Basic

Ground-Water Hydrology
By
RALPH C. HEATH
Prepared in cooperation with the
North Carolina Department of
Natural Resources and Community
Development
Click here to return to USGS Publications
DEPARTMENT OFTHE
INTERIOR
DONALDPAULHODEL,
Secretary
U.S .
GEOLOGICALSURVEY
Dallas L. Peck, Director
First printing 1983
Second printing
1984
Third printing
1984
Fourth
printing 1987
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENTPRINTING OFFICE:1987
For sale by the Books and Open-File Reports Section, U.S . Geological Survey,
Federal Center, Box25425, Denver, CO80225
Library
of Congress Cataloging
in Publication Data
Heath, Ralph C.
Basic ground-water
hydrology.
(Geological
Survey water-supply paper
; 2220)
Bibliography
: p. 81
1 .
Hydrogeology.

I . North Carolina.

Dept. of Natural
Resources and
Community Development
.

II. Title.
III. Series .
GB1003.2
.H4 1982
551.49
82-600384
CONTENTS
Page
Ground-water hydrology ---------------------------------------------------

1
Rocks and water----------------------------------------------------------

2
Underground
water
-------------------------------------------------------

4
Hydrologic
cycle
----------------------------------------------------------
Aquifers and confining
beds-------------------------------------------------

6
Porosity
-----------------------------------------------------------------

7
Specific yield and specific
retention -------------------------------------------

8
Heads and gradients-------------------------------------------------------

1 0
Hydraulic
conductivity -----------------------------------------------------

1 2
Functions of ground-water systems --------------------------------------------

1 4
Capillarity and unsaturated flow ----------------------------------------------

1 6
Stratification and unsaturated flow --------------------------------------------

1 8
Saturated flow and
dispersion ------------------------------------------------

1 9
Ground-water movement
and topography --------------------------------------

20
Ground-water flow nets ----------------------------------------------------

21
Ground-water movement and
stratification -------------------------------------

24
Ground-water velocity
-----------------------------------------------------

25
Transmissivity ------------------------------------------------------------

26
Storage coefficient --------------------------------------------------------

28
Cone of depression --------------------------------------------------------

30
Source of water derived from wells
-------------------------------------------

32
Aquifer tests
-------------------------------------------------------------

34
Analysis of aquifer-test data --------------------------------------------------

36
Time-drawdown analysis ---------------------------------------------------

38
Distance-drawdown
analysis ------------------------------------------------

40
Single-well tests
----------------------------------------------------------

42
Well interference
---------------------------------------------------------

44
Aquifer
boundaries--------------------------------------------------------

46
Tests affected by lateral boundaries -------------------------------------------

48
Tests
affected by leaky confining beds -----------------------------------------

50
Well-construction methods -------------------------------------------------

52
Well
logs----------------------------------------------------------------

54
Water-well design
---------------------------------------------------------

56
Well-acceptance tests and well efficiency --------------------------------------

58
Specific capacity and transmissivity -------------------------------------------

60
Well-field design
----------------------------------------------------------

62
Quality of ground
water----------------------------------------------------

64
Pollution of ground water---------------------------------------------------

66
Saltwater
encroachment----------------------------------------------------

68
Temperature of ground water------------------------------------------------

70
Measurements of water levels and pumping rates --------------------------------

72
Protection
of supply wells ------------------------------
---------------------

74
Supply-well
problems-Decline in yield ---------------------------------------

76
Supply-well problems-Changes in
water quality --------------------------------

78
Well records and
files------------------------------------------------------

80
References
--------------------------------------------------------------

81
Numbers, equations, and conversions -----------------------------------------

83
PREFACE
Ground water i s one of the Nati on's mos t valuable natural res ources . I t i s the
s ource of
about 40 percent of the water us ed for all purpos es exclus i ve
of hydropower generati on and
electri c powerplant cooli ng.
Surpri s i ngly, for a res ource that i s s o wi dely us ed and s o i mportant to the health and
to the
economy of the country, the occurrence of ground water i s not only poorly unders tood
but i s
als o, i n fact, the s ubject of many wi des pread mi s concepti ons . Common mi s concepti ons i n-
clude
the beli ef that ground water
occurs
i n
underground ri vers res embli ng s urface s treams
whos e pres ence can
be
detected by certai n i ndi vi duals
. Thes e mi s concepti ons and others
have hampered the development and cons ervati on of
ground water and have advers ely af-
fected the protecti on of i ts quali ty.
I n order for the Nati on to recei ve maxi mum benefi t from i ts ground- water res ource, i t i s
es s enti al that everyone, from the rural homeowner to managers of i ndus tri al and muni ci pal
water s uppli es to heads of Federal and State water- regulatory agenci es , become more
knowledgeable about the occurrence, development, and protecti on
of ground water.
Thi s
report has been prepared to help meet the needs of thes e groups , as well as the needs of
hydrologi s ts , well dri llers , and others engaged i n the s tudy and development of ground- water
s uppli es . I t cons i s ts of
45
s ecti ons on the bas i c elements of ground- water hydrology, arranged
i n order from the mos t bas i c as pects of
the
s ubject through
a di s cus s i on of
the methods us ed
to determi ne the yi eld of aqui fers
to
a
di s cus s i on
of
common problems encountered i n the
operati on
of ground- water s uppli es .
Each s ecti on cons i s ts of a bri ef text and one or more drawi ngs or maps that i llus trate the
mai n poi nts covered i n the text. Becaus e the text i s , i n effect, an expanded di s cus s i on of
the
i l-
lus trati ons , mos t of the i llus trati ons are not capti oned.
However, where more than one draw-
i ng i s i ncluded
i n
a
s ecti on, each drawi ng i s as s i gned a number, gi ven i n parenthes es , and
thes e
numbers are i ns erted at places i n the text where the reader s hould refer to the drawi ng.
I n accordance wi th U. S . Geologi cal Survey poli cy to encourage the us e of metri c uni ts ,
thes e uni ts are us ed i n mos t s ecti ons . I n the s ecti ons deali ng wi th the analys i s of aqui fer
(pumpi ng) tes t data, equati ons are gi ven i n both cons i s tent uni ts and i n the i ncons i s tent i nch-
pound uni ts s ti ll i n relati vely common us e among ground- water hydrologi s ts and well dri llers .
As an ai d to thos e who are not fami li ar wi th metri c uni ts
and
wi th the convers i on of ground-
water hydrauli c uni ts from
i nch- pound uni ts
to
metri c uni ts , convers i on tables are gi ven
on
the i ns i de back cover
.
Defi ni ti ons of ground- water terms are
gi ven
where
the terms are fi rs t
i ntroduced
.
Becaus e
s ome of
thes e terms wi ll be new to many readers , abbrevi ated defi ni ti ons are als o gi ven on
the i ns i de front cover for conveni ent reference by thos e who wi s h to revi ew the defi ni ti ons
from ti me to ti me as they read the text. Fi nally, for thos e who need to revi ew s ome of the s i m-
ple mathemati cal operati ons that are us ed i n ground- water hydrology, a s ecti on on numbers ,
equati ons ,
and convers i ons i s i ncluded at the end of the text.
Ralph C. Heath
Preface v

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1
ROCKSAND
WATER
POROUS MATERIAL
FRACTURED
ROCK
Most of the rocks near
the Earth's surface are composed of
both
solids and voids, as sketch 1 shows. The solid part is,
of
course,
much more obvious than the voids, but, without
the
voids,
there would be no water to supply
wells and springs.
Water-bearing rocks consist either of
unconsolidated ( soil-
like) deposits or consolidated
rocks. The Earth's surface in
most places is formed by
soil and by unconsolidated deposits
that range in thickness
from a few centimeters near outcrops
of consolidated rocks
to more than 1 2,000 m beneath the
delta of
the Mississippi River . The unconsolidated
deposits are
underlain
everywhere by consolidated
rocks.
Most unconsolidated deposits consist of material derived
from
the disintegration of consolidated rocks. The material
consists, in different types of
unconsolidated deposits, of par-
ticles of rocks or minerals
ranging in size from fractions of a
millimeter ( clay size)
to several meters ( boulders) . Unconsol-
idated
deposits important in ground-water hydrology include,
2

Basic
Ground-Water Hydrology
PRIMARY OPENINGS
WELL-SORTED
SAND

POORLY-SORTED
SAND
SECONDARY
OPENINGS
FRACTURES IN

CAVERNS IN
GRANITE

LIMESTONE
in order of increasing grain size, clay, silt, sand, and gravel
. An
important group of unconsolidated deposits also includes
fragments of shells of marine organisms.
Consolidated rocks consist of mineral particles of
different
sizes and
shapes that have been welded by heat and pressure
or by
chemical reactions into a solid mass. Such rocks are
commonly referred to in ground-water reports as bedrock
.
They include sedimentary rocks that were originally unconsol-
idated and igneous rocks
formed from a molten state . Consoli-
dated sedimentary
rocks important in ground-water hydrology
include
limestone, dolomite, shale, siltstone, sandstone, and
conglomerate. Igneous rocks include granite and basalt.
There are different kinds of voids in rocks, and it is
some-
times useful to be aware of them. If the voids
were formed at
the same time as the rock, they
are referred to as primary
openings ( 2) . The pores in sand
and gravel and in other uncon-
solidated
deposits are primary openings. The lava tubes and
other
openings in basalt are also primary openings.
I f the voids were f ormed af ter the rock was f ormed, they
are ref erred to as secondary openings ( 2 ) . The f ractures in
granite and in consolidated sedimentary rocks are secondary
openings . Voids in limestone, which are
f ormed
as ground
water slowly
dissolves the rock, are an especially important
type of secondary
opening.
I t is usef ul to introduce the topic of rocks and water by
dealing with unconsolidated deposits on one hand and with
consolidated rocks on the other. I t is important to note, how-
ever, that many sedimentary rocks that serve as sources
of
ground water f all between these extremes in a group of semi-
consolidated rocks . These are rocks in which openings include
both pores and f ractures-in other words, both primary and
secondary openings
. Many limestones and sandstones that are
important sources of ground water are semiconsolidated .
Rocks and Water

3
UNDERGROUNDWATER
All
water beneath the land surface i s
referred to as under-
ground water (or subsurface
water) . The equi valent term
for
water on the land surface i s surface
water. Underground
water
occurs i n two di fferent zones.
One zone, whi ch occurs
i m-
medi ately below the land surface
i n most areas, contai ns both
water and
ai r and i s referred to as the unsaturated
zone. The
unsaturated
zone i s almost i nvari ably underlai n
by a zone i n
whi ch all
i nterconnected openi ngs are full of water.
Thi s zone
i s referred to as the
saturated zone.
Water i n the saturated zone i s the only
underground water
that i s avai lable to supply wells and spri ngs
and i s the only
water to whi ch the name ground water i s
correctly appli ed .
Recharge of the saturated zone
occurs by percolati on of
water
from
the land surface through the unsaturated zone
.
The
unsaturated zone i s, therefore, of great i mportance to
ground-water hydrology. Thi s
zone may be di vi ded usefully
i nto three parts
: the soi l zone, the i ntermedi ate zone, and the
upper part of the capi llary fri nge.
The soi l zone extends from the land surface to a maxi mum
depth of a meter or two and i s the zone that supports plant
growth. I t i s cri sscrossed by li vi ng roots, by voi ds left by
4

Basi c Ground-Water
Hydrology
GROUND
decayed roots of
earli er vegetati on, and
by ani mal and worm
burrows . The porosi ty
and permeabi li ty of thi s
zone tend to be
hi gher than those of the
underlyi ng materi al .
The soi l zone i s
underlai n by the
i ntermedi ate zone, whi ch di ffers
i n thi ckness
from place
to place dependi ng on
the thi ckness of the
soi l
zone and the depth
to the capi llary fri nge
.
The lowest part of
the unsaturated zone
i s occupi ed by the
capi llary fri nge, the
subzone between the
unsaturated and
saturated zones . The capi llary fri nge
results from the attrac-
ti on
between water and rocks . As
a result of thi s attracti on,
water cli ngs
as a fi lm on the surface of
rock parti cles and ri ses
i n small-di ameter
pores agai nst the pull
of gravi ty. Water i n
the capi llary fri nge and i n the
overlyi ng part of the
unsatu-
rated zone i s under a negati ve
hydrauli c pressure-that i s, i t i s
under
a pressure less than the
atmospheri c (barometri c)
pressure. The
water table i s the level i n the
saturated zone at
whi ch the hydrauli c pressure i s
equal to atmospheri c pressure
and i s represented by the water level i n
unused wells. Below
the water table, the hydrauli c pressure
i ncreases wi th i ncreas-
i ng depth.
r~rf-T
~ FRNGE })t
J
_
Water table
WATER
Well
Water
level
Y
The term
hydrologic cycle refers to the
constant movement
of water above, on, and below
the Earth's surface. The con-
cept of the hydrologic cycle is
central to an understanding of
the occurrence of water and the
development and manage-
ment of water supplies .
Although the
hydrologic cycle has neither a beginning nor
an end, it is convenient
to discuss its principal features by
starting with evaporation
from vegetation, from exposed
moist surfaces including the
land surface, and from the ocean .
This moisture forms clouds, which return the water to the
land
surface or
oceans in the form of precipitation .
Precipitation
occurs in several forms, including rain, snow,
and hail,
but only rain is considered in this discussion . The first
rain wets vegetation and other surfaces
and then begins to in-
filtrate into the ground. Infiltration rates vary widely,
depend-
ing on land use, the character and moisture content of
the
soil,
and the intensity and duration of precipitation, from
possibly as much as 25 mm/hr in
mature forests on sandy soils
to a few millimeters per hour in clayey
and silty soils to zero in
paved areas . When and if the rate of precipitation
exceeds the
rate of infiltration, overland flow occurs .
The first infiltration
replaces soil moisture, and, thereafter,
the excess percolates slowly across the intermediate zone to
the zone of saturation . Water in the zone of saturation moves
downward and laterally
to sites of ground-water discharge
such
as
springs
on hillsides or seeps in the bottoms of streams
and lakes
or beneath the ocean .
Water reaching streams, both by overland flow and from
ground-water discharge, moves to the sea, where it is again
evaporated to perpetuate the cycle.
Movement is, of course, the key element in
the concept of
the hydrologic cycle. Some "typical" rates of movement are
shown in the following table, along with the distribution
of
the
Earth's water supply.
RATE OF
MOVEMENT ANDDISTRIBUTIONOFWATER
[Adapted from L 'vovich ( 1 9 7 9 ) , table 1 1
Distribution of
Rate of

Earth's water
L ocation

movement

supply ( percent)
Atmosphere ---

1 00's of kilometers per
day

0. 001
Water on land
surface ------

1 0's of kilometers per day

. 01 9
Water below the
land surface
--

Meters per year

4. 1 2
Ice caps and
glaciers ------

Meters per day

1 . 6 5
Oceans -------

--

9 3
. 9 6
Hydrologic Cycle

5
AQUIFERSANDCONFINING
BEDS
' ; Potentiometric
. .
. ' .
surface . - - , , .
- . ' Capillary
fringe
.
SSSSSS~SSftStttS(tttlt(»St
w
z
0
N
W
F-
Q
Q
Land
From the
standpoint of ground- water occurrence, all rocks
that underlie the Earth' s surface can be classified
either as
aquifers or as confining beds. An aquifer is a rock unit that
will
yield
water in a usable quantity to a well or spring. (In
geologic
usage, "rock" includes unconsolidated sediments. ) A
confining bed is a rock
unit having very lowhydraulic conduc-
tivity that restricts the
movement of ground water either into
or out of adjacent aquifers.
Ground water occurs in
aquifers under two different condi-
tions. Where water only partly fills an aquifer, the upper sur-
face of the saturated zone is free to rise and decline. The
water in such aquifers is said to be unconfined, and the aqui-
fers are referred to as unconfined aquifers. Unconfined
aquifers
are also widely
referred to as water- table aquifers.
6

Basic Ground- Water Hydrology
Water- table

Artesian
well

well
surface
Where water completely fills an aquifer that is overlain
by a
confining bed, the water in the aquifer is said to be confined.
Such aquifers are referred to as confined aquifers or as artesian
aquifers.
Wells open to unconfined aquifers are referred to
as water-
table wells . The water level in these wells indicates the posi-
tion of the water table in the surrounding aquifer.
Wells drilled into confined aquifers
are referred to as arte-
sian wells. The water level in artesian wells
stands at some
height above the top of the aquifer but
not necessarily above
the land surface. If the water level in an artesian well
stands
above the land surface, the well is
a flowing artesian well. The
water level in tightly cased wells
open to a confined aquifer
stands at the level of the potentiometric surface
of the aquifer.
POROSITY
The ratio
of openings (voids) to the total vol ume of a soil or
rock is referred to as its porosity . Porosity is expressed
either
as a decimal fraction or as a percentage. Thus,
V=0. 3
Vt = 1 . 0 m3
n=
V
t
_
Vs
V
v
V
t
V
t
where n is porosity as a decimal fraction, Vt is the total
vol ume of a
soil
or rock
sampl e, VS
is
the vol ume of
sol ids in
the sampl e,
and Vis the vol ume of openings
(voids) .
If we mul tipl y the porosity determined with the equation by
1 00, the resul t is porosity expressed as a percentage.
Soil s are among the most porous of natural material s
because soil particl es tend
to form l oose cl umps and because
of the
presence of root hol es and animal burrows. Porosity of
unconsol idated deposits depends on the range in grain size
(sorting) and on the shape of the rock particl es but not on their
size. Fine-grained material s tend to be better sorted and, thus,
tend to have the l argest porosities .
0000000000
000000000
00O ' 3 0
0000
Oo
Dry oo
00
Sand 0
00
00

00
0000000000
000000000
0000000000
()00000000
SELECTED VALUES
OF POROSITY
[ Val ues in percent by vol ume]
M aterial

Primary
openings

Secondary openings
Equal -size spheres (marbl es) :
Loosest packing --------------

48
Tightest packing -------------

26
Soil
-----------
--------------

55
Cl ay
------------------------

50
Sand
------------------------

25
Gravel ---------------------
-

20
Limestone --------------------

1 0
Sandstone (semiconsol idated) ---

1 0
Granite
----------------------
B asal t (young)
-----------------

1 0
Vol ume of voids ( Vv )

0
. 3
m 3
Porosity
(n) =

_

= 0
. 30
Total vol ume Wt)

1 . 0
m3
Porosity 7
SPECIFIC I L
8

Basic Ground-Water
Hydrology
N
Porosity is important in ground-water hydrology because it
tells us the maximum amountof waterthat a rock can contain
whenit is saturated.
However,
it is
equally important
to
know
that only a part of
this
water is
available
to
supply a well or a
spring
.
Hydrologists divide water
in storage in the ground
into
the
Water
Water
SPECIFIC ETENTI
S,=0
. 1
ma
Sy= 0. 2 m 3
l1 = Syt Sr
=
GRANULAR
N
part that will drain under the influence of gravity (called
spe-
cific yield) (1 ) and the part that is retained as a film on rock
surfaces and in very small openings (called specific retention)
(2) . The physical forces that control specific
retention are the
same forces involved in the thickness and moisture content of
thecapillary, fringe.
FRACTURED ROCK
(2)
0. 2
m 3 0 . 1 m
3
t

=
0
. 3 0
( m 3 l m3
MATERIAL
Water retained as
a film on rock
surfaces and in
capillary-size
openings after
gravity drainage.
Specific yield t ells how much wat er is available for man's

SELECTED VALUES OFPOROSITY, SPECIFIC YIELD,
us e, and s pecific ret ent ion t ells how much wat er remains in

AND SPECIFIC RETENTION
t he rock aft er it is drained by gravit y . Thus ,

[values in percent by volume]
n =Sy +S,
Vd
V
r
Sy=
ii

Sr= ii
where n is poros it y, Sy is s pecific yield,
Sr
is s pecific ret ent ion,
Vd is t he volume of
wat er t han drains from
a
t ot al volume
of
Vt ,
V, is t he
volume of wat er ret ained in a t ot al volume of Vt ,
and Vt is t ot al volume of
a s oil or rock s ample
.
Mat erial

Poros it y

Specific yield Specific ret ent ion
Soil
-----------------------
55

40

15
Clay -----------------------

50

2

48
Sand ---------------------- 25

22

3
Gravel --------------------- 20

19

1
Limes t one ------------------
20

18

2
Sands t one (s emicons olidat ed)

11

6

5
Granit e
--------------------

. 1

. 09

. 01
Bas alt (young) ---------------
11

8

3
Specific Yield
and Specific Ret ent ion

9
HEADS
AND
GRADIENTS
a
The depth to the water table has an important effect on use
of the land surface and on the development of water supplies
from unconfined aquifers ( 1 ) . Where the water table is at a
shallow depth, the land may become "waterlogged" during
wet weather and unsuitable for residential and many other
uses . Where the water table is at
great depth, the cost of con-
structing wells and
pumping water for domestic needs may be
prohibitively expensive.
The direction of
the slope of the water table is also im-
portant because it indicates the direction of ground-water
movement ( 1 ) . The position and the slope of the water table
( or of the potentiometric surface of a confined aquifer) is
determined by measuring the position of the water
level in
wells from afixed
point ( ameasuring point) ( 1 ) . ( See "Measure-
ments of
Water levels and Pumping Rates . ") To utiliz e these
measurements
to determine the slope of the water table, the
position of the water table at each well must be
determined
relative to a datum plane that
is common to all the wells .
The datum plane most widely
used is the National Geodetic
Vertical Datum of 1 929 ( also
commonly referred to as "sea
level") ( 1 ) .
If
the depth to water in a nonflowing
well is subtracted
from
the altitude of the measuring point, the
result is the total
head at the well . Total head, as defined in
fluid mechanics, is
composed of elevation head, pressure head,
and velocity head.
Because ground
water moves relatively slowly, velocity head
can be
ignored. Therefore, the total head at an
observation
well
involves only two components : elevation
head and pres-
sure
head ( 1 ) . Ground water moves in the direction
of decreas-
ing total head, which may or
may not be in the direction of
decreasing pressure head.
1 0

Basic Ground-Water
Hydrology
Measuring point ( top of casing )
loom)

( Alt 98rn )
Distance,
L , 780 rn
( National
Geodetic
plane

Vertical Datum of 1 929)
The equation for total head ( ht ) is
ht =z +hp
where z
is elevation head and is the distance from the datum
plane to the point
where the pressure head hp is determined.
All other factors being constant,
the rate of ground-water
movement depends on the hydraulic gradient. The hydraulic
gradient is the change in head per unit of distance in agiven
direction . If the direction is not specified, it is understood to
be
in the direction in which
the
maximum
rate of decrease in
head occurs .
If the movement of ground water is assumed to be in the
plane of sketch 1 -in other words, if it moves from well 1 to
well 2-the hydraulic gradient can be calculated from the in-
formation given on the drawing. The hydraulic gradient is hL/L,
where hL is the head loss between wells 1 and 2 and L is the
horiz ontal distance between them, or
ht

( 1 0 0 m-1 5m) -( 98m-1 8m)

85 m-80 m

5 m
L

780 m

780 m

780 m
When the hydraulic
gradient is expressed in consistent units,
as it is in the above
example in which both the numerator and
the denominator are
in meters, any other consistent units of
length can be substituted
without changing the value of the
gradient.
Thus, agradient of 5 ft/780 ft is the same as a
gra-
dient of 5 m/780 m. It is also relatively
common to express
hydraulic gradients in inconsistent
units such as meters per
kilometer or feet per mile . Agradient of 5 m/780 m can be
converted to meters per kilometer as follows :
I75 rnrn

km
~
X
h,000 m
1=6. 4
m
km - 1
Both the direction of
ground- water movement and the
hydraulic gradient can be determined if
the
following data
are
available for three
wells
located
in any triangular arrange-
ment such as that shown on sketch
2 :
1 . The relative geographic position of the wells
.
2 . The distance between the wells.
3. The total head at each well .
Steps
in the solution are outlined below and illustrated in
sketch
3 :
(D)
( 2 6. 2 6- 2 6. 2 0) (
2 6. 2 6- 2 6. 07)
x

2 15

2 6. 2 6
m
(a) Well 2
W. L . =2 6. 2 0 m
133
h,
-
o . 13 m
L

133 m
m
ent
a
)
oet ~tau r
goo I
1
i
6,2 pro I
(e) 2 6. 2 - 2 6. 07
Direction
of
-
ground- water
movement
a. Identify the well that has the intermediate
water level (that
is, neither the highest head nor the lowest head) .
b. Calculate the position between the well having the highest
head and the well having the lowest head at which the
head is the same as that in the intermediate well .
c. Draw a straight
line between the intermediate well and the
point identified in step b as being between the well
having the
highest head and that having the lowest
head . This
line represents
a
segment of the water- level
contour along which the total head is the
same as
that
in the intermediate well
.
d . Draw a
line perpendicular to the water- level
contour and
through either the well with the highest
head
or
the
well with the lowest head . This line parallels the direc-
tion of ground- water movement .
e. Divide the difference between the head of the well and
that of the contour by the distance between the well
and the
contour
.
The answer is the hydraulic gradient .
Heads and Gradients

1
1
HYDRAULIC
CONDUCTIVITY
Aquifers transmit water from recharge areas to discharge
areas and thus function as porous conduits ( or pipelines filled
with sand or other water-bearing material) . The factors con-
trolling ground-water movement were first expressed in the
form of an equation by
Henry
Darcy,
a French engineer, in
1856.
Darcy's law is
where Qis the quantity of water per unit of time ; K is the
hydraulic conductivity and depends on the size and arrange-
ment of the water-transmitting openings ( pores and fractures)
and on the dynamic characteristics
of the fluid ( water) such as
kinematic viscosity, density, and the strength of the gravita-
tional field ; Ais the cross-sectional area, at a right angle to the
flow direction, through which the flow occurs; and dhldl is the
hydraulic gradient . ,
Because the quantity of water
( Q
is directly proportional to
the hydraulic gradient ( dhldl), we say that ground-water flow
is
laminar-that is, water particles tend to follow discrete
streamlines and not to mix with particles in adjacent stream-
lines ( 1) . ( See "Ground-Water Flow Nets. ")
'Where hydraulic gradient is
discussed as an independent entity, as it is in
"Heads
and Gradients," it is shown symbolically as h L IL and is referred to as
head loss per unit of distance . Where hydraulic gradient appears as one of the
factors in an equation, as it does in equation 1, it is shown symbolically as dhldl
to be consistent with other ground-water literature . The gradient dhldl indicates
that the unit distance is reduced to as small a value as one can imagine, in
accordance with the concepts of
differential calculus .
1 2

Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
Unit prism of
aquifer
Adh

( m') ( M)

d
Streamlines
representing
laminar flow
If we rearrange equation 1 to solve for K, we obtain
Q
K=
Qdl
-
( ms
d -1
)( m) _

m

( 2)
Thus, the units of hydraulic conductivity are those of veloc-
ity ( or distance divided by time) . It is important to note from
equation 2,
however, that the factors involved in the defini-
tion
of hydraulic conductivity include the volume of water ( Q
that will move in a unit of time ( commonly, a day) under a unit
hydraulic gradient ( such as a meter per meter) through a unit
area ( such as a square meter) . These factors are illustrated in
sketch 1 . Expressing hydraulic conductivity in terms of a unit
gradient,
rather than of an actual gradient at some place in an
aquifer, permits ready comparison of values of hydraulic con-
ductivity for different rocks .
Hydraulic conductivity replaces the term "field coefficient
of permeability"
and should be used in referring to the water-
transmitting characteristic of material in quantitative terms. It
is still common practice to refer in qualitative terms to
"permeable" and "impermeable" material .
The hydraulic conductivity of
rocks ranges through 12
orders of
magnitude ( 2) . There are few physical parameters
whose values range so widely. Hydraulic conductivity is not
only different in different types of rocks but may also be dif-
ferent from place to place in the same rock
. If
the
hydraulic
conductivity is essentially the same in
any
area, the
aquifer in
Hydraulic
Conductivity
of
Selected Rocks
IGNEOUS
AND
METAMORPHIC ROCKS
Unfractured
Unfractured
SHALE
Fractured
Unfractured Fractured
CLAY
GLACIAL TILL
10
-e
10 -7 10 -6 10 -5
10-4 10 -3
I

I

I

I

I
10 -7 10 -6
10
-5
10-4 10 -3
BASALT
Fractured
SANDSTONE
10 -2 10 -I
m
d-1
I

I
10 -2 10-I
ft d'
I

I

I

I

I

I

I
10 -7 10-6 10-5 10-4 10-3
10-2
10-I
gal d'ft-2
Fractured
Serniconsolidated
Fractured
SILT, LOESS
CARBONATE
ROCKS
SILTY SAND
CLEAN SAND
Fine Coarse
Lava flow
Cavernous
GRAVEL
I

I

I

I

I

I
I

10

10 2 10 3 10 4
I

I0

10 2 10 3 10 4 10 5
t

I

I

I

I

I
I

10

10 2 10
3

10 4

10 5
thatareais said to behomogeneous. If, ontheother
hand, the
hydraulic conductivity differs fromone part of
the area to
another, theaquiferis saidtobe
heterogeneous.
Hydraulic conductivity may also
be different in different
directions at any place in an aquifer. If the
hydraulic con-
ductivity is essentiallythesame in all directions,
the aquifer is
said to beisotropic. If it is different in different directions, the
aquifer
is saidto beanisotropic.
Although it is convenient in manymathematical
analysesof
ground-water flow to assume that aquifers
are both homoge-
neousand isotropic, such aquifers
are rare, if they exist at all.
The condition most commonly
encountered is for hydraulic
conductivity in most rocks and especially in
unconsolidated
deposits and in flat-lying consolidated sedimentary rocks
to
be larger in the horizontal direction
than it is in thevertical
direction.
HydraulicConductivity

1 3
FUNCTIONS
OFGROUND-WATER
SYSTEMS
1 4

Basic
Ground-Water Hydrology
The aquifers and confining
beds that underlie any area
comprise
the ground-water system of the area ( 1 ) .
Hydraulic-
ally, this
system serves two functions : it stores water
to the ex-
tent of
its porosity, and it transmits water from
recharge areas
to discharge areas
. Thus, a ground-water system serves
as both
a reservoir and a conduit. With
the exception of cavernous
limestones, lava flows, and coarse
gravels, ground-water
systems are more effective as reservoirs
than as conduits .
Water enters ground-water
systems in recharge areas and
moves
through them, as dictated by hydraulic gradients and
hydraulic
conductivities, to discharge areas ( 1 ) .
The identification of recharge areas is becoming
increas-
ingly important because of the expanding use of the land sur-
face for
waste disposal . In the humid part of the country,
recharge occurs in all
interstream areas-that is, in all areas
except along streams and their adjoining
flood plains ( 1 ) . The
streams and flood plains are, under most conditions, dis-
charge areas .
In the drier part ( western half) of the conterminous United
States, recharge conditions are more complex . Most recharge
occurs in the mountain ranges, on alluvial fans that border
the
mountain ranges, and along the channels of major streams
where they are underlain by thick and permeable alluvial
deposits .
Recharge rates are generally expressed in terms of volume
( such as cubic meters or gallons) per unit of time ( such as a
day or a year) per unit of area ( such as a square kilometer,
a
square mile, or an acre) . When these units are
reduced to
their
simplest forms, the result is recharge expressed as a depth of
water on the land surface per unit of time. Recharge varies
from year to year, depending on the amount of precipitation,
its seasonal distribution, air temperature, land use, and other
factors . Relative to land use, recharge rates in forests are
much
higher than those in cities .
Annual recharge rates range, in different parts of the coun-
try, from essentially
zero in desert areas to about
600 mm yr'
( 1 , 600 m3 km -2 d-1 or 1 . 1 x1 06 gal mi -2
d -') in the rural areas
on Long Island and in other rural areas in
the East that are
underlain by very permeable soils .
The
rate of movement of ground water from
recharge areas
to discharge areas depends on the
hydraulic conductivities of
the aquifers and confining beds, if water
moves downward
into other aquifers, and on the hydraulic
gradients . ( See
"Ground-Water Velocity . ") Aconvenient way of
showing the
rate is in terms of the time required
for ground water to move
from different parts of a recharge area
to the nearest dis-
charge area . The time ranges from a few days in
the zone ad-
jacent to the discharge area to thousands of years ( millennia)
for water that
moves from the central part of some recharge
areas through the deeper parts of
the ground-water system ( 1 ) .
Natural discharge from ground-water systems
includes not
only the flow of springs and the seepage of water
into stream
channels or
wetlands but also evaporation from the upper
part of the capillary fringe,
where it occurs within a meter or
so of the land surface. Large
amounts of water are also with-
drawn from the capillary fringe
and the zone of saturation by
plants during the growing season . Thus, discharge areas in-
clude not only the channels of perennial streams but also the
adjoining flood plains and other low-lying areas .
One of the most significant differences between recharge
areas and discharge areas is that the areal extent
of discharge
areas is invariably much smaller than that of recharge areas
.
This size difference shows, as we would expect, that discharge
areas are more "efficient" than recharge areas . Recharge
in-
volves unsaturated movement of water in
the vertical direc-
tion; in other words, movement is in the
direction in which the
hydraulic conductivity is generally the lowest. Discharge,
on
the other hand, involves saturated movement, much of it in
the horizontal direction-that is, in the direction of the largest
hydraulic conductivity .
J
J
4
w
Z
Q
J
W
J
3
0
w
W
J
J
Z
w
a
w
0
Z
Q
J
J
Wm
F
Q
( n
3
w
F
w
Z
0
70
60
50
40
30
20
t o
D
JAN

FEB ~AR

APR

MAY
JAN
Fluct uat io n
o f t he Wat er Table in t he
Co ast al Plain o f No rt h
Caro lin a
Recharge
A .

even t s
il~ll I, ~II,~I . i,
L~
FEB

I
. MAR

~

APR

I -MAYI

JUNE
An o t her impo rt an t aspect o f recharge an d discharge
in -
vo lves t imin g. Recharge o ccurs durin g an d immediat ely fo l-
lo win g perio ds o f precipit at io n an d t hus is in t ermit t en t ( 2) .
Discharge, o n t he o t her han d, is a co n t in uo us pro cess as lo n g
as gro un d-wat er heads are abo ve
t he
level at which discharge
o ccurs. Ho wever, bet ween perio ds
o f recharge, gro un d-wat er
heads declin e, an d t he rat e o f discharge also declin es. Mo st
recharge o f gro un d-wat er syst ems o ccurs durin g lat e fall,
JUNE
1978
( 2)
JULY
Well Pi-533
( 1978)
I

I

I ~~I

I
AUG

SEPT

OCT -
NOV

- DEC
Precipit at io n
at
Washin gt o n ,
NC.
~11 1~ [1 1,

11' .

~

, 1, 1~~I ~,

I
JULY

AUG

SEPT -

OCT

NOV

DEC
win t er, an d
early sprin g, when plan t s are do rman t an d
evapo rat io n rat es are small. These aspect s
o f
recharge an d
discharge are apparen t fro m graphs sho win g t he fluct uat io n
o f t he wat er level in o bservat io n wells, such as t he o n e sho wn
in sket ch 2. The o ccasio n al lack o f co rrelat io n , especially in
t he summer, bet ween t he precipit at io n an d t he rise
in wat er
level
is
due part ly t o t he dist an ce o f 20km bet ween t he
weat her st at io n an d t he well.
Fun ct io n s o f
Gro un d-Wat er Syst ems

15
CAPILLARITY
AND
UNSATURATED
FLOW
Most recharge of ground-water systems occurs during
the
percolation of
water
across the unsaturated zone. The move-
ment of water in the unsaturated zone is controlled by both
gravitational and capillary forces.
Capillarity results from
two forces: the mutual attraction
(cohesion) between water molecules and the molecular attrac-
tion (adhesion) between water and different solid materials. As
a consequence of these forces, water will rise in small-
diameter glass tubes to a height h, above the water level in a
large container (1 ) .
Most pores
in granular materials
are of capillary size, and,
as a result, water is pulled upward into a capillary fringe
above the water table in the same manner that water would
be pulled up into a column of sand whose lower end is im-
mersed in water (2 ) .
APPROXIMATE
HEIGHT OFCAPILLARY RISE (h c ) IN
GRANULAR MATERIALS
Material

Rise (mm)
Sand :
Coarse
--------------__--------------___---------
Medium
-____---------------------___------------
Fine
--------------------------------------------
Silt
----------------____------------------___------
Steady-state flow of water in the unsaturated zone can be
determined
from a modified form of Darcy's law. Steady state
in this
context refers to a condition in which the moisture con-
tent remains constant, as it would, for example, beneath a
waste-disposal pond whose bottom is separated from the
water table by an unsaturated zone.
1 6

Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
1 2 5
2 50
400
1 ,000
Steady-state unsaturated flow (Q) is proportional to the ef-
fective hydraulic conductivity
(K ,),
the cross-sectional area (A)
through which the flow occurs, and gradients due to both
capillary forces and gravitational forces
.
Thus,
where Q is the quantity of water,
K e
is the hydraulic conduc-
tivity under the degree
of
saturation
existing
in the unsatu-
rated
zone, (h,-z)lz is the gradient due
to capillary (surface
tension) forces, and dhldl is the gradient due to gravity .
The plus or minus
sign
is related to the direction of
movement-plus for downward and minus for upward. For
movement in a vertical direction, either up or down, the gra-
dient due to gravity is 1 /1 , or 1 . For lateral (horizontal) move-
ment in the unsaturated zone, the term for the gravitational
gradient can be eliminated .
The capillary gradient at any time depends on the length of
the water column (z) supported by capillarity in relation to the
maximum possible height of capillary rise (h,) (2 ) . For example,
if the lower end of a sand column is suddenly submerged in
water, the capillary gradient is at a maximum, and the rate of
rise of water is fastest. As the wetting front advances up the
column, the
capillary gradient declines, and the rate of rise
decreases
(2 ) .
The capillary gradient can be determined from tensiometer
measurements of hydraulic pressures. To determine the gra-
dient, it is necessary to measure the negative pressures (h p ) at
two levels in the unsaturated zone, as sketch 3 shows. The
equation for total head (h t) is
o:
w
F-
w
z
z
0
a
w
w
34
32
30
28
26
24
22
20
2
z=32 m
Tensiometers
No . I

No.
2
~77JRNM
ht =31 m

I

I
I

h
t =26 m
Capillary
f

11 l
Water table _1/
Land
surf ace
z=28 m
f f l~
L-_1-1_-------1-1-_-
DATUMPLANE (NATI ONAL GEODETI C
VERTI CAL DATUM1929)
(3)
where z is the elevation of a tensiometer. Substituting values
in this equation f or tensiometer no. 1, weobtain
The total head at tensiometer no. 2 is 26 m. The vertical
distance between the tensiometers is 32 mminus 28 m, or4m.
Because the combined gravitational and capillary hydraulic
gradient equals the head loss divided by the distance between
tensiometers, the gradient is
This gradient includes boththe gravitational gradient (dhldl)
and the capillary gradient ([hc-z]lz)) . Because the head in ten-
siometer no. 1 exceedsthat in tensiometer no. 2, we knowthat
f low is vertically downward and that the gravitational gradient
is 1/1, or 1 . Theref ore,
the capillary gradient is 0. 25 m
m-1
(1 . 25-1. 00).
0
0
_hL

_

ht(j )
- hr(2)

_
31-
26

5m=1
. 25
L

z(I )-z(2)

32-28

4m
0 20
40 60 80 100
SATURATI ON,
I N PERCENT
(4)
The ef f ective hydraulic conductivity (Ke) is the hydraulic
conductivity of material that is not completely saturated. I t is
thus
less
than the (saturated) hydraulic conductivity (K) f or
the material . Sketch4 shows the relation between degree of
saturation and the ratio of saturated and unsaturated hydrau-
lic conductivity f or coarse sand. The hydraulic conductivity
(K) of coarse sand is
about 60md- ' .
Capillarity and Unsaturated
Flow

17
STRATIFICATION
AND
UNSATURATED
FLOW
r. r.

I NII
MEN ----Nmm
MEN
MM M
EMEN
ENEE
NEON WE
to ce start
Nonstratified
model
1 . 2 m
(2 )
EXPLANATION
Areas rema,,.. . ,g dry after
38hours of inflow
1 8

Basic Ground-Water
Hydrology
Inflow 0 . 072 m'd- '
(1 9 gal
d

)
Most sediments
are deposited in layers (beds) that have a
distinct grain siz e, sorting, or mineral
composition. Wheread-
jacent layers differ in one of these characteristics
or more, the
deposit is said to be stratified, and its layered structure
is re-
ferred to as stratification .
The layers comprising a stratified deposit
commonly differ
from one another in both grain siz e and sorting
and, conse-
quently, differ from one another in hydraulic conductivity
.
These differences in hydraulic conductivity significantly af-
fect both the percolation of water across the
unsaturated
z one and the movement of ground water.
In most areas, the unsaturated z one is composed
of
hori-
z ontal or nearly horiz ontal layers. The movement of water, on
the other hand, is
predominantly in
a vertical direction . In
many ground-water problems,
and
especially
in
those related
to the release of pollutants at
the
land surface, the effect of
stratification on
movement of fluids across the
unsaturated
z one is of great importance.
The manner in which water moves across the unsaturated
z one has been
studied by using models containing glass
beads. One model (1 )
contained beads of a single siz e repre-
senting a nonstratified deposit, and another (2 ) consisted of
five layers, three of which were finer grained and more imper-
meable than the other two. The dimensions of the
models
were about 1 . 5 m x 1 . 2
m x
76
mm.
In the
nonstratified model, water introduced at the top
moved vertically downward through a z one of constant width
to the bottom of the model (1 ). In the stratified model, beds
A,
C, and E consisted of silt-siz ed beads (diameters of 0. 036
mm)
having
a capillary height (hc) of about 1 ,000 mm and a
hydraulic conductivity (K ) of 0. 8 m d-1 . Beds B and D con-
sisted
of medium-sand-siz ed beads (diameters of 0
. 47 mm)
having a capillary height of about 2 5 0
mm and a hydraulic
conductivity
of 82 m d- ' .
Because of the strong capillary
force and the low hydraulic
conductivity in bed A, the water
spread laterally at almost the
same rate as it did vertically, and
it did not begin to enter bed
B until 9
hours after the start of the experiment. At that time,
the capillary saturation in bed A had reached
a level where
the unsatisfied (remaining) capillary pull
in bed A was the
same as that in bed B . In other words, z in bed
A
at
that time
equaled 1 ,000
mm-2 5 0 mm, or 75 0 mm. (For a definition of
z , see
"Capillarity and Unsaturated Flow. ")
Because the hydraulic conductivity of bed
B was 1 00 times
that of bed A, water moved across bed
B through narrow ver-
tical z ones. Wecan
guess that the glass beads in these z ones
were packed
somewhat more tightly than those in other parts
of the beds.
SATURATED
FL

AN

DISPERSION
Dispersion
in
a gra nula r
deposit
Cone of
dispersion
Direction of
f low
Cha nges
in
concentra tion in
the dispersion
cone
o 1 .0
U
0
t
o
In the sa tura ted
zone, a ll interconnected
openings a re f ull
of wa ter, a nd the wa ter moves
through these openings in the
direction controlled by the hydra ulic
gra dient . Movement in
the sa tura ted zone ma y be either la mina r
or turbulent . In
la mina r f low,
wa ter pa rticles move in a n orderly
ma nner a long
strea mlines. In turbulent f low,
wa ter pa rticles move in a dis-
ordered, highly irregula r ma nner,
which results in a complex
mixing of the pa rticles. Under na tura l
hydra ulic gra dients, tur-
bulent f low occurs only in la rge
openings such a s those in
gra vel,
la va f lows, a nd limestone ca verns. Flows a re la mina r
in
most gra nula r
deposits a nd f ra ctured rocks.
In la mina r f low in a
gra nula r medium, the dif f erent strea m-
lines converge in the na rrow necks
between pa rticles a nd
diverge in the la rger interstices ( 1 ) . Thus, there is some in-
termingling of strea mlines, which results in tra nsverse disper-
sion- tha t is, dispersion a t right a ngles to the direction of
ground- wa ter f low .
Also, dif f erences in velocity result f rom
f riction between the wa ter a nd the rock pa rticles. The slowest
ra te of movement occurs a dja cent to the pa rticles, a nd the
f a stest ra te occurs in the center of pores. The resulting disper-
sion
is
longitudina l- tha t is,
in
the
direction of f low .
Da nel ( 1 953) f ound tha t dye injected a t a point in a homoge-
neous a nd isotropic gra nula r medium dispersed la tera lly in the
sha pe of a cone a bout 6° wide ( 2 ) . He a lso f ound tha t the con-
centra tion of dye over a pla ne a t a ny given dista nce f rom the
inlet
point is a bell- sha ped curve simila r to the norma l prob-
a bility curve. Beca use of tra nsverse a nd longitudina l disper-
sion, the pea k concentra tion decrea sed in the direction of
f low .
The ef f ect of longitudina l dispersion
ca n a lso be observed
f rom
the cha nge in concentra tion of a substa nce ( C) down-
strea m f rom a point a t which the substa nce is being injected
consta ntly a t a concentra tion of Co . The concentra tion rises
slowly a t f irst a s the "f a stest"
strea mlines a rrive a nd then rises
ra pidly until the
concentra tion rea ches a bout 0 .7 Co, a t which
point the ra te of increa se in concentra tion begins to decrea se
( 3) .
Dispersion is importa nt in the study of ground- wa ter pollu-
tion. However, it is
dif f icult
to
mea sure in the f ield beca use
the ra te a nd
direction of movement of wa stes a re a lso a f -
f ected by
stra tif ica tion, ion excha nge, f iltra tion, a nd other
conditions a nd processes. Stra tif ica tion a nd a rea l dif f erences
in lithology a nd other cha ra cteristics
of a quif ers a nd conf ining
o f

injection

r

beds a ctua lly result in much grea ter
la tera l a nd longitudina l
dispersion tha n tha t mea sured
by Da ne] f or a homogeneous
( 3 )

a nd isotropic medium.
Time
since sta rt
Sa tura ted Flow a nd Dispersion

1 9
GROUND-WATER
MOVEMENTAND
TOPOGRAPHY
I t i s des i rable, wherever pos s i ble,
t o det ermi ne t he pos i t i on
of t he wat er t able and t he
di rect i on of ground-wat er move-
ment . To do s o,
i t
i s
neces s ary t o det ermi ne t he alt i t ude, or t he
hei ght above a dat um
plane, of t he wat er level i n wells
.
How-
ever, i n mos t
areas , general but very valuable conclus i ons
about t he di rect i on of ground-wat er movement
can be deri ved
from obs ervat i ons of land-s urface t opography.
Gravi t y i s t he domi nant dri vi ng force i n ground-wat er
move-
ment . Under nat ural condi t i ons , ground
wat er moves "down-
hi ll" unt i l, i n t he cours e
of
i t s
movement , i t reaches t he land
s urface at a s pri ng or t hrough a
s eep along t he s i de or bot t om
of a s t ream channel or an es t uary.
Thus , ground wat er i n t he s hallowes t
part of
t he
s at urat ed
zone moves from i nt ers t ream areas t oward s t reams
or
t he
coas t . I f we i gnore mi nor s urface i rregulari t i es , we fi nd t hat
t he s lope of t he land s urface i s als o t oward s t reams or t he
coas t . The dept h t o t he wat er t able i s great er along t he di vi de
bet ween s t reams
t han
i t i s beneat h t he flood plai n
.
I n effect ,
t he wat er t able us ually i s a s ubdued repli ca of t he land
s urface .
I n areas where ground wat er
i s us ed
for
domes t i c and ot her
needs requi ri ng good-quali t y wat er, s ept i c t anks , s ani t ary
landfi lls , was t e ponds , and ot her was t e-di s pos al s i t es s hould
not be locat ed uphi ll from s upply wells .
The pot ent i omet ri c s urface of confi ned aqui fers , li ke t he
wat er t able, als o s lopes from recharge areas t o di s charge
areas . Shallow confi ned aqui fers , whi ch are relat i vely com-
mon along t he At lant i c Coas t al Plai n, s hare bot h recharge and
di s charge areas wi t h t he s urfi ci al unconfi ned aqui fers . Thi s
s hari ng may not be t he
cas e wi t h t he deeper confi ned
aqui fers . The pri nci pal
recharge areas for t hes e are probably
i n t hei r out crop
areas near t he wes t ern border of t he Coas t al
Plai n, and t hei r di s charge areas are probably near t he heads of
t he es t uari es along t he major s t reams . Thus ,
movement of
wat er t hrough t hes e aqui fers i s i n
a
general wes t t o
eas t di rec-
t i on, where i t has not been modi fi ed by
wi t hdrawals .
I n t he wes t ern part of t he cont ermi nous
Uni t ed St at es , and
es peci ally i n t he alluvi al bas i ns regi on, condi t i ons are
more
vari able t han t hos e des cri bed above . I n t hi s area, s t reams
flowi ng from mount ai n ranges ont o alluvi al plai ns los e wat er
t o
t he alluvi al depos i t s ; t hus , ground wat er i n t he upper part of
t he s at urat ed zone flows down
t he valleys and at an angle
away from t he s t reams .
Ground wat er i s normally hi dden from vi ew; as
a cons e-
quence, many people have
di ffi cult y vi s uali zi ng i t s occur-
rence and movement . Thi s di ffi cult y
advers ely affect s t hei r
abi li t y t o unders t and and t o deal
effect i vely wi t h ground-
wat er-relat ed problems .
Thi s problem can be part ly s olved
2 0

