs' Vince Lucido to locate a promising wellsite based on the updated work. OAI then geologically logged the test bore (required of public supply wells completed in Alabama) and recommended which aquifer to test. As noted in the article, the targeted aquifer looks good for development as a source of supply.

June 21, 2012

OAI receives a contract to provide equipment and consulting services on a stream flow monitoring project to evaluate an industrial well's discharge on an adjacent stream's flow. The initial project is set for 12 months with an optional 12 month extension. This is OAI's 17th contract with this client.

June 19, 2012

OAI issues Groundwater Exploration-Reseach email. As a continuation of O'Donnell & Associates, Inc.'s public outreach effort, this month's topic is the important role of geologic research in groundwater exploration. If you are not on the OAI's distribution list and would like to receive your copy of the Groundwater Exploration-Reseach email, contact us and put Groundwater Exploration-Reseach in the subject box.

June 13, 2012

The Saraland area test well drilled May 29th is developed and currently pumping in the 290 to 300 gpm range. The water will soon be sampled for drinking water parameters. Stay tuned.

June 12, 2012

Groundwater sample results from an exploration test well for a new central Baldwin County public supply well sited by OAI came back today with all indications the water is suitable for use as a source of public supply. The production well is now in the planning phase and will most likely be "fast tracked" by the water system.

June 12, 2012

The company's GMC turns 6 years old today. I still have trouble backing it up.  Update: reached 250,000 miles December 2020 and still refuse to back up!

June 11, 2012

Initiated a 24/6 hour aquifer test today on a new Washington County public supply well with the rates set at 500 and 750 gpm. The well is the result of a hydrogeologic study of Southeast Washington County completed by OAI in 2010. Test went smooth.

May 31, 2012

Henry County mineral assessment report issued.  

May 29, 2012

OAI opened a field office in Saraland today as exploration drilling began for a new public supply well. The test site was one of three identified in a 2009 hydrogeologic study OAI completed of the Saraland area of Mobile County, Alabama. The targeted aquifer was poorly developed at this location. The secondary target aquifer at this location was present as mapped, was tapped by a six inch diameter test well and developed. The aquifer has an available head of 145 feet. Testing to follow.

May 19, 2012

OAI received a contract from a private Florida citizen to complete a mineral assessment for a property in Henry County, Alabama. The assessment will identify which minerals are likely to be present along with the potential to economically develop these minerals. This contract was a wonderful way to celebrate our 13th Birthday. It would have been even better if the client would have paid their bill. Now they'll never know what came up of interest after the left us un-paid!

May 19, 2012

OAI celebrated its 13th birthday today. We appreciate all our family, friends and clients for their prayers and trust in OAI for their hydrogeologic needs over the past 13 years and we look forward as we enter our 14th year providing quality hydrogeologic services to all. God bless all, Dan and Nell.

May 11, 2012

Our daughter Kelly graduated with honors from Troy University today with a BS in Elementary Education (K-6th). Well done Kelly! We love you very much, mom and dad.

April 25, 2012 - Sound Advice

While compiling well information on a research project, I came across this, see below, scribbled on the margins of a well record. Seems to be good advice now as much as it was in 1987.

April 17, 2012

OAI releases video of simultaneous aquifer tests conducted on two industrial supply wells. The wells were set to produce at the rate of 1,001 gpm each (2.88+ mgd) and were tested to check on how they were holding up after one year in operation. The video shows the wells' discharge point then pans back toward the wellheads. The wells in question are spaced at 71 feet horizontally and produce from two hydraulically separate aquifers. To see the video, click here.

April 11, 2012

OAI welcomes MCB Water Authority as our 39th public water supply client. OAI will work with MCB' Chairman Freddie Barnes and their engineer Walter "Scotty" Scott of Millenium Technologies on the system's second well. MCB Water Authority is a small rural water system serving east central Mobile County, Alabama. Welcome aboard MCB!

Sound Advice

March 26, 2012

OAI issues the Cone of Depression flyer. As a continuation of O'Donnell & Associates, Inc.'s public outreach effort, this month's topic is the ever elusive and mysterious "Cone of Depression". If you are not on the OAI Flyer distribution list and would like to receive your copy of the Cone of Depression flyer, contact us and put Cone of Depression in the subject box.

February 17, 2012

OAI is retained by Millennium Technologies, Inc. for hydrogeologic services associated with a new public water supply well. Millennium's Walter "Scotty" Scott, PE worked with OAI on a number of successful groundwater development projects across southwest Alabama while employed with other firms. For this first project with Millennium, OAI was asked to evaluated and rate pre-selected drilling locations for their potential to be developed as sources of public supply. Seven aquifers were identified underlying the sites with pros and cons identified for each aquifer and a recommendation was made for most favorable site and most promising aquifer to target.

