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Chapter 4

GROUND-WATER-DATA COLLECTION

PACKER TESTS
Packer tests consist of isolating specific sections (usually 10 ft) of a bedrock
borehole with inflatable packers (bladders) so that water-quality samples can be
collected and aquifer tests can be conducted. A series of such tests allows definition of
the vertical distribution of water quality (usually contaminants) and hydraulic conductivity
(pathways for water and contaminant movement) in an aquifer. Monitoring water levels
in nearby wells while pumping packed intervals can identify permeable intervals within
the aquifer. Information from the packer tests can be used to properly site the future
location of monitoring wells.
Smaller packers designed to fit a submersible sampling pump can be used
isolate the lower part of a monitoring well. Isolation by the packer allows reduced water
volumes to be purged prior to sampling. This reduction can be beneficial because it can
reduce purge times and may limit the handling and disposal of contaminated water.
Why Do Packer Tests?

Give vertical distribution of hydraulic properties and water quality in the aquifer
Usually cheaper than a nest of wells and gives more continuous record

Cautions:

Water-quality data should be considered reconnaissance data. (Packers may leak,
well may not be full developed, with removal of all contaminants and water
introduced during and after drilling)
May provide open conduit for contaminant movement to depth within an aquifer if left
open after drilling without a temporary packer

Figure – Packer-hoisting rig and straddle-packer system (upper blabber and
screen shown lowered in borehole)
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3 • Purge at 1-2 gal/min. Remove 3 well volumes and monitor field parameter stability • Pump at 0.25-0. volatilization • Place pump intake above the level that would allow dewatering of the test interval • Monitor pump rate and water level Water level very important. aeration.Chapter 4 GROUND-WATER-DATA COLLECTION Figure – Schematic of straddle-packer system in A borehole METHODOLOGY • Develop entire length of borehole to ensure test intervals don’t contain water and fines from drilling • Decontaminate packer equipment before use • Lower to test zone and inflate packer(s) • Monitor pressures and water levels to ensure equilibration of pressures in test intervals and leakage between intervals [((DTP-DTW) * FT H20 To PSI Conversion Factor) + Packer Inflation at Atmospheric Pressure] * Fudge 1.5 gal/min to limit uptake of fine sediment. May affect analyte chemistry and packer position if drawdown is too great during purging and sampling 236 .

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