Bas i c Ground-Wat er Hydrology
Arrows s how di rect i on of
ground-wat er movement
t hrough t he us e of flow net s , whi ch are one of t he mos t ef-
fect i ve means yet devi s ed
for i llus t rat i ng condi t i ons i n ground-
wat er s vs t ems .
GROUND-WATER
FLOW
NETS
Flow nets consist of two sets of lines.
One set, referred to as
equipotential
lines, connects points of equal head and
thus
represents the height
of the water table, or the potentiometric
surface of a confined
aquifer, above a datum plane . The
sec-
ond set, referred to
as flow lines, depicts the idealized paths
followed by particles of water as they move
through the
aquifer . Because ground water moves in the
direction of the
steepest hydraulic gradient, flow lines in isotropic
aquifers are
perpendicular to equipotential lines-that
is, flow lines cross
equipotential lines at right angles.
There
are an infinite number of equipotential lines and flow
lines in an aquifer. However, for purposes of flow-net analysis,
only
a few of each set need be drawn . Equipotential lines are
drawn so that the drop in head is the same between
adjacent
pairs of lines. Flow lines are drawn so that the flow is equally
divided between adjacent pairs of lines and so that, together
with the equipotential lines, they form a series of "squares. "
Flow nets not only show the direction of ground-water
movement but can also, if they are drawn with care, be used
to estimate the quantity of water in transit through an aquifer .
According to Darcy's law, the flow through any "square" is
q=Kbw
(dl)

(1)
and the total flow through any set or group of "squares" is
Q=nq

(2 )
where K is hydraulic conductivity, b is aquifer thickness at the
midpoint between equipotential lines, w is the distance be-
tween flow lines, dh is the
difference in head
between equi-
potential lines, dl is the distance
between equipotential
lines,
and n is the number
of squares through which the
flow occurs.
Drawings 1 and
2 show a flow net in both
plan view and
cross section for an
area underlain by an unconfined
aquifer
composed of sand . The
sand overlies a horizontal
confining
bed, the top
of which occurs at an elevation
3 m above the
datum plane . The
fact that some flow lines originate in
the
area in which
heads exceed 13 m indicates the presence
of
recharge to
the aquifer in this area . The relative
positions of
the land surface and the water table in sketch 2
suggest that
recharge occurs throughout the area, except along
the stream
valleys.
This suggestion is confirmed by the
fact that flow
lines
also originate in areas where heads are less
than 13 m
.
As sketches 1 and 2 show,
flow lines originate in recharge
areas and terminate in discharge areas
. Closed contours (equi-
potential lines) indicate the central parts of recharge
areas but
do not normally indicate the limits of the areas .
I n the cross-sectional view
in sketch 2 , heads decrease
downward in the recharge
area and decrease upward in the
discharge area. Consequently, the deeper
a well is drilled in a
recharge area, the lower the water level in
the well stands
below land surface
.
The
reverse is true in discharge areas .
Thus, in a discharge
area,
if
a well is drilled deeply enough in
an unconfined aquifer, the well
may flow above land surface .
Consequently, a flowing well
does not necessarily indicate
artesian conditions .
Drawings 3 and 4 show equipotential lines and flow lines in
the vicinity
of a stream that gains water in its headwaters and
loses water as it flows
downstream . I n the gaining reaches, the
equipotential lines form a V pointing upstream ; in the losing
reach, they form a V pointing downstream .
Ground-Water Flow Nets

2 1
22

Basic Ground-WaterHydrology
Plan
view
Cross
section
Horizontal
scale
0

2000

4000METERS
l
i i i I I

I

I

I
14
12 >
0
10<~
8
w
a
0
6
4
Horizontal scale
1000

2000

3000METERS
I

I

I
( 4 )
a
0
w
0
m
a
w
w
Ground-Water
Flow Nets

23
GROUND-WATERMOVEMENT
ANDSTRATIFICATION
2
4

Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
Nearly all ground-water systems include both aquifers and
confining beds . Thus, ground-water movement through these
systems involves flow not only through
the aquifers but also
across the confining beds ( 1 ) .
The hydraulic conductivities of aquifers are
tens to thou-
sands of times those of confining beds . Thus, aquifers offer
the least resistance to flow, the result being that, for a given
rate of
flow,
the head loss per unit of distance along a flow
line
is tens to thousands of times less in aquifers than it is in
confining beds . Consequently, lateral flow in confining beds
usually is negligible, and flow lines tend
to
"concentrate"
in
aquifers and be parallel to aquifer boundaries ( 2) .
Differences in the hydraulic conductivities of aquifers and
confining beds cause a refraction or bending of flow lines at
their boundaries . As flow lines move from aquifers into con-
fining beds, they are refracted toward the direction perpen-
dicular to the boundary. In other words, they are refracted in
the direction that produces the shortest flow path in the con-
fining bed. As the flow lines emerge from the confining bed,
they are refracted back toward the direction parallel to the
boundary ( 1 ) .
The angles of
refraction ( and the spacing
of flow lines in
adjacent aquifers
and confining beds) are
proportional to the
differences in hydraulic
conductivities ( K )
( 3 ) such that
tan B,

K ,
tan B Z

K ,
In cross section, the
water table is a flow line.
It represents a
bounding surface for the
ground-water system ;
thus, in the
development of many
ground-water flow equations,
it is as-
sumed to be coincident with
a flow line. However, during
peri-
ods when recharge is arriving at the top of
the capillary fringe,
the water
table is also the point of origin of flow
lines ( 1 ) .
The
movement of water through
ground-water systems is
controlled by the vertical and
horizontal hydraulic conductiv-
ities and thicknesses of the aquifers
and confining beds and
the hydraulic gradients . The maximum
difference in head ex-
ists between the central parts of recharge areas
and discharge
areas . Because of the relatively large
head loss that occurs as
water moves across confining beds, the most
vigorous circu-
lation of
ground water normally occurs through the
shallowest
aquifers .
Movement becomes more and more lethargic
as
depth increases .
The most important exceptions to the
general situation de-
scribed in the preceding paragraph are those
systems in which
one or more of the deeper aquifers have
transmissivities
significantly larger than those of 1
the surficial and other
shallower aquifers . Thus, in eastern
North Carolina, the Castle
Hayne Limestone, which occurs at depths ranging
from about
1 0 to about 75 m below land surface, is the dominant aquifer
because of its very large
transmissivity, although it is overlain
in most of the area by one or
more less permeable aquifers .
GROUND-WATER
VELOCITY
Capillary
fringe
The rate of movement of ground water is important in many
problems , particularly thos e related
to pollution . For example,
if a harmful s ubs tance is introduced into
an aquifer upgra-
Ylient from a s upply well, it becomes a matter
of
great urgency
to es timate when the s ubs tance will reach the well .
The rate of movement of ground water is greatly overes ti-
mated by many people, including thos e who think in terms of
ground water
moving
through
"veins " and
underground rivers
at the rates commonly obs erved
in
s urface s treams . It would
be
more appropriate to compare the rate of movement of
ground water to the movement of water in the middle of a
very large lake being drained by a very s mall s tream.
The ground-water velocity equation can be derived from a
combination of Darcy's law and the velocity
equation
of
hydraulics .
Av=KA
(
dl
Canceling the area terms , we find that
I dl
~
( Darcy's law)
Q=Av

( velocity equation)
where Qis the rate of flow or
volume per unit of time, K is the
hydraulic conductivity, Ais the cros s -s ectional
area, at a right
angle to the flow direction,
through which the flow Qoccurs ,
dhldl is the
hydraulic gradient, and v is the Darcian velocity,
which is the
average velocity of the entire cros s -s ectional
area .
Combining thes e equations , we obtain
Becaus e this
equation contains terms for hydraulic conductiv-
ity and gradient only, it
is not yet a complete expres s ion of
ground-water
velocity . The mis s ing
term is poros ity ( n)
becaus e,
as we know, water moves
only through the openings
in a rock . Adding
the poros ity term, we obtain
In order to demons trate
the relatively s low rate of
ground-
water movement, equation 1
is us ed to determine the
rate of
movement through an aquifer
and a confining bed.
1 . Aquifer compos ed of
coars e s and
K=60m/d
dhldl =1
m/1 ,000m
n =0. 2 0
__K dh _60m

1

lm
v

n
x

dl

d

X 0. 2 0 X 1 ,000 m
_

60 mz
--0. 3 md-'
2 00 m d
2. Confining bedcompos ed ofclay
K=0. 0001 m/d
dhldl =1 m/1 0m
n
=0. 50
Kdh
v
_ _
ndl
0. 0001 m

1

1 m
v_ d X 0. 50 X 1 0m
0. 0001 m2
-0. 00002 m d -1
5md
Velocities
calculated with equation 1 are, at bes t, average
values
. Where ground-water pollution is involved, the fas tes t
rates of movement may be s everal times the average rate .
Als o,
the rates of movement in limes tone caverns , lava tubes ,
and large rock fractures may approach thos e obs erved in s ur-
face s treams .
Further, movement in unconfined aquifers is not limited to
the zone below the water table or to the s aturated zone.
Water in the
capillary fringe is s ubjected to the s ame
hydraulic
gradient that exis ts at the water table; water in the
capillary fringe moves , therefore, in the s ame direction as the
ground water.
As the accompanying
s ketch s hows , the rate of lateral
movement in the
capillary fringe decreas es in an upward
direction and becomes
zero at the top of the fringe . This
cons ideration is
important where unconfined aquifers are
polluted
with gas oline and other s ubs tances les s dens e than
water .
Ground-Water Velocity

2
5
TRANSMISSIVITY
The capacity
of
an
aquifer to transmit water of the prevail-
ing kinematic viscosity is referred to as its
transmissivity . The
transmissivity ( T) of an aquifer is equal to the hydraulic con-
ductivity of the aquifer multiplied by the saturated thickness
of the aquifer. Thus,
where T is transmissivity, K is hydraulic
conductivity, and b is
aquifer thickness .
As is the case with hydraulic conductivity, transmissivity is
also defined in terms of a unit hydraulic gradient .
If equation
1
is combined
with
Darcy's
law
( see "Hydraulic
Conductivity") , the
result is an equation that
can
be
used to
calculate the quantity of water ( q) moving through a unit
width ( w) of an aquifer. Darcy's law is
Expressing
area ( A) as bw, we obtain
q=Kbw
+dh)
Next, expressing
transmissivity ( T) as Kb, we obtain
q=Tw
( dl)
Equation 2 modified
to determine the quantity of water ( Q
moving through a
large width ( W) of an aquifer is
26

Basic Ground-Water
Hydrology
( 2)

The units of transmissivity, as the preceding equation
demonstrates, are
dl =1 000m
Q=TwW
+dl)
or, if
it
is
recognized that T applies to a unit width ( w) of
an
aquifer, this equation can be stated more simply as
Q=TW
( d)
If equation 3 is applied to sketch 1 , the quantity of water
flowing out of the right-hand side of the sketch can be cal-
culated by using the values shown
on the sketch, as follows :
T=Kb= 5
d
m
X
1 00
m
=5000m2 d -1
h

5,000m2 1 ,000m

1 m
Q-TW
rdl)

d

X

1

X1 ,000m
=5000m3 d - ~
Equation 3 is also
used
to
calculate
transmissivity, where
the quantity of water ( Q discharging from a known width
of
aquifer can be determined as, for example, with streamflow
measurements . Rearranging terms, we obtain
T
_

Q

dl ~
Mh
T=
( m3
d -
') ( m) _ _m2
( m) ( m)

d
Sketch 2 i l l u s tr a tes the hydr ol ogi c s i tu a ti on
tha t per mi ts
ca l cu l a ti on of tr a ns mi s s i vi ty thr ou gh the u s e
of s tr ea m di s -
cha r ge. The ca l cu l a ti on ca n be ma de onl y du r i ng
dr y- wea ther
(ba s efl ow) per i ods , when a l l wa ter i n the
s tr ea m i s der i ved
fr om gr ou nd- wa ter di s cha r ge . For the pu r pos e of thi s exa mpl e,
the fol l owi ng va l u es a r e a s s u med :
Aver a ge da i l y fl ow a t s tr ea m- ga gi ng
s ta ti on A:

2 . 485 m3 s - I
Aver a ge da i l y fl ow a t s tr ea m- ga gi ng
s ta ti on B:

2. 3 55 m3 s - I
I ncr ea s e i n fl ow du e to gr ou nd- wa ter
di s cha r ge :

0. 13 0 m3 s - '
Tota l
da i l y gr ou nd- wa ter di s cha r ge
to
s tr ea m
:

11,23 2 m3 d - '
Di s cha r ge fr om ha l f of a qu i fer (one s i de
of the s tr ea m)
:

5,616 m3 d - '
Di s ta nce (x) between s ta ti ons Aa nd B:

5,000 m
Aver a ge thi cknes s of a qu i fer (b) :

50 m
Aver a ge s l ope of the wa ter ta bl e (dhl di )
deter mi ned fr om mea s u r ements i n the
obs er va ti on wel l s :

1 m/2,000 m
By equ a ti on 4,
T=
Q
x
dl
-

5,616 m3

x 2,000
m
- 2,246 m2 d - I
W

dh

d
x
5,000 m

1 m
The hydr a u l i c condu cti vi ty i s deter mi ned fr om equ a ti on 1
a s fol l ows :
_ T _ 2,246
m2
=45 m d - '
b dx50 m
Beca u s e tr a ns mi s s i vi ty depends on both K a nd
b, i ts va l u e
di ffer s i n di ffer ent a qu i fer s a nd fr om pl a ce
to
pl a ce
i n the
s a me a qu i fer . Es ti ma ted va l u es of tr a ns mi s s i vi ty for
the
pr i n-
ci pa l a qu i fer s i n di ffer ent pa r ts of the cou ntr y r a nge fr om l es s
tha n 1 m2 d - ' for s ome fr a ctu r ed s edi menta r y a nd i gneou s
r ocks to 100,000 m2 d - ' for ca ver nou s l i mes tones a nd l a va
fl ows .
Fi na l l y, tr a ns mi s s i vi ty r epl a ces the ter m "coeffi ci ent of
tr a ns mi s s i bi l i ty" beca u s e, by conventi on, a n a qu i fer i s tr a ns -
mi s s i ve, a nd the wa ter i n i t i s tr a ns mi s s i bl e .
Tr a ns mi s s i vi ty 2 7
E
The abilities
(capacities) of water-bearing materials
to store
and to transmit water are their most
important hydraulic prop-
erties . Depending on the intended use
of the information,
these properties are given either in terms of a
unit cube of the
material or in terms of a unit prism of an aquifer.
Property

Unit
cube of material

Unit prism of aquifer
Transmissive capacity

Hydraulic
conductivity (K)

Transmissivity (T)
Available storage

Specific
yield (Sy)

Storage coefficient (S)
The storage coefficient (S) is defined
as the volume of water
that an aquifer releases from or takes into storage per unit sur-
face area of the aquifer per unit change in head . The storage
coefficient is a dimensionless unit, as the following equation
shows, in
which the units in the numerator and the denomina-
tor cancel :
S_

volume of water

_

(m
3
)

__m3
(unit area)(unit head change)

(m
z )
(m)

m3
The siz e of the storage
coefficient depends on whether the
aquifer is confined or unconfined (1 ) . I f the
aquifer is con-
fined, the water released from storage when the head declines
comes from expansion of the water and from
compression of
the aquifer . Relative to a confined aquifer, the expansion of a
given volume of water in response to a decline in pressure is
very
small . I n
a confined aquifer having a porosity of 0. 2 and
containing water at a temperature
of about 1 5°C, expansion
of the water alone releases about 3 x1 0-7 m3 of water per
cubic meter of aquifer per meter of decline in head. To deter-
mine the storage coefficient of an aquifer due to expansion of
2 8

Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
the water, it is necessary to
multiply the aquifer thickness
by
3 x
1 0-7 . Thus, if only the expansion of water
is considered,
the storage
coefficient of an aquifer 1 00 m thick
would be
3 x1 0-5. The storage
coefficient of most confined
aquifers
ranges from about 1 0-5
to 1 0-3 (0 . 00001 to 0. 001 ) . The differ-
ence between these values and the value
due to expansion of
the water is attributed to compression
of the aquifer .
- Conf inin g
bed
- -
Total load
on aquifer _
Sketch 2 w i l l ai d i n un derstan di n g thi s
phen omen on
.
I t
show s a mi croscopi c vi ew of the con tact betw een an
aqui fer
an d the overl yi n g con fi n i n g
bed
.
The total l oad on the top of
the aqui fer i s supported
partl y by the sol i d skel eton of the
aqui fer an d partl y by the hydraul i c pressure
exerted by the
w ater i n the aqui fer . When the w ater
pressure decl i n es, more
of the l oad must be supported by the sol i d skel eton .
As a
resul t, the rock parti cl es are di storted, an d the pore space i s
reduced . The w ater forced from the pores w hen thei r vol ume
i s reduced represen ts the part of the storage coeffi ci en t due to
compressi on of the aqui fer.
I f the aqui fer i s un con fi n ed, the predomi n an t
source of
w ater i s from gravi ty drai n age of the sedi men ts through w hi ch
the decl i n e i n the w ater tabl e occurs. I n an un con fi n ed
aqui fer, the vol ume of w ater deri ved from expan si on of the
w ater an d compressi on
of
the aqui fer
i s n egl i gi bl e . Thus, i n
such an aqui fer, the storage
coeffi ci en t i s vi rtual l y equal to
the speci fi c yi el d an d ran ges from
about 0. 1 to about 0. 3 .
Because of the di fferen ce i n the sources of storage, the
storage coeffi ci en t of un con fi n ed aqui fers i s 1 00 to 1 0,000
ti mes the storage coeffi ci en t of con fi n ed aqui fers ( 1 ) . How -
ever, i f w ater l evel s i n an area are reduced to the poi n t w here
Lan d
surface
Poten ti ometri c
-=-- su
rface
Bedrock
ro
z r
" rl
4a
O
U
Total
storage
. ri
U)
O
O
a
+J
0
N a)
U
-. -1
M
" rl
U) rd 4a
a) S-I 4a
+J O a)
+J O
U) U
ra
a)
" rl
U
"
r1
44
" rl
U
a)
1 4
an aqui fer chan ges from a con fi n ed con di ti on to an un con -
fi n ed con di ti on , the storage coeffi ci en t of the aqui fer i mmedi -
atel y i n creases from that of a con fi n ed aqui fer to that of an
un con fi n ed aqui fer .
Lon g-term w i thdraw al s of w ater from man y con fi n ed
aqui fers resul t i n drai n age of w ater both from cl ay l ayers
w i thi n the aqui fer an d from adjacen t con fi n i n g beds. Thi s
drai n age i n creases the l oad on the sol i d skel eton an d
resul ts
i n
compressi on of
the aqui fer an d subsi den ce of the l an d sur-
face .
Subsi den ce of the l an d surface caused by drai n age of
cl ay l ayers has occurred i n Ari z on a, Cal i forn i a, Texas, an d
other areas.
The poten ti al
sources of w ater i n a tw o-un i t groun d-w ater
system
con si sti n g of a con fi n i n g bed an d a con fi n ed aqui fer
are show n i n sketch 3 . The sketch i s based on the assumpti on
that w ater i s removed i n tw o separate stages-the fi rst
w hi l e
the poten ti ometri c surface i s
l ow ered to the top of the aqui fer
an d the secon d by dew ateri n g
the aqui fer .
The di fferen ces
i n
the
storage coeffi ci en ts of con fi n ed an d
un con fi n ed aqui fers
are of great i mportan ce i n determi n i n g
the respon se of the aqui fers to stresses such
as w i thdraw al s
through w el l s. ( See "Wel l -Fi el d
Desi gn . ")
Avai l abl e
storage
s~
tP 4-4
1 F:
a) o
U
" rl
44 1 J)
4a -rl
O
a) . -I
Zs
U
" rl
-r1
U)
Qz S
Sources

avai l abl e storage
44
44
O

: ~ ~
'b
O
O 1 ~

rti
-rl U)
U)

a) a)
04 -P ~ i
r U 3 o
a)
aT
" ri U)
a)
O
04
r
ro 4a
-r1
O
N
a
P -
U)
-rl
ZJ
o . ~
aa)
4a " rl
O ( d
N
> s
O 1
-r1 a)
1
U" rl
44
'1 7
a) 44
f~
O
Storage Coeffi ci en t

2 9
CONEOF
DEPRESSION
3 0

Basic
Ground-Water Hydrology
Both wells and springs serve as sources of
ground-water
supply . However, most springs having yields large enough to
meet municipal, industrial, and large commercial and agricul-
tural needs occur only in areas underlain by cavernous lime-
stones and lava flows . Therefore, most ground-water needs
are
met
by
withdrawals from wells .
The response of aquifers to withdrawals from wells is an im-
portant
topic
in
ground-water hydrology. When withdrawals
start, the water
level
in
the well begins to decline as water is
removed from storage in the well . The head in the well falls
below the level in the surrounding aquifer. As a result, water
begins to move from the aquifer into the well . As pumping
continues, the water level in the well continues to decline, and
the rate of flow into the
well from the aquifer continues to in-
crease until
the rate of inflow equals the rate of withdrawal .
The
movement of water from an aquifer into a well results
in the formation of a cone of depression ( 1 ) ( 2 ) . Because water
must converge on the well from all directions
and because the
area through which the flow occurs decreases toward
the well,
the hydraulic gradient must get
steeper toward the well .
Several important differences exist
between the cones of
depression
in confined and unconfined aquifers . Withdrawals
from an
unconfined aquifer result in drainage of water from
the rocks
through which the water table declines as the cone
of depression
forms ( 1 ) . Because the storage coefficient of an
unconfined aquifer equals the specific yield of the aquifer
material, the cone
of depression expands very slowly . On the
other hand, dewatering
of the aquifer results in a decrease in
transmissivity, which causes, in turn,
an increase in drawdown
both in the well and in the aquifer.
Withdrawals from
a
confined aquifer cause a drawdown in
artesian pressure but do not ( normally)
cause a dewatering of
the
aquifer ( 2 ) . The water withdrawn from a confined aquifer
is derived from expansion of the water and compression of the
rock skeleton of the aquifer. ( See "Storage Coefficient . ") The
very small storage coefficient of confined aquifers results in a
very rapid expansion of the cone of depression. Consequently,
the mutual interference of expanding cones around adjacent
wells occurs more rapidly in confined aquifers than it does in
unconfined aquifers .
Cones of depression caused by large withdrawals from ex-
tensive confined aquifers can affect very large areas . Sketch 3
shows the overlapping cones of depression that existed in
1 981 in an extensive confined aquifer composed of uncon-
solidated sands and interbedded silt and clay
of
Cretaceous
age in the central part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain . The cones
of depression are caused by withdrawals of about 2 77,0 0 0 m3
d - ' ( 73 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 gal d- ' ) from well fields in Virginia and North
Carolina . ( See "Source of Water Derived From Wells . ")
POTENTIOMETRIC
SURFACE OF THE LOWERMOST
CRETACEOUS
AQUIFER IN SOUTHEASTERN
VIRGINIA AND
NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA
76°
River
EXPLANATION
Water l evel s are
in f eet
NATIONALGEODETIC VERTICALDATUM 1929
( 3 )
VIRGINI _A_
NORTH
CAROLINA

/
ALBEMARLESOUND
0

10

20

3 0

40

50 MILES
7 I I

I I I I
I
~
0

10

20

3 0

40

50

60

70

80 KILOMETERS
Cone
of Depres s ion

3
1
SOURCE
OFWATER
DERIVED FROM
WELLS
Both the
economical development and the
effective man-
agement of any ground-water system require
an understand-
ing of
the
response of the system to withdrawals
from wells.
The first
concise description of the hydrologic principles in-
volved in
this response was presented by C. V. Theis in a
paper
published in 1940
.
Theis pointed out that the
response of an aquifer to with-
drawals from wells depends on :
1 . The rate of expansion of the
cone of depression caused by
the withdrawals, which depends on the transmissivity
and the
storage coefficient of the aquifer.
2. The
distance to areas in which the rate of water discharg-
ing from the aquifer
can be reduced .
3. The distance to recharge areas in which the
rate of re-
charge can be increased.
Over a sufficiently long period of time under
natural
conditions-that is, before the start of withdrawals-the
dis-
charge from every ground-water system equals the recharge to
it ( 1) . In other words,
natural discharge ( D) = natural recharge ( R)
In
the
eastern
part
of the
United States and in the more
humid areas in the West, the amount and distribution of pre-
cipitation are such that the period of time over which dis-
charge and recharge balance may be less than a year or, at
most, a few years. In the drier parts of the country-that is, in
the areas that
generally receive less than about 500 mm of
precipitation annually-the period over which discharge and
recharge balance may be several years or even centuries.
Over shorter
periods of time, differences between discharge
and
recharge involve changes in ground-water storage . In
other
words, when discharge exceeds recharge, ground-water
storage
( S) is reduced by an amount ASequal to the difference
between discharge and recharge . Thus,
D=R+OS
Conversely, when
recharge exceeds discharge, ground-water
storage is increased.
Thus,
D=R-OS
When withdrawal through
a well begins, water is removed
from storage in its
vicinity as the cone of depression develops
( 2) . Thus, the
withdrawal ( Q is balanced by a reduction
in
ground-water storage .
In other words,
Q=OS
As the cone of
depression expands outward from the pump-
ing well, it may reach
an area where water is discharging from
3 2

Basic Ground-Water
Hydrology
the aquifer. The hydraulic gradient will
be reduced toward the
discharge
area, and the rate of natural
discharge will decrease
( 3) . To the extent that the
decrease in natural discharge
com-
pensates for the pumpage, the rate
at which water is being
removed from storage will also decrease,
and the rate of ex-
pansion of the cone of depression will
decline. If and when
the reduction
in natural discharge ( AD) equals the
rate of with-
drawal ( Q, a new
balance will be established in the
aquifer
.
This balance in symbolic form
is
( D-AD) +Q=R
Conversely, if the cone of depression expands into a
re-
charge area rather
than into a natural discharge area, the
hydraulic gradient between the recharge area and the
pump-
ing well will be increased. If, under natural conditions,
more
water
was available in the recharge area than the aquifer
could accept
( the
condition
that Theis referred to as one of re-
jected recharge) , the increase in the gradient away from
the re-
charge area will permit more recharge to occur, and
the rate
of growth of the cone of depression will decrease. If and when
the increase in recharge ( AR) equals the rate of withdrawal
( Q, a new balance will be established in the
aquifer, and ex-
pansion of the cone of depression will cease. The new balance
in symbolic form is
D+Q=R+AR
In the
eastern part of the United States, gaining streams are
relatively
closely spaced, and areas in which rejected re-
charge occurs are relatively unimportant. In this region, the
growth of cones of depression first
commonly
causes
a reduc-
tion in natural discharge .
If
the
pumping wells are near a
stream or
if the withdrawals are continued long enough,
ground-water discharge to a stream may be stopped
entirely
in
the vicinity of the wells, and water may be induced to
move
from the stream into the aquifer ( 4) .
In other words, the
tendency in this region
is for withdrawals to change discharge
areas
into recharge areas. This consideration is important
where the
streams contain brackish or polluted water or where
the streamflow is committed or required
for other purposes.
To summarize, the withdrawal of
ground water through a
well reduces
the water in storage in the source
aquifer during
the growth
of the cone of depression. When
and
if
the cone
of
depression ceases to expand, the rate of
withdrawal is being
balanced
by a reduction in the rate of
natural discharge and
( or) by an increase in the
rate of recharge . Under this
condition,
Q=OD+OR
Discharge
(D) = Recharge (R)
Withdrawal (Q) = Reduction in storage
(As)
(2)
Withdrawal
(Q)
= Reduction in storage
(pS) +
Reduction in discharge
(pD)
(3 )
Withdrawal (Q) = Reduction in discharge (pD) + Increase in recharge
(zR)
(4 )
Source of WaterDerived from Wells

3 3
AQUIFER
TESTS
MAP
OF AQUIFER
TEST SITE
N
w
w
z
2o
z
a
=3
0
0
z
wm
3
c
W
O
g
N
Determining the yield
of ground-water systems and
evaluatingthe movement and fate of ground-water
pollutants
require, amongother information, knowledge of:
1 . The position and thickness of aquifers and confining
beds.
2. The transmissivity and storage coefficient of the aquifers .
3. The hydraulic
characteristics of the confiningbeds.
4
.
The position and nature of the aquifer boundaries.
5 . The location and amounts ofground-water withdrawals.
6 . The locations, kinds, and amounts of pollutants and pol-
lutant practices .
Acquiring
knowledge on these factors requires both geo-
logic and hydrologic investigations. One of the most impor-
tant hydrologic studies involves analyzing the change,
with
time, in water levels ( or total heads) in an aquifer
caused by
withdrawals through wells. This type of study is referred
to as
an aquifer test and, in most cases, includes pumpingawell at
aconstant
rate for a period rangingfrom several
hours to sev-
eral days
and measuring
the
change
in water level in obser-
vation wells located at different distances from the pumped
well ( 1 ) .
Successful aquifer tests require, amongother things :
1 . Determination of the prepumpingwater-level trend ( that is,
the regional trend)
.
2. Acarefully controlled constant
pumping
rate.
3. Accurate
water-level measurements made
at precisely
known times duringboth the drawdown
and
the
re-
covery periods.
34
BasicGround-Water
Hydrology
3
6
7
9
~' J
M1 0
w
m
II
1 2
CHANGE OF WATER
LEVEL IN
WELL B
Pump
on
Regional
trend
y
3
0
v
3
0
Prepumping Pumping
- period -
period
Pump -
off
Recover7- period----I-
i

I

i

i

I

I

1

1
6 7 8 9 1 0 1 1
1 2 1 3 1 4
1 5 1 6
DAYS
T
N
0
d
Drawdown is the
difference between the water level
at
any
time duringthe test and the
position at which the water level
would have been if withdrawals had not started . Drawdown
is
very rapid at first . As pumpingcontinues and the cone of
de-
pression
expands, the rate of drawdown decreases ( 2) .
The recovery
of the water level under ideal conditions is a
mirror image of the drawdown . The change in water
level dur-
ingthe recovery period is the same as if withdrawals had
con-
tinued at the same rate fromthe pumped well but,
at
the
mo-
ment
of pump cutoff, arecharge well had begun recharging
water at the same point and at the same rate.
Therefore, the
recovery of the water level is the difference between
the ac-
tual measured level and the projected pumpinglevel ( 2) .
In addition to the constant-rate aquifer test mentioned
above, analytical methods have also been developed for sev-
eral other types of aquifer tests . These
methods include
tests
in which the
rate of withdrawal is variable and tests that in-
volve leakage of water across confining beds into confined
aquifers . The analytical methods available also permit analy-
sis of tests conducted on both vertical wells and horizontal
wells or drains .
The most commonly used
method of analysis of aquifer-
test
data-that for avertical well pumped at a constant rate
from an aquifer not affected by vertical leakage and lateral
boundaries-will be covered in the discussion of "Analysis of
Aquifer-Test Data. " The method of analysis requires the use of
atype curve
based on the values of W( u) and 1 /u listed in the
following
table. Preparation and use of the type curve are cov-
ered in the
followingdiscussion.
SELECTED VALUES OF W(u) FOR
VALUES OF 1 / u
1 / u 1 0 7.69 5.88 5.00 4.00 3.33
2.86 2.5 2.22 2.00 1
.67 1 .43 1 .25 1 .1 1
1 0-
'
0.21 9
0.1 35 0.075 0.049 0.025 0.01 3
0.007 0.004 0.002 0.001
0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
1 1 .82 1 .59
1 .36 1 .22 1 .04 .91 .79
.70 .63 .56
.45 .37 .31 .26
1 0 4.04 3.78 3.51 3
.35 3.1 4 2.96 2.81 2.68 2.57 2
.47 2.30 2.1 5 2.03
1 .92
1 02 6.33 6.07 5.80 5.64 5.42
5.23 5.08 4.95 4.83 4
.73 4.54 4.39 4.26
4.1 4
1 03 8.63 8.37 8.1 0 7.94 7.72
7.53 7.38 7.25 7.1 3 7.02
6.84 6.69 6.55 6.44
1 04 1 0.94 1 0.67 1 0.41 1 0.24 1 0.02 9.84
9.68 ;9.55 9.43 9.33 9.1 4
8.99 8.86 8.74
1 0 5 1 3.24 1 2.98 1 2.71 1 2.55 1 2.32
1 2.1 4 1 1 .99 1 1 .85 1 1 .73 1 1
.63 1 1 .45 1 1 .29 1 1 .1 6 1 1
.04
1 0 6 1 5.54 1 5.28 1 5.01 1 4
.85 1 4.62 1 4.44 1 4.29 1 4.1 5 1 4.04
1 3.93 1 3.75 1 3.60 1 3.46 1 3.34
1 0 7 1 7.84 1 7.58 1 7.31 1 7.1 5
1 6 .93 1 6.74 1 6 .59 1 6 .46 1 6 .34 1 6.23
1 6 .05 1 5.90 1 5.76 1 5.65
1 0 8 20.1 5 1 9 .88 1 9.62
1 9 .45 1 9 .23 1 9.05 1 8 .89 1 8.76 1 8 .64 1 8.54
1 8 .35 1 8 .20 1 8 .07 1 7.95
1 0 9 22.45 22.1 9 21 .92 21 .76 21 .53 21 .35 21 .20 21 .06 20.94
20.84 20.66 20.50 20.37 20.25
1 0' 0 24.75
24
.49
24.22 24.06 23.83 23.65 23.50 23.36 23.25 23.1 4 22.96
22.81 22.67 22.55
1 0" 27.05 26.79 26.52 26 .36 26 .1 4 25.96
25.80 25.67 25.55 25.44 25.26 25.1 1 24
.97 24.86
1 0 1 2 29 .36 20.09 28.83 28 .66 28 .44 28.26
28 .1 0 27.97 27.85 27.75 27.56 27.41 27.28 27.1 6
1 0 1 3 31 .66 31 .40 31 .1 3 30.97 30.74 30.56 30.41 30.27 30.1 5 30
.05 29 .87 29 .71 29 .58 29 .46
1 0 1 4 33.96 33.70 33.43 33.27
33.05 32.86 32.71 32.58 32.46 32.35 32.1 7 32.02
31 .88 31 .76
Examples: When1 / u=1 0x1 0
-
' ,
W(u)=0.21 9
; when
1 / u=3.33x1 0 2, W(u)=5.23.
Aquifer
Tests

35
ANALYSIS
OF
AQUIFER-TEST
DATA
10
10
0.01
36

Basic Ground-WaterHydrology
THEIS TYPE CURVE
( 1)
t, in minutes
I

10

10 2
0.01
1 I

1

I
0.1

I

10
I

T -1

rTTI
'

MATCH-POINT COORDINATES
W( u) = I,

s=
2 .2 0 m
_

I /u

=
1,

t r 1 .8 min

_ J~
In 1935, C. V. Theis of the New Mexico Water Resources
District of the U.S. Geological
Survey developed the first
equation to
includetime
of
pumping as a factor that could be
used to
analyze
the effect of
withdrawals from a well.
Thus,
the
Theis equation permitted, for thefirst time, determination
of the hydraulic characteristics of an aquifer before
the
development of new steady-state conditions resulting
from
pumping. The importance of this
capability
may
be realized
from the fact that, under most conditions,
a new
steady
state
cannot be developed
or that, if it can, many months oryears
may be required.
1--r-TTTfTr
FTTM
10 3 10 4
_ T_
DATA
PLOT
Q= 1 .9
M3
min-'
r=
187 m
Type Curve
ITFTiT
1

I
I I I
1111

I

I I
111111

I

I 1 1 11111
10
I/u 10
2
10 3
10 4
105
_ _ 1100
Theis assumed in thedevelopment of the equationthat:
1 . The transmissivity of the aquifer tapped by the pumping
well is constant during the test to the limits of the
coneof depression.
2 . The water withdrawn from the aquifer is derived entirely
from storage and is discharged instantaneously with
thedeclinein head.
3. The discharging well penetrates the entire thickness of the
aquifer, and its diameter is small in comparison with
the pumping rate, so that storage in the well is neg-
ligible.
These assumptions are most nearly met
by confined
aquifers
at sites remote from their boundaries. However,
if
certain
precautions are observed, the equation can also
be
used to analyze tests
of unconfined aquifers.
The forms
of the Theis equation used to determine the
transmissivity
and storage coefficient are
or
T-
Q
W(u)
4*s
4Ttu
S-
r
z
-0. 577216-logeu+u-

u
z

+

u
a

-

+. . .
2x2! 3x3! 4x4!
and u=(r 2S)1(4Tt).
u'
_ QW(u) _
gal

1,440 min

ft3

_1

W(u)
T

47rs

min x d

x
7. 48 gal x ft x 47r
T(in ft2
d-')-
15
. 3QW(u)
s
where T is transmissivity, S is the storage
coefficient, Qis the
pumping rate, s is drawdown, t is time, r is the
distance from
the pumping well to the observation well, W(u)
is
the
well
function of u, which equals
The form of the Theis equation is such
that it cannot be
solved directly . To overcome this problem, Theis
devised a
convenient graphic method of solution that involves the use
of a type curve (1)
.
To apply this method, a data plot of draw-
down versus time (or drawdown
versus t/ rz) is matched to the
type curve of W(u) versus 1/ u (2).
At some convenient point on
the overlapping part of the sheets containing the data plot and
type curve, values of s, t (or t/ rz), W(u), and 1/ u are noted (2).
These values are then substituted in equations 1 and 2, which
are solved for T and S, respectively.
A Theis type curve of W(u) versus 1/ u can be prepared from
the values given in the table contained in the preceding sec-
tion, "Aquifer Tests. " The data points are plotted on logarith-
mic graph paper-that is, graph paper having logarithmic divi-
sions in both the
x
and y directions.
The dimensional units of transmissivity (T) are L Z t -1, where
L is length and t is time in days. Thus, if Qin equation 1
is
in
cubic meters per day and s is in meters, Twill be in square me-
ters per day . Similarly, if, in equation 2, T is in square meters
per day, t is in days, and r is in meters, S will be dimensionless.
Traditionally, in the United States, T has been expressed in
units of gallons per day per foot. The common practice now is
to
report transmissivity in units of square meters per day or
square feet per day . I f Qis measured in gallons per minute, as
is still normally the case, and drawdown is measured in feet,
as is also normally the case, equation 1 is modified to obtain T
in square feet per day as
follows:
(when Q
is in gallons per minute and s is in feet) . To convert
square
feet per day to square meters per day, divide by 10. 76.
The storage coefficient
is dimensionless. Therefore,
if T is in
square
feet per day, t is in
minutes, and r is in
feet, then, by
equation 2,
or
S-
4Ttu _4
x
ft'
x
min x

d
rz

1

d

ftz

1,440 min
S_
Ttu
360 rz
(when
feet) .
Analysis of aquifer-test
data using the Theis equation in-
volves plotting both the type curve and the
test data on loga-
rithmic graph paper . I f the aquifer and the conditions of the
test satisfy Theis's assumptions, the type curve has the same
shape as the cone of depression along any line radiating away
from the pumping well
and the drawdown graph at any point
in the cone of depression.
Use of the Theis equation for unconfined aquifers involves
two considerations. F irst, if the aquifer is relatively fine
grained, water is released slowly over a period of hours or
days, not instantaneously with the decline in head. Therefore,
the value of S determined from a short-period test may be too
small .
Second,
if
the
pumping
rate is
large
and the observation
well is near the pumping well, dewatering of the aquifer may
be significant, and the assumption that the transmissivity
of the aquifer is constant is not satisfied . The effect of de-
watering of the aquifer can be eliminated with the following
equation :
T is in square feet per day, t is in minutes, and r is in
S' -S-

sz
(2b)
where s is the observed drawdown in
the unconfined aquifer,
b is the aquifer thickness, and s' is the drawdown that
would
have occurred if the aquifer had been confined (that
is, if no
dewatering had occurred).
To determine the
transmissivity and storage coefficient of
an unconfined aquifer, a
data plot consisting of s' versus t (or
t/ rz) is matched with the Theis type curve
of W(u) versus 1/ u.
Both s and b in equation 3 must be in the same units, either
feet or meters.
As noted above, Theis assumed in the development of his
equation that the discharging well penetrates the entire thick-
ness of the aquifer . However, because it is not always pos-
sible, or necessarily desirable, to design a well that fully pene-
trates the aquifer under development, most discharging wells
are open to only a part of the aquifer that they draw from.
Such partial penetration creates vertical flow in the vicinity of
the discharging well that may affect drawdowns in observa-
tion wells located relatively close to the discharging well .
Drawdowns in observation wells that are open to the same
zone as the discharging well will be larger than the draw-
downs
in wells
at the same
distance from the discharging
well
but open to other zones. The possible effect of partial pene-
tration on drawdowns must be considered in the analysis of
aquifer-test data. I f aquifer-boundary and other conditions
permit, the
problem can
be
avoided
by
locating observation
wells beyond the zone in which vertical flow exists.
Analysis of Aquifer-Test Data

37
TIME-DRAWDOWN
ANALYSIS
The Theis equation is only one of several
methods that have
been developed for the analysis
of aquifer-test data . (See
"Analysis of Aquifer-Test Data. ")
Another method, and one
that is somewhat more convenient
to use, was developed by
C. E. Jacob from the Theis equation. The
greater convenience
of the Jacob
method derives partly from its use of semiloga-
rithmic graph paper
instead of the logarithmic paper
used
in
the Theis method and
from the fact that, under ideal condi-
tions, the data plot
along a straight line rather than along a
curve.
However, it is essential to
note that, whereas the Theis
equation applies at all times and places (if the assumptions
are
met) , Jacob's method applies only under certain additional
conditions
. These conditions must also be satisfied in order to
obtain reliable
answers
.
To understand the limitations of Jacob's method,
we must
consider the changes that occur in the cone of depression
dur-
ing an aquifer test . The changes that are of concern involve
both the shape of the cone and the rate of drawdown . As
the
cone of depression migrates outward from a pumping well,
its
shape (and, therefore,
the
hydraulic
gradient at different
points in the cone)
changes .
We can refer to this condition as
unsteady shape. At the start of withdrawals, the entire cone of
depression has an unsteady shape (1 ) . After a test has been
underway for some time, the cone of depression begins to
assume a relatively steady shape, first at the pumping well and
then gradually to greater and greater distances (2 ) . If with-
drawals continue
long enough for increases in recharge and
(or) reductions
in discharge to balance the rate of withdrawal,
drawdowns cease,
and the cone of depression is said to be in a
steady state (3 ) .
The Jacob method is applicable only to the zone in which
steady-shape conditions prevail or to the entire cone only
after steady-state conditions have developed . For practical
purposes, this condition is met when u=(r
2
S) 1 (4Tt)
is equal
to
or less
than about 0. 05 . Substituting this value in the equation
for u and
solving for
t,
we can determine the time at which
steady-shape
conditions develop at the outermost observation
well
. Thus,
t`

7,2 00 r2 S
T
where tc is
the time, in minutes, at which steady-shape
condi-
tions
develop, r is the distance from the pumping
well,
in
feet
(or
meters) , S is the estimated storage coefficient
(dimension-
less) , and
T is the estimated transmissivity, in square
feet per
day (or square meters
per day)
.
After steady-shape
conditions have developed, the draw-
downs at an
observation well begin to fall along a straight
line
on
semilogarithmic graph paper, as sketch 4
shows. Before
that time, the drawdowns
plot below the extension of the
straight line. When a
time-drawdown graph is prepared,
drawdowns are plotted on the
vertical (arithmetic) axis versus
time on the horizontal
(logarithmic) axis .
3 8

Basic Ground-Water
Hydrology
T=
2 . 3 Q
47rOs
2 . 2 5 Tto
S=
r
z
The slope of the
straight line is proportional to the pumping
rate and to
the transmissivity. Jacob derived the following
equations
for determination of transmissivity and
storage co-
efficient from the time-drawdown graphs :
where Qis the pumping rate, As is the drawdown across one
log cycle, t o is the time at
the point where the straight line
intersects the zero-drawdown
line, and r is the distance from
the pumping well to the
observation well .
~ , 0
W
2
W
4
z
3
6
0
0
3
8
a
010
12
X
X
Z~ s=1
.2 m
tC
Log
cycle
r=
75
m
Q= 9 .3 m
3
min -' ( 2455 gal min -
t~ =2 .5x10-5 d
i

, II , i

, , I

,
. .
10 -5 10 - 4 10 - 3
10 - 2 0.1
Equations 2 and 3 are in consistent units.
Thus, if Qis in
cubic meters per day and s is in meters, T is in
square meters
per day. S is dimensionless, so that, in equation
3, if T is in
square meters per day, then r mustbe in meters and
to mustbe
in days.
It is still common practice in the United States
to express Q
in gallons per minute, s in f eet, t in minutes, r in
f eet, and T in
square f eet per day. We can modif y equations
2 and 3 f or
direct substitution of
these units asf ollows:
TIME, IN DAYS
( 4)
TIME-DRAWDOWN

GRAPH
Drawdown
measurements
T=
35 Q
As
2
.25 Tto _ 2 .25

f tz

min

d
S_

r2

1

X

d

X
_
f t2

X
l, 440 min
( where
T is in square f eet per day, Qis in
gallons per minute,
and As
is
in
f eet) and
S=

Tto

( 5)
640 r 2
_

2 .3 Q_2.3

_gal

1, 440 min

f t3

_1

( where T is in square f eet per day, t
o
is
in minutes, and r is in
T

4aAs

47r
X
min
X

d

X
7.48 gal
X
f t

f eet) .
Time-Drawdown Analysis

39
DISTANCE-DRAWDOWN
ANALYSIS
It i s des i rable i n aqui fer t es t s t o have at leas t t hree obs erva-
t i on wells locat ed at di fferen t di s t an ces from
t he pumpi n g
well ( 1 ) . Drawdown s meas ured at t he s ame t i me
i n
t hes e
wells
can be an alyzed wi t h t he Thei s equat i on
an d t ype curve t o
det ermi n e t he aqui fer t ran s mi s s i vi t y an d s t orage
coeffi ci en t .
Aft er t he t es t has been un derway lon g en ough, drawdown s
i n t he wells can als o be an alyzed by t he Jacob met hod, ei t her
t hrough t he us e of a t i me-drawdown graph us i n g dat a from i n -
di vi dual wells or t hrough t he us e of a di s t an ce-drawdown
graph us i n g "s i mult an eous " meas uremen t s i n all of t he
wells .
To det ermi n e when s uffi ci en t t i me has elaps ed, s ee "Ti me-
Drawdown An alys i s . "
In t he Jacob di s t an ce-drawdown met hod, drawdown s are
plot t ed on t he vert i cal ( ari t hmet i c) axi s vers us di s t an ce on t he
hori zon t al ( logari t hmi c) axi s ( 2 ) .
If
t he aqui fer
an d
t es t con di -
t i on s s at i s fy t he
Thei s as s umpt i on s an d t he li mi t at i on
of
t he
Jacob met hod, t he drawdown s meas ured at t he s ame t i me i n
di fferen t wells s hould plot alon g a s t rai ght li n e ( 2 ) .
The s lope of t he s t rai ght li n e i s proport i on al t o t he pumpi n g
rat e an d t o t he t ran s mi s s i vi t y. Jacob deri ved t he followi n g
equat i on s for det ermi n at i on of t he t ran s mi s s i vi t y an d s t orage
coeffi ci en t from di s t an ce-drawdown graphs :
T
2 . 3Q
2 1 rAs
S
2 . 2 5Tt
=
r0
where Q i s t he pumpi n g
rat e, As i s t he drawdown acros s on e
log cycle, t i s t he
t i me at whi ch t he drawdown s were meas -
ured, an d
ro
i s
t he di s t an ce from t he pumpi n g well t o t he
poi n t
where t he
s t rai ght li n e i n t ers ect s t he zero-drawdown
li n e
.
Equat i on s 1 an d 2 are i n con s i s t en t
un i t s . For t he i n con s i s t -
en t un i t s s t i ll i n relat i vely common us e i n
t he Un i t ed St at es ,
equat i on s 1 an d 2 s hould be us ed i n t he
followi n g forms :
40

Bas i c Groun d-Wat er Hydrology
T=

70 Q
( where Ti s i n s quare feet per day, Q i s i n gallon s
per mi n ut e,
an d
As i s i n feet ) an d
S=

Tt
640 r, 2
( where Ti s i n
s quare feet per day, t i s i n mi n ut es , an d r
( ,
i s i n
feet ) .
The di s t an ce ro does n ot
i n di cat e t he out er li mi t of t he con e
of depres s i on . Becaus e n on s t eady-s hape
con di t i on s exi s t i n
t he
out er part of t he con e, before t he developmen t of s t eady-
s t at e con di t i on s , t he Jacob met hod does n ot apply t o t hat
part . If t he Thei s equat i on were
us ed
t o
calculat e drawdown s
i n t he out er part of t he con e, i t would
be
foun d t hat
t hey
would plot below t he s t rai ght li n e . In ot her words , t he meas ur-
able li mi t of t he con e of depres s i on i s beyon d t he di s t an ce ro .
If t he s t rai ght li n e of t he di s t an ce-drawdown graph i s ex-
t en ded i n ward t o t he radi us of t he pumpi n g well, t he draw-
down i n di cat ed at t hat poi n t i s t he drawdown i n t he aqui fer
out s i de of t he well . If t he drawdown i n s i de t he well i s foun d t o
be great er t han t he drawdown out s i de, t he di fferen ce i s at -
t ri but able t o well los s . ( See "Si n gle-Well Tes t s . ")
As n ot ed
i n t he s ect i on
on
"Hydrauli c Con duct i vi t y," t he
hydrauli c con duct i vi t i es an d, t herefore,
t he t ran s mi s s i vi t i es
of
aqui fers may be
di fferen t i n di fferen t di rect i on s . Thes e di ffer-
en ces may
caus e drawdown s meas ured at t he s ame t i me i n
obs ervat i on
wells locat ed at t he s ame di s t an ces but i n di ffer-
en t di rect i on s from t he di s chargi n g well t o be di fferen t
. Where
t hi s con di t i on exi s t s , t he di s t an ce-drawdown
met hod may
yi eld s at i s fact ory
res ult s on ly where t hree or more obs ervat i on
wells
are locat ed
i n
t he s ame di rect i on but at di fferen t di s -
t an ces
from t he di s chargi n g well .
w
w
z
H
z
3
0
0
0
2
0
12
( 1)
DISTANCE-DR'AWDOWN GRAPH
t = 4
days'
Q= 9 .3m3

min-1
k2,455
gal
min-
= 30,000
m
1

10 100 1000 10,000
DISTANCE, IN METERS
Dist ance-Drawdown
Analysis

4
1
SINGLE-WELLTESTS
s t =
s
a
+s ,
42

Ba s ic
Ground-Wa t erHydrology
The mos t us eful a quifer t es t s a re t hos e t ha t include wa t er-
level mea s urement s in obs erva t ion wells . Such t es t s a re com-
monly referred t o a s mult iple-well t es t s . It is a ls o pos s ible t o
obt a in us eful da t a from product ion wells , even whereobs er-
va t ion wells a re not a va ila ble. Such t es t s a re referred t o a s
s ingle-well t es t s a nd ma y cons is t of pumping a well a t a s ingle
cons t a nt ra t e, or a t t wo or more different but cons t a nt ra t es
(s ee "Well-Accept a nce Tes t s a nd Well Efficiency") or, if t he
well is not equipped wit h a pump,by "ins t a nt a neous ly" in-
t roducing a
knownvolume of wa t erint o t hewell. This dis cus -
s ion will be limit edt o t es t s
involving a s ingle cons t a nt ra t e.
In order t o
a na lyze
t he
da t a , it is neces s a ry t o unders t a nd
t he na t ure of t he dra wdown in a pumping well. The t ot a l
dra wdown(s t ) in mos t ,if not a ll, pumpingwells cons is t s of t wo
component s (1 ) . One is t he dra wdown (s a ) in t he a quifer, a nd
t he ot her is t he dra wdown
(s ,)
t ha t occurs a s wa t er moves
from t he a quifer
int o t he well a nd up t he well bore t o t he
pump
int a ke. Thus , t he dra wdown in mos t pumping wells is
grea t er t ha n
t he dra wdown in t he a quifer a t t he ra dius of t he
pumping
well.
The t ot a l dra wdown
(s
t
)
in a pumpingwell ca n be expres s ed
in t heform of t he following equa t ions :
s t =BQ+CQz

(1 )
`Confining
bed
T
2. 3Q
41 rAs
wheres
a
is t he dra wdown in t he
a quifer a t t he effect ive ra dius
of t hepumpingwell,s ,is well los s ,Q
is t hepumping ra t e, B is
a fa ct or rela t ed t o t he
hydra ulic cha ra ct eris t ics of t he
a quifer
a nd t he lengt h of t he pumping
period,a nd Cis a fa ct or
rela t ed
t o t hecha ra ct eris t ics of t he well.
Thefa ct or Cin equa t ion 1 is norma lly
cons idered t o be con-
s t a nt , s o t ha t , in a
cons t a nt ra t e t es t ,
CQ2
is a ls o cons t a nt .
As a
res ult , t he well los s
(s ,,) increa s es t he t ot a l dra wdown in t he
pumping well but does
not a ffect t he ra t e of cha nge in t he
dra wdown wit h t ime. It is , t herefore,
pos s ible t o a na lyzedra w-
downs in t he
pumping well wit h t he Ja cob t ime-dra wdown
met hod us ing
s emiloga rit hmic gra ph pa per. (See "Time-
Dra wdown Ana lys is
. ") Dra wdows a re plot t ed on t he a rit h-
met ic s ca le vers us t ime
ont he loga rit hmic s ca le (2), a ndt ra ns -
mis s ivit y is det ermined from t he s lope of t he
s t ra ight line
t hrough t he us e of t hefollowing equa t ion:
Wherewell los s is pres ent in t he pumping well,t he
s t ora ge
coefficient ca nnot be det ermined by ext ending t he s t ra ight
line t o t he line of zero dra wdown. Even wherewell los s is not
pres ent , t he det ermina t ion of t he s t ora ge coefficient from
dra wdowns in a pumping well likely will
be s ubject t o la rge
error beca us et he effect ive ra dius of t he well
ma ydiffer s ignif-
ica nt ly from t he "nomina l" ra dius .
w
W
z
3
0
0
3
a
0
0
1
3
4
5
7L
0. 1
t
0
\

\
IY6/l
-1
SW

\\
wlih
\~o
pU~~° '

\

IV
ell
\x
x9
Wel
_
l
sa

xx. x,x
/1 6
x
well
cycle -i.

