This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Chapter 7 Key Concepts: Groundwater principles and components Well description and components Well design and calculation
The use of groundwater and the construction of wells are other aspects of a water system that require design knowledge. Groundwater is generally less contaminated than surface water and has less stringent contaminant regulations. About Groundwater Groundwater is one part of the hydrological cycle (see Figure 1), which includes the oceans, surface water, the atmosphere, ice and groundwater. In the ground, large quantities of water are stored in aquifers where most groundwater is drawn from. Groundwater is the principal source of water for small water systems in California and across the country.
Figure 1: Diagram of the hydrological cycle 47 (Water Science [website])
Springs are the water of aquifers that reach the surface and wells retrieve water from underground aquifers. Figure 2: Typical well profile with various levels of ground and aquifer 48 (Santa Clara p. Wells may be either vertical which is most common or horizontal into the side of a hill. Well construction requires multiple aspects of design and engineering. There are two versions of a well system: above-ground discharge (figure 2) and below-ground [Type text] Page 2 . The rest of the chapter is focused on wells and the design and construction of wells. Unconfined aquifers are restricted below a certain depth by an impervious stratum.Springs and wells are the main types of groundwater sources. Confined aquifers are not restricted by a barrier. Figure 2 shows a typical well profile. Springs are easily assessable however further design and engineering is likely since this kind of source may be under the influence of a surface water and likely requires treatment. 4) There are two types of aquifers: confined and unconfined. Well System Description Types of Well Systems A well system is usually placed in a pump house in order to protect the equipment.
Figure 2: Example of above-ground discharge with submersible pump in a pump house [Type text] Page 3 . the well system equipment is more accessible. With below-ground.discharge (Figure 3). With above-ground. the well equipment is less accessible.
p. The electric motor is long and narrow so it can fit down into the well casing for wells as small as 4 inches in diameter. [Type text] Page 4 .Figure 3: Example of below-ground discharge with submersible pump Types of Well Pumping Systems Table 1: Types of Well Pumping Systems 49 (Water Well Standards 74-81. submersible pumps are good for deep wells and are highly efficient. Overall. the submersible electric pump is the most common choice. Diagram of Installation 49 (Water Well Standards 74-81. 37) Type of Well Pumping System Turbine Pump Description The turbine pump. 37) Submersible Pump For deep water wells. The pump has several stages to generate enough pressure to lift the water out of the well and to pressurize it sufficiently for use. which is described in detail in Chapter 6. p. is easier to maintain than the submersible pump for well systems.
The maximum practical lift is limited to approximately 200 feet by economics. When water is used. short on/off cycles. which is typically 40 psi. The deeper the well. If the well system pressure lowers to the turn-on pressure – typically 20 psi – then the pump turns on and it does not turn off until the air in the pressure tank is compressed to the turn-off pressure. Pressure tanks can contain a diaphragm or bladder that is charged by an air compressor to roughly 75% of the turn-on pressure. [Type text] Page 5 . These pre-charged tanks allow a smaller tank volume to produce a larger useable storage volume.Type of Well Pumping System Jet Pump Description Jet pumps recirculate part of the water delivery back to the suction line to raise the pressure in the suction line sufficiently to prevent pump damage by cavitation (low-pressure boiling) in the pump impeller. Diagram of Installation 49 (Water Well Standards 74-81. the well pump does not burn up as fast and pump run time is extended. p. The pressure tank is not meant to provide water storage. the greater the fraction of delivered water must be recirculated. With a pressure tank. 37) Pressure Tank A pressure tank is usually included in a well system to delay pump turn-on and eliminate frequent. the pressure tank drains water into the plumbing system to delay pump turn-on.
However. digging wells can be extremely dangerous because of possible cave-ins and are more susceptible to surface water contamination. Older methods include well construction by digging and pile driving (see Figure 5). Figure 5: Well construction methods [Type text] Page 6 .Figure 4: Typical pressure tank set up (left) and pre-charged pressure tanks (right) Well Construction and Abandonment Wells are typically constructed using a drilling method with steel casing and bentonite or soil concrete grout sealer.
To decommission. monitoring wells. Wells that are abandoned or not used should be decommissioned to prevent surface contamination from entering the well and affecting the underground aquifers. air hammer and drill bit. a well casing is pulled then grout is pumped to fill and seal the well. [Type text] Page 7 . Figure 6: An abandoned well (left) and a properly decommissioned well (right) Well Design California Well Standards Standards for well design. and cathodic protection of wells.In present day. well construction is fairly standardized with an established collection of steps. The major construction steps include: • • • • • Well drilling by cable. The standards in both bulletins must be met for water wells. or reverse rotary Welding the steel casing or sealing PVC Placing the casing in the well Mixing bentonite or soil concrete grout Pumping in the bentonite soil concrete grout Most wells are constructed by drilling about 10 to 20 feet at a time and placing the casing section by section instead of drilling the entire well at one time and then placing all the casing. construction. and operation in California are set by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) under bulletins 74-81 and 74-90 (see Figure 7).
[Type text] Page 8 .Figure 7: Timeline of California DWR well standards 50 (California Well Standards 74-90 p. Requirements for well offsets are set by California and often depend on the potential contamination impact of the activity or object (see Figure 8). 5) Well Offset Well offset is the distance from a well to certain activities or objects to help prevent well contamination.
[Type text] Page 9 .Figure 8: Example of well offset requirements for various activities 48 (Santa Clara p. 7) Well Seal and other Contamination Prevention Well seal is used to prevent surface water from running along the well line and is typically applied along sections of the well line that may contact poor quality water (see Figure 9).