February 16, 2012

OAI releases issue paper "The Potentiometric Surface" to help explain this commonly used but more often misunderstood term. To get your copy, send an email with The Potentiometric Surface in the subject box. If you have a question or would like more information on a geologic term, contact us.

February 10, 2012

David Head, Sr. RIP

Read today where David died. Back in 1994 when he was developing "Blue Heron" which later was renamed The Peninsula, David needed water and had been told by the experts that groundwater was not an option due to saltwater intrusion. Hearing his dilemma, I asked to meet with him and laid out a plan of research, testing and exploration for groundwater underlying his site. David believed in me and thus I got my first groundwater development project. The research paid off for The Peninsula with the development of a 350 gpm "on island" freshwater well, the first well permitted under the new Coastal Regulation governing groundwater extraction. The first well was followed two years later with a 500 gpm well in the same aquifer with these two wells becoming the first permitted (and only to this date) Coastal Zone wellfield. The rest, as they say, is history. Thanks David for your trust and believing in my ideas back in 1994.

Both wells continue to operate as planned and now OAI has become the leading provider of hydrogeologic services in the Gulf Coast area helping others with research, exploration, development and management of their groundwater resources. If the "experts" tell you no, give OAI a call and we'll see what we can do for you.

Hello 2012


December 2011

Happy Birthday MCW's Boykin Road Well (Well #8) Mobile County Water, Sewer and Fire Protection Authority's Boykin Road Wells is the first well sited by OAI for the water system. The hydrogeology was completed by OAI's Dan O'Donnell and was included in MCW's Wellhead Protection Plan Dan completed for the system. The well tested out at 1,900 gpm and was permitted for 1,000 gpm. Ten years on the Boykin Road Well continues to be the system's best well both production and water wise.

October 2, 2011

Great visit with our son Daniel as he stopped in at Fort Benning for a brief layover on his way home to El Paso after a five month tour of duty in Afghanistan. Thanks for all your prayers on Daniel's behalf and let's keep praying for a safe return of all our military.

September 28, 2011

After an absence of nine years to a competitor, a client has returned to the OAI family. After a meeting to discuss issues that, if not handled correctly, could ultimately lead to shutting down the town well, OAI was tasked with a full review of the situation and charged with developing options for this system to consider for addressing their dire situation. With a tight schedule of one week, OAI came through three days early with three potential options. Work is progressing on two fronts with a final decision on which option to fully implement to be made in about two to three weeks. Although we would have preferred they never left, we are glad you are back in the OAI family and will, as always, work to solve their groundwater issues in the most cost-effective manner.

August 2011

OAI worked with a long time client's home office on three pumping tests to determine aquifer hydraulic characteristics. Each of these projects involved analyzing client provided pumping test data, determining aquifer properties of transmissivity, the coefficinet of storage and theoretical maximum production potential for the well.

August 10, 2011

OAI's well supplies new Dauphin Island water treatment plant reported in the Mobile Register today. The well tested out at 1,800 gpm and is permitted for 1,200 gpm.

Grandpa Dan Loves Little Trip

August 4, 2011

Daniel and Krystin O'Donnell's first child, Daniel J. O'Donnell, III, was born today at 03:17 Mountain time at Fort Bliss in El Paso Texas. "Trip", see below, is our first grandchild and we are thrilled. Daniel called from Afghanistan to let us know Trip was set to arrive and Dick Coldwell, Krystin's dad called with the news of the birth. Both mom and baby are doing fine and we thank God for that. Thanks and God bless you both Daniel and Krystin. Nell and I look forward to holding your new baby.

July 25, 2011

Since forming in 1999, OAI has worked with water systems, engineering firms, industry and irrigators to develop wells with a combined production capacity of 50+ million gallons of water per day. This year alone we are working on four well projects that will increase the 50+ million gallon total by another 5.1+ million gallons per day.

July 4th

Enjoy the 4th with your families but say a prayer for our Troops.

The Grilling is Fine, Happy Fourth of July from OAI!

June 10, 2011 OAI Loggers help out on aquifer test.

OAI's rental loggers were "instrumental" in the acquisition of water level data on recent testing for a Daphne Alabama production well. The data loggers recorded pre-test, test and post-test data on the required 24/6 hour step rate aquifer test required as part of the permitting process. If you have an important aquifer or pumping test coming up, contact OAI to set up a very competitive logger rental package that provides you the data needed to make the right decision. We also provide analysis of the test data if needed.