/
t '
-t
oss
` . r
I
I I I I I
I

I

I

I I ( I
I
I I
I

1 0
TIME,
IN MINUTES
( 2)
RELATION OF PUMPING
RATE
AND DRAWDOWN
I

2

3
PUMPING RATE, IN
CUBIC METERS PER MINUTE
In equat ion 1 , dr awdown in t he pumpin g well
is pr opor -
t ion al t o t he
pumpin g
r at e . The fact or B in t he aquifer -loss
t er m ( BQ) in cr eases wit h t ime
of
pumpin g
as lon g as wat er is
bein g der ived fr om
st or age in t he aquifer
.
The fact or Cin t he
well-loss t er m
( CQ2
) is acon st an t if t he char act er ist ics of t he
well r emain un chan ged, but , because t he pumpin g r at e in
t he
well-loss t er m is squar ed, dr awdown due t o well loss in cr eases
4
I I
1 1 -
iTT
~
x
x,x
x
*if,
It
x
1 00
5
z
z
3
0
0
3
Q
0
1 0
r apidly as t he pumpin g r at e is in cr eased. The r elat ion bet ween
pumpin g r at es an d dr awdown in apumpin g well, if t he well
was pumped for t he same len gt h of t ime
at each r at e, is shown
in sket ch 3. The effect of well loss on dr awdown in
t he
pump-
in g well is impor t an t bot h in t he an alysis of dat a
fr om pump-
in g wells an d in t he design of supply wells.
Sin gle-Well Test s

43
_ Qt
s
_

T,S,rz
44

Bas ic
Ground-Water Hydrology
FERENCE
Well
A
Well
A
Pumping a well caus es a drawdown
in the ground-water
level in the
s urrounding area . The drawdown in water level
forms a
conical-s haped depres s ion in the water table or poten-
tiometric s urface, which is referred to as a cone of
depres s ion .
(See
"Cone of Depres s ion. ") Similarly, a well through
which
water is injected into an aquifer
(that is , a recharge or in-
jection well) caus es a buildup
in ground-water level in the
form of a conical-s haped mound
.
The drawdown (s )
in
an
aquifer caus ed by pumping at any
point
in the aquifer is directly proportional to the
pumping
rate (Q and
the length of time (t) that pumping has
been in
progres s
and is invers ely proportional to the
trans mis s ivity (T) ,
the s torage coefficient (S) , and the
s quare of the dis tance (r
z)
between the pumping
well and the point. I n other words ,
Well
B
Well
B
Static potenti
o
metric
s urface
Cone of
depres s ion
if well B were
pumping and well A
were idle
Cone of
depres s ion with both
wells A and B pumping
Where pumping wells are s paced relatively clos e
together,
pumping of one will caus e a drawdown
in the others . Draw-
downs are additive, s o that the
total drawdown in a pumping
well is equal to its own
drawdown plus the drawdowns caus ed
at its
location by other pumping wells (1 ) (2 ) . The drawdowns
in
pumping wells caus ed by withdrawals
from other pumping
wells are referred to as well interference.
As s ketch 2 s hows , a
divide forms in the potentiometric
s urface (or the water table,
in the cas e of an
unconfined aquifer) between pumping wells
.
At any point
in an aquifer affected by both a
dis charging
well and a
recharging well, the change in water level is
equal
to the
difference between the drawdown and
the buildup. I f
the rates of dis charge
and recharge are the s ame and if the
wells are operated on
the s ame s chedule, the drawdown and
the buildup will
cancel midway between the wells , and the
water level at that
point will remain unchanged from
the
s tatic
level (3 ) . (See "Aquifer
Boundaries . ")
Wesee from
the above functional equation
that, in the
absenceof well
interference, drawdown in an aquifer
at the
effective radius
of a pumping well is directly proportional
to
the pumping rate. Conversely,
themaximum pumping rate is
directly proportional to theavailable
drawdown . For confined
aquifers, availabledrawdown is normally
considered to bethe
distance between theprepumping water
level and thetop of
the
aquifer
.
For unconfined aquifers, available drawdown
is
normally considered
to beabout 60 percent of thesaturated
aquifer thickness .
Wherethe pumping rate
of a well is such that only a part of
the available drawdown is utilized, the only
effect of well
interference is to lower the pumping level
and, thereby,
increase pumping costs. I n the design of a well
field, thein-
crease
in
pumping cost must beevaluated along with
the cost
of the additional
waterlines and powerlines that
must be in-
stalled if the spacing of wells
is increased to reduce
well inter-
ference. (See "Well- Field
Design . ")
Becausewell interference
reduces the available drawdown,
it also reduces
the maximum yield of a well . Well
interference
is, therefore, an
important matter in thedesign
of well fields
whereit is desirablefor
each well to bepumped at the
largest
possible rate. Wecan see
from equation 1 that, for a group
of
wells pumped at thesamerate and on the
sameschedule, the
well interference caused by any
well on another well in the
group is inversely proportional to the square
of thedistance
between
the two wells (rz) . Therefore,
excessive well inter-
ference is avoided
by increasing the spacing between
wells
and by locating thewells along
a line rather than in a circleor
in a grid pattern .
Well I nterference

45
A UIFER
BOUNDARIES
One of the
assumptions inherent in the Theis
equation (and
in most other fundamental
ground-water flow equations) is
that the aquifer to which it is being applied
is infinite in extent .
Obviously, no such aquifer exists
on Earth . However, many
aquifers are areally extensive,
and, because pumping will not
affect recharge or discharge significantly for many
years,
most water pumped
is from ground-water storage; as a
conse-
quence, water levels
must decline for many years. An excel-
lent example of such
an aquifer is that underlying the High
Plains from Texas to South Dakota.
All aquifers are bounded in both the vertical
direction and
the horizontal direction. For example, vertical boundaries
may
include the water table, the plane of contact between each
aquifer and each confining
bed, and the plane marking the
lower limit of the zone
of interconnected openings-in other
words, the base of the
ground-water system.
Hydraulically, aquifer boundaries
are of two types:
recharge boundaries and impermeable boundaries. Arecharge
boundary is a boundary along which flow lines originate. In
other words, such a boundary will, under certain hydraulic
HYDRAULIC COUNTERPART OF REAL SYSTEM
PLAN VIEW OF THE
HYDRAULICCOUNTERPART
46

Basic Ground-Water
Hydrology
conditions, serve as
a source of recharge to the
aquifer . Ex-
amples of recharge boundaries
include the zones of contact
between
an aquifer and a perennial
stream that completely
penetrates
the aquifer or the ocean.
An impermeable
boundary is a boundary
that flow lines do
not cross. Such boundaries
exist where aquifers terminate
against "impermeable" material .
Examples include the con-
tact between an aquifer composed
of sand and a laterally ad-
jacent
bed composed of clay .
The position
and nature of aquifer boundaries
are of critical
importance in many ground-water
problems, including the
movement and fate of pollutants and
the response of aquifers
to withdrawals. Depending on the direction of
the hydraulic
gradient,
a stream, for example, may be either the
source or
the destination of a pollutant .
Lateral boundaries within the cone of
depression have a
profound effect on the response of an aquifer
to withdrawals.
To analyze, or to predict, the effect of a lateral
boundary, it is
necessary to "make" the
aquifer appear to be of infinite
extent. This feat is accomplished through the
use of imaginary
HYDRAULICCOUNTERPART OF REAL SYSTEM
REAL SYSTEM
Drawdown

I

Dr. wdownby

DiSCharging
by i~*,a9eweu

real wen

i

imagewell
J
I -
!1
PLAN VIEW
OF THE HYDRAULIC COUNTERPART
wells
and the theory of images .
Sketches 1 and 2 show, in
both
plan view
and profile, how image
wells are used to compen-
sate, hydraulically, for the
effects of both recharging
and im-
permeable boundaries .
(See "Well Interference . ")
The key feature of a
recharge boundary is
that withdrawals
from the aquifer
do not produce
drawdowns across the
boundary . A perennial stream
in intimate contact
with an
aquifer
represents a recharge
boundary because pumping
from
the aquifer will induce recharge
from the stream. The
hydraulic effect of a recharge
boundary can be duplicated by
assuming that a
recharging image well is present
on the side of
the boundary opposite the
real discharging well .
Water is in-
jected into the image well at
the same rate and on the
same
schedule that water is withdrawn
from the real well . In
the
plan view in
sketch 1 , flow lines originate at
the boundary, and
equipotential lines
parallel the boundary at
the closest point
to the pumping (real)
well .
The key feature
of an impermeable boundary
is that no
water can cross it . Such a boundary,
sometimes termed a "no-
flow boundary," resembles a divide
in the water table or the
potentiometric surface of a confined
aquifer . The effect of an
impermeable boundary can be
duplicated by assuming that a
discharging
image well is present on the side of the
boundary
opposite the real
discharging well . The image well withdraws
water at the same
rate and on the same schedule as the
real
well . Flow lines
tend to be parallel to an impermeable
bound-
ary, and equipotential lines intersect it at a right
angle .
The image-well theory is an essential tool
in the design of
well
fields near aquifer boundaries . Thus, on the
basis of
minimizing the lowering of water levels, the following
condi-
tions apply :
1 . Pumping wells should
be located parallel to and as close as
possible to recharging
boundaries .
2 . Pumping wells should be
located perpendicular to and as
far as possible from impermeable boundaries
.
Sketches 1 and 2 illustrate the effect of single
boundaries
and show how their hydraulic effect is
compensated for
through the use of single image wells . It is assumed
in these
sketches that other boundaries are
so remote that they have a
negligible effect on the areas depicted.
At many places,
however, pumping wells are affected by two or
more bound-
aries . One example is an alluvial aquifer composed
of sand
CROSS SECTION
THROUGHAQUIFER
Pumping well\
Stream
-. contmi n
material=- _
PLAN VIEW
OF BOUNDARIES, PUMPINGWELLS,
AND IMAGE WELLS
0

0 0
Iio

I
e
1 ,
Discharging image
well
F--Repeats
to infinity
Impermeable
Recharge
boundary \I

) /boundary
B--4-A4--B-~A+---B-}-A~
0 0

0
1 3 1 5

1 7 1 9
Pumping
well
Recharging
image
well
Repeats to infinit y
BALANCINGOF WELLS
ACROSS BOUNDARIES
Impermeable

Recharge
boundary

boundary
Ip
I,
I
6
I
a
I 1 0
Pw

Pw I I,
I,
1 3

I4
~ 1 5
1 5

1
6

1
7
1 7

1 , 1 ,
and gravel bordered on
one side by a perennial stream (a re-
charge boundary) and on the
other by impermeable bedrock
(an impermeable boundary) .
Contrary to first impression,
these boundary conditions can-
not
be satisfied with only a recharging image well and a
dis-
charging
image well . Additional image wells are required,
as
sketch
3
shows,
to compensate for the effect of the image
wells on the
opposite boundaries . Because each new image
well added to the array affects the opposite
boundary, it is
necessary to continue adding image wells until their distances
from the boundaries
are so great that their effect becomes
negligible .
Aquifer Boundaries

47
TESTS AFFECTEDBY
LATERAL
BOUNDARIES
w
w
Z
z
O
Q
0
W
WW
Z
Z
O
Q
0=
10
0. 01
0
0. 2
0. 4
0. 6
0. 8
TIME, IN MINUTES
10
10'
103
10"
10s
TIME, IN MINUTES
1

10

102 103 10
4
x ,
S;
When an aquifer t est is conduct ed near one of t he l at eral
boundaries of an aquifer, t he drawdowndat a depart from t he
Theis t ype
curve and from t he
init ial
st raight l ine produced
by
t he Jacob
met hod. The hydraul ic effect of
l at eral boundaries
is assumed, for anal yt ical convenience, t o be due t o t he
pres-
ence of ot her wel l s. (See " Aquifer Boundaries . " ) Thus, a
recharge boundary has t he same effect on drawdowns as a re-
charging image wel l l ocat ed across t he boundary and at t he
same dist ance from t he boundary as t he real wel l . The image
wel l is assumed
t o operat e on t he same schedul e and at t he
same rat e as t he real wel l . Simil arl y, an impermeabl e bound-
ary has t he same effect on drawdowns as a discharging image
wel l .
To anal yze aquifer-t est dat a affect ed by eit her a recharge
boundary or an impermeabl e boundary, t he earl y drawdown
dat a in t he observat ion wel l s nearest t he
pumping wel l
must
not beaffect ed by t he boundary. These dat a,
t hen,
show
onl y
t he effect of t he real wel l and can be used t o
det ermine t he
t ransmissivit y (T) and t he st orage coefficient (S) of t he aquifer .
(See
" Anal ysis of Aquifer-Test Dat a" and " Time-Drawdown
Anal ysis. " ) In t he
Theis met hod, t het ype curve is mat ched
t o
4 8

Basic Ground-Wat er
Hydrol ogy
t he earl y
dat a, and a " mat ch point "
is sel ect ed for use in
cal cul at ing val ues of T and
S. The posit ion of t het ype
curve,
in t he region where t he drawdowns
depart from t he t ype
curve, is t raced ont o t hedat a pl ot
(1) (3 ) . The t raceof t het ype
curveshows wheret he
drawdowns woul d have pl ot t ed if t here
had been
no boundary effect . The differences in
drawdown
bet ween t he dat a pl ot
and t he t race of t he t ype curve
show
t he effect of an aquifer boundary
. The direct ion in which t he
drawdowns depart from t he t ype
curve-t hat is, in t he direc-
t ion of eit her great er drawdowns or l esser
drawdowns-shows
t he
t ypeof boundary.
Drawdowns
great er t han t hose defined by t he t race
of t he
t ype curve indicat e
t he presence of an impermeabl e boundary
because, as not ed above, t heeffect of such
boundaries can be
dupl icat ed wit h an imaginary discharging wel l (1) .
Conversel y,
a recharge
boundary causes drawdowns t o be l ess t han t hose
defined by t he t raceof t he
t ypecurve (3 ) .
W
w
Z
z
3
O
D
Q
0. 2
0. 4
0
. 6
0. 8
TIME, IN MINUTES
01

10

10'

103 10 4
(4 )
In t he Jacob
met hod, drawdowns begin t o pl ot al ong a
st raight l ine
aft er t het est has been underway for somet ime
(2 )
(4 ) . The t ime
at whicht he st raight -l ine pl ot begins depends on
t he
val ues of T and S of t he aquifer and on t he square
of t he
distance between the observation well and the pumping well .
(See "Time-Drawdown Analysis . ") Values of T and S are deter-
mined from the first straight-line segment defined by the draw-
downs after the start
of
the
aquifer test . The slope of this
straight line depends on the transmissivity (T) and on the
pumping rate (Q. I f a boundary is present, the drawdowns will
depart from the first straight-line segment and begin to fall
along another straight line (2 ) (4 ) .
According to image-well theory, the effect
of
a
recharge
boundary can be duplicated by assuming that water
is
in-
jected into the aquifer through a recharging image well
at
the
same rate that water is being withdrawn from the real well . I t
follows, therefore, that, when the full effect of a recharge
boundary is felt at an observation well, there
will be no further
increase in drawdown, and the water level in the well
will sta-
bilize . At this point in both the Theis and the Jacob methods,
drawdowns plot along a straight line having a constant
drawdown (3 ) (4 )
.
Conversely, an impermeable boundary
causes the rate
of drawdown to increase . I n the Jacob
method,
as
a
result,
the
drawdowns plot along a new straight
line having twice the slope as the line drawn through the draw-
downs that occurred before the effect of the boundary was
felt (2 ) .
A word of caution should be injected here regarding use of
the Jacob method
when it
is suspected that an aquifer test
may
be affected
by
boundary conditions
.
I n
many cases, the
boundary begins
to
affect drawdowns
before the method is
applicable, the result being that T and
S
values determined
from the data are erroneous, and the effect of the boundary is
not identified . When it is suspected that an aquifer test may
be affected by boundary conditions, the data should, at least
initially, be analyzed with the Theis method .
The position and the nature of many boundaries are ob-
vious .
For example, the most common recharge boundaries
are streams and lakes ; possibly, the most common im-
permeable boundaries are the bedrock walls of alluvial
valleys . The hydraulic distance to these boundaries,
however,
may not be obvious . A stream or
lake
may
penetrate only a
short distance into an aquifer,
and
their bottoms may
be
underlain by fine-grained material that hampers movement of
water into
the aquifer . Hydraulically, the boundaries formed
by
these surface-water bodies will appear to be farther from
the pumping well than the near shore . Similarly, if a small
amount of water moves across the bedrock wall of a valley,
the hydraulic distance to the impermeable
boundary will be
greater than the distance to
the valley wall .
Fortunately, the
hydraulic distance to boundaries can be
determined
from the analysis of aquifer-test data . According
to the Theis equation, if we deal with
equal drawdowns
caused by the real well and the
image well (in other words, if
s,=S) , then
where r, is the distance from the observation well to the real
well, ri is the distance from the observation well to the image
well, t, is the time at which a drawdown of S, is caused by
the
real
well at the observation well, and ti is the time at which
a
drawdown of si is caused by the image well at the
observation
well .
Solving equation 1 for the distance to the image well
from
the observation well, we obtain
Circle
along which the
image well is
located
The image well is located at some point on a circle having a
radius of ri centered on the observation
well (5 ) . Because
the
image
well
is
the same distance from the boundary as the real
well, we know the boundary is halfway between the image
well and the pumping well (5 ) .
I f the boundary is a stream or valley wall or some other
feature whose physical position is obvious, its
"hydraulic
posi-
tion" may be determined by
using data from a single observa-
tion well . I f, on the other hand, the boundary is the wall of a
buried valley or some other feature not obvious
from the
land
surface, distances to
the image well from three observation
wells may be needed to identify
the position
of
the boundary.
Tests
Affected by Lateral Boundaries

4 9
TEST
AFFECTED
YLEAKY
CONFINING
BEDS
In the developmen t of the Theis equation for the an alysis of
aquifer-test
data, it was assumed that all water discharged
from the pumpin g well was derived in stan tan eously from
storage in the aquifer . (See "An alysis of Aquifer-Test Data. ")
Therefore, in the case of a con fin ed aquifer, at least durin g the
period of the test, the movemen t of water in to the aquifer
across its overlyin g an d un derlyin g con fin in g beds is n egligi-
ble. This assumption is satisfied by man y con fin ed aquifers.
Man y other aquifers, however, are boun ded by leaky con fin -
in g beds
that tran smit water in to the aquifer in respon se to the
withdrawals
an d cause drawdown s to differ from those that
would be
predicted by the Theis equation . The an alysis of
aquifer tests con ducted
on these aquifers requires the use of
the methods that have been developed
for semicon fin ed
50

Basic
Groun d-Water Hydrology
aquifers (also referred to in groun d-water literature as "leaky
aquifers") .
Sketches 1 through 3 illustrate three differen t con dition s
common ly
en coun tered in the field. Sketch 1
shows a con -
fin ed aquifer
boun ded by thick, impermeable con fin in g beds .
Water in itially
pumped from such an aquifer
is
from storage,
an d aquifer-test data can be an alyzed by usin g the Theis equa-
tion . Sketch 2 shows an aquifer overlain by a thick, leaky con -
fin in g bed that, durin g an aquifer test, yields sign ifican t water
from storage . The aquifer
in
this case may properly be referred
to as a semicon fin ed aquifer, an d
the release of water from
storage in the con fin in g bed affects the an alysis of aquifer-test
data. Sketch 3 shows an aquifer overlain by a thin con fin in g
bed that does n ot yield sign ifican t water
from
storage but that
HANTUSH
TYPE CURVES FOR SEMICONFINED
AQUIFERS
THAT
RECEIVE WATER FROM
STORAGE IN CONFINING BEDS
i s s uffi ci ently permeable
to trans mi t water from the
overlyi ng
unconfi ned aqui fer i nto the
s emi confi ned aqui fer. Methods
have been devi s ed, largely by Madhi
Hantus h and C. E. Jacob,
for us e i n analyzi ng the leaky
condi ti ons i llus trated i n
s ketches 2 and 3 .
The
us e of thes e methods i nvolves matchi ng
data plots wi th
type
curves , as the Thei s method does . The major
di fference i s
that,
whereas the Thei s method i nvolves us e
of a s i ngle type
curve,
the methods appli cable to s emi confi ned
aqui fers i n-
volve "fami li es " of type curves ,
each curve of whi ch reflects
di fferent combi nati ons of the hydrauli c
characteri s ti cs of the
aqui fer and the confi ni ng beds . Data
plots of s vers us t on
logari thmi c graph paper for aqui fer
tes ts affected by releas e
of water from
s torage i n the confi ni ng beds are
matched to
the fami ly
of type curves i llus trated i n s ketch 4.
For con-
veni ence, thes e
curves are referred to as Hantus h type .
Four
match- poi nt coordi nates
are s elected and s ubs ti tuted i nto the
followi ng equati ons to determi ne values
of Tand S:
T-
QH(u,a)
47 rs
4Ttu
S=
r
z
Data plots of s vers us t on logari thmi c graph
paper for
aqui fer tes ts affected by leakage of water acros s confi ni ng
beds are matched
to the fami ly of type curves
s hown i n s ketch
5 . Thes e type curves
are bas ed on equati ons
developed by
Hantus h and Jacob and,
for conveni ence, wi ll
be referred to
as the Hantus h- Jacob
curves . The four
coordi nates of the
match poi nt are
s ubs ti tuted i nto the followi ng
equati ons to
determi ne Tand
S:
T=
QW(u,rIB)
41rs
4Ttu
S=
r
z
HANTUSH- JACOB TYPE CURVES FOR AQUIFERS
RECEIVING
LEAKAGE ACROSS CONFINING BEDS
i i u
(5 )
In
planni ng and conducti ng aqui fer tes ts ,
gi ve careful cons i derati on
to the hydrauli c
the aqui fer and to the type of
boundary condi ti ons (ei ther
recharge or i mpermeable) that are li kely
to exi s t i n the vi ci ni ty
of the tes t s i te . Followi ng completi on
of the tes t, the next
problem i s to s elect the
method of analys i s that mos t clos ely
repres ents the geologi c
and hydrologi c condi ti ons i n the area
affected by the tes t . When
thes e condi ti ons are not well
known, the common practi ce i s to
prepare a data plot of s ver-
s us
t
on logari thmi c paper and match i t wi th the Thei s type
curve . If the data
clos ely match the type curve, the values of T
and
S determi ned by us i ng the Thei s equati on s hould be
reli able . Si gni fi cant
departures of the data from the type
curve generally reflect the pres ence of lateral boundari es
or
leaky confi ni ng beds . Both the geology of the area and the
s hape of the data plot may provi de clues as to whi ch of thes e
condi ti ons mos t li kely exi s t . It i s i mportant to note, however,
that s ome data plots for tes ts affected
by i mpermeable
boundari es are s i mi lar i n s hape to the Hantus h curves .
hydrologi s ts mus t
characteri s ti cs of
Tes ts Affected by Leaky Confi ni ng
Beds

5 1
WELL-CONSTRUCTION
METHODS
SUPPLY WELL

SUPPLY
WELL
( Screened )

( Open

hole
)
Cha ra ct eri s t i cs

Dug
5 2

Ba s i c
Ground-Wa t er Hydrology
The s even di fferent met hods of well
cons t ruct i on i n fa i rly
common us e a re li s t ed i n t he t a ble. The fi rs t four met hods a re
li mi t ed t o rela t i vely s ha llow dept hs a nd a re mos t commonly
employed i n t he cons t ruct i on of domes t i c wells . One of t he
la s t t hree met hods i s us ua lly employed i n t he cons t ruct i on of
muni ci pa l a nd i ndus t ri a l wells a nd domes t i c wells i n
con-
s oli da t ed rock.
The object i ves of well cons t ruct i on a re t o exca va t e a hole,
us ua lly of s ma ll di a met er i n compa ri s on wi t h t he dept h,
t o
a n
a qui fer a nd t o provi de a mea ns for wa t er t o ent er t he hole
whi le rock ma t eri a l i s excluded . The mea ns of exca va t i ng t he
hole i s di fferent for di fferent met hods .
SUITABILITY OFDIFFERENT WELL-CONSTRUCTION METHODSTO
GEOLOGICCONDITIONS
[ Modi fi ed from U. S. Envi ronment a l Prot ect i on Agency ( 1 9 7 4 ) , t a ble 3 1
Ma xi mum pra ct i ca l dept h, i n m ( ft ) ------------

1 5 ( 5 0)

3 0( 1 00)

1 5 ( 5 0)

3 0( 1 00)
Ra nge i n di a met er, i n cm ( i n . ) ----------------- 1 -6 m ( 3 -2 0 ft )

5 -7 5 ( 2 -3 0)

3 -6 ( 1 -2 )

5 -3 0 ( 2 -1 2 )
Uncons oli da t ed
ma t eri a l :
Si lt
------------------------------------

X

X

X

X
Sa nd -----------------------------------

X

X

X

X
Gra vel
---------------------------------

X

X
Gla ci a l t i ll ------------------------------

X

X
Shell a nd li mes t one -----------------------

X

X

X
Cons oli da t ed ma t eri a l :
Cement ed gra vel -------------------------

X
Sa nds t one
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Li mes t one
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sha le
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Igneous a nd met a morphi c rocks -----------------------------------------------------------
Dug
wells cons t ruct ed
wi t h a pi cka x a nd
s hovel were rela -
t i vely common
i n rura l a rea s of t he
ea s t ern a nd cent ra l
pa rt s
of t he count ry
before t he 1 9 4 0's . Such
wells a re rea s ona bly
ef-
fect i ve i n fi ne-gra i ned
ma t eri a ls , s uch a s
gla ci a l t i ll, a nd t hi nly
bedded s a nd a nd
cla y . The la rge i rri ga t i on
ponds t ha t ext end
below
t he wa t er t a ble, now bei ng
dug by bulldozer
or dra gli ne
i n t he
At la nt i c Coa s t a l Pla i n, a re t he
modern vers i on
of t he
dug well .
Bored wells a re
cons t ruct ed wi t h ea rt h
a ugers t urned ei t her
by ha nd or by power equi pment
a nd a re t he modern
equi v-
a lent of
t he "ha nd-dug" well . Bored
wells a re rela t i vely
effec-
t i ve i n ma t eri a l
of low hydra uli c
conduct i vi t y a nd i n a rea s
underla i n
by t hi n s urfi ci a l la yers of s i lt y a nd
cla yey s a nd.
Dri ven wells a re
cons t ruct ed by dri vi ng a ca s i ng
equi pped
wi t h
a s creened dri ve poi nt . Beca us e of t hei r
rela t i vely s ma ll
di a met er, t hes e
wells a re s ui t a ble only for
rela t i vely
permea ble s urfi ci a l
a qui fers . They a re wi dely us ed a s
s ources
of domes t i c-
a nd fa rm-wa t er s uppli es i n t hos e pa rt s
of t he
At la nt i c a nd Gulf Coa s t a l Pla i ns underla i n
by permea ble s a nd .
Jet t ed wells
a re cons t ruct ed by exca va t i ng a
hole wi t h a
hi gh-pres s ure jet
of wa t er. In dens e cla ys , s hell beds , a nd
pa r-
t i a lly cement ed
la yers , i t ma y be neces s a ry t o a t t a ch a chi s el
bi t t o t he jet pi pe a nd a lt erna t ely ra i s e a nd drop t he
pi pe t o
cut a hole.
The percus s i on dri lli ng
met hod ( commonly referred t o
a s
t he ca ble-t ool met hod)
cons i s t s of a lt erna t ely ra i s i ng a nd
droppi ng a hea vy wei ght equi pped wi t h a chi s el
bi t
.
The rock
a t t he bot t om of t he hole i s t hus s ha t t ered a nd,
t oget her wi t h
wa t er,
forms a s lurry t ha t i s removed wi t h a ba i ler. In uncon-
s oli da t ed
ma t eri a l, t he ca s i ng i s dri ven a few feet a t a t i me
a hea d of t he dri lli ng. Aft er dri lli ng t o t he
ma xi mum dept h t o
be rea ched by t he well, a s creen i s
"t eles coped" i ns i de t he
ca s i ng a nd held i n pla ce whi le t he ca s i ng
i s pulled ba ck t o ex-
pos e t he s creen ( 1 ) . The t op of t he s creen i s s ea led a ga i ns t
t he
ca s i ng by expa ndi ng
a lea d pa cker. In wells i n cons oli da t ed
Dri lled
Percus s i on

Rot a ry
Bored

Dri ven

jet t ed

( ca ble t ool)

Hydra uli c

Ai r
3 00 ( 1 ,000)

3 00 ( 1 ,000)

2 5 0 ( 800)
1 0-4 6 ( 4 -1 8)

1 0-61 ( 4 -2 4 )

1 0-2 5 ( 4 -1 0)
X

X

X
X

X

X
X

X

X
X

X

X
X

X

X
rock, the normal practice
is to "s eat" the cas ing
firmly in the
top of the rock and drill an
open hole to the depth
required to
obtain the needed yield
( 2 )
.
The hydraulic
rotary method excavates
a hole by rotating
a
drill pipe to
which one of s everal types
of drag or roller
bits is
attached.
Water containing clay is
circulated down the
drill
pipe in the
"normal rotary" method and
up the annular
s pace,
both to cool the bit and
to remove the rock cuttings
. I n the
"revers e rotary" method,
the drilling fluid is circulated
down
the annular s pace and up
the drill pipe. Clay in the
drilling
fluid
adheres to the s ide of
the hole and, together with
the
pres s ure exerted
in the hole by the drilling
fluid, prevents cav-
ing
of the formation material . Thus , in the
hydraulic rotary
method,
it is not neces s ary to ins tall
permanent-well cas ing
during the drilling
proces s . When the hole
reaches the des ired
depth, a line of cas ing containing
s ections of s creen at the
des ired intervals is lowered into
the well. Hydraulic rotary is
the method mos t commonly employed
in drilling large-yield
wells in areas underlain by thick
s equences of uncons olidated
depos its , s uch as the Atlantic and Gulf Coas tal
Plains . Where
aquifers cons is t of alternating thin
beds of s and and clay, the
common practice is to ins tall a gravel
envelope around the
s creens . Such wells are referred to as gravel
packed ( 3 ) .
The air rotary method is s imilar to the hydraulic rotary
method, except that the drilling fluid is air rather than mud
.
The air
rotary method is s uitable only for drilling in cons oli-
dated rocks
. Mos t air rotary rigs are als o equipped with mud
pumps , which permit them to be us ed in the hydraulic
rotary
mode for drilling through s aturated uncons olidated
rock
.
This
method is widely us ed in the cons truction
of
wells
in fractured
bedrock .
When the cons truction phas e
has been completed, it is nec-
es s ary to begin the phas e referred to
as
well
development. The
objective of this phas e is to remove clay,
s ilt, and fine-grained
s and from the area adjacent to the s creen or
open hole s o that
the well will produce s ediment-free water . The s imples t
method of development is to pump water from the well at a
gradually increas ing rate, the final rate being larger than the
planned production rate . However, this method is not nor-
mally
s ucces s ful
in s creened
and gravel-packed wells drilled
by the hydraulic rotary method. For
thes e wells , it is neces s ary
to us e a s urge block or s ome other means
to alternately force
water into the formation and pull it back into the well.
One of
the mos t effective methods is to pump water under high pres -
SUPPLY
WELL
( Multiple
s creen,
gravel

pack )
s ure through orifices directed at the
ins ide of the s creen. The
coars er grained particles pulled into the
well during develop-
ment tend to s ettle to the bottom of the
well and mus t be re-
moved with a bailer or pump. Chemicals that dis pers e
clays
and other fine-grained
particles are als o us ed as an aid in well
development.
Well-Cons truction Methods

53
ELL
LOGS
Sand,
coarse
with
pebbles
(Cased to 4 m)
(Water table
at 9 m)
(Freshwater)
An important part of well construction is determining the
character and the thickness of the different layers of material
penetrated by the well and the quality of the water in
the
permeable zones.
This
information
is
essential for
the installa-
tion of casing and for the proper placement
of screens.
Infor-
mation on materials penetrated is recorded in the form of
"logs. " The logs mostcommonly prepared for supply wells are
drillers' logs and geophysical (electric) logs. Copies of logs
should be carefully preserved by the well owner as a part of
the file on eachwell
.
Drillers' logs consist of written descriptions of the material
penetrated by wells. These descriptions are based both on
samples of rock cuttings brought to the surface during drilling
operations and on changes in the rate of penetration of the
drill and in the vibration of the rig . The well driller may also
collect samples of the rock
cuttings for study by geologists on
his staff or those
on the staff of State geological surveys or
Federal
and State water- resources agencies. Descriptions of
these samples made by utilizing a microscope and other aids
are commonly referred to as a geologic log to differentiate
them from the driller' s log. If the well is to be finished
with
a
screen, the well driller
will
retain
samples of material from the
principal water- bearing zones
for
use
in selecting the slot size
of
screens.
5 4

Basic Ground- Water Hydrology
Direction of
increasing value - - - - - ~
Geophysical logs provide
indirect information on the char-
acter of rock layers. The most common
type of geophysical
log, the type normally referred to as an
electric log, consists of
a
record of the spontaneous electrical potentials generated in
the borehole and
the apparent electrical resistivity of the rock
units. Several types
of electric loggers are available, but
nearly all provide continuous
graphs of spontaneous potential
and resistivity as a sensing device is lowered into and
removed
from the borehole. Electric logs can be made only in the
un-
cased portion of drill holes. The part of the hole
to
be
logged
mustalso contain drilling mud or water.
The spontaneous potential log (which
is usually referred to
as the SP log) is a record of the differences in
the voltages of
an electrode at the land surface and an electrode
in the bore-
hole. Variations in voltage occur as a
result of electro-
chemical and
other spontaneous electrical effects. The SP
graph is relatively featureless in
shallow water wells that
penetrate only the freshwater zone. The
right- hand boundary
of an SP log generally indicates impermeable beds
such as
clay, shale, and bedrock . The left- hand boundary generally in-
dicates
sand, cavernous limestone, and other permeable
layers.
The r es i s t i v i t y log i s a r ecor d of
t he r es i s t ance t o
t he
flow of
an alt er nat i ng elect r i c cur r ent offer ed by t he r ock lay er s and
t hei r
cont ai ned flui ds and t he flui d i n t he bor ehole. Sev er al
di ffer ent
elect r ode ar r angement s ar e us ed t o meas ur e t he
r es i s t i v i t y of di ffer ent v olumes of mat er i al, but t he ar r ange-
ment mos t commonly us ed by t he wat er -well
i ndus t r y
i s r e-
fer r ed t o as t he s i ngle-poi nt elect r ode. The r es i s t i v i t y of wat er -
bear i ng mat er i al depends pr i mar i ly on t he s alt cont ent of t he
wat er and t he por os i t y of t he mat er i al . Clay lay er s nor mally
hav e a low r es i s t i v i t y
becaus e of t hei r lar ge por os i t y , and t he
wat er t hat t hey
cont ai n t ends t o be r elat i v ely hi ghly mi ner -
ali zed . I n
cont r as t , s and lay er s s at ur at ed wi t h fr es hwat er t end
t o
hav e a hi gh r es i s t i v i t y . Sand lay er s cont ai ni ng s alt y wat er ,
on t he ot her hand, t end t o hav e a low r es i s t i v i t y r es embli ng
t hat of clay lay er s . Such lay er s t end t o
hav e
a
s t r ongly nega-
t i v e s pont aneous pot ent i al t hat ,
v i ewed t oget her wi t h t he
r es i s t i v i t y , ai ds i n i dent i fi cat i on
of t he lay er s .
Sev er al ot her t y pes of geophy s i cal logs ar e av ai lable, i n-
cludi ng gamma-r ay logs t hat r ecor d t he r at e of emi s s i on of
gamma r ay s by di ffer ent r ock lay er s . I n fact , geophy s i cal log-
gi ng
i s a complex t opi c t hat has been dev eloped, lar gely by
t he oi l i ndus t r y , i nt o an adv anced t echni cal fi eld
. I t i s bei ng
ut i li zed t o an i ncr eas i ng ext ent by t he wat er -well
i ndus t r y ,
es peci ally i n conjunct i on wi t h t he cons t r uct i on
of
lar ge-y i eld
wells by t he hy dr auli c r ot ar y met hod
.
I t i s als o i mpor t ant , ei t her dur i ng well cons t r uct i on or fol-
lowi ng geophy s i cal loggi ng, t o collect , for chemi cal analy s es ,
wat er s amples
fr om t he per meable zones t hat may s upply
wat er t o t he complet ed well . The
chemi cal analy s es made on
t hes e s amples s hould i nclude t he concent r at i on of any con-
s t i t uent s t hat ar e known t o be a pr oblem i n ot her s upply wells
dr awi ng fr om t he aqui fer . Thes e cons t i t uent s mi ght i nclude
i r on, manganes e, chlor i de,
s ulfat e,
ni t r at e,
t ot al di s s olv ed
s oli ds , and ot her s . (See "Quali t y of Gr ound Wat er . ")
Well Logs

53
WATER-WELL DESIGN
WATER-WELL DESIGNS INCLUDE
SPECIFICATIONS ON
Thickness and
depth of grout . . , ,
seaf<
5
6
ao
0. 6 0
Thickness and. o 0
composition of. . 0
gravel pack '
. ' Q '
o
if required-

~
Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
Diameter, length,
slot size, and
composition of
screen, if required
Water-well design is the first step in the construction
of large-yield
wells, such as those required by municipalities
and industries. Before the
initial design is started, it is neces-
sary to know
the yield expected from the well, the depth to
aquifers underlying the area, the composition and
hydraulic
characteristics of those aquifers, and the quality of water in
the
aquifers.
If information
on an aquifer is not already avail-
able from other wells
in
the
area, it will be necessary to con-
struct a test well before completing the design. The
com-
pleted design should specify the diameter, the total depth
of
the well and the position of the screen or open-hole sections,
the method of construction, the
materials to be used in the
construction, and, if a gravel pack is required, its thickness
and composition ( 1 ) .
The well diameter is determined primarily by two factors-
the desired yield and the depth to the source aquifer
.
The
diameter has
a relatively insignificant effect on the yield ( 2 ) .
For
example, doubling the diameter from 1 5 to
30
centimeters
results
in
only
about a 1 0 percent increase in yield
.
w
1 30
U
w
o_
1 2 0
z
0
1 1 0
1 40
1 00
WELL DIAMETER VERSUS YIELD
AT A CONSTANT DRAWDOWN
6 1 2 1 8 2 4 30 36
WELL DIAMETER, IN INCHES
1 5 30
45 60 75 90
WELL DIAMETER,
IN CENTIMETERS
2 )
The primary effect of well diameter on yield
is related
to
the size
of the pump that can be installed, which, in
turn,
determines the pumping rate. Data on
pumping rate, pump
size, and well diameter are given
in table 1 . In some designs,
the upper part of
the well is made larger than the remainder of
the well in
order
to
accommodate the pump.
Table 1 .
Data on yield, pumps iz e, and
well diameter
[ID, ins ide diameter; OD, outs ide
diameter]
Nominal s iz e

Optimum well
Anticipated
well yield

of pumpbowls

diameter
In gal min - '

In ft3 min- '

In m
3
min
-
'

( in . )

( in . )
Les s than 1 00

Les s than 1 3

Les s
than 0. 3 8

4

6 ID
75- 1 75

1 0- 23

28- . 66

5

8 ID
1 50- 400

20- 53

57- 1 . 52

6

1 0 ID
3 50- 650

47- 87

1
. 3 3 - 2. 46

8

1 2 ID
600- 900

80- 1 20

2. 27- 3 . 41

1 0

1 4
OD
850- 1 ,3 00

1 1 3 - 1 73

3 . 22- 4 . 93

1 2

1 6 OD
1 ,200- 1 ,800

1 60- 240

4
. 55- 6 . 82

1 4

20 OD
1 ,600- 3 ,000

21 3 - 400

6 . 06- 1 1 . 3 7

1 6

24 OD
The s creen diameter and length, the
s lot s iz e, and the
pumping rate determine the velocity at which water pas s es
through the s creen
( that is , the s o- called "entrance velocity") .
The
entrance velocity s hould not normally exceed
about 6 ft
min - ' ( 1
. 8 m min- ' ) . If the anticipated yield in cubic
feet per
minute s hown in table 1 is divided
by 6 ft min - ' , the res ult is
the minimum open area of s creen
needed in s quare feet . '
Becaus e s creen openings are partially blocked
by aquifer or
gravel- packed material, s ome well drillers
increas e the open
area needed by 50
to 1 00 percent to as s ure that entrance
velocities will not be exces s ive .
The amount of open area per unit
length of well s creen de-
pends on the diameter,
the s lot s iz e, and the type of s creen.
Table 2 s hows , for example, the open area of s creens manu-
factured by the Edward E. Johns on Co. z If the open area
needed in s quare feet is divided by the open area per linear
foot, the res ult is the length
of s creen, in feet, required to pro-
vide the yield without exceeding the recommended
entrance
velocity .
' Becaus e dimens ions of s creens manufactured in the United States are s till
expres s ed in inches or feet, thes e units will be us ed in this dis cus s ion. SI units
will be added only where it is us eful to do s o.
' The us e of a company name is for identification purpos es only and does not
imply endors ement by the U. S . Geological Survey .
The
depth to the s ource aquifer
als o affects the well
diameter to the extent that wells
expected to reach aquifers
more than a few
hundred feet below land s urface
mus t be
large enough to
accept the larger diameter cable
tool or drill
rods required to reach
thes e depths .
The total depth of a
well depends on the depth
below land
s urface to the lowes t water- bearing
z one to be tapped .
Table 2.
Open areas of Johns on well s creens
[n denotes width of s creen
opening in thous andths ( 1 /1 ,000) of an inch . For
example, s lot no. 1 0
indicates an opening 1 0/1 ,000 or 0 . 01 inch]
Nominal
s creen

Open areas per linear
foot
diameter

of s creen for s lot no. n ( ftz )
( in
. ) 1 0 20 40 60 80 1 00 1 50
4 - - - - - - - - - -

