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Publication numberUS3335791 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1967
Filing dateNov 19, 1964
Priority dateNov 19, 1964
Publication numberUS 3335791 A, US 3335791A, US-A-3335791, US3335791 A, US3335791A
InventorsLawrence D Patton
Original AssigneeLawrence D Patton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Process of preventing corrosion and bacterial growth in a water well
US 3335791 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 15, 1967 L D PATTQN 3,335,791


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ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,335,791 PROCESS F PREVENTING CORROSION AND BACTERIAL GROWTH IN A WATER WELL Lawrence D. Patton, Drawer 790, Borger, Tex. 79007 Filed Nov. 19, 1964, Ser. No. 412,546

2 Claims. (Cl. 166--1) p This invention relates to a method and composition for treating irrigation wells domestic and industrial water supply wells Iand pertains particularly to reduction and prevention of olensive and unsightly slime growths in irrigation wells.

One object of the invention is to provide an improved method for lubricating water supply well pumps.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved lubricating composition for use in Water supply wells.

Other objects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art on the study of the below specication, of which specification the hereto attached drawings form a part, and in which drawings like numerals refer to the same structure throughout and wherein:

FIGURE l is a diagrammatic vertical longitudinal cross sectional view of an irrigationwell in use according to the method of this invention in the resting phase of its cycle of operation;

FIGURE 2 shows the Well of FIGURE 1 in the discharge phase of its cycle of ope-ration, subsequent to that of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged horizontal diagrammatic cross sectional view along horizontal plane 3A-3B of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged view, partly in section, when empty of liquid, of zone 4A of FIGURE 2; and

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged view, partly in section, of zone 5A -of FIGURE 2.

In the usual operation of an irrigation well such as generally shown by the well 12, an imperforate vertically elongated cylindrical metal casing 14 extends from near the bottom 11 of the well 12, which bottom is below the bottom of the water producing formation 16, to the ground 18. A conventional gravel pack 15 ills the annula-r space between the cylindrical well wall 19 and the outside of the casing 14. Casing 14 is perforated adjacent the formation 16 by numerous conventional perforations as 17, 17 and 17". Within cylindrical casing 14 which has a relatively large internal diameter (e.g., 16) is discharge line 20 of substantially smaller diameter (c g., 6"). Discharge line 20 is a vertical string of serially c-onnected hollow cylindrical imperforate sections of tubing or pipe. Discharge line 20 terminates at its top in an upper discharge outlet 22, usually above the ground surface 18, (although sometimes to an underground piping system) and, at its bottom, at a lower inlet opening 23 below the upper level, 59, of the top of formation 16. A vertically elongated annular casing chamber 21 is formed between casing 14 and line 20. Brackets as 48A,

48B, 48C, 43D, 48E space apart items 14, 20 and 28, but

do not substantially interfere with t-he llovv of iluid in chambers or 21. The bore of well 12 extends to below the bottom level 60` of the formation 16 into the usual red bed 61 therebelow. The gravel pack extends below the bottom of casing 14 to the well bore bottom 11 and lills the bottom l to 2 feet of the casing 14 interiorly which bottom is far below inlet 53 to pump cavity 29.

A conventional pump assembly, 27, located at the bottom of line 20, comprises a conventional impeller blade `housing 25 with a conventional pump impeller 24 therein;

impeller blade housing cavity 29 in housing 25 houses the impeller 24 therein. Impeller 24 is firmly yet rotatably supported on and driven by a vertically extending drive `shaft 26. Pump housing 25 is supported by and attached to 3,335,791 Patented Aug. 15, 1967 the bottom of discharge line 20. Shaft 26 is driven by a conventional motor 31 supported on the top of the casing 14 and is located in a vertical extending imperforate cylindrical metal drive shaft housing 28 and is rotatably mounted in oil lubricated bearings as 36, 37, 37', 38, 38

and 38 which are supported -on drive shaft housing 28.'

Housing 28 encloses an annular drive Shaft housing chamber 34 which has an upper grease seal 3l)y and lower grease seal 32 for the protection of lubricant added to the plurality of vertically spaced apart bearings` as 36, 37 and 38 for the shaft 26 therein.

An annular discharge line chamber 10 extends from pump assembly 27 to discharge outlet 22 between housing 28 and the interior of line 20v and connects via inlet 23 to cavity 29.