June 9, 2011 New bore looks good.

OAI just finish geologically logging a 995 foot test bore in Washington County Alabama with all indications the test site is favorable for being developed with a new high volume public supply well. OAI's hydrogeologic review helped in identifying this test site. To date, OAI has geologically logged 10,797 feet of public supply and industrial supply wells in Washington County.

Just as important to geologic logging, geophysical logging is a critical tool that allows for a complete evaluation of the subsurface formations penetrated by the drill bit. Geophysical logs are run on the open borehole after drilling reaches total depth. In the photo below, the e-log of the test bore geologically logged by OAI shows that the aquifer present at a depth of 238 to 290 feet is clean (i.e. no clay layers) with resistivity curves indicating that it contains fresh water. The combination of geologic and geophysical logs ensures that the aquifer with the best potential for development can be targeted for testing. Exploratory bores completed without the benefit of a hydrogeologic review before drilling and the wellsites services of geologic and geophysical logging during and after drilling can be and usually are a waste of time, money and effort (aka a dry hole).

June 6th

OAI opens new field office, see below. OAI's new Washington County field office is located just off Highway 43 at the intersection of Toinette Road. The office was set up to provide support services to drilling operations associated with Washington County Water's exploration program. The field office will be staffed full time during drilling operations by Dan. On site activities include catching and describing lagged samples, recording the lithology and monitoring drilling operations. At total depth, OAI will monitor geophysical logging and make recomendations on which aquifers to target for development.

The drought cometh is your System prepared?

May 28, 2011 DROUGHT

Once again the southern 2/3rds of Alabama, coastal Mississippi and the Florida panhandle are in the midst of the third (or fourth??) drought in the last eleven years. As of today, the Mobile area is running about 15.96 inches behind normal with area lawns brown, crunchy and in need of dusting. Some area towns, see photo above, have begun asking consumers to conserve with others implementing even/odd watering restrictions. Both measures lead to a reduction in sales (i.e. revenue) for the systems. If your system is considering conservation measures or water restrictions due to the drought, please also consider making a call to OAI. We can't make it rain but we can assess your groundwater assets and identify measures that may allow you to maintain your sales. Economically, times are tough so why add decreased revenue to the mix. During the Drought of 2007, OAI identified a solution for one south Alabama system that allowed them the option of foregoing development of a new 1,400 foot deep ell in favor of a $50,000 fix to their existing infrastructure and a return to their pre-drought water use policy. So if this drought has you worried, call OAI today and let OAI work to keep you in the water sales business.

New OAI Field Office in Washington County; Mobile Area Sign Warning of a Drought

May 24, 2011 OAI Analysis Requested on Pumping Test Data.

OAI's input was requested and delivered on the analysis of data from pumping tests completed on two Mississippi test wells. The data was reviewed and an opinion delivered on the feasibility of developing high volume public supply wells. One got a thumbs up and the other's data was not favorable for developing a well at the production rate sought.

May 18, 2011 Facebook

That's right, Dan joined Facebook. Kelly set it up so he could converse with Daniel who is at Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan. He doesn't know how it works so be patient please...

May 8, 2011 Kandahar, Afghanistan

Our son Daniel landed in Kandahar today in route to Camp Dwyer for a six month deployment. He will be serving as an army critical care nurse in the hospital at Camp Dwyer.

April 26, 2011

Once upon a time a small municipal water system began planning that would ultimately change them from a "purchased" water system to a system fully in control of their water resource. Their quest began with a call to OAI, the leading groundwater resources development firm in the Central Gulf Coast area. OAI met with them and listened to their needs. OAI then provided them with a tour of several public groundwater systems in the area which OAI worked to develop. The typical comments "I had no idea how efficient a groundwater system is" or "That's the full extent of the treatment/production infrastructure?" rang true once again. OAI then presented them with a carefully thought out research and exploration program to fully develop their own groundwater supplied water system. The project progressed as planned and a groundwater supply necessary to meet their system's demand was brought on line. Today, April 26th, the ribbon cutting was completed and all lived happily ever after.

The above fairy tale need not remain simply a fairy tale. If you are a Mayor, Board Chairman or person with the responsibility of your system's water resources and would like to say good bye to purchasing your water needs, do yourself a favor and contact OAI. Perhaps we can provide you with an option, your own source, that you have wanted but were told was not practical. The fact of the matter is that it may be more practical than you ever imagined.

Develop your own water source and you control the revenue stream. It’s that simple. By developing your source of supply, you control the water and the revenue that selling the water brings. Poorly run, a city/system owned utility that controls its own source generates revenue. Run properly, it generates a lot of revenue. It all starts with a vision, a step of faith and a phone call, so contact us today. We are waiting to hear from you.