0
. 1 7

0. 3 0

0. 47

0. 60

0 . 68

0 . 64

0. 76
6 - - - - - - - - - -

. 1 7

. 3 2

. 53

. 69

. 81

. 92

. 97
8 - - - - - - - - - -

. 22

. 41

. 69

. 90

1 . 05

1 . 1 9

1 . 28
1 0 - - - - - - - - - -

. 28

. 51

. 87

. 96

1 . 1 5

1 . 3 0

1 . 60
1 2 - - - - - - - - - -

. 26

. 50

. 87

1 . 1 3

1 . 3 7

1 . 55

1 . 89
1 4 - - - - - - - - - -

. 3 0

. 56

. 96

1 . 26

1 . 53

1 . 74

2. 1 1
1 6 - - - - - - - - - -

. 3 4

. 64

1 . 1 1

1 . 45

1 . 75

1 . 98

2. 42
The pos ition of the s creen depends on the thicknes s and
compos ition of the s ource aquifer and whether the well is be-
ing des igned to obtain the maximum pos s ible yield . Becaus e
withdrawals from unconfined aquifers res ult in dewatering of
the aquifers , wells in thes e aquifers are normally s creened
only in the lower part in order to obtain the maximumavail-
able drawdown. In confined aquifers , s creens are s et either in
the mos t permeable part of the aquifer or, where vertical dif-
ferences in hydraulic conductivity are not s ignificant, in the
middle part of the aquifer.
The length of the s creen s pecified in the well des ign
depends on the thicknes s of the aquifer, the des ired yield,
whether the aquifer is unconfined or confined, and economic
cons iderations
.
When an
attempt is being made
to obtain the
maximum available yield, s creens are normally ins talled in the
lower 3 0 to 40 percent of unconfined aquifers and in the
middle 70 to 80 percent of confined aquifers .
Water- Well Des ign

57
WELL-ACCEPTANCE
TESTSAND
WELL
EFFICIENCY
0
2
4
6
8
O
0- ---

Multiple-step test
Step No. I

(Each step= 8 hr)
Q
2
4
6
8
r.
Constant-rate
test
2 . 15 m3 min-I
= 0. 257 m3
8. 4 m
\ Q
1~
. __=2. 15
m3min-1
Water
-level
measurements

--_

I
8. 4 m
w
-1 . 0 No
. l
2
. 5-0
. 4m3miri' ml\
' \
Step No. 2
_

No
. 2
-
-
15 =
0
. 3 m3 min-I m-~
5
- No. 3
_1 . 8

=0. 24m3 minI m-1
7. 5
,

i

i

i
5 0 5
10 15 20 25 30
HOURS
(2)
Many supply-well contracts
require a "guaranteed" yield,
and some
stipulate that the well reach a
certain level of "effi-
ciency. "
Most contracts also specify the length
of the "draw-
downtest" that
must be conducted to demonstrate
that the
yield requirement
is met. For example, many
States require
that tests of public-supply wells
be at least 24 hours. Tests of
most industrial and irrigation wells
probably do not exceed
about 8 hours.
Well-acceptance tests, if properly
conducted, not only can
confirm the yield of a well
and the size of the production
pumpthat is needed
but
can
also provide information of great
value in well operation and
maintenance. Such tests should,
therefore, be conducted with
the same care as aquifer tests
made to determine the hydraulic
characteristics of aquifers. A
properly conducted test will include:
1 . Determination of well interference
from nearby pumping
wells, based on accurate water-level
measurements
madebefore thedrawdowntest.
2. A pumping rate that is either held constant during
the
entire test (1) or increased in steps of equal length (2) .
The pumping rate during each step should be held
constant, and the length of each
step should be at
least 2 hours.
5 8

Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
Of these
requirements, the constant,
carefully
regulated
pumping rate or
rates and the
accurate water-level
measurements are the most
important. Whena
constant-rate
well-acceptance test has been
completed, the drawdown
data
can be
analyzed to determine the
aquifer transmissivity
. (See
"Single-Well
Tests. ")
Many well-acceptance
tests are made
with temporary
pump
installations, usually powered
with a gasoline or
diesel
engine.
Instead of maintaining a
constant rate for the duration
of the test, the
engine is frequently stopped
to add fuel or to
check the oil level
or for numerous other
reasons. The rate
may also be increased and decreased
on an irregular, un-
planned schedule or, more commonly,
gradually reduced dur-
ing the test in
an effort to maintain a pumping
level above the
pump intake. In
such tests, the "yield" of
the well is normally
reported to be the final pumping
rate.
Determining the long-term yield of a
well from data col-
lected during a short-period well-acceptance
test is one of the
most
important, practical problems
in ground-water
hydrology. Two of the
most important factors that
must be
considered are the extent to
which the yield will decrease
if
the well is pumped continuously for
periods longer than the
test period and the effect on the
yield of changes in the static
(regional) water level
fromthat existing at the time of
the test.
Whendata are available
only from the production well
and
when the pumping rate
was not held constant during the
acceptance test, the estimate of
the long-term yield must
usually
be based on an analysis of specific-capacity
data.
Specific
capacity is the yield per unit of
drawdown and is
determined by dividing
the pumping rate at any time
during
the test bythe drawdown
at the same time. Thus,
specific capacity
=
pumping rate -Q

(1)
drawdown St
Before the development of steady-state
conditions, a part
of the water
pumped from an aquifer is derived from
storage.
The time required for
steady-state conditions to develop
depends largely on the distance
to and characteristics of the
recharge and discharge areas and the hydraulic
characteristics
of the aquifer.
The time required to reach a steady state
is in-
dependent of the pumping
rate. At some places in some
aquifers, a steady-state
condition will be reached in several
days, whereas, in others, six monthsto ayear mayberequired
;
in some arid areas, a steady-state condition may
never be
achieved. Depending on the length of the
well-acceptance
test and
the period required to reach a steady-state condition,
it may be appropriate, in estimating
the long-termyield of a
well, to use a specific capacity smaller
than that determined
during the test.
z
w
z
J
w
0
DECLINE IN SPECIFIC CAPACITY
WITH TIME
AT A
CONTINUOUS PUMPING RATE
1

1 0 1 00 1 000
1 0,000
HOURS
( 3 )
Sketch 3 shows the decline in specific capacity with time
when a well is pumped continuously at a constant rate and all
the water is derived from storage
in
an isotropic and homoge-
neous aquifer . For convenience
in
preparing the sketch, a
value
of 1 00
percent was assigned to the
specific capacity
1
hour after the pump was started . The rate at which the
specific capacity decreases depends on the decline of the
water level due to depletion of storage and on the hydraulic
characteristics of the aquifer . Differences in the rate for dif-
ferent
aquifers are indi4ated by the width of the band on the
sketch
. When withdrawals are derived entirely from storage,
the
specific capacity will decrease about 40percent during
the
first year .
In predicting the long-term yield of a well, it is also neces-
sary to consider changes in the static water level resulting
from seasonal and long-term variations in
recharge and
declines due to other withdrawals from the aquifer
. The long-
term yield is equal to the
specific capacity, determined from
the well-acceptance
test, and reduced as necessary to com-
pensate for the
long-term decline discussed in the above para-
graph, multiplied by
the available drawdown .
The
available drawdown at the time of a well-acceptance
test is equal to
the difference between the static water level at
that time and
the lowest pumping level that can be imposed
on the
well . The lowest pumping level in a screened well is
normally considered to be a
meter or two above the top of the
screen . In an unscreened
( open-hole) well, it may be at the
level of
either the highest or the lowest water-bearing
opening
penetrated by
the well . The choice of the highest
or the lowest
opening depends on the
chemical composition of the water
and whether water cascading
from openings above the pump-
ing level results in
precipitation of minerals on the side of the
well and on the pump intake
.
If
such precipitation is expected,
the maximum
pumping level should not be belowthe highest
opening . The
yield of a well is not increased by a pumping
level belowthe
lowest opening, and the maximum yield may,
in fact, be attained at
a much higher level .
To predict the maximum continuous long-term
yield, it is
necessary to estimate howmuch the static water level,
and
thus the available
drawdown, may decline from the position
that it occupied during the
acceptance test . Records of water-
level fluctuations in long-term observation wells in
the area
will be useful in this effort .
Well efficiency is an important consideration
both
in
well
design
and in well construction
and development . The objec-
tive, of course,
is
to avoid excessive energy
costs by designing
and constructing wells that will yield the required
water with
the least drawdown .
Well efficiency can be defined as the ratio of the drawdown
( s
a
) in
the aquifer at
the
radius
of
the pumping
well to the
drawdown ( s t ) inside the well . ( See "Single-Well Tests. ") Thus,
the equation
5
E=-X1 00

( 2)
St
expresses well efficiency as a percentage .
Drawdows in pumping wells are measured during well-
acceptance tests. Determining the drawdown in the aquifer is
a much more difficult problem . It can
be
calculated if the
hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer, including the effect of
boundary conditions, are known
.
The difference between st and s
a
is attributed to head losses
as water moves from an
aquifer
into
a well and up the well
bore .
These well losses can be reduced by reducing the en-
trance velocity of the water, which can be done by installing
the maximum amount of screen and pumping at the lowest
acceptable rate . Tests have been devised to determine well
losses, and the results
can
be
used to determine well effi-
ciency . However,
these tests are difficult to conduct and are
not
widely used . Because of difficulties in determining sa , well
efficiency is generally specified in terms of an "optimum"
specific capacity based on other producing
wells in the
vicinity .
Under the best conditions,
an efficiency of about 80per-
cent is the maximum
that
is
normally achievable in most
screened
wells. Under less than ideal conditions,
an efficiency
of
60
percent is probably more realistic .
Well-Acceptance Tests and Well Efficiency

3 9
SPECIFIC CAPACITY
ANDTRANSMISSIVITY
FACTORS AFFECTING
ESTIMATES OF
TRANSMISSIVITY
Land surface
a. Thickness
of the producing zone
compared to the length of the
screen or open hole
Producing
zone
60

Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
BASED
ONSPECIFIC CAPACITY
Length of
screen
The specific capacity
of a well depends both on the
hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer and on the construc-
tion and other features of the well . Values of specific capac-
ity, available for many supply wells for which aquifer-test data
are not available, are widely used by hydrologists to estimate
transmissivity . Such estimates are
used to evaluate regional
differences in transmissivity and to prepare transmissivity
maps for use in models of ground-water systems
.
The factors that affect specific capacity
include:
1 . The transmissivity of the zone supplying water to the well,
which, depending on the length
of the screen or open
hole, may be considerably
less than the transmissivity
of the aquifer
.
c. The difference
between the
"nominal"
radius and the
effective
radius
b. Magnitude
of the
well loss compared
to the drawdown
in
the aquifer
Confined
aquifer
/// IZIIIIIIIIIIZIIZIIIII1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7
Confining bed
FACTORS AFFECTING ESTIMATES
OF TRANSMISSIVITY
BASEDONSPECIFIC CAPACITY
2. The storage coefficient of the aquifer.
3. The length ofthe pumping
period.
4. The
effective radius of the well, which may be significantly
greater than
the "nominal" radius .
5. The pumping rate .
The Theis equation can be used to evaluate the effect of
the first four factors
on specific capacity . The last factor,
pumping
rate, affects the well loss and can be determined
only from a stepped-rate test or an aquifer test in which draw-
downs are measured in both the pumping well and observa-
tion wells.
The Theis equation, modified for the determination of
transmissivity from specific capacity, is
u=
T -

W(u)

x
Q

(1 )
4a S
where T i s trans mi s s i vi ty, Q/s i s s peci fi c capaci ty, Q
i s the
pumpi ng
rate, s i s the drawdown, and W(u) i s the well
functi on
of u, where
u
=

r1 S

(2)
4Tt
where r i s the effecti ve radi us of the well, S i s the s torage coef-
fi ci ent, and t i s the length of the pumpi ng peri od precedi ng
the determi nati on
of s peci fi c capaci ty.
For conveni ence i n
us i ng equati on 1 , i t i s des i rable to ex-
pres s W(u) 1 47r as a cons tant . To do s o, i t i s fi rs t
neces s ary to
determi ne values for u and, us i ng a table of values of
u (or 1 /u)
and W(u) , determi ne the corres pondi ng values for W(u) .
Values of u are determi ned by s ubs ti tuti ng
i n equati on 2
values of T, S , r, and t that are repres entati ve of condi ti ons i n
the area. To i llus trate, as s ume, i n an area under i nves ti gati on
and for whi ch
a
large
number of values of s peci fi c capaci ty
are avai lable,
that :
1 . The pri nci pal aqui fer i s confi ned, and aqui fer tes ts i ndi cate
that i t has a s torage coeffi ci ent of about 2 x1 0-4 and
atrans mi s s i vi ty of about 1 1 ,000 ftz d -' .
2 . Mos t s upply wells are 8 i n . (20 cm) i n di ameter (radi us ,
0
. 33 ft) .
3
. Mos t values
of
s peci fi c capaci ty are bas ed
on
1 2-hour
well-
acceptancetes ts (t=0. 5 d) .
S ubs ti tuti ng thes e values i n equati on 2, we obtai n
r2S

(0 . 33 ft) z
x
(2 x 1 0-4)
4Tt

4x(1 1 ,000
ft' d- 0x0. 5 d
2 . 22 x1 0-5 ft'
u=

=1 . 01 x1 0 -9
2 . 2 x 1 04 ftZ
A table of values of W(u)
for
values of 1 /u i s contai ned
i n
the s ecti on of thi s report enti tled "Aqui fer Tes ts . " Therefore,
the value of u determi ned above mus t be converted to 1 /u,
whi ch i s 9 . 9 1 x 1 08 , and thi s value i s us ed to determi ne
the
value of W(u) . Values of W(u) are gi ven for values of 1 /u of
7 . 69 x 1 08 and 1 0 x1 08 but not for 9 . 9 1 x 1 08 . However, the
value of 1 0 i s clos e enough to 9 . 9 1 for the purpos e of
es ti mati ng trans mi s s i vi ty from s peci fi c capaci ty . From the
table, we determi ne that,
for
a
value
of
1 /u
of 1 0x1 08,
the
value of W(u) i s 20
. 1 5 . S ubs ti tuti ng thi s value i n equati on 1 , we
fi nd the cons tant W(u) 1 47r to
be 1 . 60 .
Equati on
1 i s i n cons i s tent uni ts . However, trans mi s s i vi ty i s
commonly expres s ed i n the Uni ted S tates
i n uni ts of s quare
feet per day, pumpi ng rates are reported i n uni ts
of gallons per
mi nute, and drawdowns are meas ured i n feet .
To
obtai n
an
equati on that i s conveni ent to us e, i t i s des i rable
to convert
equati on 1 to thes e i ncons i s tent uni ts . Thus
T=1 . 60x

1 ' 444 mi n
x
7 . 483 gal x

s Q
T=308 Qor 300-2- (rounded)

(3)
Many readers wi ll fi nd i t us eful at thi s poi nt to s ubs ti tute
di fferent values of T, S , r, and t i n equati on 2 to determi ne how
di fferent values affect
the
cons tant i n equati on 3 . I n us i ng
equati on 3, modi fi ed as neces s ary
to
fi t
the condi ti ons i n an
area, i t i s i mportant to recogni ze i ts li mi tati ons . Among the
mos t i mportant factors that affect i ts us e are the accuracy
wi th whi ch the thi cknes s of the zone s upplyi ng water to the
well can be es ti mated, the magni tude of the well los s i n com-
pari s on wi th drawdown i n the aqui fer, and the di fference be-
tween the "nomi nal" radi us of the well and i ts effecti ve
radi us .
Relati ve to thes e factors , the common practi ce i s to as s ume
that the value of trans mi s s i vi ty es ti mated from s peci fi c
capaci ty appli es only to the s creened zone or to the open
hole. To apply thi s value to the enti re
aqui fer, the trans mi s s i v-
i ty i s di vi ded by the length of
the s creen or open hole (to deter-
mi ne the hydrauli c conducti vi ty per uni t of length) , and the
res ult i s multi pli ed by the enti re thi cknes s of
the aqui fer.
The
value of trans mi s s i vi ty determi ned by
thi s method i s too large
i f the zone s upplyi ng water to the well i s
thi cker than the
length of the
s creen or the open hole. S i mi larly, i f the effec-
ti ve
radi us of the well i s larger than the "nomi nal" radi us
(as s umi ng that the "nomi nal" radi us i s us ed i n
equati on 2) , the
trans mi s s i vi ty bas ed on s peci fi c
capaci ty agai n wi ll be too
large.
On the other
hand, i f a s i gni fi cant part of the drawdown i n
the pumpi ng well i s due to well los s , the
trans mi s s i vi ty bas ed
on s peci fi c capaci ty wi ll be too s mall
. Whether the effect of
all three of thes e factors
cancels depends on the characteri s -
ti cs of both the
aqui fer and the well . Where a s uffi ci ent
number of aqui fer tes ts
have been conducted, i t may be feas -
i ble to uti li ze
the res ults to modi fy the cons tant i n equati on 3
to account for the effect of thes e
factors .
S peci fi c
Capaci ty and Trans mi s s i vi ty

61
ELL-FIELD
DESIGN
W
W
z
Z
O
Q
0
10
20
40
50
ro e
=
2.25Tt
S
62

Basic
Ground-Wate r Hydrology
1
log cycle
As=5ft
The de ve lopme nt of mode rate to large
supplie s of wate r
from
most aquife rs re quire s more than one
we ll ; in othe r
words, it re quire s
what is commonly re fe rre d to
as a we ll fie ld.
Conse que ntly,
the de sign of we ll fie lds is an
important prob-
le m in ground-wate r de ve lopme nt . The
obje ctive of we ll-fie ld
de sign is to obtain the re quire d amount
of wate r for the le ast
cost, including the initial construction
cost of we lls and
pipe line s, the cost of ope ration and
mainte nance , and the cost
ofwe ll
re place me nt .
The final product
of a de sign is a plan showing the arrange -
me nt and spacing of we lls
and spe cifications containing
de tails on we ll
construction and comple tion, including infor-
mation on we ll diame te r, de pth, and
position of scre e ns or
ope n hole , the type of casing and scre e ns, and
the type , size ,
and se tting of pumps .
The ke y e le me nts in we ll-fie ld de sign are the total quantity
of wate r to be obtaine d from the fie ld, the rate at which e ach
we ll
can be pumpe d (which de te rmine s the numbe r of we lls
that will be re quire d),
and the spacing of the we lls .
The pumping rate for
e ach we ll can be e stimate d with
Jacob's modification of the The is e quation. (Se e "Distarce -
Drawdown Analysis .") It de pe nds on the transmissivity and
storge coe fficie nt of the aquife r, the distance to and nature
of
late ral boundarie s, the hydraulic characte ristics of confining
be ds, the available drawdown, and the pumping pe riod. For
the purpose of this discussion, we
will
not conside r the e ffe ct
of boundarie s
or confining be ds
. (For
a
discussion of available
drawdown,
se e
"We ll
Inte rfe re nce " and
"We ll-Acce ptance
Te sts and We ll Efficie ncy .") The pumping pe riod is normally
take n as 1 ye ar . To de te rmine the pumping rate , Jacob's e qua-
tions are solve d as follows :
v ww
102
DISTANCE,
IN FEET
(1)
Qe =2.7TAs

(2)
T=5000ft 2/d
S=5
x
10-
t=365 d
ra =90,600ft
rW=0.33 ft
i

I I fill]

I

I I I 1 1111

1

1 1 1 11111
10'

10"

105
whe re r o
is the distance from
the pumping we ll, in
me te rs (or
fe e t), to the
point of ze ro drawdown
on a se milogarithmic
graph in which drawdown
is on the arithme tic
scale and dis-
tance is on the logarithmic
scale , T is aquife r
transmissivity, in
square
me te rs pe r day (or square
fe e t pe r day), t is
365 days
(1 ye ar),
S is the aquife r storage
coe fficie nt (dime nsionle ss),
As
is the drawdown, in
me te rs (or fe e t), across one
log cycle along
a line conne cting point ro
and a point at the propose d
radius of
the pumping we ll at which
the drawdown e quals about
half
the
available drawdown,' and
Qe is the first e stimate
of the
pumping rate in
cubic me te rs pe r day (or cubic
fe e t pe r day) .
To conve rt to gallons
pe r minute , whe n Qe is in
cubic me te rs
pe r day, divide by
5.45 (whe n Qe is in cubic fe e t pe r
day,
divide by 192) .
The e stimate d pumping rate
Qe
is divide d
into the total
quantity of wate r
ne e de d from the we ll fie ld in
orde r to de te r-
mine the numbe r ofwe lls
that will be ne e de d. The ne xt
ste p is
to de te rmine the optimum
we ll spacing. This de te rmination in-
volve s both hydrologic and e conomic
conside rations . The
hydrologic conside rations include the following :
1 . The minimum
distance be twe e n pumping we lls
should be
at le ast twice
the aquife r thickne ss if the we lls
are
ope n to le ss than about half
the aquife r thickne ss .
2. We lls ne ar re charging boundarie s
should be locate d along
a line paralle l to the boundary and
as close to the
boundary as possible .
3. We lls ne ar impe rme able boundarie s
should be locate d
along a line pe rpe ndicular
to the boundary and as far
from the boundary as possible .
'At this point, we use half
the available drawdown in
orde r to ge t a first
e stimate ofwe ll loss and we ll
inte rfe re nce . If we de te rmine
that, at a pumping
rate of Qe ,
the drawdown in the aquife r
is le ss than the available
drawdown and
the drawdown
in the we ll is above the
top of the scre e n, we can
assume
a
large r
value of s and re compute
Qe . It is important also to note
that, in the initial de te r-
mination of available
drawdown, the se asonal fluctuation
of static wate r le ve l
must be conside re d.
The primary
economic considerations
involved in well
spac-
ing include the cost
of wells and pumps, power
costs, and the
cost of interconnecting
pipelines and powerlines
. The closer
wells are spaced, the
smaller the yield of each well
because of
well interference. The
smaller yield of closely
spaced wells
means
that more wells and
well pumps are required,
and
power
costs are higher . The
cost of the additional
wells and
the larger
pumping costs must be
evaluated in relation to
the
cost of
shorter interconnecting pipelines
and powerlines .
Sketch 1 shows a
distance-drawdown graph for
a pumping
well at the end of a continuous
pumping period of
one year
for
an aquifer having a
transmissivity ( T) of 5,000
ft 2 d - '
( 465 m3
d - ' ) , a storage coefficient
( S) of 5x]0
-4
, and
an
available drawdown
of 60 ft ( 1 8 m) . The assumed
radius of the
pumping well
( r te
,)
is 0. 3 3 ft ( diameter, 8 in. or
2 0 cm) . When
one-half the available
drawdown is used, along
with the other
values as stated,
equation 2 yields an estimated
pumping rate
( Q
e
)
of 3 50gal min- ' or 504,000 gal
d-
1 . 2
To illustrate the use of sketch 1
in analyzing the well-
spacing problem, we will assume
that a yield of 1 ,500,000 gal
d - ' ( 1 ,040 gal min- ' ) is desired
from the aquifer. This yield
can be obtained
from three wells producing 500,000
gal d- '
( 3 50 gal min- ' ) each.
Assume that the wells are located
on a
straight line and are
numbered 1 , 2 , and 3 . Well 2 , being in
the
middle, will obviously
have the most well interference and,
Sketch
2 shows that a well pumping 3 50 gal min- ' from
the
aquifer will produce a drawdown of 1 1 ft at a distance of
about 1 ,2 50 ft . Therefore, the spacing between wells 1 and 2
2 Inch-pound

units are used in this example for the convenience of those
-eaders who are not
yet accustomed
to
using metric units
.
therefore,
the largest drawdown. How
close can it be to wells
1 and 3 without
its drawdown exceeding
the available draw-
down of 60 ft?
When well 2 is
pumped at a rate of
3 50 gal min- ' , the
drawdown in the aquifer
at the radius of the well
will be one-
half the available drawdown,
or 3 0 ft . The
remaining 3 0 ft of
the available drawdown
must be apportioned between
well
loss in
well 2 and interference
from wells 1 and 3 .
According
to sketch 1 , if well 2
were 1 00 percent
efficient, its specific
capacity would be
3 50 gal min - '
=1 1 . 7 gal min-
3 0ft
' ft-'
Wewill assume, however, that well 2 will
be only 80 percent
efficient
.
If
so, its specific capacity will be
1 1 . 7 gal min
- ' ft-'
_ _

X

=9. 4 gal min- ' ft - '
1 00 percent

80 percent
and a yield of 3 50gal min - ' will produce
a drawdown in well
2 of about 3 7 ft ( 3 50/9. 4) . Subtracting 3 7
ft from 60 ft leaves a
difference of 2 3 ft, which can be assigned
to well interference
from wells 1
and 3 . If fractional feet are ignored,
the amount
of interference by each well is about
1 1 ft .
and between wells 2 and 3
would have to be 1 ,2 50 ft in order
not to exceed the available drawdown at well 2 .
With this
spacing, wells 1 and 3 would be 2 ,500 ft apart . Sketch 2
shows
the drawdown at 2 ,500 ft to be about 9ft. Consequently, the
drawdowns in both wells 1 and 3 would be 58 ft, or about 2 ft
less than the drawdown
in well 2 .
Well-Field Design

63
QUALITYof
GROUND
WATER
y~~
\\yes
~y. ~
; ~,
THE CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF
GROUNDWATERARE DETERMINEDBY THE
CHEMICAL
ANDBIOLOGICAL
REACTIONS IN THEZONES THROUGH WHICHTHE WATER
MOVES
Water cons is ts of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxy-
gen, which give it a chemical formula of HZO. Water fre-
quently is referred to as the univers al s olvent becaus e it has
the ability to dis s olve at leas t
s mall
amounts of almos t all
s ubs tances that it contacts . Of the domes tic water us ed by
man, ground water us ually contains the larges t amounts of
dis s olved s olids . The compos ition and concentration of s ub-
s tances dis s olved in unpolluted ground water depend on the
chemical compos ition of precipitation, on the biologic and
chemical reactions
occurring
on
the
land
s urface
and
in
the
s oil
zone, and on the mineral compos ition of the aquifers and
confining beds through
which the water moves
.
The concentrations
of s ubs tances dis s olved in water are
commonly reported in units of weight per volume. In the Inter-
national Sys tem ( SI) , the mos t commonly us ed units are
milligrams per liter. A milligram equals 1/1, 000 ( 0 . 001)
of a
gram, and a liter equals 1/1, 000 of a cubic meter, s o that
1 mg/L equals 1 gram m-3 . ' Concentrations of s ubs tances
in
water
were reported for many years in the United States in
64

Bas ic Ground-Water Hydrology
units of weight per weight. Becaus e the
concentration of mos t
s ubs tances dis s olved in water is relatively s mall, the
weight
per weight unit commonly us ed was
parts per million ( ppm) . In
inch-pound units , 1 ppm is equal to 1
Ib of a s ubs tance dis -
s olved in 999, 999 Ib of water, the weight of the s olution
thus
being 1 million pounds .
The quality of ground water depends both on the
s ubs tances dis s olved in the water and on certain properties
and characteris tics that thes e s ubs tances impart to the water.
Table 1 contains information on
dis s olved inorganic s ub-
s tances that normally occur in the larges t concentrations and
are mos t likely to affect water us e. Table 2 lis ts other charac-
teris tics of water that are commonly reported in water
analys es and that may affect water us e. Dis s olved cons titu-
ents for which concentration limits have been es tablis hed for
drinking water are dis cus s ed in "Pollution of Ground Water. "
' To put thes e units in pos s ibly more unders tandable terms , 1 mg/L equals
1
oz
of a s ubs tance dis s olved in 7, 500 gal ofwater.
Table 1 . Natural inorganic
constituents commonly
dissolved in water that are
most likely to affect
use of the water
Substance
Bicarbonate
(HCO,) and carbonate (C0,) -

Products of the solution of carbonate
rocks,
mainly limestone (CaC0 3 ) and dolomite
(CaMgC03 ), by
water containing
carbon dioxide.
Calcium
(Ca) and magnesium (Mg) --------
Chloride (CI )
-------------------------
Fluoride (F) ----------------__---------
I ron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) ------------

I ron present in most soils and rocks;
manganese less widely
distributed
.
Sodium (Na)
--------------------------
Sulfate (SO,) --------------------------Gypsum,
pyrite (FeS), and other rocks
containing sulfur (S)
compounds.
'A range in concentration is intended to indicate the general level at which the effect on water use might become significant.
'Optimum range determined by the U. S . Public Health Service, depending on water intake .
'Lower
concentration applies to drinking waterfor persons on a strict diet; higher concentration is for those on a moderate diet .
Table 2. Characteristics of water that affect water quality
Characteristic

Principal cause
Hardness --------------------Calcium and magnesium
dissolved in the water.
pH (or hydrogen-ion activity) -----Dissociation of water
molecules and of acids
and bases dissolved in
water.
Specific electrical conductance ---Substances that form ions
when dissolved in
water.
Total dissolved solids -----------
Mineral substances
dissolved in water.
Major natural
sources
Soils and rocks
containing limestone,
dolomite,
and gypsum (CaSO,).
Small
amounts from igneous
and metamorphic
rocks .
I n inland areas, primarily
from seawater
trapped in sediments at time of deposition ;
sition
;
in coastal areas, from seawater in contact
with freshwater
in productive aquifers .
Both sedimentary
and igneous rocks .
Not
widespread in occurrence .
Same as for chloride . I n some
sedimentary
rocks, a few hundred milligrams per
liter may occur in freshwater as a
result of exchange of dissolved
calcium
and magnesium for sodium in the
aquifer materials .
Significance
Principal cause of hardness
and ofr
boiler scale and deposits
in hot-
water heaters.
Calcium and magnesium combine with soap to form an
insoluble precipitate (curd) and thus hamper the
formation
of alather
.
Hardness also affects the suitability
of water for
use
in
the textile and paper
industries and
certain others and in steam boilers and water
heaters .
Total dissolved solids is a measure of the total amount
of minerals dissolved in water and is, therefore,
a very useful parameter in the evaluation
of water quality. Water containing less than
500 mg/L is preferred for domestic use and
for many industrial processes .
E ffect on water use
Control the
capacity of water to neu-
traliz e strong
acids . Bicarbonates of
calcium and magnesium
decompose in
steam boilers and water heaters
to
form
scale and release corrosive
carbon
dioxide
gas. I n combination with
calcium
and magnesium, cause car-
bonate
hardness.
I n large
amounts, increases corrosiveness
of water and, in combination
with
sodium, gives water a salty
taste.
I n certain concentrations, reduces
tooth
decay; at higher concentrations, causes
mottling of tooth enamel
.
Stain laundryand are
objectionable in
food processing, dyeing,
bleaching, ice
manufacturing, brewing, and certain
other industrial processes .
The pH of water is a measure of its
reactive characteristics
.
Low values of pH, particularly below pH 4 ,
indicate a
corrosive water that will tend to dissolve
metals and
other substances that it contacts. High
values of
pH,
particularly above pH 8. 5, indicate an alkaline water
that, on heating, will tend to form scale. The pH
significantly affects the treatment and use of water.
Most substances dissolved in water dissociate into ions that
can conduct an electrical current. Consequently, specific
electrical conductance is a valuable indicator of the
amount of material dissolved in water
.
The larger the
conductance,
the more mineraliz ed the water.
See chloride . I n large
concentrations, may
affect persons with cardiac
difficulties,
hypertension, and certain other
medical
conditions . Depending on the
concen-
trations of calcium and magnesium also
present in the water, sodium maybe
detrimental to
certain irrigated crops.
I n certain concentrations, gives
water a
bitter taste and, at higher concentra-
tions, has a laxative effect I n
combination with calcium, forms a hard
calcium carbonate
scale in steam boilers .
Remarks
USGS classification
of hardness
(mg/L as
CaCO,) :
0-60 : Soft
61 -1 20: Moderately hard
1 21 -1 80: Hard
More than 1 80: Very hard
Concentrations
of
significance
(mg/L)'
1 50-200
25-50
250
0. 7 -1 . 2 2
Fe>0 . 3 ,
Mn>0 . 05
69 (irrigation),
20-1 7 0 (health)'
3 00-4 00 (taste),
600-1 ,000 (laxative)
pH
values
: less than 7 , water is acidic ;
value of 7 , water is neutral;
more than 7 , water is basic.
Conductance values indicate the elec-
trical conductivity, in micromhos,
of 1 cm' of water at a temper-
ature
of 25°C .
USGS classification of water
based
on dissolved solids (mg/L) :
Less than 1 ,000 : Fresh
1 ,000-3 ,000: Slightly saline
3 ,000-1 0,000: Moderately saline
1 0,000-3 5,000 : Very saline
More than 3 5,000: Briny
Quality
of Ground Water

65
P
66
L TI N
i
Wate
URBANAREAS
F GROUND
WATER
Pollution of ground water is receiving increas ed attention
from both
Federal
and State regulatory agencies and from
water
us ers
.
As
a res ult, pollution has been found to
be much
more wides pread than wehad believed only a
few years
ago
.
This attention has als o res ulted in wides pread
recognition of
the facts that polluted ground water may pos e a s erious threat
to health that is often not apparent to thos e affected and that
purification of polluted ground-water s ys tems may require
centuries or the expenditure of huge s ums of money . Thes e
facts alone make
it imperative that the pollution of ground
water
by
harmful s ubs tances abs olutely be avoided to the
maximum pos s ible extent.
Pollution of ground water, as it is us ed in this dis cus s ion,
refers to
any deterioration in the quality of the water res ulting
from the activities of man
. This definition includes s altwater
encroachment into
fres hwater-bearing aquifers res ulting from
the artificial
lowering of ground-water heads . That topic,
however, is covered in a s eparate dis cus s ion . (See "Saltwater
Encroachment. ")
Mos t pollution of ground water res ults from thedis pos al of
was tes
on the land s urface, in s hallow excavations including
s eptic tanks , or through deep
wells and mines ; the us e of fer-
tiliz ers and other agricultural
chemicals ; leaks in s ewers ,
yr~
IBM
Confining bed
Was te-dis pos al ponds
Water
table-
and water polluted
by
tes at different dis tances
om dis chargearea . A
/SaltI
s tockpile
Bas ic
Ground-Water Hydrology
table
Ground
water polluted by
indus trial and municipal was tes ,
leaking s ewers , and lawn
fertiliz ers , pes ticides ,
and herbicides
RURAL AREAS
Ground water polluted by s eptic tanks
animal feedlots , and crop fertiliz ers ,
pes ticides , and herbicides
s torage tanks , and pipelines ; and animal
feedlots
.
The magni-
tude of any
pollution problem depends on the s iz e
of thearea
affected and the amount of the
pollutant involved, the
s olubility, toxicity, and dens ity of the
pollutant, the mineral
compos ition and hydraulic characteris tics
of the s oils and
rocks through which the pollutant moves ,
and the effect or
potential effect on
ground-water us e.
Affected areas
range in s iz e from point s ources ,
s uch as
s eptic tanks , to large urban
areas having leaky s ewer s ys tems
and numerous municipal and
indus trial was te-dis pos al s ites .
Nearly all s ubs tances are s oluble to s ome extent
in water, and
many chemical was tes are highly toxic even in minute
concen-
trations .
For example, table 1 lis ts the maximum concentra-
tions of inorganic
s ubs tances permitted in drinking-water
s upplies . Limits have als o been es tablis hed by the Environ-
mental Protection Agency for radioactive and certain organic
s ubs tances .
The dens ity of
a liquid s ubs tance-that is , the weight per
unit volume of the s ubs tance relative to that of water-
affects its underground movement. Dens ities range from
thos e of petroleum products that are les s dens e than water
to
brines and other s ubs tances that are dens er than water. Sub-
s tances les s dens ethan water tend to accumulate at the
top of
Service
s tation-;
Gas oline
DENSITYEFFECTS
Ground water polluted
by
s ubs tances
les s dens e
(gas oline) and more`,
dens e(brine) than
t
DISTANCEEFFECTS
GROUND-WATERPOLLUTIONOCCURSIN BOTH
URBANANDRURAL AREASANDISAFFECTEDBY
DIFFERENCESIN CHEMICAL
COMPOSITION, BIOLOGICAL ANDCHEMICAL REACTIONS,
DENSITY, AND
DISTANCEFROM
DISCHARGEAREAS
the saturated zone; i f , l i k e petrol eum,
they are i mmi sci bl e,
they wi l l tend to spread i n al l
di recti ons as a thi n f i l m . Sub-
stances
denser than water tend to move
downward through
the saturated zone
to
the
f i rst extensi ve conf i ni ng bed .
The mi neral composi ti on
and physi cal characteri sti cs
of
soi l s and rock s through
whi ch pol l utants move may
af f ect the
pol l utants i n several ways . I f
a pol l utant enters the ground
at a
"poi nt, " i t wi l l
be di spersed l ongi tudi nal l y
and l ateral l y i n
granul ar
materi al s so that i ts concentrati on wi l l
be reduced i n
the di recti on
of movement. (See "Saturated Fl ow
and Di s-
persi on . ")
Organi c substances and other
bi odegradabl e mate-
ri al s tend to be brok en down
both by oxi dati on and
by
bacteri al acti on i n the unsaturated
zone. Certai n earth
materi al s, especi al l y cl ays and organi c
matter, may al so ab-
sorb trace metal s and certai n compl ex
organi c pol l utants and
thereby
reduce thei r concentrati on as they move
through the
underground
envi ronment .
The hydraul i c
characteri sti cs of the soi l s and rock s deter-
mi ne the path tak en
by and the rate of movement of pol l ut-
ants. Substances di ssol ved i n water move
wi th the water
except to the extent that they are ti ed up or
del ayed by ad-
sorpti on . Thus, the movement of pol l utants
tends to be
through the
most permeabl e zones ; the f arther thei r poi nt
of
ori gi n f rom a ground-water di scharge
area, the deeper they
penetrate i nto the ground-water
system and the l arger the area
ul ti matel y af f ected .
The f actors rel ated to the movement
of pol l utants di s-
cussed i n the precedi ng paragraphs must be caref ul l y consi d-
ered i n the sel ecti on of waste-di sposal si tes, ani mal f eedl ots,
Thi ck unsaturated zone (, ,
contai ni nq cl ay and (or)
wy~rmc ni aterl al
and si tes f or other operati ons that may cause
ground-water
pol l uti on. Wi th these f actors i n mi nd, i t
i s obvi ous that si gni f i -
cant
ground-water pol l uti on can be avoi ded onl y i f waste-
di sposal si tes are
sel ected i n such a way that :
1 . Si gni f i cant thi ck nesses of
unsaturated materi al contai ni ng
cl ay and
(or) organi c materi al are present.
2 . Areas are as cl ose as possi bl e to
pl aces of natural ground-
water di scharge.
3 . Overl and runof f i s excl uded, and surf ace
i nf i l trati on i s
hel d to the mi ni mum possi bl e amount.
Tabl e 1 . Maxi mum concentrati ons
of i norgani c consti tuents
al l owed i n dri nk i ng water
tData f rom U. S . Envi ronmental Protecti on Agency (1 977) ]
Concentrati on
Consti tuents

(mg/L)
Arseni c
----------------------------_____-------
Bari um
-----------_____------------------------
Cadmi um
--------------------------------------
Chromi um
-------------------------------------
Lead ------------------------------------------
Mercury ---------------------------------------
Ni trate (as N) -----------------------------------
Sel eni um
-------__-----------------------------
Si l ver -----------------------------------------
Fl -) d f ree
area adjacent to
ground wat, : r di scharge
area
Ovc: rl ari d runof f prevented by di k es
and ; nf i I tri tl nn retarded by
cl ay cx> vrrr
SELECTI ON OF WASTE-DI SPOSAL SI TES I NVOLVES CONSI DERATI ON
OF
THE UNSATURATED ZONE,
FLOOD DANGER,
GROUND-WATER DI SCHARGE, OVERLAND RUNOFF, AND I NFI LTRATI ON
0. 05
1 .
. 01 0
. 05
. 05
. 002
1 0.
. 01
. 05
Pol l uti on of Ground Water

67
ALT T
I n coastal areas,
fresh groun d water derived from precipita-
tion on the lan d comes in con tact with an d discharges
in to the
sea or in to estuaries con tain in g brackish water . The relation
between
the freshwater an d the seawater, or brackish water, is
con trolled primarily by the differen ces in their den sities .
The den sity of a substan ce is its mass per un it volume ; thus,
the
den sity
of water
is affected by the amoun t of min erals,
such as common salt (NaCI ), that the water
con tain s in solu-
tion . I n metric un its, the den sity of freshwater
is about
1
gm
cm -3, an d the den sity of seawater is about 1 . 025 gm cm -3.
Thus, freshwater, bein g less den se than seawater, ten ds to
override or float on seawater .
On islan ds, such as the Outer
Ban ks
of North Carolin a, pre-
cipitation forms a freshwater len s that "floats" on the un der-
lyin g saltwater (1 ) . The higher the water table stan ds above sea
level, the thicker the freshwater len s . This relation between
the height of the water table an d the thickn ess of the fresh-
water len s was discovered,
in depen den tly, by a Dutchman ,
Badon
Ghyben , an d a German , B. Herzberg, an d is referred to
as the
Ghyben -Herzberg relation ship . This relation , expressed
as an equation ,
is
hs =

Pf

(h
f)

(1 )
Ps -
Pf
where h
s
is
the depth of freshwater
below sea level, pf is the
den sity of
freshwater, ps is the den sity of
seawater, an d hf is
the height of the
water table above sea
level .
Freshwater len s floatin g
on
saltwater
68

Basic
Groun d-Water Hydrology
On the basis of equation 1 an d the differen ces
between the
den sities
of freshwater an d seawater, the freshwater zon e
should exten d
to
a
depth below sea level
(h
s
)
equal to 40 times
the height of the water table above
sea level (h f) . The Ghyben -
Herzberg relation applies strictly, however,
on ly to a homog-
en ous an d isotropic aquifer in which the freshwater is static
an d
is
in
con tact with a tideless sea or body of brackish water .
Tides cause saltwater
to
altern ately
in vade an d retreat from
the freshwater zon e, the result bein g a
zon e of diffusion
across which the salin ity chan ges from that of freshwater to
that of seawater
(1 ) . A
part of the seawater that in vades the
freshwater zon e is en train ed in the
freshwater an d is flushed
back to the sea by the freshwater as it moves to the
sea to
discharge .
Because both
the
seawater
an d the
freshwater are in mo-
tion (n ot static), the thickn ess of the freshwater zon e in a
homogen ous
an d isotropic aquifer
is
greater
than that pre-
dicted by the Ghyben -Herzberg equation . On the other han d,
in a stratified aquifer (an d n early all aquifers are stratified),
the thickn ess of the freshwater len s is less than that predicted
because of the head loss in curred as the freshwater moves
across the least permeable beds .
When freshwater heads are lowered by withdrawals through
wells, the freshwater-saltwater con tact migrates toward the
poin t of withdrawals un til a n ew balan ce is established (2) . The
movemen t
of saltwater in to zon es previously occupied by
freshwater is referred to as saltwater en croachmen t .
Two aspects of
saltwater en croachmen t
DEPTH TO
GROUND WATER
CONTAINING
MORE THAN
1000 mg/L OF
TOTAL
DISSOLVED
SOLIDS IN
THE
CONTERMINOUS
UNITED STATES
EXPLANATION
Depthto ground water
mneters
Less than 150
150 to a()0
More than 300
Not
present
Todd, Groundwater
Hydrology, 2nd Ed. , 1980
0
0
Saltwater encroachment i s a seri ous problem i n some
coastal areas. Upconi ng of salty water beneath
pumpi ng wells
i s a more
i mmi nent problem than lateral encroachment i n
most areas.
One reason i s that lateral encroachment must
di splace
a volume of freshwater much larger than that di s-
placed by upconi ng. Another reason i s that
approxi mately
two- thi rds of the
Uni ted States i s underlai n by aq ui fers that
yi eld water
contai ni ng more than 1,000 mg/l. of total di ssolved
soli ds (3) . (See
table 2 i n "Quali ty of Ground Water. ") In most
places,
these aq ui fers are overlai n by other aq ui fers
that con-
AIL
200

400

600
MILES
I

I

I

I
I

I

I

I

i
200

400

600
KILOMETERS
tai n freshwater and that serve as sources of
water supply.
However, where supply wells are dri lled too
deeply or are
pumped at too large a rate, upconi ng
of the mi nerali zed (salty)
water may occur.
In the desi gn of supply wells i n areas underlai n by or
adj a-
cent to salty water, consi derati on must
be gi ven to the possi -
bi li ty of saltwater encroachment
. Thi s consi derati on may
i nvolve selecti on of shallow
aq ui fers or small pumpi ng rates
to avoi d
upconi ng or i nvolve movi ng wells to more
i nland
locati ons
to avoi d lateral encroachment.
Saltwater
Encroachment

69
TEMPERATURE
w
w
z
w
U
a
0
z
a
J
3
0
J
w
m
a
w
0
DEGREES
CELSIUS
7
0

Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
CHANGES IN
GROUND-WATER
TEMPERATURE WITH
DEPTH
( 1 )
WATER
The temperature of
ground water is one of its most useful
characteristics . Ground water has been used
for many years
on Long
Island, N. Y . , and at other places as a
heat-exchange
mediumfor air-conditioning
systems . As aresult of recent
in-
creases in energy costs,
ground water is also nowbecoming in-
creasingly
important as asource of heat for "heat pumps
. "
The temperature of ground water responds
to seasonal vari-
ations
in the heat received at the Earth's surface
fromthe Sun
and by
movement of heat from the Earth's interior.
The
seasonal movement of heat into
and out of the upper layers of
the Earth's crust causes aseasonal
fluctuation in ground-water
temperatures to adepth of 1 0to 25 m( 1 ) . The
fluctuation is
greatest near the surface, amounting to 5° to 1 0°C
at depths
of a fewto several meters . In the zone affected by seasonal
fluctuations, the mean annual ground-water temperature is 1 °
to 2°C higher
than the mean annual air temperature ( 1 ) . Con-
sequently, amap showing the
mean annual temperature of
shallowground water can be prepared on the basis of mean
annual air temperature
( sketch 2, based on amap showing
mean annual air temperature
prepared by the National
Weather Service) .
Movement of heat from the Earth's interior causes ground-
water temperatures to increase with depth ( 1 ) . This increase is
referred
to as
the geothermal
gradient and ranges from about
1 . 8°C per 1 00min areas underlain by thick sections of sedi-
mentary rocks to about 3. 6°C per 1 00min areas of recent
volcanic activity . The effect of the geothermal gradient is not
readily apparent in the zone affected by seasonal temperature
fluctuations .
Movement
of ground water causes adistortion in isotherms
( lines depicting equal temperatures) . This effect is most
noticeable where ground-water withdrawal induces a move-
ment of water fromastream into an aquifer. The distortion in
ground-water
temperature is most pronounced in the more
permeable zones
of
the aquifer.
APPROXIMATE
TEMPERATURE OF GROUNDWATER, IN DEGREES CELSIUS, IN THE CONTERMINOUS
UNITED STATES AT DEPTHS OF 10 TO 25 M
Temperature o f Gro und Water
71
MEASUREMENTSOF
WATERLEVELSAND
PUMPING
RATES
METHODS FOR
MEASURING THE DEPTH TO
WATER LEVEL
TN WELLS
7
2