A lubricant chamber 50, which provides a reservoir for lubricant 51, is operatively connected by lubricant lines as 52 and 518 to chamber 34 below the upper grease seal 30 for addition of lubricant to the bearings in drive shaft housing chamber 34. The lubricant tlows `down along the pump drive shaft 26 in a continuous supply to the bearings for the pump which pump is submerged in the water in the well. `'In order that complete lubrication be obtained excess of lubricant is used.

When the motor 31 does not drive the pump impeller, and the well is in lits resting phase, as shown in FIG- URE l, the water, 9, passes from formation 16 through the gravel pack 15 and the perforations, as 17, 17' and 17 and enters chamber 21 and rises to the level 39 in casing chamber 21, and the water also rises in chambers `10 and 34 to level 47 which is the same ve-rtical height or level as 39. On operation of the motor 31 and pump assembly 27, the impeller 24 drives the Water in chamber 10 upward and out from outlet 22: concurrently, the level of Water in chambers 21 and 34 fall from level 39 to a lower level, :as 49, substantially above the vertical height or level Iof the top of the pump impeller 24 and more water comes into chamber 10 via inlet 23 from chamber 21 and formation 15. When the operation of motor 31 and impeller 24 cease the level of the column of water in chamber 10` falls to level 47 and water and lubricant pass via outlet 53 to chamber 21 from chambers 10 and 34.

Using conventional lubricants, suchas turbine oil, between operative periods of the pump assembly 27, cham bers 10, 21 and 29 become filled with a black or dark green scum or slime. `It has been observed that certain bacteria and similar microorganisms grow rapidly in the enviroment provided on the water columns in chambers 21 and 10 when conventional lubricants are used. These bacteria attack the metal of the pump and the well casing and cause severe corrosion damage to this equipment and cause malodorous water. Such scum or slime collects between levels 39 and 49 in casing chamber 21 and also between level 47 and outlet 22 :in chamber 10.

While the prior art (e.g., U.S. Patents 2,140,401 and 2,901,394) has attempted to preventthe accumulation of such growths by maintaining certain minimum concentration of bacterialogically active matters in the Water, such treatment provides an undesirable taste or chemical properties to such treated water. The approach of this invention is based on lrecognition of accumulation of an oily layer in chambers 21 and 10 and invention of steps and material to limit and prevent the accumulations of such oily layers and to prevent the growth of organic material in the lubricant. This invention provides Water without the undesirable odor or taste and a slime-free water well without corrosion problems concomitant on such growths.

While only one quart per day of oil is added as lubricant to the conventional pump as above described, usually up to 700,000 gallons of water may be pumped per day by such pump. `Ports in the pump body as well as normal leakage and pump operation permit escape of oil into the well water 9 in the chambers 21 and 10 that surround the pump. The oil, being lighter than the water, rises to the surface of the columns of water standing in the Well chambers 21 and 10. The depth of the top level 59 of a formation as 16 is usually in the range of 100 to 300 feet and substantially greater than 32 feet. Accordingly, when the pump temporarily ceases operation of discharge from outlet 22 the resultant downward movement of the column of water in chamber 10 drives water and lubricant therein and in chamber 34 into chamber 21 via cavity 29. However, chamber 21 has a much larger capacity than does chamber 1t). The presence of the emulsifying agent in the lubricant according to this invention keeps the lubricant dispersed in chamber 21 and permits that that lubricant escaping into the water in chambers 21 and 10 is dispersed throughout that Water in such chambers and discharged therewith during subsequent operation of the pump assembly 27. More particularly, the amount and character of the emulsier is such as to not substantially or seriously interfere with the lubricating ability of the lubricant although present in suicient concentration and activity to emulsify that lubricant in water and form a stable oil-water emulsion, even in hard water.

The amount of dispersant used is such as to provide in excess of 0.1 molar concentration thereof in the lubricant whereby to provide a minimum of change in particle size distribution with time. The usual very small oxidation inhibitor amounts are insufcient `for the needed stability of the dispersion. The lubricant in the preferred embodiment is a lubricating oil. A conventional good grade of turbine oil of the following specification as used in a preferred embodiment of this invention is characterized as follows:

Baume gravity (A.P.l.) at 60 F., 26-31; llash point in Cleveland cup, 380 F.; lire point in Cleveland cup, 430 F.; neutralization number, 0-0.02 mg. KOH/gr.; seconds, viscosity S.U.V. at 100 F., 145-155; seconds, viscosity S.U.V. at 210 F., 42-44; demulsibility number, 1620 at 130 F. Herschel or 30-60 emulsion number & S.A.E. 20 with an A.S.T.M. Union Colorimeter color of 5 and with a pour point of about 30 F. Also, a conventional vegetable oil lubricant could be used according to the invention in lieu of such mineral oil or in a blend therewith.