This depth varies based on well location and type. sealing a well to a certain depth is required (see Table 2). Table 2: California rules for well seal requirements 50 (California Well Standards 74-90 p. 14) Well Type Community Water Supply Industrial Individual Domestic Agricultural Air-Conditioning All Other Types Minimum Depth Seal Must Extend Below Ground Surface 50 feet 50 feet 20 feet 20 feet 20 feet 20 feet Sealing the submersible pump and a water tight well cap are other ways of preventing well contamination (see Figure 10). 47) To prevent well contamination from surface water. [Type text] Page 10 .Figure 9: Typical well seal profiles 49 (Water Well Standards 74-81 p.
Only a small fraction of the tank’s volume is useable storage. 6.5 gallons for a 42 gallon tank between 20 and 40 psi (see Figure 11). The spread between the on and off points is normally 20 psi. Normally the turn on point is at 20 psi. Figure 11: Design and useable storage capacity of uncharged pressure tanks [Type text] Page 11 . submersible pump seal (center) 52 (Ground Water Manual) and water tight cap (right) 53 (Home*A*Syst: Protecting Well Water Supply) Pressure Tank Design The amount of water that is drained from a pressure tank between the turn-on and turnoff points of the pump is called useable storage capacity and depends on the tank volume and the set points. Turn off usually occurs at 40-psi but may be 50 psi. but may be as high as 30 psi.Figure 11: Well screen (left) 51 (How Wells are Designed) .
Specific Capacity Calculation To design a well.500 gpm with a 21 feet drawdown. the pumping test was run for 24 hours at 2. Well drawdown is one concept used in specific capacity calculations (see Figure 12) and it is the change in water level from static water level to the level when the well pump is running for at least and 8 hour period. the specific capacity is a key factor that must be determined.The recommended size of a pressure tank is 10 times the pump flow rate for 1 minute for non-charged tanks.500 gpm/21 feet = 119 gpm/ft [Type text] Page 12 . In Figure 13. Specific capacity is calculated as: Specific Capacity = 2. Figure 12: Well drawdown diagram and calculation 54 (Understanding Your Water Well [website]) A pump capacity test is used to determine specific capacity. and 6 times the pump flow rate for 1 minute for pre-charged tanks. This insures the pump will operate for nearly 2 minutes before shut-off every time it start and frequent starting and stopping is avoided. So a 10 gpm pump should have a 100 gallon non-charged tank or a 60 gallon pre-charged tank.
gpm/ft With greater transmissivity. Figure 14: Diagram of well drawdown and radius of influence for two transmissivities [Type text] Page 13 . gpd/ft Q/s = Specific Capacity. Below are the equations used to calculate transmissivity: T = 1500 * Q/s (for an unconfined aquifer) T = 2000 * Q/s (for a confined aquifer) T = Transmissivity. It measures how large of an area the well pumping affects the aquifer. the well’s radius of influence is greater (see Figure 14). Also. in gallons per day per foot.Figure 13: Example of pump capacity test results 55 (Specific Capacity [website]) Transmissivity Transmissivity is a factor determined for wells that is simple to calculate once specific capacity is known. in gallons per minute per foot. the effect of drawdown is less when transmissivity is greater.
Safe Yield Safe yield is a measure of the highest flow rate possible without any risk of drawdown to the well screen.) SC = Specific Capacity (gpm/ft.) Available water is the distance between the static water level and the top of the well screen. Below is the equation for safe yield: SY = AW * SC SY = Safe Yield (gpm) AW = Available Water (ft. [Type text] Page 14 .
5) [Type text] Page 15 . Figure 15: Guidelines for well inspection 48 (Santa Clara p.Well Inspection Figure 15 is a good general guideline to follow when inspecting wells for potential failures or hazards.
ca.ncsu. July 2001.water. California Department of Water Resources.edu/assist/ homeassist/water/>.aspx>.dpla2. Understanding Your Water Well.org/info/pdfs/welldesign. <http://www. < http://dnr.water. <http://ga.gov/ publications/groundwater/CA_Well_Standards_Bulletin74-81_1981.dst. 20 April 2009. 16 March 2009. 50. and Aquifer Transmissivity: Part 1 of 2 (WRD Technical Bulletin Volume 2.ca.agwt. 20 April 2009. 53. Ohio Department of Natural Resources. 2008. 48.water. 2008. 16 March 2009.ca. American Ground Water Trust. 16 March 2009. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Services.us/Water/pubs/fs_div/fctsht62/tabid/4149/ Default. 2005. <http://www. 20 April 2009. Winter 2005). 7 Nov. Montana State University: The Montana Water Center.scvwd.montana.pdf>.org/engineering/specific-capacity-well-1. 16 March 2009.pdf>. California Well Standards: Bulletin 74-90. Water Replenishment District of Southern California.References 47.pdf>. Santa Clara Valley Water District. 26 Feb. June 1991. 16 March 2009. 51.soil. [Type text] Page 16 . Well Problems. Water Well Standards: State of California (Bulletin 74-81). May 2001. <http://www. <http://www.usgs. A Guide for the Private Well Owner.gov/publications/groundwater/ CA_Well_Standards_Bulletin74-90_1991. Specific Capacity – A Measure of Well Performace.gov/edu/watercycle. 54. 49. Ground Water Manual for Small Water Systems.wrd. 52.htm>.us/media/pdf/ Guide%20for%20Well%20Owners. < http://watercenter.dpla2. Water Science for Schools: The Water Cycle. 2002. <http://www. <http://www. Home*A*Syst: Protecting Well Water Supply.php>.state. How Wells Are Designed. 1999.edu/training/ gw/default.html>. December 1981.pdf>. United States Geological Survey. 55. California Department of Water Resources.oh.