Basic
Ground-WaterHydrology
Each supply well, regardless
of whether it is used for
domestic, irrigation, industrial, or public-supply
needs, should
be provided with a means for measuring the
position of the
water level in the well. Public-supply and
industrial wells
should also be provided with a means for measuring the
pumping rate. The
use of water-level and pumping-rate meas-
urements is discussed in
"Supply-Well Problems-Decline in
Yield. "
The first step in measuring the position of the water level
is
to identify (and describe) a fixed point-that is, a measuring
point-to which all measurements will be referred. This point
is usually the
top of the casing, well cap, or access port. The
three mostcommonmethods used in measuring thedepth to
waterin wells are wettedtape, electric tape, and air line
.
The wetted-tape method is probably the most commonand
most accurate of thethree methods (1 ) . This method utilizes a
graduated steel tape
with
a weight attached to its end. The
graduations on the lower meter (3 to 4
ft) of the tape are
coated with blue carpenter's chalk, and the tape is lowered
into the well until the lower part of the tape is submerged
and
an even meter (or foot)
mark is at the measuring point. The
tape is then quickly withdrawn, and
the value held at the
measuring point and the amount of tape that
was submerged
are entered on a record form. The amount of tape
that was
submerged is obvious from the
change
in
color of the chalk
coating. The depth to the water
level below the measuring
point is determined by subtracting the length
of wet tape from
thetotal length of tapethat was lowered into the well.
The electric-tape method involves an ammeter
connected
across a pair of insulated wires
whose exposed ends are
separated byan air gap in an electrode
and containing, in the
circuit, a source of power such as flashlight
batteries (2) . When
the electrode contacts the water surface, a current flows
through the system circuit and is indicated by a deflection of
the ammeter needle . The insulated
wires are marked at 1-m (or
5 f t) intervals . The nail of the
index f inger is placed on the in-
sulated wires at the
measuring point when the ammeter
indi-
cates
that the circuit is closed . A
steel tape or carpenter's rule
is used to measure the
distance f rom the point indicated by
the f ingernail to the next
highest meter (or 5 f t) mark. This
distance is subtracted f rom
the value of the mark to deter-
mine
the depth to water. One dif f erence
between the wetted-
tape
method and the electric-tape
method is that, in the
wetted-tape method, the
subtraction involves the length of
the submerged tape,
whereas, in the electric-tape method, the
subtraction
involves the distance between the
measuring
point and
the next highest mark.
The
air-line method is generally used
only in wells on which
pumps are installed . This method
involves the installation of a
small-diameter pipe
or tube (the air line) f rom the top of
the
well to a point
about 3 m (10 f t) below the lowest
anticipated
position of
the water level during extended
pumping periods
(3 ) .
The water level in this pipe is the same
as that in the well .
To determine the depth
to water, an air pump and a pressure
gage are attached to
the top of the air line . Air is pumped
into
the line to
f orce the water out of the lower end. As
the water
level
in the air line is depressed, the pressure
indicated by the
gage increases . When
all the water has been f orced out of the
line, the
pressure-gage reading stabilizes and indicates
the
length of the
water column originally in the air line .
I f the
pressure-gage reading is subtracted f rom the
length of the air
line below
the measuring point, which was caref ully
deter-
mined when
the air line was installed, the remainder
is the
depth to water below the measuring point
.
The preceding discussion has covered the
measurement of
water levels in nonf lowing
wells-that is, in wells in which the
water level is
below the measuring point . I n many coastal
areas
and valleys underlain by conf ined aquif ers, water
levels
in wells will stand at some height above the land
surf ace .
These areas are ref erred
to as areas of artesian f low, and the
measurement of
water levels in wells, where casings have not
been
extended above the static level, may pose problems . I f
the well is equipped with a valve and a threaded f itting, the
height of the water level can be
determined by attaching the
appropriate pipe connection
and a pressure gage or trans-
parent plastic tube .
Measuring
the water level of f lowing wells not equipped
with a valve or a threaded f itting
requires the use of soil-test
plugs or some other device to
control the f low . The position of
the static water level above the
measuring point is determined
either with a pressure gage
or with a plastic tube (4 ) .
L
Components used
to measure water pressure
of
f lowing wells
Altitude gage
Measuring point

Expandable
(top
of valve)

packer
Discharge
pipe Soil-test
plug
Land surf ace
Transparent
tubing
Components installed f or a pressure measurement
The measurement of the pumping rates of
supply wells
requires the installation of a f lowmeter
in the pump-discharge
line . Either of two types of meters may be
used, depending on
the pumping rate . Up to a
rate of about 1 ml min- '
(250 gal min- ') , an
"active-element"-type meter may be used.
These meters
utilize either a propeller or a disk that is turned
by the moving
water. For larger pumping rates, meters that
utilize a
constriction in the discharge pipe are commonly
used. These include venturi
meters, f low nozzles, and orif ices .
Flowmeters have dials
that show either the total amount of
water that has passed
the meter or the rate at which the water
is passing . With the f irst (the
totalizing dial) , the rate of dis-
charge is
determined by using a stopwatch to time the period
f or a
certain volume of water to be pumped .
Measurements of Water Level and Pumping Rates
7 3
Sewer
TION
OF
S
74

Basic Ground-WaterHydrology
TYPICAL
REQUIREMENTS
FOR
SUPPLY WELLS
Most, if not all, States
have laws related to the location and
construction of public-supply wells . These laws and
the rules
and regulations developed f or their administration
and en-
f orcement
are concerned, among other things, with
protecting
supply wells
f rom pollution . Pollution of the environment
results f rom man's activities, and, consequently,
except where
deep wells or mines are used f or waste disposal,
it primarily
af f ects the land surf ace, the soil zone, and the
upper part of
the saturated (ground water) zone. Theref ore, the
protection
of supply wells
includes avoiding areas that are presently
polluted and sealing
the wells in such a way as to prevent
pollution in thef uture.
Fortunately, most
ground-water pollution at the present
time af f ects only relatively small areas that can
be readily
avoided in the selection of well sites. Among the areas in
which at least shallow ground-water pollution should be
expected are
:
1 . Industrial districts that include chemical,

metalworking,
petroleum-ref ining, and other industries that involve
f luids otherthan cooling water.
2 . Residential areas in which domestic wastes are disposed
of
through septic tanks and
cesspools .
ELLS
Concrete
slab or
wellhouse f loor
3 f t

f rom

well
and 4 in
(+)
in
thickness
o . -.
____
m+
N
v
(+) A plus sign
in parentheses
means
distance or
thickness
can
be greater
but not less
3. Animal f eedlots and other areas in which large
numbers of
animals are kept in closeconf inement.
4
. Liquid and solid waste disposal sites, including sanitary
landf ills, "evaporation
ponds," sewage lagoons, and
sites used f or the disposal of sewage-plant
ef f luent
and solid wastes .
5. Chemical stockpiles, including those f or salt used to deice
streets
and highways and f or other chemical sub-
stances soluble in water.
In
the selection of a well site, areas that should be avoided
include not only
those listed but also the zones surrounding
them that may be polluted by movement of wastes in re-
sponse to both the natural hydraulic gradient and the artif icial
gradient that will bedeveloped by the supply well .
Rules and regulations intended to prevent f uture pollution
include provision of "exclusion" zones around supply wells,
requirements f or casing and f or sealing of the annular space,
and sealing of the upperend of thewells .
Many State regulations require that supply wells be located
at least 1 00 f t (30
m) f rom any sources or potential
sources of
pollution
. In the case of public-supply wells, the well owner
must either own or control the land within 1 00 f t (30 m) of the
well . I n some States,
a public-supply well may be located as
close as 50 f t (15 m) to a
sewer if the join ts in the sewerlin e
meet water-main stan dards.
Some State regulation s require that all supply wells be
cased to a depth of at least 20 f t (6 m) an d that the an n ular
space between the lan d
surf ace an d a depth of 20 f t (6 m) be
completely
f illed with cemen t grout . The casin g of supply
wells drawin g water f rom f ractured bedrock must be seated
an d sealed in to the top of the rock.
Most regulation s require that the casin g
of all supply wells
termin ate above lan d surf ace an d
that the lan d surf ace at the
site be graded or sloped so that surf ace water is diverted away
f rom the well . Man y States also require that public-supply
wells have a con tin uous-bon d con crete slab or con crete
wellhouse f loor at least
4
in . (10 cm) thick an d exten din g at
least 3 f t (1 m) horizon tally aroun d the outside of the well cas-
in g . The top of the
well
casin g must
project n ot
less
than
6
in .
(15 cm) above the con crete slab or wellhouse f loor. The top of
the well casin g must also project at least 1 in . (2 . 5 cm) above
the pump pedestal . The top of the well casin g must be sealed
watertight except f or a ven t pipe or ven t tube havin g a
down ward-diverted screen ed open in g.
The regulation s cited above provide, at best, on ly min imal
protection f or supply wells. There are n umerous situation s in
which both the size of the exclusion
zon e an d the depth of
casin g are in adequate . Relative to the radius of the exclusion
zon e, there are n o arbitrary limits, except the physical boun d-
aries of an aquif er, past which groun d water can n ot move.
Relative to the min imum required casin g, there are n o vertical
limits, except f or the impermeable base of the
groun d-water
system, past which polluted water can n ot move.
On the other han d, there are geologic an d hydrologic situa-
tion s in which these regulation s may be un n ecessarily restric-
tive . An example is pollution in
an un con f in ed aquif er down
the hydraulic gradien t f rom a supply well drawin g f rom
a deep
con f in ed aquif er overlain by a n on leaky con f in in g
bed .
Because of these f actors, it is essen tial that of f icials in -
volved in regulatin g the location an d con struction of supply
wells
be adequately train ed in the f ields of groun d-water geol-
ogy an d hydrology so that
they can protect the public health
on the basis of scien tif ic kn owledge an d techn ical
judgmen t
rather than that of blin d application of arbitrary regulation s.
Protection of
Supply Wells

75
SUPPLY-WELL
PROBLEMS-DECLINEINYIELD
Access pipe
for water-level
measurements \

Q
76
Pump
motor
Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
z
V
IE
(1)

u
U
, i
c
CL
E
The yield of any water-supply well depends on three ele-
ments: the aquifer, the well, and the pump. Adecline in yield
is due to a change in one of these elements, and correction of
the problem depends on identification of the element that is
involved . This identification
in
many cases
can
be made only
if data are
available on
the
depth
to
the water
level in the well
and the pumping rate. Inability to identify reasons for a
decline
in
yield
frequently results
in
discontinuing the use of
ground water and developing more expensive supplies from
surface-water sources.
The depth to the water level in a well equipped with a pump
may
be determined by using a steel tape, an electric tape, or
an air line and pressure gage. The pumping rate of a supply
well can be determined by any one of several different types of
metering devices (1) . (See "Measurements of Water Levels and
Pumping Rates. ")
The yield of a well depends on
the drawdown and
on
the
specific capacity.
The specific capacity is the yield per unit of
drawdown, and,
in nearly all pumping wells, it varies with the
pumping rate. Therefore, a discussion of decline in yield is
meaningful only in terms of the maximum yield . The max-
imum yield of a well is controlled by the available
drawdown
and the specific capacity when the drawdown
in the well
equals the
available drawdown. (See "Well-Acceptance Tests
and Well
Efficiency. ")
The available drawdown is determined at the time of con-
struction
of
a supply well and consists of the difference be-
tween the static
(nonpumping) water level and the lowest
practical
pumping level. The lowest practical pumping level
depends on
the type of well . In screened wells, it is at the top
of the
uppermost screen. In open-hole fractured-rock wells, it
is at the
position of the lowest water-bearing fracture or at the
lowest
level at which the pump intake can be placed.
6
L. E 5
U-
Q
m
a-
w
vo4
3
E
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
X
X
X
X
7t X
X
X
X
0 Value of specific capacity
X Value of available drawdown
i
X
1980
1981 1982
e0
70
60
50
40
z
3 F
o
w
w
3 LL
a CC
Cr O
o
w w
JF
W
Q
J
a
z
a
The specific capacity and
the
"yield"
of supply wells are
determined at the time of well construction. If the
pumping
level
during
the well-acceptance test is relatively close (within
a few meters) to the lowest practical level,
the specific capac-
ity determined during the
test
can
be
used
to accurately esti-
matethe maximum yield. However,
it
is important
to note that
apparent declines in yield after wells are placed in production
reflect, in many cases, overestimation of the yields at the time
of construction. Actual declines in yield
after
wells
are placed
in operation result from deterioration of
pumps, declines in
the static water level or the specific capacity, or combinations
of all three.
The yield of
a well field
is the
sum
of
the
yields of the indi-
vidual
wells
. Successful
operation, therefore, requires
periodic
measurements of both the specific capacity and the available
drawdown for each well. Changes in these values are used to
predict the yield of the field at different times in the future
and, when they are used in
conjunction
with
predictions
of
needs, to plan the rehabilitation of existing wells or the con-
struction of new wells.
Measurements of specific capacity and available draw-
down are neither difficult nor time consuming
.
The deter-
mination
of
both
requires only the three measurements listed
below:
1 .
Static
(nonpumping) water level (w. I . ), measured weekly
near the end of the longest nonpumping period,
which,
in
most
systems with large industrial uses, is
near theend of theweekend .
2. Maximum pumping water level, measured weekly near the
end of the longest period of continuous use, which, in
most water systems, is
near theend of theworkweek .
3. Pumping rate, measured
at the same time as the maximum
pumping
water level.
These three items
of
data
are analyzed as follows
to
deter-
mine the maximum yield of the well .
sp ec ific
c ap ac ity
p ump ing rate
(m3
min - ' or gal min - ' )
static w. I . (m or ft) -p ump ing
w. I .
(m or ft)
m3 gal
or
min m

min ft
available drawdown (m or ft)
= (static water level, in m or ft)
-(lowest
p rac tic al water level, in m or ft)
maximum yield =(sp ec ific c ap ac ity) x(available
drawdown)
ANALYSI S OF DECLI NES I N WELL YI ELD
I dentifying c riteria

Cause
Dec line in available drawdown----------

The aq uifer, due to a dec line in
no c hange in sp ec ific c ap ac ity.

ground-water level resulting
from dep letion of storage c aused
by dec line in rec harge or exc essive
withdrawals.
No c hange in available drawdown------- The well, due to inc rease in well
dec line in sp ec ific c ap ac ity .

loss resulting from bloc kage of
sc reen by roc k p artic les or by
dep osition of c arbonate or iron
c omp ounds; or reduc tion in length
of the op en hole by movement of
sediment into the well .
No c hange in available drawdown------- The p ump , due to wear of imp ellers
no c hange in sp ec ific c ap ac ity.

and other moving p arts or loss of
p ower from the motor .
Determinations of sp ec ific c ap ac ity and available draw-
down should be c arefully p reserved as
a p art of the p erma-
nent file on eac h well . (See "Well Rec ords and Files. ") They
should be analyzed at least
q uarterly to determine if c hanges
in either are oc c urring
.
This
analysis c an be done most c on-
veniently if the values are p lotted on
grap h
p ap er
versus the
time of the determination (2 ) . Changes in available drawdown
and (or) sp ec ific c ap ac ity and suggested c auses and c orrec tive
ac tion are listed in the ac c omp anying table.
Correc tive ac tion
I nc rease sp ac ing of new sup p ly wells.
I nstitute measures for artific ial rec harge .
Redevelop the well through the use of a
surge bloc k or other means. Use ac id to
dissolve enc rustations.
Rec ondition or rep lac e motor, or p ull p ump
and rep lac e worn or damaged p arts.
Sup p ly-Well
Problems-Dec line in Yield
7 7
The problems most frequently encountered
i n the operati on
of supply wells
relate ei ther to decli nes i n yi eld or
to deteri -
orati on i n the
quali ty of the water. Decli nes i n yi eld
are di s-
cussed i n
"Supply-Well Problems-Decli ne i n Yi eld. "
Deteri orati on i n
water quali ty may result ei ther from
changes i n the quali ty of water i n
the aqui fer or changes i n the
well . These changes may affect the
bi ologi cal quali ty, the
chemi cal quali ty, or the physi cal
quali ty . Deteri orati on i n
bi ologi cal and
chemi cal quali ty generally results from condi -
ti ons i n
the aqui fer, whereas changes i n physi cal quali ty result
from changes i n
the well
.
Both the bi ologi cal
and the chemi cal quali ty of water from
new publi c-supply wells must be analyzed before the wells
are
placed i n use to determi ne i f the water meets water-supply
standards and, i f i t does not, what treatment i s
requi red.
Dri nki ng-water regulati ons of the U. S . Envi ronmental Protec-
ti on Agency also requi re that analyses
of bi ologi cal quali ty be
7 8

Basi c Ground-Water Hydrology
made monthly
and that analyses of i norgani c quali ty be made
at least every 3 years for all communi ty
systems suppli ed en-
ti rely by ground water. I t i s good
practi ce to peri odi cally
determi ne the bi ologi cal and chemi cal quali ty of water from
all wells, especi ally those that supply domesti c needs, i n order
to determi ne i f changes i n quali ty are occurri ng.
Deteri orati on i n
bi ologi cal quali ty refers to the appearance
i n the water of bacteri a and ( or) vi ruses associ ated
wi th human
or ani mal wastes. Such deteri orati on i s referred to under the
general term polluti on and i ndi cates, i n nearly all cases, a
con-
necti on between the land surface or a near-surface
zone and
the open secti on of the well. The connecti on most frequently
exi sts i n the annular space between the
casi ng and the aqui fer.
To avoi d polluti on of wells, many
well-constructi on regula-
ti ons requi re that the annular space be
completely fi lled wi th
cement grout from the land surface to a depth of at least 20 ft
( 6 m) .
Deterioration in
chemical quality ref ers to the arriv al at a
s upply well of
water containing dis s olv ed chemicals
in an
undes irably large concentration
. Withdrawals of water f rom a
well caus e water to
conv erge on the well f rom dif f erent direc-
tions . I f this
conv ergence inv olv es water containing a large
concentration of any s ubs tance, the
concentration of that
s ubs tance will, af ter s ome period of
time, begin to increas e .
The mos t commonly obs erv ed
increas es in concentration in-
v olv e NaCl (s odium
chloride or common s alt) and NO,
(nitrate) , but, if the well is
near a s anitary landf ill or other
was te-dis pos al s ite, the
increas e may inv olv e almos t any
s ubs tance commonly us ed by
man .
Nitrate is an important
cons tituent in f ertiliz ers and is pres -
ent
in relativ ely large concentrations in human
and animal
was tes . Theref ore, nitrate concentrations
in exces s of a f ew
milligrams per liter almos t inv ariably
indicate that water is ar-
riv ing at the well f rom s hallow
aquif ers that are polluted by
s eptic
tanks or animal f eedlots or that are contaminated by
exces s nitrates us ed in f arming operations .
Sodium chloride is the principal cons tituent of s eawater
and is als o pres ent in s ignif icant concentrations in human and
animal was tes and in s ome indus trial was tes . An increas e in
the chloride content in well water mos t commonly indicates
upward mov ement of water f rom an underlying z one of s alty
water . Other increas es are due to pollution by s ources at or
near the land s urf ace, s uch as deicing operations on s treets
and highways
in
the northern part of the country .
Although increas es in chloride and nitrate
content are prob-
ably the mos t common changes in chemical
quality that
occur in ground water, changes may inv olv e almos t any s ub-
ANALYSI S OFCHANGES I N WATERQUALI TY
Change in quality
B iological ---------
Chemical
---------
P hys ical ----------
Caus e of the change
Mov ement of polluted water f rom
the s urf ace or near-s urf ace layers
through the annular s pace .
Mov ement of polluted water into
the well f rom the land s urf ace
or
f rom
s hallow aquif ers .
Upward mov ement of water f rom
z ones of s alty water .
Migration of rock particles into the
well
through the s creen or f rom
water-bearing
f ractures penetrated
by open-hole wells
.
Collaps e of the well s creen or
rupture
of the well cas ing.
s tance
s oluble in water . Thus , it is important to be aware of
the accidental
or intentional releas e of potential pollutants
within the area of inf luence of
all s upply wells. Subs tances
that are of particular
concern in this regard include herbicides ,
pes ticides
and other complex organics , petroleum products ,
and
thos e s ubs tances that contain trace concentrations of
metals .
I n planning a s ampling program, f or thes e s ubs tances
or any others , it is important
to cons ider the s low rate at which
mos t ground water
mov es .
Deterioration in phys ical quality inv olv es changes in appear-
ance, tas te, and temperature . Mos t commonly, a change in ap-
pearance or color inv olv es either the
gradual or the s udden
appearance of rock particles
in the water . Thes e particles can
range
in s iz e f rom clay, which giv es the water a turbid or
"bluis h" appearance, to s and . The s iz e of the particles is indi-
cated by the rate at which the particles s ettle . I f the particles
s ettle exceedingly s lowly, or not at
all, they are clay s iz e . I f
they s ettle immediately,
they are s and s iz e .
The gradual appearance
of particles generally indicates
that the f iner grained material was not adequately remov ed
f rom the z one adjacent to the well during well dev elopment .
(See "Well-Cons truction Methods . ") During us e of the
well,
thes e particles
s lowly migrate
to
and into the well . The s udden
appearance of particles -that is , when the concentration of
particles is large (v ery obv ious ) f rom the beginning-generally
indicates the f ailure (collaps e) of the s creen or a rupture of the
well cas ing .
Changes
in
the
quality of water produced by a well, likely
caus es of the change, and s ugges ted correctiv e action are
lis ted in the accompanying table .
Correctiv e
action
Seal annular s pace with cement
grout or other
impermeable material and mound dirt around
the well to
def lect s urf ace runof f .
Seal the annular s pace . I f s ealing does not
eliminate pollution, extend the
cas ing to a
deeper lev el (by teles coping and
grouting a
s maller
diameter cas ing ins ide the original
cas ing) .
Reduce the pumping
rate and (or) s eal the lower
part of
the well .
Remov e pump
and redev elop the well
Remov e s creen, if pos s ible,
and ins tall new s creen .
I ns tall s maller
diameter cas ing ins ide the
original cas ing.
Supply-Well
P roblems -Changes in Water Quality 79
WELL RECORDSANDFILES
The collection and preservation of records
on the construc-
tion, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of supply
wells are an essential but largely neglected activity . This
responsibility rests largely on the well owner or operator . The
consequence of this neglect is that it is not possible to identify
and to economically correct problems of declining yield or
deterioration in water quality, and the design of new wells
cannot incorporate past operational experience.
Afile should be established on each supply well at the time
when plans for its construction are initiated
.
From the
initial
planning to the final abandonment of the well, the following
records should be generated and carefully preserved in this
file:
1 . Initial design,
including drawings or written specifications
on diameter, proposed
total
depth,
position of screens
or open hole, method
of construction, and materials
to be used
in
construction
. (See "Water-Well Design . ")
2. Construction record, including the method of construction
and the drillers log and a geophysical log of the mate-
rials penetrated during construction, the diameter of
casings and screens, the slot size and metallic compo-
sition of screens,
the depths of casing and screens, the
total
depth of the well, and the weight of the casing .
(See "Well-Construction Methods" and "Well Logs . ")
Records and logs should also be retained for all test
wells, including those that were
not successful
becauseof small yields .
3 . Well-acceptance test,
including a copy of the water-level
measurements
made before, during, and after the
drawdown (pumping) test, a record of the pumping
rate or rates, copies of any graphs of
the
data, and
a
copy of the hydrologist's report on the
interpretation
8 0

Basic
Ground-Water Hydrology
of
the test results . (See "Well-Acceptance Tests and
Well Efficiency. ")
4. Pump and installation data, including the type of pump,
the horsepower of the motor, the depth to the pump
intake, a copy of the pump manufacturer's perform
ance and efficiency data, and data on the length
of
the air line or a description of facilities provided for
water-level measurements, including a description of
the measuring point . (See "Measurements of Water
Levels and Pumping Rates
. ")
5. Operating record, including data on the type of meter
used
to measure the flow rate, weekly readings of the flow-
meter dial, weekly measurements of the static and
pumping water levels, and periodic analyses
of water
quality
. (See
"Supply-Well Problems-Decline in
Yield . ")
6. Record of well maintenance, including the dates and the
activities instituted to increase the yield
or
to improve
the water quality
and data showing the
results
achieved. (See "Supply-Well Problems-Decline in
Yield" and "Supply-Well Problems-Changes in
Water Quality. ")
7.
Record of well
abandonment, including the date that use
of the well was discontinued and a description of the
methods and materials used to seal or plug thewell .
The type of forms used
for the records described above is
not of
critical importance. It is more important that the
records be collected,
regardless of the type of form that is
used . It
is important, however, that the date and the watch
time be noted with each measurement of
pumping
rate and
depth to water and on each
water sample collected for water-
quality analyses.
REFERENCES
A
large number of publications on ground-water hydrology were consulted
in
the
preparation of this report. Acitation is
shownin the text only where a publication
was used as a specific source of tabular data.
The following
list of principal references consulted is included to identify sources of specific information and for the
benefit of those who wish to obtain additional information.
General
References
Bouwer,
Herman, 1978, Groundwater hydrology: NewYork, McGraw-
Hill, 480 p.
Fetter, C. W. , J r . , 1980, Applied
hydrogeology: Columbus, Charles
E. Merrill, 488 p.
Freeze, R. A. , and Cherry, J . A. , 1979, Groundwater: Englewood Cliffs,
N. J . , Prentice Hall, 604 p.
Heath, R. C. , and
Trainer, F. W. , 1981, Introduction to ground-water
hydrology:
Worthington, Ohio, Water-Well J ournal Publishing
Co. , 285 p.
Todd, D. K. , 1980, Groundwater hydrology, 2d ed. : New York, J ohn
Wiley, 535 p.

'
Walton, W. C. , 1970, Groundwater resource
evaluation: New York,
McGraw-Hill, 664 p.
Section References
Afew publications were consulted in the preparation of two or
more sections. To save space, the complete citation to a publication is
shownonly the first time that it is mentioned.
Ground-water hydrology
L' vovich, M. L, 1979, World water resources and their future (English
translation, edited by R. L. Nace): Washington, D. C. , American
Geophysical Union, 415 p.
Underground water
Meinzer,
O.
E. ,
1923,
The
occurrence of ground water in the United
States, with a discussion of principles
: U
. S.
Geological Survey
Water-Supply Paper 489, 321 p.
Hydrologic cycle
L' vovich (1979)
Porosity
Meinzer (1923)
Specific yield and specific
retention
Meinzer (1923)
Hydraulic conductivity
Lohman, S. W. ,
and others, 1972, Definitions
of selected ground-
water
terms-Revisions and conceptual
refinements: U. S. Geo-
logical Survey Water-Supply
Paper 1988, 21 p.
Stratification and unsaturated
flow
Palmquist, W.
N. , J r . , and J ohnson, A. L, 1962, Vadose flow in layered
and nonlayered materials, in Short papers in geology and hydrol-
ogy: U. S
. Geological Survey Professional Paper 450-C, 146 p.
Saturated
flow and dispersion
Dane[, Pierre, 1953, The measurement of ground-water flow, in
Ankara Symposium on Arid Zone Hydrology, Paris 1953, Pro-
ceedings: UNESCO, p. 99-107.
Source of water derived fromwells
Theis, C. V. , 1940,
The source of water derived from wells, essential
factors controlling the response of an aquifer to development:
Civil Engineering, v. 10, no. 5, p. 277-280.
Aquifer tests
Stallman, R. W. , 1971, Aquifer-test design, observations, and data
analysis: U. S. Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources
Investigations, Book 3, Chapter Bl, 26 p.
Analysis of aquifer-test data
J acob, C. E. , 1963, Determining the permeability of water-table
aquifers: U. S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1536-I,
p. 1245-1271 .
Lohman, S. W. , 1972, Ground-water hydraulics: U. S. Geological
Survey Professional Paper 708, 70 p.
Theis, C. V. , 1935,
The
relation between the lowering of the piezo-
metric surface and the rate and duration
of discharge of a well
using ground-water storage: Transactions
of the American Geo-
physical Union, v. 16, p. 519-524.
Time-drawdown
analysis
J acob, C. E. , 1950, Flow of ground water, in
Rouse, Hunter, Engineer-
ing hydraulics : NewYork, J ohn Wiley, chapter 5, p. 321-386
.
Distance-drawdown analysis
J acob(1950)
Aquifer
boundaries
Ferris, J .
G. , Knowles, D. B. , Brown, R. H. , and Stallman, R.
W. , 1962,
Theory of aquifer
tests: U. S. Geological Survey
Water-Supply
Paper 1536-E, p. E69-El
74.
References
81
Tests affected by lateral boundaries

Water-well design
Moulder, E. A. , 1963, Locus circles as an aid in the location of a
hydrogeologic boundary, in Bentall, Ray, comp. , Shortcuts and
special problems in aquifer tests: U. S
.
Geological Survey Water-
Supply Paper 1545-C, p. C710-C115.
Tests affected by leaky confining
beds
Hantush, M. S. , 1960, Modification of the theory of leaky aquifers :
Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 65, no. 11, p. 3713-3725.
Hantush, M. S. , and Jacob, C. E. , 1955, Non-steady radial flow in an
infinite leaky aquifer: Transactions of the American Geophys-
ical Union, v. 36, no. 1, p. 95-100.
Jacob, C. E. , 1946, Radial flow in a leaky artesian aquifer : Transac-
tions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 27, no. 2, p. 198-205.
Well-construction methods
Campbell, M. C. , and Lehr, J . H. , 1973, Water well technology: New
York, McGraw-Hill, 681 p.
U. S . Environmental Protection Agency, 1974, Manual of individual
water-supply systems
:
EPA-430/9-74-007, 155 p.
Well logs
Edward E. Johnson, Inc. , 1966, Ground water and
wells, 1st
ed. :
Saint Paul, Minn. ,
440
p.
82

Basic
Ground-Water Hydrology
U
. S.
Bureau
of Reclamation, 1977, Ground-water manual : Wash-
ington, D
. C. , U. S . Government Printing Office, 480 p.
Specific capacity and
transmissivity
McClymonds, N. E. , and Franke,
O.
L. ,
1972, Water-transmitting
properties of aquifers on Long Island, New
York: U. S . Geological
Survey
Professional Paper 627-E, 24 p.
Quality of ground water
Hem, J . D. , 1970, Study and interpretation of
the chemical charac-
teristics of natural water : U. S. Geological Survey
Water-Supply
Paper 1473, 363 p.
U. S . Environmental Protection Agency, 1977, National interim primary
drinking water regulations: EPA-570/9-76-003, 159 p.
Pollution of ground water
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (1977)
Saltwater encroachment
Feth, J . H. , and others, 1965, Preliminary mapof the conterminous
United States showing depth to and quality of shallowest
ground water containing more than 1,000 parts per
million
dis-
solved solids: U. S
.
Geological Survey Hydrologic Investigations
Atlas 199, scale 1 : 3,168,000, two sheets, accompanied by
31-p. text .
NUMBERS, EQUATIONS,
ANDCONVERSIONS
The preceding
discussions of basic ground-water hydrology involve the use of equations and physical units with which
some
readers may not be familiar . This discussion of numbers, equations,
and conversion of units from one system of meas-
urement to another is included for the benefit of
those readers and for others who need to refresh their memories .
Expressing Large Numbers
1,000=10x10x10=1x103
1,000,000=1Ox10x10x10x10x10=1x106
The numbers 3 and 6
are called exponents and indicate the number of times that 10 must be multiplied by itself to obtain the
initial number.
Expressing Small Numbers
0. 001= 1 = 1 =1x10
-3
1,000

1 X101
0. 000001=

1

=

1

=1x10-6
1,000,000

1 x106
Exponents in the denominator acquire a negative sign when they are moved to the
numerator.
Simplifying Equations
Symbols in equations have numerical values and, in most cases, units of measurement,
such as meters and feet, in which
the values are expressed. For example, Darcy's law, one of the equations used in basic ground-water
hydrology, is
In metric units, hydraulic
conductivity ( K ) is in meters per day, area ( A) is in square meters, and hydraulic
gradient ( dhldl) is
in meters per meter.
Substituting
these
units in Darcy's law, we obtain
meters
meters meters4
Q=

xmeters' x

=

=m
4 - ' d-
'=m3
d- '
day

meters

meters day
Similarly, in inch-pound units, K is in feet
per day, A is in square feet, and dhldl is in feet per feet
. Substituting these units in
Darcy's law, we obtain
Q__feet
xfeet2x
feet =

feet4

=ft4 _i
d -1=ft3 d-1
day

feet

feet day
The characteristics of exponents are the same, whether
they are used with numbers or with units
of measurement. Ex-
ponents assigned to units of measurement are understood
to apply, of course, to the value that the unit of
measurement has
in a specific problem.
Numbers, Equations, and
Conversions
Conversion of Units
Units of measurements used in ground-water literature are gradually changing from the inch-pound units of gallons, feet,
and pounds
to the international System of units of meters and kilograms (metric units) . I t is, therefore,
increasingly important
that those who use this literature become proficient in converting units of measurement from one
system to another. Most
conversions involve the fundamental principle that the numerator and denominator of a fraction can be multiplied
by the
same number (in essence, multiplying the fraction by 1 ) without changing the value of the fraction . For example, if both the
numerator and the denominator
of
the
fraction 1 /4 are
multiplied by 2 , the value of the fraction is not changed. Thus,
Similarly, to convert gallons
per minute
to
other units
of
measurement, such as cubic
feet per day, we must first identify
fractions that contain both the units of time (minutes
and days)
and the
units
of
volume (gallons
and cubic feet) and that,
when they are used as
multipliers,
do
not change the numerical value. Relative to time, there are 1 ,440 minutes in
a day .
Therefore, if any number is
multiplied by 1 ,440 min/d, the result will be in different units, but its numerical value will
be
un-
changed .
Relative to volume, there are 7. 48 gallons in a cubic foot . Therefore, to convert gallons per minute to cubic feet per
day,
we multiply by these "unit" fractions, cancel the units of measurement that appear in both the numerator and the
denominator, and gather together the units that remain. I n other words, to convert gallons per minute to cubic feet per day,
we have
and, canceling gallons and
minutes in the numerators and denominators, we obtain
which tells us that 1 gal min-
' equals 1 92 . 5 ft3 d- ' .
We follow the same procedure
in converting from inch-pound units to metric units.
For
example,
to convert square feet
per day to square
meters per day, we proceed as follows :
ftz
ftz m
2
m
2
- =

x

=
d

d

1 0 . 76 ft
2

1 0. 76 d
84

Basic
Ground-Water Hydrology
x ==or x = x1
=
4Z84
42 4
4
gallons _ gallons

1 ,440 min

cubic feet
minute

minute
x

d

x

7
. 48
gal
gallons - 1 ,440 ft'
=1 92 . 5 ft3 d -'
minute

7. 48 d
= 0
. 092 9 m2 d-' =9. 2 9X 1 0
-2
m2 d- '
*U . S . G. P . O . 1 987-1 81 -407,40097

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DONALD PAUL HODEL, Secretary U .S . GEOLOGICAL SURVEY Dallas L . Peck, Director

First printing 1983 Second printing 1984 Third printing 1984 Fourth printing 1987

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE :1987 For sale by the Books and Open-File Reports Section, U .S . Geological Survey, Federal Center, Box 25425, Denver, CO 80225

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Heath, Ralph C. Basic ground-water hydrology. (Geological Survey water-supply paper ; 2220) Bibliography : p. 81 1 . Hydrogeology . I . North Carolina . Dept . of Natural Resources and Community Development. II . Title. III . Series . 82-600384 551 .49 1982 GB1003 .2 .H4

CONTENTS
Ground-water hydrology --------------------------------------------------Rocks and water---------------------------------------------------------Underground water ------------------------------------------------------Hydrologic cycle ---------------------------------------------------------Aquifers and confining beds------------------------------------------------Porosity ----------------------------------------------------------------Specific yield and specific retention ------------------------------------------Heads and gradients------------------------------------------------------Hydraulic conductivity ----------------------------------------------------Functions of ground-water systems -------------------------------------------Capillarity and unsaturated flow ---------------------------------------------Stratification and unsaturated flow -------------------------------------------Saturated flow and dispersion -----------------------------------------------Ground-water movement and topography -------------------------------------Ground-water flow nets ---------------------------------------------------Ground-water movement and stratification ------------------------------------Ground-water velocity ----------------------------------------------------Transmissivity -----------------------------------------------------------Storage coefficient -------------------------------------------------------Cone of depression -------------------------------------------------------Source of water derived from wells ------------------------------------------Aquifer tests ------------------------------------------------------------Analysis of aquifer-test data -------------------------------------------------Time-drawdown analysis --------------------------------------------------Distance-drawdown analysis -----------------------------------------------Single-well tests ---------------------------------------------------------Well interference --------------------------------------------------------Aquifer boundaries-------------------------------------------------------Tests affected by lateral boundaries ------------------------------------------Tests affected by leaky confining beds ----------------------------------------Well-construction methods ------------------------------------------------Well logs---------------------------------------------------------------Water-well design --------------------------------------------------------Well-acceptance tests and well efficiency -------------------------------------Specific capacity and transmissivity ------------------------------------------Well-field design ---------------------------------------------------------Quality of ground water---------------------------------------------------Pollution of ground water--------------------------------------------------Saltwater encroachment---------------------------------------------------Temperature of ground water-----------------------------------------------Measurements of water levels and pumping rates -------------------------------Protection of supply wells ------------------------------ --------------------Supply-well problems-Decline in yield --------------------------------------Supply-well problems-Changes in water quality -------------------------------Well records and files-----------------------------------------------------References -------------------------------------------------------------Numbers, equations, and conversions -----------------------------------------

Page

1 2 4 6 7 8 10 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 81 83

PREFACE
Ground water is one of the Nation's most valuable natural resources . It is the source of about 40 percent of the water used for all purposes exclusive of hydropower generation and electric powerplant cooling. Surprisingly, for a resource that is so widely used and so important to the health and to the economy of the country, the occurrence of ground water is not only poorly understood but is also, in fact, the subject of many widespread misconceptions . Common misconceptions include the belief that ground water occurs in underground rivers resembling surface streams whose presence can be detected by certain individuals . These misconceptions and others have hampered the development and conservation of ground water and have adversely affected the protection of its quality . In order for the Nation to receive maximum benefit from its ground-water resource, it is essential that everyone, from the rural homeowner to managers of industrial and municipal water supplies to heads of Federal and State water-regulatory agencies, become more knowledgeable about the occurrence, development, and protection of ground water . This report has been prepared to help meet the needs of these groups, as well as the needs of hydrologists, well drillers, and others engaged in the study and development of ground-water supplies . It consists of 45 sections on the basic elements of ground-water hydrology, arranged in order from the most basic aspects of the subject through a discussion of the methods used to determine the yield of aquifers to a discussion of common problems encountered in the operation of ground-water supplies . Each section consists of a brief text and one or more drawings or maps that illustrate the main points covered in the text . Because the text is, in effect, an expanded discussion of the illustrations, most of the illustrations are not captioned . However, where more than one drawing is included in a section, each drawing is assigned a number, given in parentheses, and these numbers are inserted at places in the text where the reader should refer to the drawing. In accordance with U .S . Geological Survey policy to encourage the use of metric units, these units are used in most sections . In the sections dealing with the analysis of aquifer (pumping) test data, equations are given in both consistent units and in the inconsistent inchpound units still in relatively common use among ground-water hydrologists and well drillers . As an aid to those who are not familiar with metric units and with the conversion of groundwater hydraulic units from inch-pound units to metric units, conversion tables are given on the inside back cover . Definitions of ground-water terms are given where the terms are first introduced . Because some of these terms will be new to many readers, abbreviated definitions are also given on the inside front cover for convenient reference by those who wish to review the definitions from time to time as they read the text. Finally, for those who need to review some of the simple mathematical operations that are used in ground-water hydrology, a section on numbers, equations, and conversions is included at the end of the text . Ralph C . Heath

Preface

v

biological. between particles of clay. 94 percent is ground water . of course. Most water. as noted earlier. in the last column.000 37. its sound development. Consequently.000 the rate of exchange of water in rivers . the largest volume of freshwater occurs as ice in glaciers. in its broadest usage. FRESHWATER OF THE HYDROSPHERE AND ITS RATE OF EXCHANGE (Modified from L'vovich (1979). The important point to be gained from this discussion is that the total volume of openings beneath the surface of the United States.000 Ground water -. Geological Survey has estimated that the total volume of subsurface openings (which are occupied mainly by water. misleading .000 Lakes and reservoirs ---155. movement.031 Ground-Water Hydrology 1 . Most subsurface openings contain water. The openings. is very large ." We do not see the myriad openings that exist between the grains of sand and silt. It is also a science whose successful application is of critical importance to the welfare of mankind . and consistent protection from pollution are important concerns of everyone .000 049 004 . Because ground-water hydrology deals with the occurrence and movement of water in an almost infinitely' complex subsurface environment. Contrary to our impressions of rapid movement as we observe the flow of streams in caves. Thomas Ground-water hydrology is the subdivision of the science of hydrology that deals with the occurrence. In fact. ice sheets and glaciers -----. It is especially important to note that the rate of exchange of 280 years for fresh ground water is about 1/9. and the importance of this water to mankind can be readily demonstrated by comparing its volume with the volumes of water in other parts of the hydrosphere . many of its basic principles and methods can be understood readily by nonhydrologists and used by them in the solution of ground-water problems .027 . to a large extent. is incalculable .' Estimates of the volumes of water in the hydrosphere have been made by the Russian hydrologist M . we are likely to conclude that ground water occurs only in underground rivers and "veins . gas. This impression is not altered very much when we enter a limestone cave and see water flowing in a channel that nature has cut into what appears to be solid rock . both on the land surface and in caves.000 20. one of the most complex of the sciences . its height would be about 57 m (186 ft) .000 280 7 1 'The hydrosphere is the term used to refer to the waters of the Earth and. The ground-water environment is hidden from view except in caves and mines. tables 2 and 101 Volume of freshwater km3 mil Share in total volume of freshwater (percent) 84 . On the other hand.000 mi 3) beneath the United States alone . concentrate in this discussion only on freshwater.200 ft) beneath the Mississippi Delta .S . it is. which shows.200 5. the rate of water exchange or the time required to replace the water now contained in the listed parts of the hydrosphere . From our observations on the land surface. When this fact and the fact that ground water also represents the largest reservoir of freshwater readily available to man are considered together. on.)vich and are given in a book recently translated into English .28. Not surprisingly.GHRY The science of hydrology would be relatively simple if water were unable to penetrate below the earth's surface.24. diligent conservation. Nace of the U . Ground-water hydrology. or even along the fractures in granite . in terms of both economics and human welfare. L . We will. therefore.000 960. L'v. deals not only with the occurrence of underground water but also with its movement . contains relatively large concentrations of dissolved minerals and is not readily usable for essential human needs.500 m (8. The purpose of this report is to present these basic aspects of ground-water hydrology in a form that will encourage more widespread understanding and use . Subsurface openings large enough to yield water in a usable quantity to wells and springs underlie nearly every place on the land surface and thus make ground water one of the most widely available natural resources . in its most advanced state.820. and mathematical sciences .000. On the other hand.000 Soil moisture --83.000.4.158 Parts of the hydrosphere Rate of water exchange (yr) 8. we do not sense the presence of the openings that. and petroleum) is on the order of 521. from our observations. if only water is considered. including that in the oceans and in the deeper subsurface openings.000 km 3 (125. we form an impression of a "solid" Earth . Consequently. R .000 549 294 6. I . and quality of water beneath the Earth's surface .253. It is interdisciplinary in scope in that it involves the application of the physical.000 River water ---1. far exceed the volume of all caves .000 Vapors in the atmosphere -14.400 300 100 . or above the Earth's surface. If we visualize these openings as forming a continuous cave beneath the entire surface of the United States. and other land areas of the world. water vapor.200 Total -----. and the impression that we gain even from these are. These concerns can be translated into effective action only by increasing our knowledge of the basic aspects of ground-water hydrology . includes all water. it is obvious that the value of ground water.945 14 . The truth of this observation becomes readily apparent from the table. and ice regardless of whether they occur beneath.700 3. are not equally distributed. in total volume.800. the movement of most ground water is exceedingly slow. The accompanying table contains L'vovich's estimates of the freshwater in the hydrosphere . many people impressed by the "solid" Earth are surprised to learn that about 14 percent of all freshwater is ground water and that. the result being that our imaginary cave would range in height from about 3 m (10 ft) beneath the Piedmont Plateau along the eastern seaboard to about 2. Harold E.

Consolidated rocks consist of mineral particles of different sizes and shapes that have been welded by heat and pressure or by chemical reactions into a solid mass . siltstone. clay. Water-bearing rocks consist either of unconsolidated (soillike) deposits or consolidated rocks . but. in different types of unconsolidated deposits. An important group of unconsolidated deposits also includes fragments of shells of marine organisms . The pores in sand and gravel and in other unconsolidated deposits are primary openings . dolomite. The solid part is. of course. The lava tubes and other openings in basalt are also primary openings .ROCKS AND WATER PRIMARY OPENINGS POROUS MATERIAL WELL-SORTED SAND POORLY-SORTED SAND SECONDARY OPENINGS FRACTURED ROCK FRACTURES IN GRANITE CAVERNS IN LIMESTONE Most of the rocks near the Earth's surface are composed of both solids and voids. The Earth's surface in most places is formed by soil and by unconsolidated deposits that range in thickness from a few centimeters near outcrops of consolidated rocks to more than 12. The material consists. If the voids were formed at the same time as the rock.000 m beneath the delta of the Mississippi River . and gravel . silt. Consolidated sedimentary rocks important in ground-water hydrology include limestone. Most unconsolidated deposits consist of material derived from the disintegration of consolidated rocks . there would be no water to supply wells and springs . of particles of rocks or minerals ranging in size from fractions of a millimeter (clay size) to several meters (boulders) . Unconsolidated deposits important in ground-water hydrology include. without the voids. sand. They include sedimentary rocks that were originally unconsolidated and igneous rocks formed from a molten state . much more obvious than the voids. The unconsolidated deposits are underlain everywhere by consolidated rocks . shale. as sketch 1 shows . sandstone. There are different kinds of voids in rocks. and it is sometimes useful to be aware of them . . Such rocks are commonly referred to in ground-water reports as bedrock . Igneous rocks include granite and basalt . 2 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology in order of increasing grain size. they are referred to as primary openings (2). and conglomerate .

however. Voids in limestone. The fractures in granite and in consolidated sedimentary rocks are secondary openings .If the voids were formed after the rock was formed. both primary and secondary openings . Rocks and Water 3 . It is important to note. These are rocks in which openings include both pores and fractures-in other words. Many limestones and sandstones that are important sources of ground water are semiconsolidated . they are referred to as secondary openings (2) . that many sedimentary rocks that serve as sources of ground water fall between these extremes in a group of semiconsolidated rocks . which are formed as ground water slowly dissolves the rock. are an especially important type of secondary opening . It is useful to introduce the topic of rocks and water by dealing with unconsolidated deposits on one hand and with consolidated rocks on the other.

Underground water occurs in two different zones. Recharge of the saturated zone occurs by percolation of water from the land surface through the unsaturated zone .UNDERGROUND WATER water on the land surface is surface water . As a result of this attraction. The unsaturated zone is. and the upper part of the capillary fringe . it is under a pressure less than the atmospheric (barometric) pressure . The porosity and permeability of this zone tend to be higher than those of the underlying material . Water in the capillary fringe and in the overlying part of the unsaturated zone is under a negative hydraulic pressure-that is. water clings as a film on the surface of rock particles and rises in small-diameter pores against the pull of gravity. This zone may be divided usefully into three parts : the soil zone. Below the water table. The capillary fringe results from the attraction between water and rocks . The unsaturated zone is almost invariably underlain by a zone in which all interconnected openings are full of water . therefore. It is crisscrossed by living roots. Water in the saturated zone is the only underground water that is available to supply wells and springs and is the only water to which the name ground water is correctly applied . which occurs immediately below the land surface in most areas. which differs in thickness from place to place depending on the thickness of the soil zone and the depth to the capillary fringe . The lowest part of the unsaturated zone is occupied by the capillary fringe. Well r~rf-T FRNGE ~ })t J_ Water table Water level GROUND WATER 4 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . of great importance to ground-water hydrology . and by animal and worm burrows . the intermediate zone. the hydraulic pressure increases with increasing depth . The equivalent term for decayed roots of earlier vegetation. The water table is the level in the saturated zone at which the hydraulic pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure and is represented by the water level in unused wells. the subzone between the unsaturated and saturated zones . The soil zone is underlain by the intermediate zone. by voids left by All water beneath the land surface is referred to as underground water (or subsurface water) . One zone. This zone is referred to as the saturated zone . contains both water and air and is referred to as the unsaturated zone . The soil zone extends from the land surface to a maximum depth of a meter or two and is the zone that supports plant growth .

