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Newsflash! New rules for geothermal drilling

June 15, 2012

Newsflash! New rules for geothermal drilling

When purchasing new geothermal supplies, such as drilling fluids, well-drilling supplies and geothermal piping, it is important to investigate the current rules for geothermal drilling. Have regulations about the installing of geothermal energy systems changed? Has new research emerged? Keep your ear to the ground, and stay in the loop (so to speak) so that you have a wider context in which to understand your geothermal energy projects.

As of May 2012, Ontario is tightening the rules regulating the installation and use of vertical closed loop geothermal energy systems. This is unsurprising given the number of geothermal systems installed in the province since 2008: a total of 8,800 geothermal systems.

Vertical, as opposed to ground or water closed loop systems, take up less yard space and have minimal impact on landscaping. Vertical systems are installed by boring holes 200-350 feet deep and then placing the vertical loop into the drill hole. Since it is a closed system, there should not be any contact between the fluid in the system’s pipes and the external environment.

The McGunity government wants to make sure that existing and future geothermal energy systems work safely—in the interests of public safety and well-being.
Other provinces are likely to follow suit in the coming year.

In accordance with the new regulations, geothermal installers need to:

  • Acquire provincial permission and approval for new vertical closed loop geothermal systems
  • Meet with an engineer or accredited geoscientist before drilling
  • Come up with an emergency plan before drilling

Regardless of where you live and what the regulations are, you can rely on PVC Plus Drilling products to help you set up a safe and successful geothermal energy system.

Canadian Geoexchange Coalition

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