Farm Horizons, Dec. 2017

Mineral Service Plus: more than just well drilling

by Gabe Licht

Mineral Service Plus, located in rural Green Isle, offers a wide variety of service to a wide variety of areas.

Services include well drilling and sealing, water treatment, pump services, leak detection and water line service, and installing geothermal systems.

President Danny Nubbe and Vice-President Nick Schultz, a fourth-generation well driller, own mineral Service Plus, which was established in 1990.

Nubbe took some time recently to speak with Farm Horizons about all Mineral Service Plus has to offer.

The Heart of Mineral Service Plus is well drilling for municipalities, industrial businesses, farms, and residences.

“We’re a very multifaceted well-drilling company,” Nubbe said.

Not only does Nubbe’s company drill wells, but it also services every aspect of wells.

“We do pump repair, new pump installation, excavation for water lines at farms,” Nubbe said. “We own all our own excavation equipment up to a 450 excavator, which is a large machine.”

When water-related emergencies happen, whether at a city or farm, Mineral Service Plus springs into action.

“We get called out to a city, typically on a weekend or holiday, when they’re out of water,” Nubbe said. “We can come out on a weekend or off hours, assess the problem, get it running, and then come up with a solution for how we’ll fix it. We have everything up to a 175-horsepower well pump in stock. Not too many companies can say that.

“If a farm is out of water, we get a call and can get out there,” Nubbe continued. “If we don’t have the exact match, we can pull their pump, put in a temporary pump, and come back during regular hours and put in what they want.”

Part of servicing wells is cleaning them by using a process called air scrubbing.

“When they see what we get out of the well, they ask how often they should do it,” Nubbe said. “Every seven to 10 years it should be done. They want to get on the schedule because they can’t believe the garbage we get out of the well. It’s slimy, nasty, and stinky.”

Mineral Service Plus now offers leak-detection services, something that started out of necessity.

While working on a large geothermal project for the Department of Defense, one of the largest in Minnesota at the time, crews determined there was a leak in the system, but could not locate it.

“We checked with a leak-detection company,” Nubbe said. “Because there were plastic lines under blacktop, they wouldn’t give us any guarantee they could find it. I found a system that guaranteed us to be able to find it. Now, we have that service. We can find a leak in a plastic pipe under a parking lot, usually within a four- to six-foot square. We used to have to start digging until we found it.”

The company has since traveled throughout the Midwest offering leak-detection services, including at farms.

“Just last week, we were fixing water lines at a farm,” Nubbe said. “Years ago, they put in galvanized pipes. Now, they have a leak and don’t know where it is. Sometimes, it’s very difficult to find a leak. You just know it’s leaking because pressure is dropping or there’s a wet spot, but sometimes that’s 100 feet away from the leak.”

Instead of “digging up half the farm,” Mineral Service Plus can locate the leak and remedy the situation.

“That’s something of value to a farmer when they have problems with water lines,” Nubbe said. “Any farm going on a second or third generation will have problems with underground lines if they haven’t already.”

That’s just one problem Mineral Service Plus can help solve.

Another one is poor milk production on dairy farms. How? Through installing a water-treatment system.

“Cows are like people: They’ll drink because they have to,” Nubbe said. “You can have decent water or bad water with manganese, iron, and hydrogen sulfide. Typically, hardness doesn’t affect the flavor too much, but it causes valves in drinking cups to plug up. When you have all that in the water, and they’re around it they’re whole life, they’ll drink it, but certainly don’t love it. We remove the odor, the iron, the manganese . . . The cows sometimes will drink 50 percent more or double the water.”

Meters show how much water was being used before and after the system was installed, with a steep increase after the installation.

But, that’s not the only thing that increases.

Milk production increases, while vet bills decrease, Nubbe has been told by many farmers.

“You can spend $10,000 or $30,000. It depends on the farm,” Nubbe said. “That pays for itself in three to six months and, after that, you’re making money.”

Another investment that can pay off in the long run is a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Nubbe has personally seen Mineral Service Plus’ energy bill decrease by 30 percent since installing a geothermal system to heat and cool the business’ building.

“The building here is a good example,” Nubbe said. “We see that all over the place.”

Mineral Service Plus works throughout the Midwest and beyond, having done work in Wyoming, Ohio, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Nubbe enjoys providing quality customer service regardless of where his company is working.

“I enjoy helping people and solving problems,” Nubbe said. “Some people do business like a one-way street and seem to be doing fine, but I don’t operate that way.”

Mineral Service Plus can be reached at, (800) 928-3771, (320) 238-0195, or (952) 466-5503. The business is open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and also has a 24/7 emergency service and answering service.

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