Some "typical" rates of movement are shown in the following table. and hail. Infiltration rates vary widely. Water reaching streams. The first rain wets vegetation and other surfaces and then begins to infiltrate into the ground . from possibly as much as 25 mm/hr in mature forests on sandy soils to a few millimeters per hour in clayey and silty soils to zero in paved areas . depending on land use. where it is again evaporated to perpetuate the cycle . and. the excess percolates slowly across the intermediate zone to the zone of saturation . RATE OF MOVEMENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF WATER [Adapted from L'vovich (1979). on. Although the hydrologic cycle has neither a beginning nor an end. moves to the sea. which return the water to the land surface or oceans in the form of precipitation . and below the Earth's surface . Water in the zone of saturation moves downward and laterally to sites of ground-water discharge such as springs on hillsides or seeps in the bottoms of streams and lakes or beneath the ocean .65 93 . along with the distribution of the Earth's water supply . both by overland flow and from ground-water discharge. but only rain is considered in this discussion . The first infiltration replaces soil moisture. it is convenient to discuss its principal features by starting with evaporation from vegetation.019 4 . the character and moisture content of the soil. thereafter. and from the ocean . the key element in the concept of the hydrologic cycle . table 11 Rate of movement 100's of kilometers per day 10's of kilometers per day Meters per year Meters per day -Distribution of Earth's water supply (percent) 0. Precipitation occurs in several forms. The concept of the hydrologic cycle is central to an understanding of the occurrence of water and the development and management of water supplies. from exposed moist surfaces including the land surface. of course. Movement is. This moisture forms clouds.001 . including rain. and the intensity and duration of precipitation.96 Hydrologic Cycle 5 Location Atmosphere --Water on land surface -----Water below the land surface -Ice caps and glaciers -----Oceans ------- .12 1 . snow. overland flow occurs .Y The term hydrologic cycle refers to the constant movement of water above. When and if the rate of precipitation exceeds the rate of infiltration.

all rocks that underlie the Earth's surface can be classified either as aquifers or as confining beds . An aquifer is a rock unit that will yield water in a usable quantity to a well or spring . surface Potentiometric . and the aquifers are referred to as unconfined aquifers . The water level in these wells indicates the position of the water table in the surrounding aquifer .' Capillary fringe .) A confining bed is a rock unit having very low hydraulic conductivity that restricts the movement of ground water either into or out of adjacent aquifers . Wells drilled into confined aquifers are referred to as artesian wells . '. Such aquifers are referred to as confined aquifers or as artesian aquifers . "rock" includes unconsolidated sediments . the well is a flowing artesian well .. . Where water completely fills an aquifer that is overlain by a confining bed. The water level in artesian wells stands at some height above the top of the aquifer but not necessarily above the land surface . If the water level in an artesian well stands above the land surface. . . 6 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology .. (In geologic usage. Unconfined aquifers are also widely referred to as water-table aquifers . Where water only partly fills an aquifer. Ground water occurs in aquifers under two different conditions . The water level in tightly cased wells open to a confined aquifer stands at the level of the potentiometric surface of the aquifer. the upper surface of the saturated zone is free to rise and decline . . SSSSSS~SSftStttS(tttlt(»St 0 N W FQ Q w z From the standpoint of ground-water occurrence.AQUIFERS AND CONFINING BEDS Water-table well Artesian well Land '. the water in the aquifer is said to be confined . Wells open to unconfined aquifers are referred to as watertable wells . The water in such aquifers is said to be unconfined.--. surface .

the result is porosity expressed as a percentage .POROSITY The ratio of openings (voids) to the total volume of a soil or rock is referred to as its porosity . V =0 . tend to have the largest porosities . Porosity of unconsolidated deposits depends on the range in grain size (sorting) and on the shape of the rock particles but not on their size .Limestone -------------------Sandstone (semiconsolidated) --Granite ---------------------Basalt (young) ----------------Primary openings 48 26 55 50 25 20 10 10 10 Secondary openings Vt Vv Vt where n is porosity as a decimal fraction.3 _ 1 . Thus.30 volume Wt) Porosity 7 .0 m 3 0000000000 000000000 00 O '3 0 0000 oo Oo Dry 00 Sand 0 00 00 00 0000000000 000000000 0000000000 ()00000000 Volume Porosity (n) = Total of voids ( Vv ) 0 . Soils are among the most porous of natural materials because soil particles tend to form loose clumps and because of the presence of root holes and animal burrows . and V is the volume of openings (voids) . thus.3 Vt = 1 .0 m3 m3 = 0 . n= Vt _ Vs SELECTED VALUES OF POROSITY [Values in percent by volume] Material Equal-size spheres (marbles) : Loosest packing -------------Tightest packing ------------Soil ------------------------Clay -----------------------Sand -----------------------Gravel--------------------. Vt is the total volume of a soil or rock sample. If we multiply the porosity determined with the equation by 100. VS is the volume of solids in the sample. Fine-grained materials tend to be better sorted and. Porosity is expressed either as a decimal fraction or as a percentage .

=0 . However.2 m 3 ( m3 t . it is equally important to know that only a part of this water is available to supply a well or a spring .2 m 3 y 0 l l1 = Syt Sr = 0 . fringe .1 m 3 m3 = 0 .1 ma S = 0 .30 Water a Water film retained on rock and in as surfaces openings gravity GRANULAR MATERIAL capillary-size after drainage . Water FRACTURED (2) Basic Ground-Water Hydrology ROCK 8 . S. The physical forces that control specific retention are the same forces involved in the thickness and moisture content of the capillary. Hydrologists divide water in storage in the ground into the part that will drain under the influence of gravity (called specific yield) (1) and the part that is retained as a film on rock surfaces and in very small openings (called specific retention) (2) .SPECIFIC I L N SPECIFIC ETENTI N Porosity is important in ground-water hydrology because it tells us the maximum amount of water that a rock can contain when it is saturated .

is the volume of water retained in a total volume of Vt . Sr is specific retention. and specific retention tells how much water remains in the rock after it is drained by gravity . Soil ----------------------Clay ----------------------Sand ---------------------Gravel --------------------Limestone -----------------Sandstone (semiconsolidated) Granite -------------------Basalt (young) --------------- . Sy= SELECTED VALUES OF POROSITY.Specific yield tells how much water is available for man's use. and Vt is total volume of a soil or rock sample . Vd is the volume of water than drains from a total volume of Vt . Thus. SPECIFIC YIELD. V.09 8 15 48 3 1 2 5 3 ii Vd Sr= ii Vr where n is porosity.01 Specific Yield and Specific Retention 9 . Sy is specific yield. n =Sy +S.1 . AND SPECIFIC RETENTION [values in percent by volume] Material Porosity 55 50 25 20 20 11 11 Specific yield Specific retention 40 2 22 19 18 6 .

The direction of the slope of the water table is also important because it indicates the direction of ground-water movement (1) . where h L is the head loss between wells 1 and 2 and L is the horizontal distance between them. a gradient of 5 ft/780 ft is the same as a gradient of 5 m/780 m . pressure head. If the movement of ground water is assumed to be in the plane of sketch 1-in other words. it is understood to be in the direction in which the maximum rate of decrease in head occurs . the cost of constructing wells and pumping water for domestic needs may be prohibitively expensive . the total head at an observation well involves only two components : elevation head and pressure head (1) . is composed of elevation head. 10 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology The equation for total head (h t ) is h t =z+h p where z is elevation head and is the distance from the datum plane to the point where the pressure head hp is determined . Total head. Because ground water moves relatively slowly. which may or may not be in the direction of decreasing pressure head . Therefore. the rate of ground-water movement depends on the hydraulic gradient . If the direction is not specified. the position of the water table at each well must be determined relative to a datum plane that is common to all the wells . and velocity head . as it is in the above example in which both the numerator and the denominator are in meters. All other factors being constant. velocity head can be ignored . or ht L (100m-15m)-(98m-18m) 780 m 85 m-80 m 780 m 5 m 780 m When the hydraulic gradient is expressed in consistent units. The datum plane most widely used is the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (also commonly referred to as "sea level") (1) . Where the water table is at great depth. If the depth to water in a nonflowing well is subtracted from the altitude of the measuring point. if it moves from well 1 to well 2-the hydraulic gradient can be calculated from the information given on the drawing.") To utilize these measurements to determine the slope of the water table. Ground water moves in the direction of decreasing total head. Where the water table is at a shallow depth. The hydraulic gradient is h L/L. It is also relatively common to express hydraulic gradients in inconsistent units such as meters per . 780 rn a plane (National Vertical Geodetic Datum of 1929) The depth to the water table has an important effect on use of the land surface and on the development of water supplies from unconfined aquifers (1) . the result is the total head at the well . The hydraulic gradient is the change in head per unit of distance in a given direction . the land may become "waterlogged" during wet weather and unsuitable for residential and many other uses . The position and the slope of the water table (or of the potentiometric surface of a confined aquifer) is determined by measuring the position of the water level in wells from a fixed point (a measuring point) (1) . (See "Measurements of Water levels and Pumping Rates . as defined in fluid mechanics.HEADS AND GRADIENTS Measuring loom) point ( top of casing ) (Alt 98rn ) Distance. any other consistent units of length can be substituted without changing the value of the gradient . L . Thus.

Calculate the position between the well having the highest head and the well having the lowest head at which the head is the same as that in the intermediate well .26-26 . Draw a line perpendicular to the water-level contour and through either the well with the highest head or the well with the lowest head . .000 m 1=6. Heads and Gradients 11 .=26 .13 m L 133 m kilometer or feet per mile . Steps in the solution are outlined below and illustrated in sketch 3 : Identify the well that has the intermediate water level (that is. neither the highest head nor the lowest head) .4 m km -1 km I75 rn ~ rn X Both the direction of ground-water movement and the hydraulic gradient can be determined if the following data are available for three wells located in any triangular arrangement such as that shown on sketch 2 : 1 . b . 3 .2-26 . The distance between the wells . Divide the difference between the head of the well and that of the contour by the distance between the well and the contour . c. The total head at each well .20 ) x ( 26 .L . This line represents a segment of the water-level contour along which the total head is the same as that in the intermediate well . 2 .26-26 . a. The relative geographic position of the wells . Draw a straight line between the intermediate well and the point identified in step b as being between the well having the highest head and that having the lowest head .o .07 133 - h.(D) ( 26 . This line parallels the direction of ground-water movement . A gradient of 5 m/780 m can be converted to meters per kilometer as follows : h. e .20 m 6. The answer is the hydraulic gradient .26 m ent a) ~ r oe m tau t (a) Well 2 W. d . 2pro i I go o 1 I Direction of ground-water movement (e) 26 .07 ) 215 26 .

through which the flow occurs. water particles tend to follow discrete streamlines and not to mix with particles in adjacent streamlines (1) . Hydraulic conductivity replaces the term "field coefficient of permeability" and should be used in referring to the watertransmitting characteristic of material in quantitative terms.(ms d -1 )(m) _ Adh (m') (M) m d (2) where Q is the quantity of water per unit of time . we say that ground-water flow is laminar-that is. It is still common practice to refer in qualitative terms to "permeable" and "impermeable" material . Expressing hydraulic conductivity in terms of a unit gradient. 12 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology Thus. the units of hydraulic conductivity are those of velocity (or distance divided by time) . at a right angle to the flow direction. If the hydraulic conductivity is essentially the same in any area. K is the hydraulic conductivity and depends on the size and arrangement of the water-transmitting openings (pores and fractures) and on the dynamic characteristics of the fluid (water) such as kinematic viscosity. These factors are illustrated in sketch 1 . The factors controlling ground-water movement were first expressed in the form of an equation by Henry Darcy. Hydraulic conductivity is not only different in different types of rocks but may also be different from place to place in the same rock .") 'Where hydraulic gradient is discussed as an independent entity. permits ready comparison of values of hydraulic conductivity for different rocks . that the factors involved in the definition of hydraulic conductivity include the volume of water (Q that will move in a unit of time (commonly. Where hydraulic gradient appears as one of the factors in an equation. a day) under a unit hydraulic gradient (such as a meter per meter) through a unit area (such as a square meter) . in 1856 . It is important to note from equation 2. we obtain K= Qdl . There are few physical parameters whose values range so widely . The gradient dhldl indicates that the unit distance is reduced to as small a value as one can imagine. . in accordance with the concepts of differential calculus .HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY Streamlines representing laminar flow Q Unit prism of aquifer Aquifers transmit water from recharge areas to discharge areas and thus function as porous conduits (or pipelines filled with sand or other water-bearing material) . a French engineer. The hydraulic conductivity of rocks ranges through 12 orders of magnitude (2) . it is shown symbolically as dhldl to be consistent with other ground-water literature . Because the quantity of water (Q is directly proportional to the hydraulic gradient (dhldl). as it is in "Heads and Gradients. and dhldl is the hydraulic gradient ." it is shown symbolically as h L IL and is referred to as head loss per unit of distance . Darcy's law is If we rearrange equation 1 to solve for K. the aquifer in . however. as it does in equation 1. (See "Ground-Water Flow Nets. density. and the strength of the gravitational field . A is the cross-sectional area. rather than of an actual gradient at some place in an aquifer.

such aquifers are rare. If the hydraulic conductivity is essentially the same in all directions. The condition most commonly encountered is for hydraulic conductivity in most rocks and especially in unconsolidated deposits and in flat-lying consolidated sedimentary rocks to be larger in the horizontal direction than it is in the vertical direction . Although it is convenient in many mathematical analyses of ground-water flow to assume that aquifers are both homogeneous and isotropic. on the other hand. the aquifer is said to be isotropic . the aquifer is said to be anisotropic . if they exist at all .Hydraulic IGNEOUS Unfractured AND Conductivity METAMORPHIC of Selected Rocks ROCKS Fractured BASALT Unfractured Fractured SANDSTONE Fractured SHALE Unfractured Fractured CARBONATE Fractured CLAY SILT. Hydraulic Conductivity 13 . the aquifer is said to be heterogeneous . the hydraulic conductivity differs from one part of the area to another. If it is different in different directions. LOESS ROCKS Cavernous Sernicon solid ated Lava flow SILTY SAND CLEAN Fine GLACIAL TILL SAND Coarse GRAVEL 10 -e I I I I I I 10 -7 10 -6 10 -5 10 -4 10 10-3 10 -2 m d -1 10 -I I 10 10 2 10 3 4 I I I I I I I 10 -7 10 -6 10 -5 10 -4 10 -3 10 -2 10 -I I I0 10 2 10 3 10 4 10 5 ft d' I I I I I I I t I I I I 3 I 10 -7 10 -6 10 -5 10 -4 10 -3 10-2 10-I I 10 10 2 10 10 4 10 5 gal d' ft -2 that area is said to be homogeneous . If. Hydraulic conductivity may also be different in different directions at any place in an aquifer .

Large amounts of water are also withdrawn from the capillary fringe and the zone of saturation by plants during the growing season . and it transmits water from recharge areas to discharge areas. With the exception of cavernous limestones. Hydraulically. Most recharge occurs in the mountain ranges. Annual recharge rates range. In the drier part (western half) of the conterminous United States. Water enters ground-water systems in recharge areas and moves through them. (See "Ground-Water Velocity . as we would expect. recharge occurs in all interstream areas-that is. . its seasonal distribution. Recharge rates are generally expressed in terms of volume (such as cubic meters or gallons) per unit of time (such as a day or a year) per unit of area (such as a square kilometer. a square mile. Recharge varies from year to year. This size difference shows. The time ranges from a few days in the zone adjacent to the discharge area to thousands of years (millennia) for water that moves from the central part of some recharge areas through the deeper parts of the ground-water system (1) . Recharge involves unsaturated movement of water in the vertical direction . much of it in the horizontal direction-that is. When these units are reduced to their simplest forms. air temperature. ground-water systems are more effective as reservoirs than as conduits . The identification of recharge areas is becoming increasingly important because of the expanding use of the land surface for waste disposal . and other factors . Relative to land use. if water moves downward into other aquifers. on the other hand. The rate of movement of ground water from recharge areas to discharge areas depends on the hydraulic conductivities of the aquifers and confining beds. and along the channels of major streams where they are underlain by thick and permeable alluvial deposits . in different parts of the coun14 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology try.') in the rural areas on Long Island and in other rural areas in the East that are underlain by very permeable soils . The streams and flood plains are. land use. discharge areas include not only the channels of perennial streams but also the adjoining flood plains and other low-lying areas . Thus. as dictated by hydraulic gradients and hydraulic conductivities. in other words.1 x106 gal mi -2 d . under most conditions. that discharge areas are more "efficient" than recharge areas . where it occurs within a meter or so of the land surface . and on the hydraulic gradients. recharge rates in forests are much higher than those in cities . the result is recharge expressed as a depth of water on the land surface per unit of time . this system serves two functions : it stores water to the extent of its porosity. In the humid part of the country. depending on the amount of precipitation. recharge conditions are more complex . on alluvial fans that border the mountain ranges. in all areas except along streams and their adjoining flood plains (1) . lava flows. Natural discharge from ground-water systems includes not only the flow of springs and the seepage of water into stream channels or wetlands but also evaporation from the upper part of the capillary fringe. from essentially zero in desert areas to about 600 mm yr' (1. a ground-water system serves as both a reservoir and a conduit .FUNCTIONS OF GROUND-WATER SYSTEMS The aquifers and confining beds that underlie any area comprise the ground-water system of the area (1) . in the direction of the largest hydraulic conductivity . discharge areas . or an acre) .") A convenient way of showing the rate is in terms of the time required for ground water to move from different parts of a recharge area to the nearest discharge area . Thus. movement is in the direction in which the hydraulic conductivity is generally the lowest . involves saturated movement. to discharge areas (1) . Discharge. and coarse gravels. One of the most significant differences between recharge areas and discharge areas is that the areal extent of discharge areas is invariably much smaller than that of recharge areas .600 m 3 km -2 d -1 or 1 .

Recharge occurs during and immediately following periods of precipitation and thus is intermittent (2) . These aspects of recharge and discharge are apparent from graphs showing the fluctuation of the water level in observation wells. ground-water heads decline. between periods of recharge. when plants are dormant and evaporation rates are small . Most recharge of ground-water systems occurs during late fall.~I . is a continuous process as long as ground-water heads are above the level at which discharge occurs . 1~~I L~ ~11 1~ [ 1 1.NOV I DEC w J 50 J W 4 40 w Z J J 30 Q Z 20 60 Precipitation at Washington. between the precipitation and the rise in water level is due partly to the distance of 20 km between the weather station and the well . to D JAN il~ll I. NC .i. 11' .MAY I JUNE JULY AUG 1978 (2) SEPT - ~ OCT . ~II. on the other hand. Functions of Ground-Water Systems 15 . Recharge events Well Pi-533 (1978) Q (n 3 w F w Z JAN 70 FEB ~AR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG I I SEPT I ~~I OCT . 1. The occasional lack of correlation. FEB I . and the rate of discharge also declines . such as the one shown in sketch 2 . DEC I Another important aspect of recharge and discharge involves timing . MAR ~ APR I . However. especially in the summer.Fluctuation w 0 of the Water Table in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina a w 0 Z J Q W J J 3 0 J W m F A. Discharge. and early spring. winter. NOV ~.

-z)lz is the gradient due to capillary (surface tension) forces.CAPILLARITY AND UNSATURATED FLOW Most recharge of ground-water systems occurs during the percolation of water across the unsaturated zone . or 1 . APPROXIMATE HEIGHT OF CAPILLARY RISE GRANULAR MATERIALS Material Sand : Coarse --------------__--------------___--------Medium -____---------------------___-----------Fine -------------------------------------------Silt ----------------____------------------___-----(h c ) Steady-state unsaturated flow (Q) is fective hydraulic conductivity (K. Ke is the hydraulic conductivity under the degree of saturation existing in the unsaturated zone. as it would. the capillary gradient declines. beneath a waste-disposal pond whose bottom is separated from the water table by an unsaturated zone . For lateral (horizontal) movement in the unsaturated zone. As a consequence of these forces. the capillary gradient is at a maximum.000 Steady-state flow of water in the unsaturated zone can be determined from a modified form of Darcy's law . the term for the gravitational gradient can be eliminated . water will rise in smalldiameter glass tubes to a height h. and the rate of rise decreases (2) . above the water level in a large container (1) . and dhldl is the gradient due to gravity . (h.). as a result. To determine the gradient. and capillary forces and gravitational forces . either up or down. water is pulled upward into a capillary fringe above the water table in the same manner that water would be pulled up into a column of sand whose lower end is immersed in water (2) . The capillary gradient at any time depends on the length of the water column (z) supported by capillarity in relation to the maximum possible height of capillary rise (h. Capillarity results from two forces : the mutual attraction (cohesion) between water molecules and the molecular attraction (adhesion) between water and different solid materials . Steady state in this context refers to a condition in which the moisture content remains constant. The equation for total head (h t) is . proportional to the efcross-sectional area (A) gradients due to both Thus. Most pores in granular materials are of capillary size. and the rate of rise of water is fastest .) (2) . if the lower end of a sand column is suddenly submerged in water. The plus or minus sign is related to the direction of movement-plus for downward and minus for upward . the gradient due to gravity is 1/1. and. The movement of water in the unsaturated zone is controlled by both gravitational and capillary forces . For movement in a vertical direction. The capillary gradient can be determined from tensiometer measurements of hydraulic pressures. as sketch 3 shows . for example. it is necessary to measure the negative pressures (h p ) at two levels in the unsaturated zone. As the wetting front advances up the column. the through which the flow occurs. IN Rise (mm) 125 250 400 1. For example. 16 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology where Q is the quantity of water.

26 32-28 5m=1 . 1.25-1 . 1 exceeds that in tensiometer no . Therefore. It is thus less than the (saturated) hydraulic conductivity (K) for the material .' . or 4 m . Sketch 4 shows the relation between degree of saturation and the ratio of saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity for coarse sand . we obtain The total head at tensiometer no. The hydraulic conductivity (K) of coarse sand is about 60 m d . z=32 m ht I z 24 a w w 22 20 =31 m Capillary f 11 l Water table _1/ ht I z=28 m =26 m I ffl~ 0 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 2 DATUM PLANE (NATIONAL GEODETIC VERTICAL DATUM 1929) (3) L-_1-1_-------1-1-_- SATURATION. 2 ~77JRNM Land surface gradient equals the head loss divided by the distance between tensiometers. IN PERCENT where z is the elevation of a tensiometer .25 m m -1 (1 .25 4m w z 0 28 26 This gradient includes both the gravitational gradient (dhldl) and the capillary gradient ([hc-z]lz)) . Because the combined gravitational and capillary hydraulic (4) The effective hydraulic conductivity (Ke ) is the hydraulic conductivity of material that is not completely saturated .hr(2) z(I)-z(2) _ 31. or 1 .Tensiometers No . the gradient is _hL L _ h t(j) . we know that flow is vertically downward and that the gravitational gradient is 1/1. 2.00) . Capillarity and Unsaturated Flow 17 . 2 is 26 m . the capillary gradient is 0 . Because the head in tensiometer no . I 34 32 30 o: w F- No . Substituting values in this equation for tensiometer no . The vertical distance between the tensiometers is 32 m minus 28 m.

the deposit is said to be stratified.' . The dimensions of the models were about 1 . z in bed A at that time equaled 1. three of which were finer grained and more impermeable than the other two . In many ground-water problems. and its layered structure is referred to as stratification . Beds B and D consisted of medium-sand-sized beads (diameters of 0 . The manner in which water moves across the unsaturated zone has been studied by using models containing glass beads . The layers comprising a stratified deposit commonly differ from one another in both grain size and sorting and. on the other hand. water introduced at the top moved vertically downward through a zone of constant width to the bottom of the model (1) .") Because the hydraulic conductivity of bed B was 100 times that of bed A. the capillary saturation in bed A had reached a level where the unsatisfied (remaining) capillary pull in bed A was the same as that in bed B .5 m x 1 . and another (2) consisted of five layers. and it did not begin to enter bed B until 9 hours after the start of the experiment . differ from one another in hydraulic conductivity . the unsaturated zone is composed of horizontal or nearly horizontal layers.. sorting. C. One model (1) contained beads of a single size representing a nonstratified deposit. see "Capillarity and Unsaturated Flow . In most areas. In the stratified model.47 mm) having a capillary height of about 250 mm and a hydraulic conductivity of 82 m d .036 mm) having a capillary height (hc ) of about 1. Because of the strong capillary force and the low hydraulic conductivity in bed A.g dry after 38 hours of inflow (2) Most sediments are deposited in layers (beds) that have a distinct grain size. and especially in those related to the release of pollutants at the land surface. In other words.000 mm-250 mm.r MEN Nonstratified model Inflow 0 . and E consisted of silt-sized beads (diameters of 0 . These differences in hydraulic conductivity significantly affect both the percolation of water across the unsaturated zone and the movement of ground water . consequently..STRATIFICATION AND UNSATURATED FLOW r.2 m x 76 mm . (For a definition of z. the water spread laterally at almost the same rate as it did vertically.2 m EMEN ENEE WE EXPLANATION Areas rema.000 mm and a hydraulic conductivity (K) of 0 . At that time. the effect of stratification on movement of fluids across the unsaturated zone is of great importance . water moved across bed B through narrow vertical zones . is predominantly in a vertical direction . 18 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . or mineral composition . We can guess that the glass beads in these zones were packed somewhat more tightly than those in other parts of the beds . . . beds A.072 (19 gal d I N ----Nmm MENM MM to ce start II m' d .' ) NEON 1 .8 m d -1 .. or 750 mm . In the nonstratified model. Where adjacent layers differ in one of these characteristics or more. The movement of water.

at which point the rate of increase in concentration begins to decrease (3) . water particles move in a disordered.0 U 0 to Time since start o f injection ( 3 ) r Saturated Flow and Dispersion 19 . Also. The effect of longitudinal dispersion can also be observed from the change in concentration of a substance (C) downstream from a point at which the substance is being injected constantly at a concentration of C o . differences in velocity result from friction between the water and the rock particles . Movement in the saturated zone may be either laminar or turbulent . which results in a complex mixing of the particles . Dispersion is important in the study of ground-water pollution . In turbulent flow. all interconnected openings are full of water. Stratification and areal differences in lithology and other characteristics of aquifers and confining beds actually result in much greater lateral and longitudinal dispersion than that measured by Dane] for a homogeneous and isotropic medium . it is difficult to measure in the field because the rate and direction of movement of wastes are also affected by stratification. Flows are laminar in most granular deposits and fractured rocks . which results in transverse dispersion-that is. in the direction of flow . in a granular deposit Cone of dispersion Direction of flow Changes in concentration in the dispersion cone o 1 . In laminar flow. However.7 Co. dispersion at right angles to the direction of ground-water flow . the peak concentration decreased in the direction of flow . and the fastest rate occurs in the center of pores . and limestone caverns. The concentration rises slowly at first as the "fastest" streamlines arrive and then rises rapidly until the concentration reaches about 0 . Danel (1953) found that dye injected at a point in a homogeneous and isotropic granular medium dispersed laterally in the shape of a cone about 6° wide (2) . The slowest rate of movement occurs adjacent to the particles. filtration. water particles move in an orderly manner along streamlines . and other conditions and processes . and the water moves through these openings in the direction controlled by the hydraulic gradient . there is some intermingling of streamlines. ion exchange. Because of transverse and longitudinal dispersion. In laminar flow in a granular medium. the different streamlines converge in the narrow necks between particles and diverge in the larger interstices (1) . Thus. turbulent flow occurs only in large openings such as those in gravel. lava flows. Under natural hydraulic gradients. highly irregular manner.SATURATED FL Dispersion AN DISPERSION In the saturated zone. He also found that the concentration of dye over a plane at any given distance from the inlet point is a bell-shaped curve similar to the normal probability curve . The resulting dispersion is longitudinal-that is.

in the course of its movement. Thus. This problem can be partly solved Arrows show direction of ground-water movement through the use of flow nets. or the height above a datum plane. waste ponds. To do so. of the water level in wells .GROUND-WATER MOVEMENT AND TOPOGRAPHY It is desirable. Under natural conditions. ground water in the upper part of the saturated zone flows down the valleys and at an angle away from the streams . In this area. ground water moves "downhill" until. general but very valuable conclusions about the direction of ground-water movement can be derived from observations of land-surface topography . ground water in the shallowest part of the saturated zone moves from interstream areas toward streams or the coast. thus. The depth to the water table is greater along the divide between streams than it is beneath the flood plain . This sharing may not be the case with the deeper confined aquifers . Ground water is normally hidden from view . If we ignore minor surface irregularities. 20 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . it reaches the land surface at a spring or through a seep along the side or bottom of a stream channel or an estuary. In the western part of the conterminous United States. which are one of the most effective means yet devised for illustrating conditions in groundwater svstems . to determine the position of the water table and the direction of ground-water movement . share both recharge and discharge areas with the surficial unconfined aquifers. many people have difficulty visualizing its occurrence and movement . it is necessary to determine the altitude. also slopes from recharge areas to discharge areas . the water table usually is a subdued replica of the land surface . which are relatively common along the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Thus. we find that the slope of the land surface is also toward streams or the coast . sanitary landfills. The potentiometric surface of confined aquifers. and especially in the alluvial basins region. Gravity is the dominant driving force in ground-water movement . In areas where ground water is used for domestic and other needs requiring good-quality water. conditions are more variable than those described above . Shallow confined aquifers. septic tanks. streams flowing from mountain ranges onto alluvial plains lose water to the alluvial deposits. wherever possible. movement of water through these aquifers is in a general west to east direction. In effect. as a consequence. where it has not been modified by withdrawals . and other waste-disposal sites should not be located uphill from supply wells. The principal recharge areas for these are probably in their outcrop areas near the western border of the Coastal Plain. in most areas. and their discharge areas are probably near the heads of the estuaries along the major streams . This difficulty adversely affects their ability to understand and to deal effectively with groundwater-related problems . However. like the water table.

However. The relative positions of the land surface and the water table in sketch 2 suggest that recharge occurs throughout the area. referred to as equipotential lines. except along the stream valleys. heads decrease downward in the recharge area and decrease upward in the discharge area. above a datum plane . if a well is drilled deeply enough in an unconfined aquifer. for purposes of flow-net analysis. the flow through any "square" is q=Kbw (dl) (1) and the total flow through any set or group of "squares" is Q = nq (2) where K is hydraulic conductivity. the deeper a well is drilled in a recharge area. Drawings 3 and 4 show equipotential lines and flow lines in the vicinity of a stream that gains water in its headwaters and loses water as it flows downstream . in the losing reach. the lower the water level in the well stands below land surface . Consequently. The sand overlies a horizontal confining bed. referred to as flow lines. The fact that some flow lines originate in the area in which heads exceed 13 m indicates the presence of recharge to the aquifer in this area . There are an infinite number of equipotential lines and flow lines in an aquifer. the equipotential lines form a V pointing upstream . or the potentiometric surface of a confined aquifer. and n is the number of squares through which the flow occurs. flow lines originate in recharge areas and terminate in discharge areas . be used to estimate the quantity of water in transit through an aquifer . a flowing well does not necessarily indicate artesian conditions . if they are drawn with care. depicts the idealized paths followed by particles of water as they move through the aquifer . b is aquifer thickness at the midpoint between equipotential lines. the top of which occurs at an elevation 3 m above the datum plane . together with the equipotential lines. According to Darcy's law. Thus. In the cross-sectional view in sketch 2." Flow nets not only show the direction of ground-water movement but can also. In the gaining reaches. Equipotential lines are drawn so that the drop in head is the same between adjacent pairs of lines. Drawings 1 and 2 show a flow net in both plan view and cross section for an area underlain by an unconfined aquifer composed of sand . This suggestion is confirmed by the fact that flow lines also originate in areas where heads are less than 13 m . connects points of equal head and thus represents the height of the water table. w is the distance be- tween flow lines. Flow lines are drawn so that the flow is equally divided between adjacent pairs of lines and so that. The second set. they form a series of "squares. only a few of each set need be drawn . Consequently. dh is the difference in head between equipotential lines. As sketches 1 and 2 show. Ground-Water Flow Nets 21 . the well may flow above land surface . The reverse is true in discharge areas . Because ground water moves in the direction of the steepest hydraulic gradient. dl is the distance between equipotential lines. Closed contours (equipotential lines) indicate the central parts of recharge areas but do not normally indicate the limits of the areas . in a discharge area. flow lines in isotropic aquifers are perpendicular to equipotential lines-that is.GROUND-WATER FLOW NETS Flow nets consist of two sets of lines. they form a V pointing downstream . flow lines cross equipotential lines at right angles. One set.

Plan view Cross section 14 12 > 0 10<~ a 8 w 0 6 4 Horizontal 0 l i i i I I scale I 2000 I 4000 METERS I 22 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology .

a 0 m a w 0 w Horizontal 1000 I (4) scale 2000 I w 3000 METERS I Ground-Water Flow Nets 23 .

Movement becomes more and more lethargic as depth increases . It represents a bounding surface for the ground-water system . The movement of water through ground-water systems is controlled by the vertical and horizontal hydraulic conductivities and thicknesses of the aquifers and confining beds and the hydraulic gradients . the most vigorous circulation of ground water normally occurs through the shallowest aquifers . lateral flow in confining beds usually is negligible. it is assumed to be coincident with a flow line . for a given rate of flow. The hydraulic conductivities of aquifers are tens to thousands of times those of confining beds . However. the water table is a flow line . and flow lines tend to "concentrate" in aquifers and be parallel to aquifer boundaries (2) . the Castle Hayne Limestone. which occurs at depths ranging from about 10 to about 75 m below land surface. thus. Differences in the hydraulic conductivities of aquifers and confining beds cause a refraction or bending of flow lines at their boundaries . tan BZ K. In cross section. the result being that. in eastern North Carolina. they are refracted back toward the direction parallel to the boundary (1) . is the dominant aquifer because of its very large transmissivity. Thus. Because of the relatively large head loss that occurs as water moves across confining beds. The maximum difference in head exists between the central parts of recharge areas and discharge areas . the head loss per unit of distance along a flow line is tens to thousands of times less in aquifers than it is in confining beds . K. The most important exceptions to the general situation described in the preceding paragraph are those systems in which one or more of the deeper aquifers have transmissivities significantly larger than those of 1 the surficial and other shallower aquifers . the water table is also the point of origin of flow lines (1) . In other words. aquifers offer the least resistance to flow. in the development of many ground-water flow equations. Consequently. Thus. during periods when recharge is arriving at the top of the capillary fringe. As flow lines move from aquifers into confining beds. Thus. 24 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . Nearly all ground-water systems include both aquifers and confining beds . As the flow lines emerge from the confining bed. ground-water movement through these systems involves flow not only through the aquifers but also across the confining beds (1) . they are refracted toward the direction perpendicular to the boundary .GROUND-WATER MOVEMENT AND STRATIFICATION The angles of refraction (and the spacing of flow lines in adjacent aquifers and confining beds) are proportional to the differences in hydraulic conductivities (K) (3) such that tan B. although it is overlain in most of the area by one or more less permeable aquifers . they are refracted in the direction that produces the shortest flow path in the confining bed .

0001 m 1 1 m d X 0 . and v is the Darcian velocity. equation 1 is used to determine the rate of movement through an aquifer and a confining bed . Adding the porosity term.000 m _ 200 m d 60 mz --0. Where ground-water pollution is involved. The rate of movement of ground water is greatly overestimated by many people. we obtain Capillary fringe v _ _ Kdh ndl In order to demonstrate the relatively slow rate of groundwater movement. A is the cross-sectional area. The ground-water velocity equation can be derived from a combination of Darcy's law and the velocity equation of hydraulics . at best. Ground-Water Velocity 25 (velocity equation) where Q is the rate of flow or volume per unit of time.20 X 1. 1.000 m n = 0. particularly those related to pollution . it is not yet a complete expression of I dl ~ . the fastest rates of movement may be several times the average rate . lava tubes. movement in unconfined aquifers is not limited to the zone below the water table or to the saturated zone .3 md . water in the capillary fringe moves.00002 m d -1 5m d Velocities calculated with equation 1 are. including those who think in terms of ground water moving through "veins" and underground rivers at the rates commonly observed in surface streams . As the accompanying sketch shows. at a right angle to the flow direction. Combining these equations. in the same direction as the ground water . The missing term is porosity (n) because. Further.50 v_ 0 . For example. therefore. the rates of movement in limestone caverns. Also. average values . which is the average velocity of the entire cross-sectional area . and large rock fractures may approach those observed in surface streams . This consideration is important where unconfined aquifers are polluted with gasoline and other substances less dense than water .0001 m/d dhldl =1 m/10 m n =0 . through which the flow Q occurs. K is the hydraulic conductivity. dhldl is the hydraulic gradient. the rate of lateral movement in the capillary fringe decreases in an upward direction and becomes zero at the top of the fringe .GROUND-WATER VELOCITY ground-water velocity . Confining bed composed of clay K=0 . if a harmful substance is introduced into an aquifer upgraYlient from a supply well. It would be more appropriate to compare the rate of movement of ground water to the movement of water in the middle of a very large lake being drained by a very small stream . Water in the capillary fringe is subjected to the same hydraulic gradient that exists at the water table. Aquifer composed of coarse sand K=60 m/d dhldl = 1 m/1.50 X 10m 0 . we find that Because this equation contains terms for hydraulic conductivity and gradient only. (Darcy's law) Q=Av v __ dh _ 60m K 1 lm x n dl d X 0. we obtain Av = KA ( dl Canceling the area terms. as we know.' 2.20 The rate of movement of ground water is important in many problems. it becomes a matter of great urgency to estimate when the substance will reach the well .0001 m2 -0 . water moves only through the openings in a rock .

we obtain q=Tw The units of transmissivity. Q=TwW +dl) or. and b is aquifer thickness .TRANSMISSIVITY The capacity of an aquifer to transmit water of the prevailing kinematic viscosity is referred to as its transmissivity . we obtain T_ (2) (dl) Q dl ~ Mh as the preceding equation Expressing area (A) as bw. we obtain q=Kbw +dh) Next.')(m) _ _m2 (m) (m) d 26 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . expressing transmissivity (T) as Kb. Darcy's law is 1. this equation can be stated more simply as Q=TW (d) where T is transmissivity. the result is an equation that can be used to m X 100 m T=Kb= 5 =5000 m 2 d -1 calculate the quantity of water (q) moving through a unit d width (w) of an aquifer. if it is recognized that T applies to a unit width (w) of an aquifer.000 m2 1 m Q-TW X =5000 m3 d . If equation 3 is applied to sketch 1. the quantity of water As is the case with hydraulic conductivity. where the quantity of water (Q discharging from a known width of aquifer can be determined as.000 m h 5.~ rdl) d 1 X 1. as follows : If equation 1 is combined with Darcy's law (see "Hydraulic Conductivity").000 m Equation 3 is also used to calculate transmissivity. are T= Equation 2 modified to determine the quantity of water (Q moving through a large width (W) of an aquifer is dl =1000 m (m3 d . transmissivity is flowing out of the right-hand side of the sketch can be calalso defined in terms of a unit hydraulic gradient . with streamflow measurements . demonstrates. K is hydraulic conductivity. The transmissivity (T) of an aquifer is equal to the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer multiplied by the saturated thickness of the aquifer. Thus. culated by using the values shown on the sketch. for example. Rearranging terms.

and the water in it is transmissible .' for cavernous limestones and lava flows . Transmissivity 27 . its value differs in different aquifers and from place to place in the same aquifer .616 m3 d . For the purpose of this example. by convention.Sketch 2 illustrates the hydrologic situation that permits calculation of transmissivity through the use of stream discharge . T= .485 m 3 s .000 m 2 d .000 m Average thickness of aquifer (b) : 50 m Average slope of the water table (dhldi) determined from measurements in the observation wells: 1 m/2.000 m By equation 4.355 m 3 s .' Total daily ground-water discharge to 11. an aquifer is transmissive.' for some fractured sedimentary and igneous rocks to 100.130 m 3 s .000 m Q x dl -2.I W dh d x 5. transmissivity replaces the term "coefficient of transmissibility" because.' of the stream) : Distance (x) between stations A and B : 5.000 m 1m The hydraulic conductivity is determined from equation 1 as follows : _T _ 2.' b dx50 m Because transmissivity depends on both K and b. when all water in the stream is derived from ground-water discharge .I Increase in flow due to ground-water discharge : 0.616 m 3 x 2. The calculation can be made only during dry-weather (baseflow) periods.I Average daily flow at stream-gaging station B : 2 .' stream : Discharge from half of aquifer (one side 5.232 m 3 d . Estimated values of transmissivity for the principal aquifers in different parts of the country range from less than 1 m2 d .5. Finally.246 m2 =45 m d .246 m 2 d . the following values are assumed : Average daily flow at stream-gaging station A : 2 .

in which the units in the numerator and the denominator cancel : volume of water _ (m 3 ) _ _m3 S_ (unit area)(unit head change) (m z) (m) m3 The size of the storage coefficient depends on whether the aquifer is confined or unconfined (1) . it is necessary to multiply the aquifer thickness by 3 x 10 -7 . In a confined aquifer having a porosity of 0 . Property Transmissive capacity Available storage Unit cube of material Hydraulic conductivity (K) Specific yield (Sy) Unit prism of aquifer Transmissivity (T) Storage coefficient (S) the water. The storage coefficient is a dimensionless unit. The storage coefficient of most confined aquifers ranges from about 10 -5 to 10 -3 (0 . the water released from storage when the head declines comes from expansion of the water and from compression of the aquifer .00001 to 0 . Thus. The difference between these values and the value due to expansion of the water is attributed to compression of the aquifer .E The abilities (capacities) of water-bearing materials to store and to transmit water are their most important hydraulic properties . Relative to a confined aquifer. the expansion of a given volume of water in response to a decline in pressure is very small . Depending on the intended use of the information.001) . these properties are given either in terms of a unit cube of the material or in terms of a unit prism of an aquifer. if only the expansion of water is considered.2 and containing water at a temperature of about 15°C.Total load on aquifer _ .. The storage coefficient (S) is defined as the volume of water that an aquifer releases from or takes into storage per unit surface area of the aquifer per unit change in head . To determine the storage coefficient of an aquifer due to expansion of 28 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology - Conf inin g bed . the storage coefficient of an aquifer 100 m thick would be 3x10 -5 . as the following equation shows. expansion of the water alone releases about 3x10 -7 m 3 of water per cubic meter of aquifer per meter of decline in head . If the aquifer is confined.

su rface ro zr " rl Total storage +J Available storage 0 N a) U -. the volume of water derived from expansion of the water and compression of the aquifer is negligible .-1 M "rl U) rd 4a a) S-I 4a +J O Sources o¬ available storage 44 O -rl U) 4a O U +J O U) U a) O 'b 1~ 44 :~ ~ O U) a) rti a) s~ tP 1 4-4 F: r 04 -P 3 U o ~i --rl P o . The potential sources of water in a two-unit ground-water system consisting of a confining bed and a confined aquifer are shown in sketch 3 . The differences in the storage coefficients of confined and unconfined aquifers are of great importance in determining the response of the aquifers to stresses such as withdrawals through wells . This drainage increases the load on the solid skeleton and results in compression of the aquifer and subsidence of the land surface . If the aquifer is unconfined. Long-term withdrawals of water from many confined aquifers result in drainage of water both from clay layers within the aquifer and from adjacent confining beds . the storage coefficient of unconfined aquifers is 100 to 10. the storage coefficient of the aquifer immediately increases from that of a confined aquifer to that of an unconfined aquifer . the predominant source of water is from gravity drainage of the sediments through which the decline in the water table occurs . Texas.000 times the storage coefficient of confined aquifers (1) . and the pore space is reduced . the storage coefficient is virtually equal to the specific yield and ranges from about 0 .. In an unconfined aquifer.~ U) ZJ .Sketch 2 will aid in understanding this phenomenon . ri U) a) 44 o "rl U 1J) -rl O O ra " rl 4a O aa) O " rl a 4a O a) (d N a) U U a) Zs -r1 . California.-I U aT "ri U) -r1 1 >s 1 a) " rl "rl U) a) O 04 U '17 " r1 a) 44 f~ O 44 44 " rl Q zS a) r ro -r1 4a O 14 a N Bedrock Storage Coefficient 29 . and other areas. Subsidence of the land surface caused by drainage of clay layers has occurred in Arizona. Because of the difference in the sources of storage.1 to about 0 . As a result. It shows a microscopic view of the contact between an aquifer and the overlying confining bed . The sketch is based on the assumption that water is removed in two separate stages-the first while the potentiometric surface is lowered to the top of the aquifer and the second by dewatering the aquifer . The total load on the top of the aquifer is supported partly by the solid skeleton of the aquifer and partly by the hydraulic pressure exerted by the water in the aquifer . However. The water forced from the pores when their volume is reduced represents the part of the storage coefficient due to compression of the aquifer. in such an aquifer. Thus. the rock particles are distorted.3. (See "Well-Field Design . When the water pressure declines. if water levels in an area are reduced to the point where an aquifer changes from a confined condition to an unconfined condition. more of the load must be supported by the solid skeleton .") Land surface Potentiometric -=.

As a result. Because the storage coefficient of an 30 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology unconfined aquifer equals the specific yield of the aquifer material. As pumping continues. which causes. The cones of depression are caused by withdrawals of about 277. the hydraulic gradient must get steeper toward the well . the cone of depression expands very slowly . Consequently. On the other hand. The head in the well falls below the level in the surrounding aquifer .CONE OF DEPRESSION Both wells and springs serve as sources of ground-water supply . dewatering of the aquifer results in a decrease in transmissivity. the mutual interference of expanding cones around adjacent wells occurs more rapidly in confined aquifers than it does in unconfined aquifers . most ground-water needs are met by withdrawals from wells . (See "Source of Water Derived From Wells . However. most springs having yields large enough to meet municipal. The response of aquifers to withdrawals from wells is an important topic in ground-water hydrology . industrial.") . in turn.000. water begins to move from the aquifer into the well . an increase in drawdown both in the well and in the aquifer . When withdrawals start. The water withdrawn from a confined aquifer is derived from expansion of the water and compression of the rock skeleton of the aquifer . Sketch 3 shows the overlapping cones of depression that existed in 1981 in an extensive confined aquifer composed of unconsolidated sands and interbedded silt and clay of Cretaceous age in the central part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain .000 m 3 d . the water level in the well continues to decline. Several important differences exist between the cones of depression in confined and unconfined aquifers .' (73. Therefore.000 gal d . Withdrawals from an unconfined aquifer result in drainage of water from the rocks through which the water table declines as the cone of depression forms (1) . Withdrawals from a confined aquifer cause a drawdown in artesian pressure but do not (normally) cause a dewatering of the aquifer (2) .') from well fields in Virginia and North Carolina . The movement of water from an aquifer into a well results in the formation of a cone of depression (1) (2). and the rate of flow into the well from the aquifer continues to increase until the rate of inflow equals the rate of withdrawal .") The very small storage coefficient of confined aquifers results in a very rapid expansion of the cone of depression . and large commercial and agricultural needs occur only in areas underlain by cavernous limestones and lava flows . Cones of depression caused by large withdrawals from extensive confined aquifers can affect very large areas . Because water must converge on the well from all directions and because the area through which the flow occurs decreases toward the well. the water level in the well begins to decline as water is removed from storage in the well . (See "Storage Coefficient .

POTENTIOMETRIC SURFACE OF THE LOWERMOST CRETACEOUS AQUIFER IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA AND NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA 76° _A_ VIRGINI NORTH CAROLINA / River ALBEMARLE SOUND 0 0 7 10 10 I I 20 20 I I 30 I 40 30 I I 50 40 ~ 60 70 50 MILES 80 KILOMETERS NATIONAL GEODETIC VERTICAL DATUM 1929 (3) Cone of Depression 31 EXPLANATION Water levels are in feet .

In the drier parts of the country-that is. When and if the cone of depression ceases to expand. the withdrawal of ground water through a well reduces the water in storage in the source aquifer during the growth of the cone of depression . the growth of cones of depression first commonly causes a reduction in natural discharge . differences between discharge and recharge involve changes in ground-water storage . if the cone of depression expands into a recharge area rather than into a natural discharge area. The distance to recharge areas in which the rate of recharge can be increased . natural discharge (D)= natural recharge (R) In the eastern part of the United States and in the more humid areas in the West. 3 . In other words. and the rate of expansion of the cone of depression will decline . Over shorter periods of time. when discharge exceeds recharge. ground-water storage is increased . at most. the withdrawal (Q is balanced by a reduction in ground-water storage . This consideration is important where the streams contain brackish or polluted water or where the streamflow is committed or required for other purposes . To the extent that the decrease in natural discharge compensates for the pumpage. Thus. in the areas that generally receive less than about 500 mm of precipitation annually-the period over which discharge and recharge balance may be several years or even centuries. D=R-OS When withdrawal through a well begins. gaining streams are relatively closely spaced. The rate of expansion of the cone of depression caused by the withdrawals. Q=OD+OR 32 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . the rate at which water is being removed from storage will also decrease. the increase in the gradient away from the recharge area will permit more recharge to occur. and water may be induced to move from the stream into the aquifer (4) . ground-water discharge to a stream may be stopped entirely in the vicinity of the wells. 2 . D=R+OS Conversely. If and when the reduction in natural discharge (AD) equals the rate of withdrawal (Q. If. water is removed from storage in its vicinity as the cone of depression develops (2) . and the rate of growth of the cone of depression will decrease . and areas in which rejected recharge occurs are relatively unimportant . Theis in a paper published in 1940 . more water was available in the recharge area than the aquifer could accept (the condition that Theis referred to as one of rejected recharge). and expansion of the cone of depression will cease . a few years . The hydraulic gradient will be reduced toward the discharge area. In other words. a new balance will be established in the aquifer . and the rate of natural discharge will decrease (3) . before the start of withdrawals-the discharge from every ground-water system equals the recharge to it (1) . Under this condition. If the pumping wells are near a stream or if the withdrawals are continued long enough. In other words. a new balance will be established in the aquifer. The distance to areas in which the rate of water discharging from the aquifer can be reduced . when recharge exceeds discharge. the hydraulic gradient between the recharge area and the pumping well will be increased . The first concise description of the hydrologic principles involved in this response was presented by C . The new balance in symbolic form is D+Q=R+AR In the eastern part of the United States. the tendency in this region is for withdrawals to change discharge areas into recharge areas . it may reach an area where water is discharging from the aquifer .SOURCE OF WATER DERIVED FROM WELLS Both the economical development and the effective management of any ground-water system require an understanding of the response of the system to withdrawals from wells . To summarize. Thus. the rate of withdrawal is being balanced by a reduction in the rate of natural discharge and (or) by an increase in the rate of recharge . Over a sufficiently long period of time under natural conditions-that is. In this region. ground-water storage (S) is reduced by an amount AS equal to the difference between discharge and recharge . which depends on the transmissivity and the storage coefficient of the aquifer. Theis pointed out that the response of an aquifer to withdrawals from wells depends on : 1 . If and when the increase in recharge (AR) equals the rate of withdrawal (Q. Thus. under natural conditions. Q=OS As the cone of depression expands outward from the pumping well. the amount and distribution of precipitation are such that the period of time over which discharge and recharge balance may be less than a year or. In other words. This balance in symbolic form is (D-AD)+Q=R Conversely. V .