The amount of emulsier agent needed to produce a given specific interfacial area for the dispersed particles, i.e., to produce particles of a predetermined -mean and maximum size is well known in the art (of. Table 4.1 Molecular Area for Soap at the Interfacial Film in Oilin-Water Emulsions, p. 89, A.C.S. Monograph 135, Emulsions: Theory and Practice, Becker, Reinhold, 1957).

Other emulsiers used are those that form oil-water emulsions such as do sodium, potassium and lithium soap and not the water-oil emulsion agent such as calcium, magnesium and zinc soaps. However, the alkali soaps are not applicable for use in hard water. The non-ionic agents known as having H.L.B. values of 8 to 18 (Table 6-3, H.L.B. Values for Commercial Emulsiers, pages 191- 195 of A.C.S. Monograph 135) which form stable oil-inwater emulsions and are not sensitive to hard water are used.

The amount of dispersant is critical in that it must fonn a stable oil in water emulsion yet permit the lubricant to perform its lubricating function. In a preferred embodiment, each 55 gallons of lubricating oil as above described (col. 3, lines 36 to 46) is provided with ten and one-half (10%) quarts of emulsier additive. Chamber 50 holds about 10 gallons thereof.

In the preferred embodiment the emulsier additive i with a nonionic solubiliZer. It must be used in a concentration of at least 0.75 percent by volume of lubricant and may be used in concentrations up to eight percent (8%): one half pint per five gallons of lubricant is preferred. The additive is also characterized as follows: specific gravity, 0.98; viscosity (Brookfield), 500-700 centipoises at 25 C. and circa 4500 centipoises at 3 C.; settling point, less than 0 C.; pH of 5% aqueous dispersion, l6-8; insoluble but dispersible in water; miscible in all proportion in aromatic solvents; miscible in all proportion in rened kerosene; miscible in all proportion in chlorinated solvents, and miscible up to 15% in paran spray oil by volume.

The bacterial growth which occurs in the waters in chambers 21 and 10 is believed to be-developed from within the oil.; accordingly a bactericide is provided in the reservoir 50 to protect the lubricant from bacterial growth. The bactericide is a lyophilic nonionic agent such as the type in U.S. Patent No. 2,380,877 and, in the particular preferred embodiment herein described, and an N-alkyl trimethylene diamine sold as Duomeen C (Duomeen C is a trademark registered by Armour and Company); the physical and chemical characteristics of such bactericide are set out in Table III herebelow. This bactericide has a negligible solubility in water but a substantial solubility in the above described (col. 3) turbine oil used as lubricant in the preferred embodiment as Well as in conventional vegetable oils used as lubricants, such as castor oil. This solubility is adequate to permit therein no bacterial growth yet the bactericide as well as the dispersant does not interfere with the lubricating characteristics of the turbine oil. The negligible solubility in water of this bactericide prevents a bleeding out of the bactericidal effect from the lubricant notwithstanding extensive periods of storage of the lubricant prior to its use and dispersal of the lubricant in emulsion size particles to form a dispersion thereof as above described.

The use of the turbine oil lubricant With 1 to 2% by weight of such bactericide and an oil-in-water emulsifying agent or dispersant as above described prevents corrosion of the well casing 17 and the housing 20 of well as build up of undesirable slime from bacterial or other organic growth thereon.

