Aspen: Geothermal test well has yet to hit water

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From the Aspen Daily News (Andrew Travers):

As of Thursday afternoon, they had drilled down 1,003 feet. They had expected to reach water, for temperature-taking, by 1,000 feet underground. The city’s drilling permit allows them to drill as far as 1,500 feet…

She said the city does not have a precise finish date at this time, but the driller — California-based Dan’s Water Well & Pump Service — believes it’s on the verge of hitting water. “Our experts believe it’s close but it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact depth until we reach it,” [Lauren McDonell, the city of Aspen’s environmental programs manager] said…

The work has…been slowed, at points, by the density of the Leadville limestone through which the crew is drilling. A partial collapse of the 6-inch-diameter hole Wednesday also delayed their progress. The drillers were installing steel casing Wednesday to reinforce the hole, before they begin to drill deeper…

Anecdotal reports from 19th century miners about the extreme heat in mines below town have indicated that geothermal could be harnessed for 21st century needs. A 2008 geothermal feasibility study boosted hopes further, indicating that the temperature of local underground water ranges from 90 to 140 degrees. To heat or cool buildings with geothermal energy, 100-degree water is required.

More geothermal coverage here and here.

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