April 15, 2011 And they said it couldn’t be done!

With the possibility of the end of an 11-year tradition hanging in the balance due to my brother Tom "Mr. French Fry" O'Donnell moving away, Dan* accepted the formidable task of taking on the French Fry cook position, see small photo below, that Tom mastered over many years. Lo and behold, the 12th Annual St. Pius X Church Lenten Fish Fries run by K of C Council #13085 went off like clock work.

*I had eleven years of French Fry apprenticeship under Mr. Tom's careful direction, so don't try this at home without similar experience. You have been warned.

Really Small Photo Provided by Griffin

March 19, 2011 Year One Completed.

Information provided by the logger in OAI's MW-2 shows that groundwater reaches maximum temperature in October and reaches its lowest temperature in March. The high temp, 22.68 degrees Celsius (C) (72.82 F), was recorded at 4PM on October 11, 2011. The low temp, 16.50 C(61.70 F), was recorded at 2PM on March 12, 2010. The water level plot resembles that recorded earlier between 2007 and 2009 with fluctuations due to significant precipitation events. The plot of the last year's data is seen below.

Water Level Plot

Question: Does OAI "do" environmental work?

That's a very good question and we'd like to take this opportunity to address it. While we do not market the "environmental" realm of the hydrogeologic field, that being UST, AST, hazardous/non-hazardous chemical releases and such, we are trained and have extensive experience in these areas. We do provide services in these areas on projects from time to time for our existing clients and new clients that have found themselves with ongoing and troublesome projects that seem to have no end in sight. Each of OAI's environmental projects start with a thorough review of work completed to date to identify potential actions taken that can lead to bigger problems than the initial release itself. For example: Your site had a release of 20 gallons of unleaded gasoline to a shallow aquifer 30 feet thick with a water table at 10 feet. A 25 foot thick clay underlies the shallow aquifer and then another 40 foot thick aquifer underlies the clay. More often than not, an investigation of this release would before long include drilling through the underlying clay, setting a deep monitoring well and "finding" that the lower aquifer is contaminated. OAI simply asks: "Why was this action taken and What is the cause of the contaminated lower aquifer?" These are two critical and costly questions that can entangle you with years of expense and heartache over something that was and should have remained a minor problem limited only to the upper aquifer. If this is the type of "environmental problem" you have, it's the kind of environmental problem we "do". Give us a call and let's sit down, review your particular situation and work together to resolve your problem not make it worse. If you are looking at an environmental problem and haven't contracted out the work, give OAI a call and spare yourself the headache mistakes can make.

February 14, 2011

It pays to know. A local water Board was shown the benefit of their groundwater level monitoring program with a presentation on the "before and after" of their program. The program, initiated in 2005, paid off for them in 2009 when they were in need of a new well to meet demand. The data showed their aquifer was in balance and capable of supplying another well. Testing confirmed there were no hidden problems and a second well was added. The presentation tonight confirmed that the aquifer has not been over stressed by the addition of the new well. Savings to the system included: no land purchase, minimal piping costs as the wells are at the water tower, no test well costs (we went straight to the production well) and best of all no dry hole costs.

January 10, 2011 War Eagle!

Auburn University wraps up another perfect football season with the BCS National Championship. No brag, just fact.

January 1, 2011

We at OAI are glad to be here and look forward to another year of providing our clients the quality hydrogeologic services they have come to know and expect from us.


December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to you and your's from OAI

November 17, 2010

Received an early birthday gift from Daniel and Krystin today. Thanks to the both of you.

November 11, 2010

Thank a Veteran Today, as in every preceding Veterans Day, OAI stops to say thank you to those that serve or have served this country in the armed forces.

As the bumper sticker says: If you can read, thank a teacher. If you can read in English, thank a Veteran.

October 7, 2010 - Groundwater Management Question

Groundwater management should be a vital part of any groundwater system. Yesterday, while visiting with a system manager the following question came up "Where should the observation well be placed for a monitoring program"? This is a good question and, as in most things, the answer is "It depends".

Since 1995, public supply wells in Alabama require an observation well as part of the permitting process. As this observation well is already in place (and paid for) and it is generally within the fenced, secured area of the new well, OAI uses this well as the monitoring point. This reduces the expense of another well and, even more importantly, reduces an un-necessary vulnerability point and possibly even another artificial penetration of protective clays overlying the producing aquifer. Where as the completion of a new observation well for monitoring purposes increases costs, adds a potential high risk sourcewater threat and may lead to further penetrations of protective clays.