In the preferred embodiment a well of feet depth (at its upper surface) .and a formation depth of 200 feet in Hutchinson County, Texas in May and June 1964 had a metal (steel) casing 14, of 16" diameter, a metal (steel tube 20 of 6" inside diameter and a metal (steel) housing 28 of 2" diameter. It normally used one quart of oil per day of SAE 20 turbine oil, as above described (col. 3), with an average water discharge rate of about 400,000 gallons per day over a usual 7 day period of intermittent rather than continuous operation. The usual height of drop from levels 39 to 49 was 30 feet. Level 47 is temporarily over level 39 on breaking of the column in tube 20 immediately following cessation of operation of pump 27. Substantial amounts of slime .accumulated during periods Yof operation as well as periods of non-operation in chamber 21 of the pump. Such well was not considered usable. On addition of the same amount of lubricant containing also one percent 1%) Duomeen C by weight of the lubricant and ten and one-half (101A) quarts of the above described emulsier as dispersant per 55 gallon barrel of turbine oil as lubricant, notwithstanding a daily output of 700,000 gallons of water per day at that well and inoperative periods of about 30 days in a period of 60 days in July 1964 and August of 1964, i.e. on intermittent operation similar to its prior operation, there was no accumulation of slime in the Well and the water produced was free of odor and chemical taste. The water so produced, being free from odor, was useful for irrigation and also for industrial cooling and cleaning. An

analysis of the water produced from such well is given in Table I herebelow:

In the particular preferred embodiment of this invention hereinabove described, the quantitative characteristics thereof are as follows in Table II.

Table ll Vertical distances:

Surface 18 to level 59 feet 150 Level 18 to level 60 do 350 Surface 18 to opening 53 (at bottom of housing 25) do 300 Surface 18 to level 11 do 350 Surface 18 to level 39 do 140 Surface 18 to level 49 (minimum water level in well) do 280 Dimensions:

Casing 14, outside diameter inches 16 Casing 14, inside diameter do 151/2 Tube 20, outside diameter do 6% Tube 20, inside diameter do 6 Housing 28, outside diameter do 2% Housing 28, inside diameter do 2 Shaft 26, outside diameter do 1% Diameter of well 12 do 28 Capacities:

Horsepower of motor 31 (electric or gas) 600 Capacity of reservoir 50 gallons 20 Maximum output rate, pump 27 gallons/day 800,000

Number of days used per year 50-100 Number of hours used per day, range 0-24 Temperature at formation 16 F about 50 As is conventional, the seal 32 and other structures at the bottom of tubing 20 between chambers 34 and 29 lit loosely enough to allow water to enter the chamber 34 under the head of pressure (e.g., 150 to 300 feet of water head in the particular embodiment hereinabove described) to which such seal is subjected and, also, to permit escape of such water and lubricant therewith from chamber 34 to chamber 29. The above described relationships for the oil lubricated pump structures (e.g. 24, 25, 29) and piping attached thereto (e.g., 20, 28, 32, 37, 37', 38, 38') is exemplary of oil lubricated water well pumps in that it is typical of that oil lubricant does escape into the well water and promotes undesirable growth and corrosion on such water well pumps and piping parts.

It is specifically within the scope of this invention not only that the compositions to be made according to this invention are made with the germicide and dispersant and lubricant to be used in the concentrations above discussed and such compositions be used and sold as such but also that the composition comprising lubricant, dis- T alble lll [Duomeen C has the general formula H H H l l l I y H H H H H wherein R represents the alkyl groups from the fatty acids from coconut oil (conventional analysis Aat page 216 of Lucas, Organic Chemistry, 1935, American Book Co., `New York und page 172 of Chambers Technical Dictionary, Macmillan- Co., =New York, 1942). Physical und chemical charactenstics thereof ure as follows] Characteristic Value Melting Range 18-26 C. Theoretical Molecular Weight 257. Combining Molecular Weight active 321.

Duomeen C. Ecuivalent Weight Basis 80% active Duomeen 160. solubility in wma--. insoluble o.5%

soluble). Solubility in naptha. Soluble 5% soluble). Solubility in mineral oil... Soluble.

Solubility in isopropanol Do.

Min. Max

Iodine Value Percent active Duomeen Primary amine, percent Secondary amine, percent. Moisture, percent Color, Gardner Combining Weight persant and germicide may be made into a concentrate containing preferably, ten times the concentration of germicide and dispersant in lubricant oil, such as turbine oil and/or a blend thereof with castor oil, intended for use as above described after mixture and blending and dilution with the lubricant (as the above described turbine oil) in order to achieve such concentration ranges of such germicide and dispersant as above described. Such concentrate is, according to this invention, diluted with such lubricant oil to the concentrations above described for use as above described. Such composition has ldefinite use as a concentrate with such emulsifying agent and such bactericidal agent as above described being dispersed in said lubricant, although said composition has a lubricant value substantially different from that of the lubricant alone.