Discharge (D) = Recharge (R)

Withdrawal

(Q) =

Reduction

in

storage (As) (2)

Withdrawal (Q) = Reduction

in

storage (pS) + Reduction

(3)

in

discharge (pD)

Withdrawal (Q) = Reduction

in

discharge (pD) + Increase

(4)

in

recharge (zR)

Source of Water Derived from Wells

33

AQUIFER TESTS

MAP

OF

AQUIFER

TEST

SITE
N
3

CHANGE

OF

WATER Pump on

LEVEL Regional

IN

WELL

B

w w z
2

z

o a
6 7

trend

z w m

y
3 0 v 3
0 Pump off Prepumping - period 6 7 8 Pumping - period 9

3 c W O g N = 3 9 0 ~' J w M 10 0 m II 12

T N 0

d

i

I

10

i

DAYS

11

i

Recover7- period----I-

12

I 13

I

14

1

1

15

16

Determining the yield of ground-water systems and evaluating the movement and fate of ground-water pollutants require, among other information, knowledge of: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The position and thickness of aquifers and confining beds . The transmissivity and storage coefficient of the aquifers . The hydraulic characteristics of the confining beds . The position and nature of the aquifer boundaries . The location and amounts of ground-water withdrawals . The locations, kinds, and amounts of pollutants and pollutant practices .

Acquiring knowledge on these factors requires both geologic and hydrologic investigations. One of the most important hydrologic studies involves analyzing the change, with time, in water levels (or total heads) in an aquifer caused by withdrawals through wells . This type of study is referred to as an aquifer test and, in most cases, includes pumping a well at a constant rate for a period ranging from several hours to several days and measuring the change in water level in observation wells located at different distances from the pumped well (1) . Successful aquifer tests require, among other things : 1 . Determination of the prepumping water-level trend (that is, the regional trend) . 2 . A carefully controlled constant pumping rate . 3 . Accurate water-level measurements made at precisely known times during both the drawdown and the recovery periods .
34 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology

Drawdown is the difference between the water level at any time during the test and the position at which the water level would have been if withdrawals had not started . Drawdown is very rapid at first . As pumping continues and the cone of depression expands, the rate of drawdown decreases (2) . The recovery of the water level under ideal conditions is a mirror image of the drawdown . The change in water level during the recovery period is the same as if withdrawals had continued at the same rate from the pumped well but, at the moment of pump cutoff, a recharge well had begun recharging water at the same point and at the same rate . Therefore, the recovery of the water level is the difference between the actual measured level and the projected pumping level (2) . In addition to the constant-rate aquifer test mentioned above, analytical methods have also been developed for several other types of aquifer tests . These methods include tests in which the rate of withdrawal is variable and tests that involve leakage of water across confining beds into confined aquifers . The analytical methods available also permit analysis of tests conducted on both vertical wells and horizontal wells or drains . The most commonly used method of analysis of aquifertest data-that for a vertical well pumped at a constant rate from an aquifer not affected by vertical leakage and lateral boundaries-will be covered in the discussion of "Analysis of Aquifer-Test Data ." The method of analysis requires the use of a type curve based on the values of W(u) and 1/u listed in the following table . Preparation and use of the type curve are covered in the following discussion .

SELECTED VALUES OF W(u) FOR VALUES OF 1/u
1/u 10 - ' 1 10 102 103 104 10 5 10 6 10 7 10 8 10 9 10' 0 10" 10 12 10 13 10 14 10 0.219 1 .82 4.04 6.33 8.63 10 .94 13 .24 15 .54 17 .84 20 .15 22 .45 24 .75 27 .05 29 .36 31 .66 33 .96 7.69 0.135 1 .59 3.78 6.07 8.37 10 .67 12.98 15.28 17.58 19 .88 22.19 24.49 26.79 20.09 31 .40 33.70 5.88 0.075 1.36 3.51 5.80 8.10 10.41 12 .71 15 .01 17.31 19.62 21 .92 24.22 26.52 28.83 31 .13 33 .43 5.00 0.049 1 .22 3 .35 5.64 7.94 10.24 12 .55 14 .85 17 .15 19 .45 21 .76 24 .06 26 .36 28 .66 30 .97 33 .27 4.00 0.025 1 .04 3.14 5.42 7.72 10 .02 12 .32 14 .62 16 .93 19 .23 21 .53 23 .83 26 .14 28 .44 30 .74 33 .05 3.33 0.013 .91 2.96 5.23 7.53 9.84 12 .14 14.44 16.74 19.05 21 .35 23 .65 25 .96 28.26 30 .56 32 .86 2.86 0.007 .79 2.81 5.08 7.38 9.68 11 .99 14 .29 16 .59 18 .89 21 .20 23 .50 25 .80 28 .10 30.41 32 .71 2.5 0.004 .70 2.68 4.95 7.25 ;9.55 11 .85 14 .15 16 .46 18.76 21 .06 23 .36 25 .67 27.97 30 .27 32 .58 2.22 0.002 .63 2.57 4.83 7.13 9.43 11 .73 14 .04 16 .34 18 .64 20.94 23 .25 25 .55 27 .85 30.15 32.46 2.00 0.001 .56 2 .47 4.73 7.02 9.33 11 .63 13 .93 16.23 18.54 20 .84 23 .14 25 .44 27.75 30 .05 32 .35 1 .67 0.000 .45 2.30 4.54 6.84 9.14 11 .45 13 .75 16 .05 18 .35 20 .66 22 .96 25 .26 27 .56 29 .87 32 .17 1 .43 0.000 .37 2.15 4.39 6.69 8.99 11 .29 13 .60 15 .90 18 .20 20.50 22 .81 25 .11 27 .41 29 .71 32 .02 1 .25 0.000 .31 2.03 4.26 6.55 8.86 11 .16 13 .46 15 .76 18 .07 20 .37 22 .67 24.97 27 .28 29 .58 31 .88 1 .11 0.000 .26 1 .92 4.14 6.44 8.74 11 .04 13 .34 15 .65 17 .95 20 .25 22 .55 24.86 27.16 29 .46 31 .76

Examples : When 1/u=10x10 - ', W(u)=0 .219 ; when 1/u=3 .33x10 2, W(u)=5.23 .

Aquifer Tests

35

ANALYSIS OF AQUIFER-TEST DATA
10

THEIS

TYPE

CURVE I T -1 r TTI

1

--r-TTTfTr

FTTM

ITFTiT

0 .01

1

I

10

10

I I I 1111

I/ u

10 2

I

I

I 111111

I

I

1 1 11111

3

4

(1) t, in minutes I 10 10 2 10

10 3

10

4 _T_ DATA PLOT Q= 1 .9 M3 min-' r= 187 m

10 5 __1100

'

MATCH-POINT W( u) = I, 1, s= t
r

COORDINATES 2 .20 m 1 .8 min

_

I /u

=

_J~

0 .01 1 0 .1

I

1

I

I 10

Type Curve

In 1935, C . V . Theis of the New Mexico Water Resources District of the U .S . Geological Survey developed the first equation to include time of pumping as a factor that could be used to analyze the effect of withdrawals from a well . Thus, the Theis equation permitted, for the first time, determination of the hydraulic characteristics of an aquifer before the development of new steady-state conditions resulting from pumping. The importance of this capability may be realized from the fact that, under most conditions, a new steady state cannot be developed or that, if it can, many months or years may be required .
36 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology

Theis assumed in the development of the equation that : 1 . The transmissivity of the aquifer tapped by the pumping well is constant during the test to the limits of the cone of depression . 2 . The water withdrawn from the aquifer is derived entirely from storage and is discharged instantaneously with the decline in head . 3 . The discharging well penetrates the entire thickness of the aquifer, and its diameter is small in comparison with the pumping rate, so that storage in the well is negligible .

respectively. To apply this method. Both s and b in equation 3 must be in the same units. and the assumption that the transmissivity of the aquifer is constant is not satisfied . 2x2! 3x3! 4x4! and u=(r 2S)1(4Tt) . If the aquifer and the conditions of the test satisfy Theis's assumptions. The effect of dewatering of the aquifer can be eliminated with the following equation : S' -Ssz (2b) 4Ttu _4 ft' min x d x x rz 1 d ftz 1. either feet or meters . if Q in equation 1 is in cubic meters per day and s is in meters. and s' is the drawdown that would have occurred if the aquifer had been confined (that is. because it is not always possible.48 gal x ft x 47r T or . Sor Ttu S_ 360 rz (when T is in square feet per day.440 min ft3 _1 W(u) _ Q W(u) _ gal x 47rsd min x 7 . a data plot consisting of s' versus t (or t/rz) is matched with the Theis type curve of W(u) versus 1/u . First.15 s (when Q is in gallons per minute and s is in feet) . At some convenient point on the overlapping part of the sheets containing the data plot and type curve. not instantaneously with the decline in head . However. if no dewatering had occurred) . in the United States.3Q W(u) T(in ft2 d-'). a data plot of drawdown versus time (or drawdown versus t/rz) is matched to the type curve of W(u) versus 1/u (2) . t is in days. The common practice now is to report transmissivity in units of square meters per day or square feet per day . W(u) is the well function of u. equation 1 is modified to obtain T in square feet per day as follows : 1. the equation can also be used to analyze tests of unconfined aquifers . T is in square meters per day. r is the distance from the pumping well to the observation well. . and r is in feet) . T has been expressed in units of gallons per day per foot . divide by 10 . Use of the Theis equation for unconfined aquifers involves two considerations . and r is in meters. t is in minutes. W(u). by equation 2. Analysis of aquifer-test data using the Theis equation involves plotting both the type curve and the test data on logarithmic graph paper . If Q is measured in gallons per minute. Similarly. dewatering of the aquifer may be significant. Second. which are solved for T and S. and 1/u are noted (2) . The dimensional units of transmissivity (T) are LZt -1 . the type curve has the same shape as the cone of depression along any line radiating away from the pumping well and the drawdown graph at any point in the cone of depression . t is time.440 min S- where T is transmissivity." The data points are plotted on logarithmic graph paper-that is. Thus. A Theis type curve of W(u) versus 1/u can be prepared from the values given in the table contained in the preceding section. then. in equation 2. b is the aquifer thickness. S will be dimensionless . Therefore.These assumptions are most nearly met by confined aquifers at sites remote from their boundaries. where s is the observed drawdown in the unconfined aquifer. However. Analysis of Aquifer-Test Data 37 . To overcome this problem. as is also normally the case. T will be in square meters per day . if certain precautions are observed.577216-logeu+u+ +. The forms of the Theis equation used to determine the transmissivity and storage coefficient are TQ W(u) 4*s 4Ttu rz The storage coefficient is dimensionless . . Traditionally.76 . and drawdown is measured in feet. the problem can be avoided by locating observation wells beyond the zone in which vertical flow exists . and r is in feet. graph paper having logarithmic divisions in both the x and y directions . Drawdowns in observation wells that are open to the same zone as the discharging well will be larger than the drawdowns in wells at the same distance from the discharging well but open to other zones. if. "Aquifer Tests . Q is the pumping rate. Theis devised a convenient graphic method of solution that involves the use of a type curve (1) . most discharging wells are open to only a part of the aquifer that they draw from . if T is in square feet per day. values of s. to design a well that fully penetrates the aquifer under development. t is in minutes. Theis assumed in the development of his equation that the discharging well penetrates the entire thickness of the aquifer . The possible effect of partial penetration on drawdowns must be considered in the analysis of aquifer-test data . if the pumping rate is large and the observation well is near the pumping well. if the aquifer is relatively fine grained. which equals uz ua u' -0 . where L is length and t is time in days . If aquifer-boundary and other conditions permit. or necessarily desirable. Such partial penetration creates vertical flow in the vicinity of the discharging well that may affect drawdowns in observation wells located relatively close to the discharging well . To convert square feet per day to square meters per day. The form of the Theis equation is such that it cannot be solved directly . These values are then substituted in equations 1 and 2. s is drawdown. To determine the transmissivity and storage coefficient of an unconfined aquifer. As noted above. the value of S determined from a short-period test may be too small . S is the storage coefficient. t (or t/rz). Therefore. water is released slowly over a period of hours or days. as is still normally the case.

drawdowns are plotted on the vertical (arithmetic) axis versus time on the horizontal (logarithmic) axis . t o is the time at the point where the straight line intersects the zero-drawdown line. therefore. and T is the estimated transmissivity. drawdowns cease. the data plot along a straight line rather than along a curve. Jacob derived the following equations for determination of transmissivity and storage coefficient from the time-drawdown graphs : T= 2 . at which steady-shape conditions develop. this condition is met when u=(r2S)1(4Tt) is equal to or less than about 0. However. The Jacob method is applicable only to the zone in which steady-shape conditions prevail or to the entire cone only after steady-state conditions have developed . the cone of depression begins to assume a relatively steady shape. To understand the limitations of Jacob's method. in minutes. the drawdowns at an observation well begin to fall along a straight line on semilogarithmic graph paper. S is the estimated storage coefficient (dimensionless). For practical purposes.200 r2S T where tc is the time. as sketch 4 shows . under ideal conditions. E. the hydraulic gradient at different points in the cone) changes .25 Tto rz S= where Q is the pumping rate. As is the drawdown across one log cycle. its shape (and. 38 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology The slope of the straight line is proportional to the pumping rate and to the transmissivity. in square feet per day (or square meters per day) . If withdrawals continue long enough for increases in recharge and (or) reductions in discharge to balance the rate of withdrawal. and one that is somewhat more convenient to use.05 . r is the distance from the pumping well. Thus. was developed by C . After a test has been underway for some time. we must consider the changes that occur in the cone of depression during an aquifer test . we can determine the time at which steady-shape conditions develop at the outermost observation well . As the cone of depression migrates outward from a pumping well.TIME-DRAWDOWN ANALYSIS The Theis equation is only one of several methods that have been developed for the analysis of aquifer-test data . t` 7. the drawdowns plot below the extension of the straight line . first at the pumping well and then gradually to greater and greater distances (2) . After steady-shape conditions have developed. These conditions must also be satisfied in order to obtain reliable answers .") Another method. We can refer to this condition as unsteady shape . The greater convenience of the Jacob method derives partly from its use of semilogarithmic graph paper instead of the logarithmic paper used in the Theis method and from the fact that. the entire cone of depression has an unsteady shape (1) . . and the cone of depression is said to be in a steady state (3) . Jacob from the Theis equation . whereas the Theis equation applies at all times and places (if the assumptions are met). Jacob's method applies only under certain additional conditions . (See "Analysis of Aquifer-Test Data . it is essential to note that. At the start of withdrawals. The changes that are of concern involve both the shape of the cone and the rate of drawdown .3 Q 47rOs 2 . When a time-drawdown graph is prepared. in feet (or meters). and r is the distance from the pumping well to the observation well . Before that time. Substituting this value in the equation for u and solving for t.

10 .3 min -  . . if T is in square meters per day.3 m 3 min .3 4aAs 47r X _gal min X 1. t in minutes. It is still common practice in the United States to express Q in gallons per minute. and T in square feet per day . in equation 3.25 r2 1 X S= ftz d Tto 640 r 2 _ min d ft2 X l.440 min d X ft3 7.~. S is dimensionless.3 Q _ 2 .48 gal X _1 ft (where T is in square feet per day. Q is in gallons per minute. Thus. if Q is in cubic meters per day and s is in meters. so that. and As is in feet) and 2 . We can modify equations 2 and 3 for direct substitution of these units as follows: T= 35 Q As (where T is in square feet per day.25 Tt o _ 2 .2 m Log cycle Drawdown measurements z 6 3 0 0 3 8 a 010 12 r= 75 m Q = 9 .440 min (5) S_ X T _ 2 . r in feet. T is in square meters per day .' ( 2455 gal t~ =2 . 10 . s in feet. 0 . 0 W W TIME.2 TIME. . t o is in minutes. then r must be in meters and t o must be in days .5  i . Time-Drawdown Analysis 39 .5x10 -5 d 10 .I 10 .4 II  .i .DRAWDOWN X X tC GRAPH 2 4 Z~s=1 . and r is in feet) .1 Equations 2 and 3 are in consistent units . IN DAYS (4) .

If the Theis equation were used to calculate drawdowns in the outer part of the cone.") As noted in the section on "Hydraulic Conductivity. t is in minutes. before the development of steadystate conditions. Jacob derived the following equations for determination of the transmissivity and storage coefficient from distance-drawdown graphs : T= 70 Q (where T is in square feet per day. 40 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology ." the hydraulic conductivities and. drawdowns are plotted on the vertical (arithmetic) axis versus distance on the horizontal (logarithmic) axis (2) . the distance-drawdown method may yield satisfactory results only where three or more observation wells are located in the same direction but at different distances from the discharging well . it would be found that they would plot below the straight line . and As is in feet) and S= Tt 640 r. Q is in gallons per minute. These differences may cause drawdowns measured at the same time in observation wells located at the same distances but in different directions from the discharging well to be different. If the straight line of the distance-drawdown graph is extended inward to the radius of the pumping well. Where this condition exists. For the inconsistent units still in relatively common use in the United States. As is the drawdown across one log cycle. the measurable limit of the cone of depression is beyond the distance ro . If the drawdown inside the well is found to be greater than the drawdown outside. (See "Single-Well Tests . The distance ro does not indicate the outer limit of the cone of depression . Equations 1 and 2 are in consistent units . the Jacob method does not apply to that part . and ro is the distance from the pumping well to the point where the straight line intersects the zero-drawdown line . Drawdowns measured at the same time in these wells can be analyzed with the Theis equation and type curve to determine the aquifer transmissivity and storage coefficient ." In the Jacob distance-drawdown method. Because nonsteady-shape conditions exist in the outer part of the cone. see "TimeDrawdown Analysis . The slope of the straight line is proportional to the pumping rate and to the transmissivity. t is the time at which the drawdowns were measured. therefore. In other words. 2 T 2 . If the aquifer and test conditions satisfy the Theis assumptions and the limitation of the Jacob method. To determine when sufficient time has elapsed. either through the use of a time-drawdown graph using data from individual wells or through the use of a distance-drawdown graph using "simultaneous" measurements in all of the wells. After the test has been underway long enough.DISTANCE-DRAWDOWN ANALYSIS It is desirable in aquifer tests to have at least three observation wells located at different distances from the pumping well (1) . drawdowns in the wells can also be analyzed by the Jacob method. is in feet) . the transmissivities of aquifers may be different in different directions . the difference is attributable to well loss . equations 1 and 2 should be used in the following forms: (where T is in square feet per day. and r(.25Tt r0 S= where Q is the pumping rate. the drawdowns measured at the same time in different wells should plot along a straight line (2) . the drawdown indicated at that point is the drawdown in the aquifer outside of the well .3Q 21rAs 2 .

(1) w w z H z 0 2 DISTANCE. IN 1000 METERS 10.000 Distance-Drawdown Analysis 41 .DR'AWDOWN t = 4 days' Q= 9 .3 m 3 = 30.000 GRAPH min -1 k2.455 gal min m 3 0 0 0 12 1 10 100 DISTANCE.

. even where observation wells are not available . The total drawdown (st) in a pumping well can be expressed in the form of the following equations : st = s a +s. so that. and transmissivity is determined from the slope of the straight line through the use of the following equation : 2 . it is necessary to understand the nature of the drawdown in a pumping well . the drawdown in most pumping wells is greater than the drawdown in the aquifer at the radius of the pumping well . This discussion will be limited to tests involving a single constant rate . It is also possible to obtain useful data from production wells. s. is well loss. As a result.SINGLE-WELL TESTS `Confining bed The most useful aquifer tests are those that include waterlevel measurements in observation wells . 42 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . the well loss (s. the storage coefficient cannot be determined by extending the straight line to the line of zero drawdown . if the well is not equipped with a pump.) increases the total drawdown in the pumping well but does not affect the rate of change in the drawdown with time . and the other is the drawdown (s. or at two or more different but constant rates (see "Well-Acceptance Tests and Well Efficiency") or. (See "TimeDrawdown Analysis. One is the drawdown (sa ) in the aquifer. and C is a factor related to the characteristics of the well . It is. Such tests are commonly referred to as multiple-well tests . possible to analyze drawdowns in the pumping well with the Jacob time-drawdown method using semilogarithmic graph paper . B is a factor related to the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer and the length of the pumping period. pumping wells consists of two components (1) .") Drawdows are plotted on the arithmetic scale versus time on the logarithmic scale (2). The total drawdown (s t ) in most. The factor C in equation 1 is normally considered to be constant. Q is the pumping rate. st =BQ+CQz (1) where sa is the drawdown in the aquifer at the effective radius of the pumping well. Such tests are referred to as single-well tests and may consist of pumping a well at a single constant rate.3Q T 41rAs Where well loss is present in the pumping well. Thus. therefore. Even where well loss is not present. the determination of the storage coefficient from drawdowns in a pumping well likely will be subject to large error because the effective radius of the well may differ significantly from the "nominal" radius . if not all. In order to analyze the data. CQ2 is also constant. by "instantaneously" introducing a known volume of water into the well . in a constant rate test.) that occurs as water moves from the aquifer into the well and up the well bore to the pump intake .

is shown in sketch 3 . The factor C in the well-loss term (CQ2) is a constant if the characteristics of the well remain unchanged. drawdown in the pumping well is proportional to the pumping rate . t' / oss -t `.r ~ x x. drawdown due to well loss increases rapidly as the pumping rate is increased . IN PER MINUTE In equation 1. because the pumping rate in the well-loss term is squared.x x *if. The relation between pumping rates and drawdown in a pumping well. 7L 0. if the well was pumped for the same length of time at each rate. IN I MINUTES I I ( I I I I 10 It x 100 (2) RELATION AND OF PUMPING RATE DRAWDOWN 5 z z 3 0 0 3 Q 0 I 2 3 4 10 0 PUMPING CUBIC METERS RATE.0 1 w t I I 11 . but.1 I I I I I I I I I TIME. The effect of well loss on drawdown in the pumping well is important both in the analysis of data from pumping wells and in the design of supply wells .x. Single-Well Tests 43 . The factor B in the aquifer-loss term (BQ) increases with time of pumping as long as water is being derived from storage in the aquifer.x /16 x well cycle -i.iTT W 3 z 0 0 3 a \ -1 SW \ \\ IY6/l 3 pU~~° ' wlih \ ~o \ IV 4 5 _ \x sa x9 ell 0 W ell xx.

which is referred to as a cone of depression . the drawdown and the buildup will cancel midway between the wells. the storage coefficient (S). and the water level at that point will remain unchanged from the static level (3) .rz Where pumping wells are spaced relatively close together. In other words. (See "Cone of Depression . If the rates of discharge and recharge are the same and if the wells are operated on the same schedule. The drawdown in water level forms a conical-shaped depression in the water table or potentiometric surface. a well through which water is injected into an aquifer (that is. so that the total drawdown in a pumping well is equal to its own drawdown plus the drawdowns caused at its location by other pumping wells (1) (2) . (See "Aquifer Boundaries . Drawdowns are additive. The drawdowns in pumping wells caused by withdrawals from other pumping wells are referred to as well interference . pumping of one will cause a drawdown in the others . _ s_ 44 Qt T.S. and the square of the distance (rz) between the pumping well and the point .FERENCE Well A Well B Static potenti o metric surface Cone of depression if well B were pumping and well A were idle Well A Well B Cone of depression with both wellsA and B pumping Pumping a well causes a drawdown in the ground-water level in the surrounding area .") Similarly. As sketch 2 shows. The drawdown (s) in an aquifer caused by pumping at any point in the aquifer is directly proportional to the pumping rate (Q and the length of time (t) that pumping has been in progress and is inversely proportional to the transmissivity (T). a recharge or injection well) causes a buildup in ground-water level in the form of a conical-shaped mound . in the case of an unconfined aquifer) between pumping wells.") Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . the change in water level is equal to the difference between the drawdown and the buildup. a divide forms in the potentiometric surface (or the water table. At any point in an aquifer affected by both a discharging well and a recharging well.

the only effect of well interference is to lower the pumping level and. For unconfined aquifers. In the design of a well field. the maximum pumping rate is directly proportional to the available drawdown . Conversely. in the absence of well interference. For confined aquifers. the well interference caused by any well on another well in the group is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the two wells (rz) . an important matter in the design of well fields where it is desirable for each well to be pumped at the largest possible rate . it also reduces the maximum yield of a well . Well interference is. excessive well interference is avoided by increasing the spacing between wells and by locating the wells along a line rather than in a circle or in a grid pattern .We see from the above functional equation that. We can see from equation 1 that. increase pumping costs . for a group of wells pumped at the same rate and on the same schedule.") Because well interference reduces the available drawdown. Well Interference 45 . the increase in pumping cost must be evaluated along with the cost of the additional waterlines and powerlines that must be installed if the spacing of wells is increased to reduce well interference . (See "Well-Field Design . Therefore. available drawdown is normally considered to be the distance between the prepumping water level and the top of the aquifer . drawdown in an aquifer at the effective radius of a pumping well is directly proportional to the pumping rate . thereby. Where the pumping rate of a well is such that only a part of the available drawdown is utilized. therefore. available drawdown is normally considered to be about 60 percent of the saturated aquifer thickness .

This feat is accomplished through the use of imaginary REAL SYSTEM One of the assumptions inherent in the Theis equation (and in most other fundamental ground-water flow equations) is that the aquifer to which it is being applied is infinite in extent . no such aquifer exists on Earth . may be either the source or the destination of a pollutant . An excellent example of such an aquifer is that underlying the High Plains from Texas to South Dakota . for example. such a boundary will. Lateral boundaries within the cone of depression have a profound effect on the response of an aquifer to withdrawals . the plane of contact between each aquifer and each confining bed. A recharge boundary is a boundary along which flow lines originate . serve as a source of recharge to the aquifer . An impermeable boundary is a boundary that flow lines do not cross . it is necessary to "make" the aquifer appear to be of infinite extent. many aquifers are areally extensive. All aquifers are bounded in both the vertical direction and the horizontal direction . Such boundaries exist where aquifers terminate against "impermeable" material .a9eweu I Dr. a stream. because pumping will not affect recharge or discharge significantly for many years. aquifer boundaries are of two types : recharge boundaries and impermeable boundaries .A UIFER BOUNDARIES conditions. The position and nature of aquifer boundaries are of critical importance in many ground-water problems. Depending on the direction of the hydraulic gradient. For example. In other words. Examples include the contact between an aquifer composed of sand and a laterally adjacent bed composed of clay . the base of the ground-water system . vertical boundaries may include the water table. To analyze. as a consequence. However. under certain hydraulic HYDRAULIC COUNTERPART OF REAL SYSTEM HYDRAULIC COUNTERPART OF REAL SYSTEM Drawdown by i~*. and.wdown by i real wen DiSCharging image well - J I !1 PLAN VIEW OF THE HYDRAULIC COUNTERPART PLAN VIEW OF THE HYDRAULIC COUNTERPART 46 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . Examples of recharge boundaries include the zones of contact between an aquifer and a perennial stream that completely penetrates the aquifer or the ocean . water levels must decline for many years. the effect of a lateral boundary. most water pumped is from ground-water storage . including the movement and fate of pollutants and the response of aquifers to withdrawals . Obviously. and the plane marking the lower limit of the zone of interconnected openings-in other words. or to predict. Hydraulically.

Thus. not be satisfied with only a recharging image well and a disSketches 1 and 2 illustrate the effect of single boundaries charging image well . I. Water is inB --4-A4--B -~ A+---B-}-A~ jected into the image well at the same rate and on the same schedule that water is withdrawn from the real well . flow lines originate at the boundary. Flow lines tend to be parallel to an impermeable boundary. to compensate for the effect of the image through the use of single image wells . in both CROSS SECTION THROUGH AQUIFER plan view and profile. I 10 17 well . pumping wells are affected by two or more boundfrom the boundaries are so great that their effect becomes aries . Iio plan view in sketch 1. from the aquifer will induce recharge from the stream . A perennial stream in intimate contact with an aquifer represents a recharge boundary because pumping PLAN VIEW OF BOUNDARIES. The image well withdraws I6 13 I4 1 ~ 15 Ia 15 water at the same rate and on the same schedule as the real 6 17 1. on the basis of minimizing the lowering of water levels. PUMPING WELLS. 2 . and equipotential lines intersect it at a right angle . In the 0 0 0 0 0 0 I e 1. Sketches 1 and 2 show. One example is an alluvial aquifer composed of sand negligible .contmi n material=_ boundary . It is assumed in these wells on the opposite boundaries . necessary to continue adding image wells until their distances however. Pumping wells should be located parallel to and as close as charge boundary) and on the other by impermeable bedrock possible to recharging boundaries . Pumping wells should be located perpendicular to and as Contrary to first impression. 1. At many places. Because each new image sketches that other boundaries are so remote that they have a well added to the array affects the opposite boundary. for the effects of both recharging and impermeable boundaries .wells and the theory of images .") The key feature of a recharge boundary is that withdrawals from the aquifer do not produce drawdowns across the -. Additional image wells are required. sometimes termed a "noBALANCING OF WELLS ACROSS BOUNDARIES flow boundary. the following conditions apply : and gravel bordered on one side by a perennial stream (a re1 . it is negligible effect on the areas depicted . F--Repeats to infinity Pumping Repeats to infinit y The key feature of an impermeable boundary is that no well water can cross it . how image wells are used to compenStreamwell\ Pumping sate. The image-well theory is an essential tool in the design of well fields near aquifer boundaries . and 13 15 17 19 equipotential lines parallel the boundary at the closest point Discharging image Recharging image well well to the pumping (real) well . these boundary conditions canfar as possible from impermeable boundaries . The AND IMAGE WELLS hydraulic effect of a recharge boundary can be duplicated by Impermeable assuming that a recharging image well is present on the side of Recharge boundary \I ) /boundary the boundary opposite the real discharging well . discharging image well is present on the side of the boundary I. Such a boundary. as and show how their hydraulic effect is compensated for sketch 3 shows." resembles a divide in the water table or the Impermeable Recharge potentiometric surface of a confined aquifer . The effect of an boundary boundary impermeable boundary can be duplicated by assuming that a Ip Pw Pw I I. (See "Well Interference . hydraulically. (an impermeable boundary) . Aquifer Boundaries 47 . opposite the real discharging well .

is traced onto the data plot (1) (3) . a recharge boundary causes drawdowns to be less than those defined by the trace of the type curve (3) .4 z 0 . then.") Thus. These data. and a "match point" is selected for use in calculating values of T and S . (See "Aquifer Boundaries .8 Q 0= S . Z Z 0 . in the region where the drawdowns depart from the type curve. a recharge boundary has the same effect on drawdowns as a recharging image well located across the boundary and at the same distance from the boundary as the real well . an impermeable boundary has the same effect on drawdowns as a discharging image well . as noted above.4 x. for analytical convenience. The differences in drawdown between the data plot and the trace of the type curve show the effect of an aquifer boundary . The hydraulic effect of lateral boundaries is assumed. To analyze aquifer-test data affected by either a recharge boundary or an impermeable boundary. The trace of the type curve shows where the drawdowns would have plotted if there had been no boundary effect . the drawdown data depart from the Theis type curve and from the initial straight line produced by 10 the Jacob method .TESTS AFFECTED BY LATERAL BOUNDARIES 10 w w Z z O Q 0 0 . The image well is assumed to operate on the same schedule and at the same rate as the real well . (See "Analysis of Aquifer-Test Data" and "Time-Drawdown Analysis. IN MINUTES 10 10 3 10 10 2 the early data. IN MINUTES 10' 103 4 w Z 0 . show only the effect of the real well and can be used to determine the transmissivity (T) and the storage coefficient (S) of the aquifer . Conversely. Similarly. The position of the type curve.8 Q (4) In the Jacob method. in the direction of either greater drawdowns or lesser drawdowns-shows the type of boundary . the early drawdown data in the observation wells nearest the pumping well must not be affected by the boundary . Drawdowns greater than those defined by the trace of the type curve indicate the presence of an impermeable boundary because.6 O 0 . the type curve is matched to 48 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology 01 W 10 TIME.01 10 TIME. 4 0 .") In the Theis method. IN MINUTES 10' 103 10" 10s 0 W WW 1 TIME. drawdowns begin to plot along a straight line after the test has been underway for some time (2) (4) . to be due to the presence of other wells.6 3 O D 0 . The time at which the straight-line plot begins depends on the values of T and S of the aquifer and on the square of the . The direction in which the drawdowns depart from the type curve-that is.2 0 . the effect of such boundaries can be duplicated with an imaginary discharging well (1) .2 0 . When an aquifer test is conducted near one of the lateral boundaries of an aquifer.

Circle along which the image well is located Solving equation 1 for the distance to the image well from the observation well. The slope of this straight line depends on the transmissivity (T) and on the pumping rate (Q . Tests Affected by Lateral Boundaries 49 . is the distance from the observation well to the real well. It follows. (See "Time-Drawdown Analysis . the result being that T and S values determined from the data are erroneous. as a result.distance between the observation well and the pumping well . the drawdowns plot along a new straight line having twice the slope as the line drawn through the drawdowns that occurred before the effect of the boundary was felt (2) . and the water level in the well will stabilize . A word of caution should be injected here regarding use of the Jacob method when it is suspected that an aquifer test may be affected by boundary conditions . then where r. that. For example. At this point in both the Theis and the Jacob methods. the effect of a recharge boundary can be duplicated by assuming that water is injected into the aquifer through a recharging image well at the same rate that water is being withdrawn from the real well . therefore. if we deal with equal drawdowns caused by the real well and the image well (in other words. however. If. be analyzed with the Theis method . the drawdowns will depart from the first straight-line segment and begin to fall along another straight line (2) (4) . A stream or lake may penetrate only a short distance into an aquifer. the boundary is the wall of a buried valley or some other feature not obvious from the land surface. ri is the distance from the observation well to the image well. if a small amount of water moves across the bedrock wall of a valley. drawdowns plot along a straight line having a constant drawdown (3) (4) . Conversely. The position and the nature of many boundaries are obvious . may not be obvious . we obtain The image well is located at some point on a circle having a radius of ri centered on the observation well (5) . According to image-well theory. its "hydraulic position" may be determined by using data from a single observation well . the hydraulic distance to boundaries can be determined from the analysis of aquifer-test data . an impermeable boundary causes the rate of drawdown to increase . When it is suspected that an aquifer test may be affected by boundary conditions. if s.") Values of T and S are determined from the first straight-line segment defined by the drawdowns after the start of the aquifer test . the hydraulic distance to the impermeable boundary will be greater than the distance to the valley wall . and their bottoms may be underlain by fine-grained material that hampers movement of water into the aquifer . Fortunately. Similarly. In the Jacob method. distances to the image well from three observation wells may be needed to identify the position of the boundary. the boundary begins to affect drawdowns before the method is applicable. t. the most common impermeable boundaries are the bedrock walls of alluvial valleys . The hydraulic distance to these boundaries. If a boundary is present. and the effect of the boundary is not identified . we know the boundary is halfway between the image well and the pumping well (5) .=S). If the boundary is a stream or valley wall or some other feature whose physical position is obvious. is the time at which a drawdown of S. when the full effect of a recharge boundary is felt at an observation well. In many cases. and ti is the time at which a drawdown of si is caused by the image well at the observation well . the boundaries formed by these surface-water bodies will appear to be farther from the pumping well than the near shore . the most common recharge boundaries are streams and lakes . at least initially. there will be no further increase in drawdown. Because the image well is the same distance from the boundary as the real well. is caused by the real well at the observation well. Hydraulically. possibly. on the other hand. the data should. According to the Theis equation.

leaky confining bed that. it was assumed that all water discharged from the pumping well was derived instantaneously from storage in the aquifer .TEST AFFECTED Y LEAKY CONFINING BEDS In the development of the Theis equation for the analysis of aquifer-test data. This assumption is satisfied by many confined aquifers. at least during the period of the test. Sketch 2 shows an aquifer overlain by a thick. during an aquifer test. yields significant water from storage . in the case of a confined aquifer. Many other aquifers. (See "Analysis of Aquifer-Test Data . and the release of water from storage in the confining bed affects the analysis of aquifer-test data . and aquifer-test data can be analyzed by using the Theis equation . The aquifer in this case may properly be referred to as a semiconfined aquifer. are bounded by leaky confining beds that transmit water into the aquifer in response to the withdrawals and cause drawdowns to differ from those that would be predicted by the Theis equation . Water initially pumped from such an aquifer is from storage.") Therefore. Sketch 1 shows a confined aquifer bounded by thick. impermeable confining beds . Sketch 3 shows an aquifer overlain by a thin confining bed that does not yield significant water from storage but that . however. Sketches 1 through 3 illustrate three different conditions commonly encountered in the field . The analysis of aquifer tests conducted on these aquifers requires the use of the methods that have been developed for semiconfined 50 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology aquifers (also referred to in ground-water literature as "leaky aquifers") . the movement of water into the aquifer across its overlying and underlying confining beds is negligible .

the common practice is to prepare a data plot of s versus t on logarithmic paper and match it with the Theis type curve . If the data closely match the type curve.a) 47rs 4Ttu rz iiu (5) S= Data plots of s versus t on logarithmic graph paper for aquifer tests affected by leakage of water across confining In planning and conducting aquifer tests. Both the geology of the area and the shape of the data plot may provide clues as to which of these conditions most likely exist . however. the values of T and S determined by using the Theis equation should be reliable . Methods have been devised.HANTUSH TYPE CURVES FOR SEMICONFINED AQUIFERS THAT RECEIVE WATER FROM STORAGE IN CONFINING BEDS beds are matched to the family of type curves shown in sketch 5 . that some data plots for tests affected by impermeable boundaries are similar in shape to the Hantush curves . These type curves are based on equations developed by Hantush and Jacob and. It is important to note. as the Theis method does . for convenience. Jacob. will be referred to as the Hantush-Jacob curves . Tests Affected by Leaky Confining Beds 51 . The four coordinates of the match point are substituted into the following equations to determine T and S: T= QW(u. whereas the Theis method involves use of a single type curve. When these conditions are not well known. each curve of which reflects different combinations of the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer and the confining beds .rIB) 41rs S= 4Ttu rz HANTUSH-JACOB TYPE CURVES FOR AQUIFERS RECEIVING LEAKAGE ACROSS CONFINING BEDS is sufficiently permeable to transmit water from the overlying unconfined aquifer into the semiconfined aquifer . Data plots of s versus t on logarithmic graph paper for aquifer tests affected by release of water from storage in the confining beds are matched to the family of type curves illustrated in sketch 4 . Significant departures of the data from the type curve generally reflect the presence of lateral boundaries or leaky confining beds . Four match-point coordinates are selected and substituted into the following equations to determine values of T and S : TQH(u. these curves are referred to as Hantush type . The use of these methods involves matching data plots with type curves. the next problem is to select the method of analysis that most closely represents the geologic and hydrologic conditions in the area affected by the test . the methods applicable to semiconfined aquifers involve "families" of type curves. largely by Madhi Hantush and C . for use in analyzing the leaky conditions illustrated in sketches 2 and 3 . hydrologists must give careful consideration to the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer and to the type of boundary conditions (either recharge or impermeable) that are likely to exist in the vicinity of the test site . Following completion of the test. E . The major difference is that. For convenience.

it may be necessary to attach a chisel bit to the jet pipe and alternately raise and drop the pipe to cut a hole . In dense clays. to an aquifer and to provide a means for water to enter the hole while rock material is excluded .and farm-water supplies in those parts of the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains underlain by permeable sand . Bored wells are relatively effective in material of low hydraulic conductivity and in areas underlain by thin surficial layers of silty and clayey sand . In wells in consolidated The seven different methods of well construction in fairly common use are listed in the table . shell beds.WELL-CONSTRUCTION METHODS SUPPLY WELL ( Screened ) SUPPLY WELL (Open hole ) Dug wells constructed with a pickax and shovel were relatively common in rural areas of the eastern and central parts of the country before the 1940's . in cm (in . forms a slurry that is removed with a bailer . The rock at the bottom of the hole is thus shattered and.000) 10-61 (4-24) 10-25 (4-10) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X .1-6 m (3-20 ft) 5-75 (2-30) 3-6 (1-2) 5-30 (2-12) Unconsolidated material : X Silt -----------------------------------X X X X X Sand ----------------------------------X X X Gravel --------------------------------X X X Glacial till -----------------------------Shell and limestone ----------------------X X X Consolidated material : Cemented gravel ------------------------X Sandstone --------------------------------------------------------------------------Limestone --------------------------------------------------------------------------Shale ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Igneous and metamorphic rocks ----------------------------------------------------------52 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology 300 (1. Because of their relatively small diameter. They are widely used as sources of domestic. The means of excavating the hole is different for different methods . such as glacial till. The first four methods are limited to relatively shallow depths and are most commonly employed in the construction of domestic wells . table 31 Drilled Characteristics Dug Bored Driven jetted Percussion (cable tool) 300 (1. the casing is driven a few feet at a time ahead of the drilling. Environmental Protection Agency (1974). Such wells are reasonably effective in fine-grained materials. The top of the screen is sealed against the casing by expanding a lead packer . In unconsolidated material. After drilling to the maximum depth to be reached by the well. One of the last three methods is usually employed in the construction of municipal and industrial wells and domestic wells in consolidated rock . together with water.000) 10-46 (4-18) Hydraulic Rotary Air 250 (800) Maximum practical depth. usually of small diameter in comparison with the depth. SUITABILITY OF DIFFERENT WELL-CONSTRUCTION METHODS TO GEOLOGIC CONDITIONS [Modified from U . a screen is "telescoped" inside the casing and held in place while the casing is pulled back to expose the screen (1) . these wells are suitable only for relatively permeable surficial aquifers . Driven wells are constructed by driving a casing equipped with a screened drive point . and thinly bedded sand and clay .) ----------------. now being dug by bulldozer or dragline in the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The large irrigation ponds that extend below the water table. The percussion drilling method (commonly referred to as the cable-tool method) consists of alternately raising and dropping a heavy weight equipped with a chisel bit . in m (ft) -----------15 (50) 30(100) 15 (50) 30(100) Range in diameter. Bored wells are constructed with earth augers turned either by hand or by power equipment and are the modern equivalent of the "hand-dug" well . Jetted wells are constructed by excavating a hole with a high-pressure jet of water . The objectives of well construction are to excavate a hole.S . and partially cemented layers. are the modern version of the dug well .

The air rotary method is similar to the hydraulic rotary method. and fine-grained sand from the area adjacent to the screen or open hole so that the well will produce sediment-free water .rock. such as the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains . Water containing clay is circulated down the drill pipe in the "normal rotary" method and up the annular space. both to cool the bit and to remove the rock cuttings . silt. it is not necessary to install permanent-well casing during the drilling process . together with the pressure exerted in the hole by the drilling fluid. Where aquifers consist of alternating thin beds of sand and clay. Well-Construction Methods 53 . For these wells. Chemicals that disperse clays and other fine-grained particles are also used as an aid in well development . it is necessary to use a surge block or some other means to alternately force water into the formation and pull it back into the well . prevents caving of the formation material . The coarser grained particles pulled into the well during development tend to settle to the bottom of the well and must be removed with a bailer or pump. The objective of this phase is to remove clay. The air rotary method is suitable only for drilling in consolidated rocks. When the construction phase has been completed. which permit them to be used in the hydraulic rotary mode for drilling through saturated unconsolidated rock . gravel WELL pack ) sure through orifices directed at the inside of the screen . the normal practice is to "seat" the casing firmly in the top of the rock and drill an open hole to the depth required to obtain the needed yield (2) . Hydraulic rotary is the method most commonly employed in drilling large-yield wells in areas underlain by thick sequences of unconsolidated deposits. The hydraulic rotary method excavates a hole by rotating a drill pipe to which one of several types of drag or roller bits is attached . this method is not normally successful in screened and gravel-packed wells drilled by the hydraulic rotary method . In the "reverse rotary" method. Such wells are referred to as gravel packed (3) . it is necessary to begin the phase referred to as well development. One of the most effective methods is to pump water under high pres- ( Multiple SUPPLY screen. the drilling fluid is circulated down the annular space and up the drill pipe . a line of casing containing sections of screen at the desired intervals is lowered into the well . Thus. the final rate being larger than the planned production rate . Most air rotary rigs are also equipped with mud pumps. Clay in the drilling fluid adheres to the side of the hole and. The simplest method of development is to pump water from the well at a gradually increasing rate. except that the drilling fluid is air rather than mud . the common practice is to install a gravel envelope around the screens. However. When the hole reaches the desired depth. in the hydraulic rotary method. This method is widely used in the construction of wells in fractured bedrock .

These descriptions are based both on samples of rock cuttings brought to the surface during drilling operations and on changes in the rate of penetration of the drill and in the vibration of the rig . cavernous limestone. coarse with pebbles (Cased to 4 m) (Water table at 9 m) (Freshwater) Direction of increasing value -----~ An important part of well construction is determining the character and the thickness of the different layers of material penetrated by the well and the quality of the water in the permeable zones . If the well is to be finished with a screen. Several types of electric loggers are available. Electric logs can be made only in the uncased portion of drill holes . The most common type of geophysical log. the well driller will retain samples of material from the principal water-bearing zones for use in selecting the slot size of screens . and bedrock . The spontaneous potential log (which is usually referred to as the SP log) is a record of the differences in the voltages of an electrode at the land surface and an electrode in the borehole . Information on materials penetrated is recorded in the form of "logs . This information is essential for the installation of casing and for the proper placement of screens . The left-hand boundary generally indicates sand.ELL LOGS Sand. consists of a record of the spontaneous electrical potentials generated in the borehole and the apparent electrical resistivity of the rock units . and other permeable layers. but nearly all provide continuous graphs of spontaneous potential and resistivity as a sensing device is lowered into and removed from the borehole . The part of the hole to be logged must also contain drilling mud or water . Copies of logs should be carefully preserved by the well owner as a part of the file on each well . Variations in voltage occur as a result of electrochemical and other spontaneous electrical effects . Descriptions of these samples made by utilizing a microscope and other aids are commonly referred to as a geologic log to differentiate them from the driller's log . The well driller may also collect samples of the rock cuttings for study by geologists on his staff or those on the staff of State geological surveys or Federal and State water-resources agencies . . The right-hand boundary of an SP log generally indicates impermeable beds such as clay. The SP graph is relatively featureless in shallow water wells that penetrate only the freshwater zone ." The logs most commonly prepared for supply wells are drillers' logs and geophysical (electric) logs . Drillers' logs consist of written descriptions of the material penetrated by wells . shale. 54 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology Geophysical logs provide indirect information on the character of rock layers . the type normally referred to as an electric log.

on the other hand. geophysical logging is a complex topic that has been developed. Such layers tend to have a strongly negative spontaneous potential that. chloride. Several different electrode arrangements are used to measure the resistivity of different volumes of material. The resistivity of waterbearing material depends primarily on the salt content of the water and the porosity of the material . to collect.The resistivity log is a record of the resistance to the flow of an alternating electric current offered by the rock layers and their contained fluids and the fluid in the borehole . (See "Quality of Ground Water . The chemical analyses made on these samples should include the concentration of any constituents that are known to be a problem in other supply wells drawing from the aquifer. sulfate. into an advanced technical field . especially in conjunction with the construction of large-yield wells by the hydraulic rotary method . and the water that they contain tends to be relatively highly mineralized . It is also important. largely by the oil industry. tend to have a low resistivity resembling that of clay layers . In fact. including gamma-ray logs that record the rate of emission of gamma rays by different rock layers . It is being utilized to an increasing extent by the water-well industry. for chemical analyses. These constituents might include iron. aids in identification of the layers . viewed together with the resistivity. total dissolved solids. Sand layers containing salty water. In contrast. either during well construction or following geophysical logging. but the arrangement most commonly used by the water-well industry is referred to as the single-point electrode . sand layers saturated with freshwater tend to have a high resistivity . Clay layers normally have a low resistivity because of their large porosity. water samples from the permeable zones that may supply water to the completed well .") Well Logs 53 . nitrate. and others . manganese. Several other types of geophysical logs are available.

in turn. the depth to aquifers underlying the area. If information on an aquifer is not already available from other wells in the area. if required w U 130 w o_ z 0 120 110 100 6 12 WELL 18 24 IN 30 INCHES 36 DIAMETER. the composition and hydraulic characteristics of those aquifers. The well diameter is determined primarily by two factorsthe desired yield and the depth to the source aquifer . and. CENTIMETERS 2) The primary effect of well diameter on yield is related to the size of the pump that can be installed. o 0 composition of. if a gravel pack is required. In some designs. the upper part of the well is made larger than the remainder of the well in order to accommodate the pump. WELL AT 140 DIAMETER A CONSTANT VERSUS YIELD DRAWDOWN Thickness and . 0 gravel pack '.. 56 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . seaf< Water-well design is the first step in the construction of large-yield wells. its thickness and composition (1) . and well diameter are given in table 1 .6 0 Diameter. 15 WELL 30 45 60 IN 75 90 DIAMETER. which. pump size. and the quality of water in the aquifers. The diameter has a relatively insignificant effect on the yield (2) . The completed design should specify the diameter. the method of construction. it will be necessary to construct a test well before completing the design . and composition of screen. doubling the diameter from 15 to 30 centimeters results in only about a 10 percent increase in yield .'Q' o if required~ ao 0. For example.WATER-WELL DESIGN WATER-WELL DESIGNS INCLUDE SPECIFICATIONS ON Thickness and depth of grout . such as those required by municipalities and industries . . determines the pumping rate . the materials to be used in the construction. length. the total depth of the well and the position of the screen or open-hole sections. Before the initial design is started. it is necessary to know the yield expected from the well. Data on pumping rate.. . slot size.