To the question: "What about interference from pumping?" we say that is what you are wanting to monitor so why not monitor at the point of critical impact? The interference seen in the vicinity of the well is what is critical to evaluating the health of the aquifer. By monitoring away from interference effects of the production well, critical water level data on what is actually going on at the well may be lost.

So, when setting up a monitoring program, if money, aquifer protection and further reduction in protection of overlying clays doesn't matter, go ahead and drill a new observation well away from the production well. However, OAI suggests using what is already available at the wellsite which saves money, reduces security issues, eliminates additional penetrations of protective clay layers and provides the "at well" data you need to manage your water resources. To set-up as cost effective, secure monitoring program, contact OAI. The money you save is yours to keep.

September 1, 2010 Need a new well?

Times are tough and money is tight. So if you are planning to complete a new well for your water system, we have a new article for you entitled "Who ya gonna call?" The article gives two casebook examples of how OAI worked with two clients to solve their water needs. Perhaps your system could benefit from a hydrogeologic review to determine whether or not you actually need a new well or simply a modification to your existing infrastructure.

If you are a utility manager, an engineer or a plant manager and need help with your water supply, where ever you may be, give OAI a call and together we'll see whether OAI can make a difference for your project. We travel, so don't let the distance between your location and our location stand in the way of solving your water needs. Make that call today.

July 4, 2010 - Happy 4th of July

We had a great 4th with friends and some of Miss Nell's homecooked ribs, photo below. I can't wait 'til the next aquifer test as I picked up a new idea for the 6-hour food break. The pump is on at 06:00 and supper's served at 12:00. Ready, set, go.

Home Cooked Ribs

May 17, 2010 - Graduation

Our son Sam graduated from Murphy High School today. Sam will enter seminary in the fall at St. John Vianney in St. Paul Minnesota. Congratulations Sam!

May 11, 2010 - Industrial Wellfield Completed

What began with a consultation visit in December 2008 was finalized with the delivery of the Wellfield Report for and surface completion of a multi-well, multi-aquifer industrial supply wellfield, photo below. From researching and identifying potential aquifers and locating favorable wellsites through testing the aquifers for hydraulic performance and water quality to completion of the two production wells, OAI worked diligently with the client and the drilling contractor to bring about a successful conclusion to this project. The wellfield's two wells are spaced at 71 feet horizontally and produce from aquifers separated vertically by 150 feet of clay. The wellfield has the capability of delivering 4.32 million gallons per day but will produce at the rate of 2.16 million gallons per day. The aquifers underlying the site have an ultimate potential of producing as much as 12.96 million gallons per day.

Well PW-1, foreground, produces from the Moore #3 Aquifer and Well PW-2 produces from the Moore #2 Aquifer. A third aquifer, the Moore #1, is present and available for development at this site. Photo courtesy of Griner Drilling Service, Inc.

Well PW-1, Foreground, Produces from the Moore #3 Aquifer and Well PW-2 Produces from the Moore #2 Aquifer.  A Third Aquifer, the Moore #1, is Present and Available for Development at this Site.  Photo Courtesy of Griner Drilling Service, Inc.

May 6, 2010 - Hydrogeologic Study Completed

Delivered a hydrogeologic study today to a public water system that identified six aquifers, five of which have the potential to be developed as sources of public supply. Among the five aquifers, two are currently used as a source of public supply and three have been used for drinking water or industrial supply purposes. The study identified favorable drilling locations, provided target drilling depth and located wells that can be sampled to provide preliminary information of the water quality for the aquifers under consideration. The next phase of this project involves implementing the recommendations to evaluate the aquifers' potential to be developed as a source of public supply.

April 26, 2010 - OAI re-locates to new office

On April 26th, we opened our new office at 600 Bel Air Boulevard, Suite 130 in Mobile, Alabama. The office is located 0.43 miles south of Airport Blvd. on the right (west side) of Bel Air. Please stop in next time you are in the area.

March 30, 2010 - Welcome Washington County Commission

The Washington County Commission joins the OAI family as our newest client. OAI will be providing hydrogeologic services associated with permitting a 60,000 gallons per day de-centralized wastewater treatment facility in the McIntosh, Alabama area. This is the latest of 24 such de-centralized plants OAI has permitted in Alabama.

March 13, 2010 - Happy St. Patrick's Day

Enjoyed a wonderful weekend in New Orleans for St. Patrick's Day. Marching in the Irish Channel Parade for the first time was my son Sam along with his brother Daniel and his uncle Jim. Pictured below (L-R): Kristin Coldwell (Daniel's fiancee), Daniel, Nell, Uncle Jim, Sam and Dan.