Although, in accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, particular preferred embodiments of this invention have been described and the principles of the invention have been described in the best mode in which it is now contemplated applying such principles, it will be understood that the operations, constructions and compositions shown and `described are merely illustrative and that my invention is not limited thereto and, accordingly, alterations and modifications which readily suggest themselves to persons skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit of the disclosure hereinabove are intended to be included in the scope of the annexed claims.

I claim:

1. Process of preventing corrosion and bacterial growth in a water well, said well comprising a water producing formation, a well bore extending from said ground surface to said formation, a metal casing extending from said surface to below the top of said formation, a subsurface pump within said casing located below the top level of said formation, a metal discharge tube leading from said pump to said surface, water in said well, casing and discharge tube, mechanical means for driving said pump operatively attached to said pump and located at the surface, means for driving said pump located below the level of said water in said well and means for dispensing lubricant to said means for driving said pump below the level of said water in said well, wherein the level of water in said well is more than 30 feet below the surface and lubricant escapes to the water in said casing and discharge tube, the improvement which comprises the step of limiting the growth of living matter in said lubricant for a protracted time by adding to said lubricant a bactericidal agent soluble in oil and substantially in- 7 soluble in Water and thereby forming a stable dispersion of said lubricant in said water in said casing and dis- :harging said dispersed oil together with the water in said casing and tube.

2. Process as in claim 1 wherein the lubricant is a turbine oil, the emulsitler is nonionic and has a H.L.B. value between 8 .and 18, the bactericidal agent is an N- alkyl trimethylene diamine, and the amount of emulsier is insufficient to inhibit the lubricating action of the lubricant and sucient to form a stable oil-in-Water emulsion therewith.

8 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,179,802 4/1916` Chapman 103-102 2,134,818 11/1938 Hait 103-102 2,736,658 2/1956 Pfohl 106-14 3,033,785 6/1958 Bennett a- 252-495 X FOREIGN PATENTS 802,941 10/ 1958 Great Britain.

ERNEST R. PURSER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1179802 *Jun 26, 1911Apr 18, 1916American Well WorksCentrifugal pump.
US2134818 *Mar 27, 1937Nov 1, 1938Fmc CorpAutomatic oil return system for turbine pumps
US2736658 *Jul 23, 1952Feb 28, 1956Armour & CoMethod of protecting metal surfaces from corrosion and corrosion inhibitor compositions
US3033785 *Jun 2, 1958May 8, 1962Texaco IncBacteria inhibited soluble oil composition
GB802941A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4306624 *Dec 11, 1979Dec 22, 1981Dome Petroleum LimitedSystem for preventing hydrate plug formation in gas wells
US4580634 *Mar 20, 1984Apr 8, 1986Chevron Research CompanyMethod and apparatus for distributing fluids within a subterranean wellbore
US4582131 *Sep 26, 1984Apr 15, 1986Hughes Tool CompanySubmersible chemical injection pump
US5190108 *Aug 19, 1991Mar 2, 1993Layne-Western Company, Inc.Method and apparatus for inhibiting biological fouling of water wells
US5746923 *Sep 28, 1994May 5, 1998Minister For InfrastructureControl of iron deposition in borehole pumps
US6352387 *Dec 2, 1999Mar 5, 2002Robert A. BriggsRecirculation-enhanced subsurface reagent delivery system
US7144549 *Oct 16, 2003Dec 5, 2006Baker Hughes IncorporatedBiocide impregnation of coatings for ESP components
US20040081578 *Oct 16, 2003Apr 29, 2004Adams Dan L.Biocide impregnation of coatings for ESP components
USRE32866 *Nov 26, 1986Feb 14, 1989Chevron Research CompanyMethod and apparatus for distributing fluids within a subterranean wellbore
WO1995009283A1 *Sep 28, 1994Apr 6, 1995Minister For InfrastructureControl of iron deposition in borehole pumps
U.S. Classification166/310, 166/371, 166/902, 210/764, 210/747.7
International ClassificationE21B41/02, E03B3/15, C09K8/54
Cooperative ClassificationE03B3/15, C09K8/54, Y10S166/902, E21B41/02
European ClassificationE03B3/15, C09K8/54, E21B41/02