New Orleans St. Patrick's Day


December 31, 2009 - Goodbye 2009 and Hello 2010

As the economy staggers on, we wish you all a happy and prosperous NEW YEAR!

December 1, 2009 - Industrial Wellfield Progress

Installation of the first of two production wells at an industrial wellfield began today in Washington County. The wellfield at completion will be capable of 1,500 to 3,000 gallons per minute with the potential to develop a third aquifer as needed.

November 21, 2009 - Go Trojans and ADP!

Enjoyed a visit with my son Daniel and his fiancee' Krystin Coldwell and my daughter Kelly and her friends at Troy University, Troy Alabama. Shown in the picture below is Candice Buckault, Joshua Douglass, Kelly O'Donnell and Elizabeth Rodgers in front of the Alpha Delta Pi sign.

Visit to Troy University

October 18, 2009 - All systems go

Water samples obtained from test wells in Calvert indicate the site is a go for development of one and possibly two aquifers as demand increases in the future. Extended testing is planned for one of the aquifer that has water on the border line for post production testing before plant size is finalized.

October 1, 2009 - Welcome aboard Saraland!

On October 1st, the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners of the City of Saraland retained the hydrogeologic services of OAI to assist them with the exploration and development of a new well or wells. The initial phase of the project is a hydrogeologic study of the Board's service area to identify promising wellsites. OAI thanks Mr. Mike Sullivan, Superintendent and the Board and Mr. Gordon Quesenberry, PE of McCrory and Williams for their confidence in selecting and recommending OAI for this project. Saraland is the 37th Gulf Coast public supply water system to select OAI for their exploration and development project.

September 29, 2009 - Calvert Exploration

OAI received a contract to assist South Alabama Utilities with an exploration test in the Calvert Community. The project will begin with geologic logging of an exploratory bore and progressed with testing and development of promising aquifers found through the boring effort.

September 18, 2009 - Deep Clarke Test Abandoned

The deep Clarke County exploration project found the target aquifer as expected but preliminary water samples obtained from the test well indicated that the water would required post-production treatment prior to being suitable for use as a source of public supply. As a result, development of the deep aquifer has been abandoned.

August 10, 2009 Exploration Test Begins

Drilling began today on a deep aquifer in Clarke County Alabama, see photo below. The test is the result of OAI's hydrogeologic study of the central Clarke County area that identified the Gravel Creek member of the Nanafalia Formation for possible use as a source of public supply. Drilling is expected to take eight days with the target aquifer expected at a depth of 1,730 feet.

Tripping in the Hole Are Mike Smith, James Willis and Timothy Allen on the Brake

August 6, 2009 - OAI in Print

The August 2009 issue of the Alabama Geological Society's newsletter contains an article written Dan O'Donnell about a field methods mini-camp he ran in May of 2008. The paper explains how a group of professional geologists doing the same task-a water level survey-came up with a wide variety of data. The article shows how attention to detail is often lacking on one of the most critical parts of a groundwater investigation. You can read the article beginning on page 7 of the newsletter by following this link. Have your employees* properly trained in conducting and interpreting water level surveys at OAI's Gulf Coast Groundwater Research Center. Please contact us to schedule a training class. A well trained employee is an asset to any firm.

*Training is also available for geology/environmental students looking for practical experience prior to entering the job market.

July 2009 - Testing proves out OAI's hydrogeologic study

July was a busy month at OAI as fieldwork continued on a proposed industrial supply wellfield, see below. The second of two test wells was installed and testing confirmed a second aquifer underlying the site is satisfactory for use as a source of industrial supply. Planning is ongoing for two production wells. The ultimate production for the two well wellfield should fall in the 1,500 to 3,000 gpm range (2.16 to 4.32 mgpd) with options to increase production with additional wells in the tested aquifers or by tapping an un-tested third aquifer that underlies the site.

July 15, 2009 - Groundwater level monitoring pays off

On July 15th, a client called to ask us to check our data logger at one of their critical wells. It seems their equipment signaled the well was about to break suction due to excessive drawdown and, as a result, this much needed well was taken out of service. OAI travel to the site and evaluated the data our logger recorded only to find out everything was normal with no excessive drawdown occurring in the aquifer at this well. This critical well was immediately placed back into service. Without having implemented OAI's groundwater level monitoring program at this well, this system could have spent thousands of dollars and had the well out of service only to find out nothing was wrong. Does your system have a groundwater level monitoring program? If not, contact OAI today. The money (and headaches) you save may be your own.

June 23, 2009 R.I.P. Agnes McCullar

At 02:43 this morning we received word that Agnes McCullar, Nell's mother, had died. Agnes was a wonderful mother who always had time for her family and grandkids. May her soul rest in peace.

June 11, 2009 Running Casing

On June 11th, casing was set for a test well on a project associated with developing an industrial supply wellfield with an upside production rate potential of 1,500 to 3,000 gpm. The test well location was identified through a hydrogeologic study completed by OAI in January of 2009. The primary target aquifer proved out at 145 feet thick and is composed of a mix of sand, fine gravel and gravel. Two additional aquifers were found as expected and await testing. During the casing run, OAI provided "casing burgers" for all those on site, see photo below. Testing will begin soon to determine the aquifer's production potential and water quality.

June 3, 2009 - Primary Target Aquifer

The target aquifer of an industrial wellfield project was cut today with excellent aquifer material cut over a 145 foot interval. OAI completed a hydrogeologic study to identified the drilling location and wellsite services to catch, examine and record the material cut by the bit. The primary aquifer came in as expected and consisted of sand, fine gravel and gravel, see photo below.

Sieve Shows Gravel, Fine Gravel and Sand (Front to Back) Collected from the Project's Primary Aquifer

May 19, 2009 Happy Birthday To O'Donnell & Associates, Inc.

Today marks our 10th anniversary as a hydrogeologic consulting firm. To all our clients, family and friends who believed in us back in 1999, we are grateful. Looking back over the past 10 years, OAI has made a significant impact on the groundwater community. Here are some facts associated with our efforts in the exploration, development and management of groundwater resources in south Alabama, south Mississippi and the Florida panhandle:

  • Since 1999, OAI has developed wells with a combined permitted production capacity of 36,005,760 gallons per day (13.142 billion gallons per year).
  • Since 1999, OAI has permitted 39 water supply wells
  • Since 1999, OAI has planned, tested, developed and permitted 7 wellfields
  • Since 1999, OAI has provided professional services associated with 71 public supply wells
  • Since 1999, OAI has geologically logged over 33,000 feet of water well bores
  • Since 1999, OAI has completed 69 hydrogeologic studies
  • Since 1999, OAI has completed 61 aquifer tests
  • Since 1999, OAI has developed 69 groundwater models for sourcewater assessment and capture zone analysis
  • Since 1999, OAI has permitted five coastal zone wells and defended not having to permit two other wells under the coastal regulations
  • Since 1999, OAI has developed five industrial supply wells

April 28, 2009 - Advertising

O'Donnell & Associates, Inc. would like to use this opportunity to thank all our clients who have referred their friends to us for hydrogeologic services. Often times these references can lead to just a quick phone call to us about a well issue, an aquifer question or the like. Sometimes the reference can be a substantial lead that develops into a water supply exploration, development or management project. In short, word of mouth referrals have been and remain our main source of advertising. A hint of why our clients refer others to OAI for help in addressing their groundwater resources needs may be found in an e-mail sent to OAI from a regulator at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management candidly speaking of our sourcewater assessment reports. From day one, quality hydrogeologic services for our clients have been our priority.

April 7, 2009 - National Honor Society

Today brought recognition to our son Sam, left, with his induction into the National Honor Society at Murphy High School (Go Panthers!). Sam and his friends, Lam Pham and Dillan Brewer, are pictured below at the reception following the awards ceremony.

Sam Inducted Into the National Honor Society at Murphy High School

April 2, 2009 - Irrigation Success

OAI's best source of advertising is our satisfied clients and for that we are grateful. One such client referred the manager of a local blueberry farming operation to OAI for help in locating an irrigation well after previous efforts were disappointing. OAI accepted the task, did a review of the area's hydrogeology and recommended a drilling depth. The farmer took the recommendation and contracted a local drilling firm to drill to a depth of 250 feet. The target aquifer came in as expected and the well was completed with 30 feet of screen. The well has a good production rate and, once the rain stops falling, the blueberries will be put out...

March 28, 2009

On March 28th, we recorded 7.1 inches of rain over the previous 24-hour period. The groundwater elevation at OAI's MW-2 rose to 16.96 feet in response to the rain event, the highest recorded over the previous two years, see the research link for the graph.

March 14, 2009 R.I.P. Doyle McCullar

We received word today that Doyle McCullar, Nell's father, has died. Doyle was a good father, excellent carpenter and friend of many stray dogs. May he rest in peace.

February 2, 2009-Grove Hill Water Works

OAI welcomes Grove Hill Water Works into our family of water system clients that now numbers 36 systems across southern Alabama, southeast Mississippi and northwest Florida. OAI will complete a hydrogeologic study with the intent of locating a favorable drilling location for their next well.

January 31, 2009

OAI's groundwater level monitoring program has recorded 13,900+ measurements at MW-2 dating back to April 2007, see below. MW-2 is a 13.5 foot deep monitoring well located in a surficial aquifer adjacent to Eslava Creek in Mobile, Alabama. Beginning January 21, 2008, OAI joined the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, and has tracked and posted precipitation data collected at the location of MW-2 on line. Together, the water level data and the precipitation data make for an interesting graph, see below. Notice the correlation between precipitation events and the groundwater elevation recorded at the well. Read more about this effort on OAI's Research page.

Groundwater Level Monitoring Graph, April 1, 2007 to January 31, 2009

Hello 2009!

To all our clients and friends, we wish you a blessed and prosperous new year! We would like to thank all our clients for making 2008 one of our best years with a wide variety of fun, challenging and successful projects. Along the way, we added to our client base: one major engineering firm, three industrial clients, three public water systems and a local nursery. The majority of these new clients are a result of direct referral from satisfied clients.

Accomplishments in 2008 include hydrogeologic services that resulted in the permitting of four municipal wells with a tested production capacity of 5.9 million gallons per day and a permitted capacity of 3.96 million gallons per day. OAI also planned, tested, developed and permitted two new wellfields, a multi-well, multi-aquifer wellfield and a single aquifer multi-well wellfield. We also complete three hydrogeologic studies to assist in the planning, drilling and development of future municipal wells (the OAI way to effectively develop groundwater resources). In another area, our groundwater modeling experience was used to support not having to permit two industrial supply wells under the Coastal Regulations which resulted in a saving of $15,000 to $18,000 for each of two of our industrial clients.

We look forward to 2009 in anticipation as we complete our tenth year in the business of exploration, development and management of groundwater resources for our municipal, industrial, and private sector clients. As the ideas formed on the pages of our studies become your new water supply wells, we have to pause and reflect that it just doesn't get much better than this. Thank you all for your business and support of our firm.

God bless you all and here's to a great 2009.

Dan and Nell O'Donnell


December 28, 2008-Bob Craft-RIP

On December 28, 2008, Mr. Gilbert Robert "Bob" Craft, Executive Director of South Alabama Utilities, passed away. Mr. Craft was a forward thinker who I first met in 2000 while conducting an aquifer test at SAU's Mary Montgomery #1 Well. I have had the privilege of working on many more of SAU's water well projects and always enjoyed Mr. Craft's visits to the job sites. Once while taking Troop 36 Boy Scouts to Mass during a weekend campout in Citronelle, I ran into Mr. Craft and his wife Pat and was complemented on what a fine group of boys our Troop had. He will be missed.

December 1, 2008

Groundwater monitoring efforts at six municipal water supply wells were terminated after 4.5 years of monitoring found no indications the aquifers being monitored were being over produced. The water level data recorded since May of 2004 provides the utilities that owned the wells valuable information on the overall health of their sources of supply and will provide a baseline for future comparison should they consider the possibility of tapping the aquifers with additional wells. Groundwater level monitoring continues at six other sites in aquifers tapped by 12 public water supply wells.

October 20, 2008

Our son Daniel begins his tour of duty at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. Prior to heading to his first duty assignment, Daniel came through Mobile and assisted in a week of recruiting locally and at his alma mater, Troy University. Go Army.

October 16, 2008

Our son Sam sat for and passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review today. Sam becomes Saint Pius X Catholic Church Troop 36's newest Eagle Scout. Sam's Eagle service project was the construction of a pergola at the Little Sister Home in Mobile, see below. Sam is a junior at Murphy High School where he plays on the "O" line of the Panther Football Team (Go Panthers!) and is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Sam is also involved with CYO, serves the first Sunday of the month at the 8 AM Mass at the Cathedral. During the summer, Sam is a lifeguard and is employed by Toomey's during Mardi Gras season.

Sam is an Eagle Scout

October 14, 2008

Welcome Bayou LaBatre! OAI received a contract to provide wellsite geologic services to Bayou LaBatre Utilities as they begin the process to develop a new water supply well for their system. Geologic logs provide valuable information that can make or break a decision to complete a well. Geologic logs are required for all new public supply wells in Alabama. OAI has 160 hours of formal training in mudlogging, 29 years of "mudlogging " experience and has logged over 37,000 feet of water wells in Alabama's the coastal plain. With the addition of Bayou LaBatre, OAI's public water system client base is now 35 systems. Thank you all.