Because withdrawals from unconfined aquifers result in dewatering of the aquifers.) (in .81 1 .S . the desired yield. these units will be used in this discussion .75 100 0 . When an attempt is being made to obtain the maximum available yield.' Because screen openings are partially blocked by aquifer or gravel-packed material. in the middle part of the aquifer .z If the open area needed in square feet is divided by the open area per linear foot.60 .17 . outside diameter] Anticipated well yield In Nominal size Optimum well of pump bowls diameter (in . The entrance velocity should not normally exceed about 6 ft min .300 1.92 1 .41 . 'Because dimensions of screens manufactured in the United States are still expressed in inches or feet.22-4 .17 .37 1 . and economic considerations . screens are set either in the most permeable part of the aquifer or. required to provide the yield without exceeding the recommended entrance velocity .32 .30 . Table 2 .600-3.64 Open areas per linear foot of screen for slot no .Table 1 .60 1 . SI units will be added only where it is useful to do so.56 .42 The screen diameter and length. For example.98 150 0 .55 1 .28 .000) of an inch .89 2 . The total depth of a well depends on the depth below land surface to the lowest water-bearing zone to be tapped . and the pumping rate determine the velocity at which water passes through the screen (that is.11 0 .47 .' In m 3 min ' Less than 100 75-175 150-400 350-650 600-900 850-1.64 . whether the aquifer is unconfined or confined.' (1 .28 1 . slot no .8 m min .87 .000 or 0 .11 2 . the result is the length of screen.38 28.27-3 . 10 indicates an opening 10/1. screens are normally installed in the lower 30 to 40 percent of unconfined aquifers and in the middle 70 to 80 percent of confined aquifers .) 4 ---------6 ---------8 ---------10 ---------12 ---------14 ---------16 ---------- 10 0. in feet. pump size.68 .74 1 .33-2 .15 1 . the slot size.01 inch] Nominal screen diameter (in . The length of the screen specified in the well design depends on the thickness of the aquifer.13 1 . n (ftz) 40 60 80 0 . the open area of screens manufactured by the Edward E . Data on yield. and the type of screen . Open areas of Johnson well screens [n denotes width of screen opening in thousandths (1/1.51 .) 4 5 6 8 10 12 14 16 6 ID 8 ID 10 ID 12 ID 14 OD 16 OD 20 OD 24 OD In gal min -' ft3 min .800 1.52 1 . Water-Well Design 57 .06-11 .30 1 .45 0 .26 . the so-called "entrance velocity") . The position of the screen depends on the thickness and composition of the source aquifer and whether the well is being designed to obtain the maximum possible yield . If the anticipated yield in cubic feet per minute shown in table 1 is divided by 6 ft min . The amount of open area per unit length of well screen depends on the diameter. some well drillers increase the open area needed by 50 to 100 percent to assure that entrance velocities will not be excessive .'. Table 2 shows.87 ..69 .000 Less than 13 10-23 20-53 47-87 80-120 113-173 160-240 213-400 Less than 0.96 1 .90 .200-1.22 .05 1 . Geological Survey . In confined aquifers. 'The use of a company name is for identification purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U .50 .34 20 0 .66 57-1 .41 3 . the result is the minimum open area of screen needed in square feet .69 .55-6 .96 1 .82 6 .76 . where vertical differences in hydraulic conductivity are not significant.26 1 . the slot size. OD.46 2 .93 4. wells in these aquifers are normally screened only in the lower part in order to obtain the maximum available drawdown . and well diameter [ID.19 1 .97 1 . Johnson Co .') .30 .53 1 .37 The depth to the source aquifer also affects the well diameter to the extent that wells expected to reach aquifers more than a few hundred feet below land surface must be large enough to accept the larger diameter cable tool or drill rods required to reach these depths . inside diameter . for example.53 .

carefully regulated pumping rate or rates and the accurate water-level measurements are the most important . whereas. the drawdown data can be analyzed to determine the aquifer transmissivity .I 8 . the engine is frequently stopped to add fuel or to check the oil level or for numerous other reasons . A pumping rate that is either held constant during the entire test (1) or increased in steps of equal length (2) . six months to a year may be required .I m . Depending on the length of the well-acceptance test and the period required to reach a steady-state condition. to use a specific capacity smaller than that determined during the test . based on accurate water-level measurements made before the drawdown test . unplanned schedule or. Well-acceptance tests. Thus. 58 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology Of these requirements. For example. many States require that tests of public-supply wells be at least 24 hours. and the length of each step should be at least 2 hours . Determining the long-term yield of a well from data collected during a short-period well-acceptance test is one of the most important.24m 3 min I m -1 7 .3 m 3 min. a steady-state condition may never be achieved .Q drawdown St (1) Before the development of steady-state conditions. be conducted with the same care as aquifer tests made to determine the hydraulic characteristics of aquifers . therefore. 2 . The time required for steady-state conditions to develop depends largely on the distance to and characteristics of the recharge and discharge areas and the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer . the constant. A properly conducted test will include : 1 . Determination of well interference from nearby pumping wells. The rate may also be increased and decreased on an irregular. The pumping rate during each step should be held constant. a steady-state condition will be reached in several days. specific capacity = pumping rate . more commonly. in some arid areas. The time required to reach a steady state is independent of the pumping rate .5-0 . in others. In such tests. . When a constant-rate well-acceptance test has been completed.8 =0 .") Many well-acceptance tests are made with temporary pump installations. Specific capacity is the yield per unit of drawdown and is determined by dividing the pumping rate at any time during the test by the drawdown at the same time .15 Q measurements m3min-1 . and some stipulate that the well reach a certain level of "efficiency . the "yield" of the well is normally reported to be the final pumping rate . the estimate of the long-term yield must usually be based on an analysis of specific-capacity data .15 m 3 min . Two of the most important factors that must be considered are the extent to which the yield will decrease if the well is pumped continuously for periods longer than the test period and the effect on the yield of changes in the static (regional) water level from that existing at the time of the test .0 No 4 6 2 . Such tests should. At some places in some aquifers. When data are available only from the production well and when the pumping rate was not held constant during the acceptance test.WELL-ACCEPTANCE TESTS AND WELL EFFICIENCY r. if properly conducted.-_ 8 . practical problems in ground-water hydrology. in estimating the long-term yield of a well. not only can confirm the yield of a well and the size of the production pump that is needed but can also provide information of great value in well operation and maintenance .5 ." Most contracts also specify the length of the "drawdown test" that must be conducted to demonstrate that the yield requirement is met . a part of the water pumped from an aquifer is derived from storage .4m3miri ' m l\ '\ Step No . I Multiple-step (Each te st step= 8 hr) -1 .~ 5 No .3 8 _ 1 . it may be appropriate. 2 .4 m I O Q 0 2 --- Step . gradually reduced during the test in an effort to maintain a pumping level above the pump intake . usually powered with a gasoline or diesel engine .__=2 . i i 5 0 5 10 i 15 20 25 30 HOURS (2) Many supply-well contracts require a "guaranteed" yield. Tests of most industrial and irrigation wells probably do not exceed about 8 hours.4 m test = 0 . (See "Single-Well Tests . Instead of maintaining a constant rate for the duration of the test. l No . 2 _ No . 0 2 4 6 8 Water -level Constant-rate 2 .257 m 3 w \ 1~ .-= 0 15 .

The rate at which the specific capacity decreases depends on the decline of the water level due to depletion of storage and on the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer . in fact. and thus the available drawdown. the specific capacity will decrease about 40 percent during the first year .") Thus. The objective. and the maximum yield may. well efficiency is generally specified in terms of an "optimum" specific capacity based on other producing wells in the vicinity . To predict the maximum continuous long-term yield. multiplied by the available drawdown . is to avoid excessive energy costs by designing and constructing wells that will yield the required water with the least drawdown . (See "Single-Well Tests . Drawdows in pumping wells are measured during wellacceptance tests. The lowest pumping level in a screened well is normally considered to be a meter or two above the top of the screen .DECLINE IN SPECIFIC CAPACITY WITH TIME AT A CONTINUOUS PUMPING RATE z w z J w 0 1 10 100 HOURS (3) 1000 10. be attained at a much higher level . it is also necessary to consider changes in the static water level resulting from seasonal and long-term variations in recharge and declines due to other withdrawals from the aquifer . If such precipitation is expected. These well losses can be reduced by reducing the entrance velocity of the water. Differences in the rate for different aquifers are indi4ated by the width of the band on the sketch . it is necessary to estimate how much the static water level. these tests are difficult to conduct and are not widely used . However. In predicting the long-term yield of a well. are known . may decline from the position that it occupied during the acceptance test . including the effect of boundary conditions. When withdrawals are derived entirely from storage. The difference between s t and s a is attributed to head losses as water moves from an aquifer into a well and up the well bore . of course. Records of waterlevel fluctuations in long-term observation wells in the area will be useful in this effort . it may be at the 5 E = -X100 S t (2) expresses well efficiency as a percentage . Tests have been devised to determine well losses. The yield of a well is not increased by a pumping level below the lowest opening. Well efficiency can be defined as the ratio of the drawdown (sa ) in the aquifer at the radius of the pumping well to the drawdown (s t ) inside the well . The longterm yield is equal to the specific capacity. and reduced as necessary to compensate for the long-term decline discussed in the above paragraph. an efficiency of 60 percent is probably more realistic . the maximum pumping level should not be below the highest opening . which can be done by installing the maximum amount of screen and pumping at the lowest acceptable rate . the equation Sketch 3 shows the decline in specific capacity with time when a well is pumped continuously at a constant rate and all the water is derived from storage in an isotropic and homogeneous aquifer. and the results can be used to determine well efficiency . Under less than ideal conditions. In an unscreened (open-hole) well. It can be calculated if the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer. an efficiency of about 80 percent is the maximum that is normally achievable in most screened wells. Under the best conditions. Determining the drawdown in the aquifer is a much more difficult problem . Well-Acceptance Tests and Well Efficiency 39 . The choice of the highest or the lowest opening depends on the chemical composition of the water and whether water cascading from openings above the pumping level results in precipitation of minerals on the side of the well and on the pump intake . Because of difficulties in determining sa .000 level of either the highest or the lowest water-bearing opening penetrated by the well . The available drawdown at the time of a well-acceptance test is equal to the difference between the static water level at that time and the lowest pumping level that can be imposed on the well . a value of 100 percent was assigned to the specific capacity 1 hour after the pump was started . For convenience in preparing the sketch. determined from the well-acceptance test. Well efficiency is an important consideration both in well design and in well construction and development .

pumping rate. is . 3 . The Theis equation. Values of specific capacity. 5 . The difference between the "nominal" radius and the effective radius Producing zone Length of screen Confined aquifer /// IZIIIIIIIIIIZIIZIIIII1111111111111111117 Confining bed FACTORS AFFECTING ESTIMATES OF TRANSMISSIVITY BASED ON SPECIFIC CAPACITY The specific capacity of a well depends both on the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer and on the construction and other features of the well . The length of the pumping period . modified for the determination of transmissivity from specific capacity. The storage coefficient of the aquifer. are widely used by hydrologists to estimate transmissivity . 60 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology 2 . available for many supply wells for which aquifer-test data are not available. Such estimates are used to evaluate regional differences in transmissivity and to prepare transmissivity maps for use in models of ground-water systems . Thickness of the producing zone compared to the length of the screen or open hole c . affects the well loss and can be determined only from a stepped-rate test or an aquifer test in which drawdowns are measured in both the pumping well and observation wells . may be considerably less than the transmissivity of the aquifer . The factors that affect specific capacity include : 1 .SPECIFIC CAPACITY AND TRANSMISSIVITY FACTORS AFFECTING ESTIMATES OF TRANSMISSIVITY BASED ON SPECIFIC CAPACITY Land surface b . which. depending on the length of the screen or open hole. The Theis equation can be used to evaluate the effect of the first four factors on specific capacity . 4 . The last factor. Magnitude of the well loss compared to the drawdown in the aquifer a . which may be significantly greater than the "nominal" radius . The transmissivity of the zone supplying water to the well. The effective radius of the well. The pumping rate .

Similarly.15 . Substituting these values in equation 2. and aquifer tests indicate that it has a storage coefficient of about 2 x 10 -4 and a transmissivity of about 11. r. In using equation 3. where u= r1S (2) Equation 1 is in consistent units . assume. Values of W(u) are given for values of 1/u of 7 .91 x 108 . s is the drawdown. the common practice is to assume that the value of transmissivity estimated from specific capacity applies only to the screened zone or to the open hole . and the difference between the "nominal" radius of the well and its effective radius . the value of W(u) is 20.' . the transmissivity based on specific capacity again will be too large . and t that are representative of conditions in the area . To apply this value to the entire aquifer.60x 1 ' 444 min x where r is the effective radius of the well. (20 cm) in diameter (radius.0x0 .22 x 10 -5 ft' 2 . it is important to recognize its limitations .2 x 104 ftZ A table of values of W(u) for values of 1/u is contained in the section of this report entitled "Aquifer Tests . Most values of specific capacity are based on 12-hour wellacceptance tests (t=0 . and W(u) is the well function of u. Q/s is specific capacity. Many readers will find it useful at this point to substitute different values of T. and drawdowns are measured in feet . it may be feasible to utilize the results to modify the constant in equation 3 to account for the effect of these factors . However. the value of 10 is close enough to 9 . Values of u are determined by substituting in equation 2 values of T.5 d =1 . To illustrate. which is 9 . Substituting this value in equation 1. 3 . the transmissivity based on specific capacity will be too small . 2 . it is first necessary to determine values for u and. Q is the pumping rate. transmissivity is commonly expressed in the United States in units of square feet per day. if the effective radius of the well is larger than the "nominal" radius (assuming that the "nominal" radius is used in equation 2). On the other hand. it is desirable to express W(u)147r as a constant .(rounded) u= 2 . and t is the length of the pumping period preceding the determination of specific capacity. r.01 x 10 -9 7 . we determine that. However.60 . we obtain u= r2S 4Tt (0 . Whether the effect of all three of these factors cancels depends on the characteristics of both the aquifer and the well ." Therefore. Thus 4Tt T= 1 . Specific Capacity and Transmissivity 61 . if a significant part of the drawdown in the pumping well is due to well loss.69 x 108 and 10 x 108 but not for 9 . For convenience in using equation 1.T- W(u ) x Q 4a S (1) where T is transmissivity. pumping rates are reported in units of gallons per minute. and the result is multiplied by the entire thickness of the aquifer . modified as necessary to fit the conditions in an area.000 ft' d . To obtain an equation that is convenient to use. we find the constant W(u)147r to be 1 . it is desirable to convert equation 1 to these inconsistent units . and t in equation 2 to determine how different values affect the constant in equation 3 . To do so. Relative to these factors.91 x 108 . From the table. Among the most important factors that affect its use are the accuracy with which the thickness of the zone supplying water to the well can be estimated.483 gal x Q s (3) T=308 Q or 300-2. using a table of values of u (or 1/u) and W(u). for a value of 1/u of 10x108. the transmissivity is divided by the length of the screen or open hole (to determine the hydraulic conductivity per unit of length). S is the storage coefficient. the magnitude of the well loss in comparison with drawdown in the aquifer. Most supply wells are 8 in .000 ftz d . S. Where a sufficient number of aquifer tests have been conducted. determine the corresponding values for W(u) .91 for the purpose of estimating transmissivity from specific capacity .33 ft). S. The principal aquifer is confined. that : 1 . and this value is used to determine the value of W(u) . 0 .5 d) . in an area under investigation and for which a large number of values of specific capacity are available. the value of u determined above must be converted to 1/u.33 ft)z x (2 x 10 -4) 4x(11. The value of transmissivity determined by this method is too large if the zone supplying water to the well is thicker than the length of the screen or the open hole .

in other words. 2 . and the spacing of the wells . The next step is to determine the optimum well spacing . The objective of well-field design is to obtain the required amount of water for the least cost. it requires what is commonly referred to as a well field . depth. the distance to and nature of lateral boundaries. in square meters per day (or square feet per day). As is the drawdown. the design of well fields is an important problem in ground-water development .ELL-FIELD DESIGN 10 W W z 20 A s=5ft 1 log cycle 40 50 v ww i I I 102 DISTANCE. divide by 5 . 'At this point. Consequently. see "Well Interference" and "Well-Acceptance Tests and Well Efficiency . and setting of pumps . For the purpose of this discussion.600 ft rW = 0 . (See "DistarceDrawdown Analysis . the available drawdown. and the pumping period . S is the aquifer storage coefficient (dimensionless). including the initial construction cost of wells and pipelines. size. Jacob's equations are solved as follows : ro e = where r o is the distance from the pumping well. in the initial determination of available drawdown. This determination involves both hydrologic and economic considerations . and position of screens or open hole. the seasonal fluctuation of static water level must be considered . we use half the available drawdown in order to get a first estimate of well loss and well interference . the hydraulic characteristics of confining beds. 3 . when Qe is in cubic meters per day. The hydrologic considerations include the following : 1 .45 (when Q e is in cubic feet per day.' and Qe is the first estimate of the pumping rate in cubic meters per day (or cubic feet per day) .25Tt S (2) Q e = 2 . To determine the pumping rate. in meters (or feet). divide by 192) . The estimated pumping rate Qe is divided into the total quantity of water needed from the well field in order to determine the number of wells that will be needed . the drawdown in the aquifer is less than the available drawdown and the drawdown in the well is above the top of the screen. including information on well diameter. in meters (or feet). and the cost of well replacement . IN FEET (1) fill] I I I I 1 1111 1 1 1 1 11111 Z O Q 0 T=5000 ft 2/d S = 5 x 10t=365 d ra =90. to the point of zero drawdown on a semilogarithmic graph in which drawdown is on the arithmetic scale and distance is on the logarithmic scale.33 ft 10' 10" 105 The development of moderate to large supplies of water from most aquifers requires more than one well . The key elements in well-field design are the total quantity of water to be obtained from the field. the type of casing and screens. If we determine that. T is aquifer transmissivity. across one log cycle along a line connecting point ro and a point at the proposed radius of the pumping well at which the drawdown equals about half the available drawdown. at a pumping rate of Qe . the rate at which each well can be pumped (which determines the number of wells that will be required). 2 . The final product of a design is a plan showing the arrangement and spacing of wells and specifications containing details on well construction and completion.") It depends on the transmissivity and storge coefficient of the aquifer. (For a discussion of available drawdown. Wells near recharging boundaries should be located along a line parallel to the boundary and as close to the boundary as possible . It is important also to note that. The pumping rate for each well can be estimated with Jacob's modification of the Theis equation . and the type. the cost of operation and maintenance. we can assume a larger value of s and recompute Qe . t is 365 days (1 year).") The pumping period is normally taken as 1 year . The minimum distance between pumping wells should be at least twice the aquifer thickness if the wells are open to less than about half the aquifer thickness . Wells near impermeable boundaries should be located along a line perpendicular to the boundary and as far from the boundary as possible . we will not consider the effect of boundaries or confining beds .7TAs 62 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . To convert to gallons per minute.

' ft . its specific capacity would be 350 gal min . This yield can be obtained from three wells producing 500. we will assume that a yield of 1. which can be assigned to well interference from wells 1 and 3 . Well-Field Design 63 . How close can it be to wells 1 and 3 without its drawdown exceeding the available drawdown of 60 ft? When well 2 is pumped at a rate of 350 gal min .' (350 gal min . wells 1 and 3 would be 2.500 ft to be about 9 ft.7 gal min . Therefore.33 ft (diameter.The primary economic considerations involved in well spacing include the cost of wells and pumps.040 gal min . The smaller yield of closely spaced wells means that more wells and well pumps are required.' from the aquifer will produce a drawdown of 11 ft at a distance of about 1. equation 2 yields an estimated pumping rate (Qe ) of 350 gal min .000 gal d.2 To illustrate the use of sketch 1 in analyzing the wellspacing problem. The remaining 30 ft of the available drawdown must be apportioned between well loss in well 2 and interference from wells 1 and 3.250 ft in order not to exceed the available drawdown at well 2.' ft-' __ X =9 .500 ft apart . Sketch 2 shows the drawdown at 2. and between wells 2 and 3 would have to be 1. its specific capacity will be 11 . and power costs are higher . the spacing between wells 1 and 2 2 Inch-pound units are used in this -eaders who are not yet accustomed to example for the convenience of those using metric units . or 30 ft .000 gal d . and 3 . a storage coefficient (S) of 5x]0 -4.' 80 percent 100 percent and a yield of 350 gal min . Sketch 1 shows a distance-drawdown graph for a pumping well at the end of a continuous pumping period of one year for an aquifer having a transmissivity (T) of 5. the amount of interference by each well is about 11 ft .000 gal d . the drawdown in the aquifer at the radius of the well will be onehalf the available drawdown. the largest drawdown .000 ft 2 d .4). the drawdowns in both wells 1 and 3 would be 58 ft. or about 2 ft less than the drawdown in well 2. With this spacing.' will produce a drawdown in well 2 of about 37 ft (350/9 . If fractional feet are ignored. Well 2. if well 2 were 100 percent efficient. According to sketch 1. or 20 cm) .') is desired from the aquifer. Assume that the wells are located on a straight line and are numbered 1.' ft-' We will assume. Subtracting 37 ft from 60 ft leaves a difference of 23 ft.1. the smaller the yield of each well because of well interference. therefore. The assumed radius of the pumping well (r te. When one-half the available drawdown is used.7 gal min . The closer wells are spaced.' 30 ft =11 . along with the other values as stated. will obviously have the most well interference and.').) is 0.'.' (1. being in the middle.500. and the cost of interconnecting pipelines and powerlines . 2. If so. 8 in . and an available drawdown of 60 ft (18 m) .') each . power costs.' or 504.4 gal min .' (465 m 3 d . that well 2 will be only 80 percent efficient . however. Sketch 2 shows that a well pumping 350 gal min . The cost of the additional wells and the larger pumping costs must be evaluated in relation to the cost of shorter interconnecting pipelines and powerlines .250 ft . Consequently.

000 (0 . In the International System (SI).000 of a cubic meter.999 Ib of water. Table 2 lists other characteristics of water that are commonly reported in water analyses and that may affect water use . The quality of ground water depends both on the substances dissolved in the water and on certain properties and characteristics that these substances impart to the water . Table 1 contains information on dissolved inorganic substances that normally occur in the largest concentrations and are most likely to affect water use .500 gal of water. and a liter equals 1/1. A milligram equals 1/1. Dissolved constituents for which concentration limits have been established for drinking water are discussed in "Pollution of Ground Water. the weight per weight unit commonly used was parts per million (ppm) . In inch-pound units. the most commonly used units are milligrams per liter . 1 ppm is equal to 1 Ib of a substance dissolved in 999. and on the mineral composition of the aquifers and confining beds through which the water moves ." 'To put these units in possibly more understandable terms. so that 1 mg/L equals 1 gram m -3 . 1 mg/L equals 1 oz of a substance dissolved in 7. on the biologic and chemical reactions occurring on the land surface and in the soil zone. Because the concentration of most substances dissolved in water is relatively small. The composition and concentration of substances dissolved in unpolluted ground water depend on the chemical composition of precipitation. Water frequently is referred to as the universal solvent because it has the ability to dissolve at least small amounts of almost all substances that it contacts . The concentrations of substances dissolved in water are commonly reported in units of weight per volume . ground water usually contains the largest amounts of dissolved solids.001) of a gram. the weight of the solution thus being 1 million pounds.QUALITY of GROUND WATER y~~\\yes ~y.~ . which give it a chemical formula of H ZO .~. THE CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF GROUND WATER ARE DETERMINED BY THE CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL REACTIONS IN THE ZONES THROUGH WHICH THE WATER MOVES Water consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. Of the domestic water used by man.' Concentrations of substances in water were reported for many years in the United States in 64 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology units of weight per weight . .

'Lower concentration applies to drinking waterfor persons on a strict diet. High values of pH. increases corrosiveness of water and.000: Briny Total dissolved solids ----------. value of 7. Gypsum. by water containing carbon dioxide. Quality of Ground Water 65 . pyrite (FeS). in micromhos. forms a hard calcium carbonate scale in steam boilers. has a laxative effect In combination with calcium. Characteristics of water that affect water quality Characteristic Principal cause Significance Calcium and magnesium combine with soap to form an insoluble precipitate (curd) and thus hamper the formation of a lather. Depending on the concentrations of calcium and magnesium also present in the water.Table 1 . sition . gives water a salty taste. Small amounts from igneous and metamorphic rocks. water is neutral. and certain other medical conditions . USGS classification of water based on dissolved solids (mg/L) : Less than 1.Products of the solution of carbonate rocks. hypertension. specific electrical conductance is a valuable indicator of the amount of material dissolved in water . Mn>0 .05 Sodium (Na) -------------------------- 69 (irrigation).In inland areas. 25-50 250 0. Concentrations of significance (mg/L)' 150-200 Bicarbonate (HCO. cause carbonate hardness. In certain concentrations. more than 7. The pH significantly affects the treatment and use of water.3. of 1 cm' of water at a temperature of 25°C . indicate a corrosive water that will tend to dissolve metals and other substances that it contacts.Mineral substances dissolved in water. 20-170 (health)' Sulfate (SO. water is acidic . and gypsum (CaSO. Calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) -------- Chloride (CI) ------------------------. In some sedimentary rocks. Principal cause of hardness and ofr boiler scale and deposits in hotwater heaters. at higher concentrations. particularly above pH 8. In large amounts. Bicarbonates of calcium and magnesium decompose in steam boilers and water heaters to form scale and release corrosive carbon dioxide gas. reduces tooth decay. causes mottling of tooth enamel .000: Moderately saline 10. Remarks USGS classification of hardness (mg/L as CaCO. Not widespread in occurrence . 600-1. Stain laundry and are objectionable in food processing. depending on water intake . Total dissolved solids is a measure of the total amount of minerals dissolved in water and is.S . Water containing less than 500 mg/L is preferred for domestic use and for many industrial processes .000-10.) . The pH of water is a measure of its reactive characteristics. indicate an alkaline water that. The larger the conductance. higher concentration is for those on a moderate diet . at higher concentrations. Most substances dissolved in water dissociate into ions that can conduct an electrical current. will tend to form scale. may affect persons with cardiac difficulties. in combination with sodium. water is basic. Natural inorganic constituents commonly dissolved in water that are most likely to affect use of the water Substance Major natural sources Effect on water use Control the capacity of water to neutralize strong acids. a few hundred milligrams per liter may occur in freshwater as a result of exchange of dissolved calcium and magnesium for sodium in the aquifer materials .) . primarily from seawater trapped in sediments at time of deposition . on heating. particularly below pH 4. manganese less widely distributed . pH (or hydrogen-ion activity) ----.000: Slightly saline 3. from seawater in contact with freshwater in productive aquifers . the more mineralized the water.7-1 .000 (laxative) 'A range in concentration is intended to indicate the general level at which the effect on water use might become significant. Hardness also affects the suitability of water for use in the textile and paper industries and certain others and in steam boilers and water heaters. Table 2 . brewing.) and carbonate (C0. sodium may be detrimental to certain irrigated crops. Conductance values indicate the electrical conductivity. bleaching.) -------------------------- 300-400 (taste).Both sedimentary and igneous rocks. Public Health Service. therefore. in coastal areas.Dissociation of water molecules and of acids and bases dissolved in water.) : 0-60 : Soft 61-120: Moderately hard 121-180: Hard More than 180: Very hard pH values: less than 7.Calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water. mainly limestone (CaC03) and dolomite (CaMgC03). Fluoride (F) ----------------__--------. In large concentrations. In certain concentrations.000: Fresh 1.Substances that form ions when dissolved in water. Hardness -------------------. and other rocks containing sulfur (S) compounds. See chloride . 'Optimum range determined by the U.2 2 Fe>0 . ice manufacturing. a very useful parameter in the evaluation of water quality. Soils and rocks containing limestone.5. and certain other industrial processes .000: Very saline More than 35.000-35. gives water a bitter taste and. dolomite. Low values of pH. Iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) -----------Iron present in most soils and rocks. In combination with calcium and magnesium. Specific electrical conductance --.000-3. dyeing. Same as for chloride . Consequently.

and density of the pollutant. leaks in sewers. and crop fertilizers. The density of a liquid substance-that is. as it is used in this discussion. IBM RURAL AREAS /SaltI stockpile i Wate Gasoline table Ground water polluted by septic tanks animal feedlots. Affected areas range in size from point sources. the mineral composition and hydraulic characteristics of the soils and rocks through which the pollutant moves. in shallow excavations including septic tanks. Densities range from those of petroleum products that are less dense than water to brines and other substances that are denser than water. table 1 lists the maximum concentrations of inorganic substances permitted in drinking-water supplies . and herbicides Ground water polluted by industrial and municipal wastes. and lawn fertilizers. and the effect or potential effect on ground-water use . Substances less dense than water tend to accumulate at the top of DENSITY EFFECTS Service station-.") Most pollution of ground water results from the disposal of wastes on the land surface. This definition includes saltwater encroachment into freshwater-bearing aquifers resulting from the artificial lowering of ground-water heads . AND DISTANCE FROM DISCHARGE AREAS 66 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . Pollution of ground water. the solubility. the weight per unit volume of the substance relative to that of wateraffects its underground movement . This attention has also resulted in widespread recognition of the facts that polluted ground water may pose a serious threat to health that is often not apparent to those affected and that purification of polluted ground-water systems may require centuries or the expenditure of huge sums of money . to large urban areas having leaky sewer systems and numerous municipal and industrial waste-disposal sites . For example. such as septic tanks. (See "Saltwater Encroachment . and pipelines . BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL REACTIONS. however. leaking sewers. Limits have also been established by the Environmental Protection Agency for radioactive and certain organic substances . toxicity.A GROUND-WATER POLLUTION OCCURS IN BOTH URBAN AND RURAL AREAS AND IS AFFECTED BY DIFFERENCES IN CHEMICAL COMPOSITION. URBAN AREAS yr~ storage tanks. These facts alone make it imperative that the pollution of ground water by harmful substances absolutely be avoided to the maximum possible extent . and animal feedlots . pollution has been found to be much more widespread than we had believed only a few years ago . is covered in a separate discussion . Nearly all substances are soluble to some extent in water. As a result. and many chemical wastes are highly toxic even in minute concentrations . That topic. pesticides. DENSITY. The magnitude of any pollution problem depends on the size of the area affected and the amount of the pollutant involved.P L TI N F GROUND WATER Pollution of ground water is receiving increased attention from both Federal and State regulatory agencies and from water users . or through deep wells and mines. and herbicides Ground water polluted by substances less dense (gasoline) and more`. refers to any deterioration in the quality of the water resulting from the activities of man . pesticides. the use of fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals . dense (brine) than t Confining bed DISTANCE EFFECTS Waste-disposal ponds Water tableand water polluted by tes at different distances om discharge area .

Certain earth materials. they will tend to spread in all directions as a thin film . If a pollutant enters the ground at a "point.010 . and surface infiltration is held to the minimum possible amount. it is obvious that significant ground-water pollution can be avoided only if wastedisposal sites are selected in such a way that : 1 . Substances denser than water tend to move downward through the saturated zone to the first extensive confining bed . if. .05 . Thus.05 . 2 . FLOOD DANGER. Areas are as close as possible to places of natural groundwater discharge . GROUND-WATER DISCHARGE. especially clays and organic matter.01 . Overland runoff is excluded. OVERLAND RUNOFF. and sites for other operations that may cause ground-water pollution . may also absorb trace metals and certain complex organic pollutants and thereby reduce their concentration as they move through the underground environment . (See "Saturated Flow and Dispersion . Significant thicknesses of unsaturated material containing clay and (or) organic material are present. the farther their point of origin from a ground-water discharge area. The mineral composition and physical characteristics of soils and rocks through which pollutants move may affect the pollutants in several ways . animal feedlots.") Organic substances and other biodegradable materials tend to be broken down both by oxidation and by bacterial action in the unsaturated zone . Table 1 . the movement of pollutants tends to be through the most permeable zones . Substances dissolved in water move with the water except to the extent that they are tied up or delayed by adsorption .:r discharge area Ovc:rlarid runoff prevented by dikes and . like petroleum. Environmental Protection Agency (1977)] Constituents Concentration (mg/L) 0.nfiItritlnn retarded by clay cx>vrrr SELECTION OF WASTE-DISPOSAL SITES INVOLVES CONSIDERATION OF THE UNSATURATED ZONE. they are immiscible.05 Arsenic ----------------------------_____------Barium -----------_____-----------------------Cadmium -------------------------------------Chromium ------------------------------------Lead -----------------------------------------Mercury --------------------------------------Nitrate (as N) ----------------------------------Selenium -------__----------------------------Silver ----------------------------------------- Thick unsaturated zone (.002 10 . With these factors in mind. Maximum concentrations of inorganic constituents allowed in drinking water tData from U . containinq clay and (or) wy~rmc niaterlal Fl-)d free area adjacent to ground wat. AND INFILTRATION Pollution of Ground Water 67 .. The factors related to the movement of pollutants discussed in the preceding paragraphs must be carefully considered in the selection of waste-disposal sites.05 1.the saturated zone.S . the deeper they penetrate into the ground-water system and the larger the area ultimately affected . The hydraulic characteristics of the soils and rocks determine the path taken by and the rate of movement of pollutants. . 3 ." it will be dispersed longitudinally and laterally in granular materials so that its concentration will be reduced in the direction of movement .

A part of the seawater that invades the freshwater zone is entrained in the freshwater and is flushed back to the sea by the freshwater as it moves to the sea to discharge . by a Dutchman. The density of a substance is its mass per unit volume . such as the Outer Banks of North Carolina. the result being a zone of diffusion across which the salinity changes from that of freshwater to that of seawater (1) . tends to override or float on seawater . precipitation forms a freshwater lens that "floats" on the underlying saltwater (1) . is hs = Pf Ps . Two aspects of saltwater encroachment 68 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . When freshwater heads are lowered by withdrawals through wells. Herzberg. The movement of saltwater into zones previously occupied by freshwater is referred to as saltwater encroachment . in a stratified aquifer (and nearly all aquifers are stratified). the density of water is affected by the amount of minerals. pf is the density of freshwater. freshwater. being less dense than seawater. fresh ground water derived from precipitation on the land comes in contact with and discharges into the sea or into estuaries containing brackish water . expressed as an equation. The GhybenHerzberg relation applies strictly. or brackish water. only to a homogenous and isotropic aquifer in which the freshwater is static and is in contact with a tideless sea or body of brackish water . and hf is the height of the water table above sea level . and is referred to as the Ghyben-Herzberg relationship . This relation between the height of the water table and the thickness of the freshwater lens was discovered. B . such as common salt (NaCI). In metric units. the thickness of the freshwater lens is less than that predicted because of the head loss incurred as the freshwater moves across the least permeable beds . This relation. and the density of seawater is about 1 . Because both the seawater and the freshwater are in motion (not static). independently. On islands. The higher the water table stands above sea level. the freshwater zone should extend to a depth below sea level (h s) equal to 40 times the height of the water table above sea level (h f) . On the other hand. ps is the density of seawater. Badon Ghyben. the thicker the freshwater lens . and a German. the thickness of the freshwater zone in a homogenous and isotropic aquifer is greater than that predicted by the Ghyben-Herzberg equation . is controlled primarily by the differences in their densities . that the water contains in solution . thus. the freshwater-saltwater contact migrates toward the point of withdrawals until a new balance is established (2) . The relation between the freshwater and the seawater. Thus. Tides cause saltwater to alternately invade and retreat from the freshwater zone. the density of freshwater is about 1 gm cm -3 .025 gm cm -3 . however.Pf (h f) (1) where hs is the depth of freshwater below sea level.ALT T In coastal areas. Freshwater lens floating saltwater on On the basis of equation 1 and the differences between the densities of freshwater and seawater.

000 mg/l. However. This consideration may involve selection of shallow aquifers or small pumping rates to avoid upconing or involve moving wells to more inland locations to avoid lateral encroachment. One reason is that lateral encroachment must displace a volume of freshwater much larger than that displaced by upconing. Groundwater Hydrology.") In most places. 2nd Ed . upconing of the mineralized (salty) water may occur. Saltwater Encroachment 69 . Upconing of salty water beneath pumping wells is a more imminent problem than lateral encroachment in most areas.. of total dissolved solids (3) . where supply wells are drilled too deeply or are pumped at too large a rate. (See table 2 in "Quality of Ground Water. In the design of supply wells in areas underlain by or adjacent to salty water. Another reason is that approximately two-thirds of the United States is underlain by aquifers that yield water containing more than 1.DEPTH TO GROUND WATER CONTAINING MORE THAN 1000 mg/L OF TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS IN THE CONTERMINOUS UNITED STATES EXPLANATION Depth to ground water mneters Less than 150 150 to a()0 More than 300 Not present Todd. consideration must be given to the possibility of saltwater encroachment . 1980 0 0 AIL 200 400 600 MILES I I I I I I I I i 200 400 600 KILOMETERS Saltwater encroachment is a serious problem in some coastal areas . these aquifers are overlain by other aquifers that con- tain freshwater and that serve as sources of water supply .

Consequently.Y . The fluctuation is greatest near the surface. In the zone affected by seasonal fluctuations. Movement of heat from the Earth's interior causes groundwater temperatures to increase with depth (1) . and at other places as a heat-exchange medium for air-conditioning systems . The seasonal movement of heat into and out of the upper layers of the Earth's crust causes a seasonal fluctuation in ground-water temperatures to a depth of 10 to 25 m (1) . a map showing the mean annual temperature of shallow ground water can be prepared on the basis of mean annual air temperature (sketch 2. This increase is referred to as the geothermal gradient and ranges from about 1 ." The temperature of ground water responds to seasonal variations in the heat received at the Earth's surface from the Sun and by movement of heat from the Earth's interior .8°C per 100 m in areas underlain by thick sections of sedimentary rocks to about 3 . Ground water has been used for many years on Long Island. the mean annual ground-water temperature is 1 ° to 2°C higher than the mean annual air temperature (1) . The effect of the geothermal gradient is not readily apparent in the zone affected by seasonal temperature fluctuations . Movement of ground water causes a distortion in isotherms (lines depicting equal temperatures) . The distortion in ground-water temperature is most pronounced in the more permeable zones of the aquifer. 70 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . based on a map showing mean annual air temperature prepared by the National Weather Service) .6°C per 100 m in areas of recent volcanic activity .TEMPERATURE WATER DEGREES CELSIUS w w z U a w 0 z a J 3 0 J w m a w 0 CHANGES IN TEMPERATURE GROUND-WATER WITH DEPTH (1) The temperature of ground water is one of its most useful characteristics .. N . amounting to 5° to 10°C at depths of a few to several meters . ground water is also now becoming increasingly important as a source of heat for "heat pumps . As a result of recent increases in energy costs. This effect is most noticeable where ground-water withdrawal induces a movement of water from a stream into an aquifer .

IN DEGREES CELSIUS. IN THE CONTERMINOUS UNITED STATES AT DEPTHS OF 10 TO 25 M Temperature of Ground Water 71 .APPROXIMATE TEMPERATURE OF GROUND WATER.

and the value held at the measuring point and the amount of tape that was submerged are entered on a record form . The tape is then quickly withdrawn. The use of water-level and pumping-rate measurements is discussed in "Supply-Well Problems-Decline in Yield . irrigation. and the tape is lowered into the well until the lower part of the tape is submerged and an even meter (or foot) mark is at the measuring point . a source of power such as flashlight batteries (2) .MEASUREMENTS OF WATER LEVELS AND PUMPING RATES METHODS FOR MEASURING THE DEPTH TO WATER LEVEL TN WELLS Each supply well. well cap. The 72 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology graduations on the lower meter (3 to 4 ft) of the tape are coated with blue carpenter's chalk. When the electrode contacts the water surface. The depth to the water level below the measuring point is determined by subtracting the length of wet tape from the total length of tape that was lowered into the well . The three most common methods used in measuring the depth to water in wells are wetted tape. should be provided with a means for measuring the position of the water level in the well . The wetted-tape method is probably the most common and most accurate of the three methods (1) . or access port . and air line . industrial. This point is usually the top of the casing. The electric-tape method involves an ammeter connected across a pair of insulated wires whose exposed ends are separated by an air gap in an electrode and containing. regardless of whether it is used for domestic. The amount of tape that was submerged is obvious from the change in color of the chalk coating . a current flows through the system circuit and is indicated by a deflection of . in the circuit. This method utilizes a graduated steel tape with a weight attached to its end . Public-supply and industrial wells should also be provided with a means for measuring the pumping rate . a measuring point-to which all measurements will be referred ." The first step in measuring the position of the water level is to identify (and describe) a fixed point-that is. electric tape. or public-supply needs.

A steel tape or carpenter's rule is used to measure the distance from the point indicated by the fingernail to the next highest meter (or 5 ft) mark . With the first (the totalizing dial). Either of two types of meters may be used. may pose problems . As the water level in the air line is depressed. These meters utilize either a propeller or a disk that is turned by the moving water . This distance is subtracted from the value of the mark to determine the depth to water. the subtraction involves the distance between the measuring point and the next highest mark . This method involves the installation of a small-diameter pipe or tube (the air line) from the top of the well to a point about 3 m (10 ft) below the lowest anticipated position of the water level during extended pumping periods (3) . in the wetted-tape method. the subtraction involves the length of the submerged tape. water levels in wells will stand at some height above the land surface . The nail of the index finger is placed on the insulated wires at the measuring point when the ammeter indicates that the circuit is closed . flow nozzles. which was carefully determined when the air line was installed. in wells in which the water level is below the measuring point . If the well is equipped with a valve and a threaded fitting. meters that utilize a constriction in the discharge pipe are commonly used . and orifices . the pressure indicated by the gage increases . Measuring the water level of flowing wells not equipped with a valve or a threaded fitting requires the use of soil-test plugs or some other device to control the flow . Flowmeters have dials that show either the total amount of water that has passed the meter or the rate at which the water is passing . Air is pumped into the line to force the water out of the lower end . In many coastal areas and valleys underlain by confined aquifers. The preceding discussion has covered the measurement of water levels in nonflowing wells-that is. Measurements of Water Level and Pumping Rates 73 .' (250 gal min . The water level in this pipe is the same as that in the well . the rate of discharge is determined by using a stopwatch to time the period for a certain volume of water to be pumped . These areas are referred to as areas of artesian flow. whereas.'). These include venturi meters. an air pump and a pressure gage are attached to the top of the air line .the ammeter needle . One difference between the wettedtape method and the electric-tape method is that. If the pressure-gage reading is subtracted from the length of the air line below the measuring point. the pressure-gage reading stabilizes and indicates the length of the water column originally in the air line . an "active-element"-type meter may be used . The position of the static water level above the measuring point is determined either with a pressure gage or with a plastic tube (4) . the remainder is the depth to water below the measuring point. depending on the pumping rate . and the measurement of water levels in wells. in the electric-tape method. The insulated wires are marked at 1-m (or 5 ft) intervals . For larger pumping rates. To determine the depth to water. The air-line method is generally used only in wells on which pumps are installed . Components used to measure water pressure of flowing wells Altitude gage Measuring point (top of valve) Expandable packer Discharge pipe Soil-test plug Transparent tubing Land surface Components installed for a pressure measurement L The measurement of the pumping rates of supply wells requires the installation of a flowmeter in the pump-discharge line . When all the water has been forced out of the line. the height of the water level can be determined by attaching the appropriate pipe connection and a pressure gage or transparent plastic tube . Up to a rate of about 1 ml min . where casings have not been extended above the static level.

areas that should be avoided include not only those listed but also the zones surrounding them that may be polluted by movement of wastes in response to both the natural hydraulic gradient and the artificial gradient that will be developed by the supply well . 5 . Industrial districts that include chemical. ____ (+) m+ v N A plus sign in means distance can be greater parentheses or thickness but not less Most." sewage lagoons. Therefore. Residential areas in which domestic wastes are disposed of through septic tanks and cesspools . In the selection of a well site. In the case of public-supply wells. the soil zone. and sealing of the upper end of the wells . Liquid and solid waste disposal sites. and the upper part of the saturated (ground water) zone . among other things. metalworking. and sites used for the disposal of sewage-plant effluent and solid wastes . Rules and regulations intended to prevent future pollution include provision of "exclusion" zones around supply wells. the protection of supply wells includes avoiding areas that are presently polluted and sealing the wells in such a way as to prevent pollution in the future . requirements for casing and for sealing of the annular space. Animal feedlots and other areas in which large numbers of animals are kept in close confinement . 74 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology 3 . including those for salt used to deice streets and highways and for other chemical substances soluble in water . most ground-water pollution at the present time affects only relatively small areas that can be readily avoided in the selection of well sites. Chemical stockpiles. Pollution of the environment results from man's activities. States have laws related to the location and construction of public-supply wells . "evaporation ponds. if not all. Among the areas in which at least shallow ground-water pollution should be expected are : 1 . Fortunately. except where deep wells or mines are used for waste disposal. including sanitary landfills. with protecting supply wells from pollution . and.TION OF S ELLS TYPICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SUPPLY WELLS Concrete slab or wellhouse floor 3 ft from well and 4 in (+) in thickness Sewer o . the well owner must either own or control the land within 100 ft (30 m) of the .-. it primarily affects the land surface. 4 . consequently. and other industries that involve fluids other than cooling water . Many State regulations require that supply wells be located at least 100 ft (30 m) from any sources or potential sources of pollution . These laws and the rules and regulations developed for their administration and enforcement are concerned. 2 . petroleum-refining.

An example is pollution in an unconfined aquifer down the hydraulic gradient from a supply well drawing from a deep confined aquifer overlain by a nonleaky confining bed . Protection of Supply Wells 75 . Relative to the minimum required casing. at best. a public-supply well may be located as close as 50 ft (15 m) to a sewer if the joints in the sewerline meet water-main standards . (10 cm) thick and extending at least 3 ft (1 m) horizontally around the outside of the well casing . In some States. Most regulations require that the casing of all supply wells terminate above land surface and that the land surface at the site be graded or sloped so that surface water is diverted away from the well . except the physical boundaries of an aquifer. there are no vertical limits. The top of the well casing must project not less than 6 in . past which ground water cannot move . there are geologic and hydrologic situations in which these regulations may be unnecessarily restrictive . it is essential that officials involved in regulating the location and construction of supply wells be adequately trained in the fields of ground-water geology and hydrology so that they can protect the public health on the basis of scientific knowledge and technical judgment rather than that of blind application of arbitrary regulations . past which polluted water cannot move . only minimal protection for supply wells. (2 .5 cm) above the pump pedestal . Because of these factors. Some State regulations require that all supply wells be cased to a depth of at least 20 ft (6 m) and that the annular space between the land surface and a depth of 20 ft (6 m) be completely filled with cement grout . Relative to the radius of the exclusion zone. Many States also require that public-supply wells have a continuous-bond concrete slab or concrete wellhouse floor at least 4 in . The casing of supply wells drawing water from fractured bedrock must be seated and sealed into the top of the rock . except for the impermeable base of the ground-water system. The regulations cited above provide. The top of the well casing must also project at least 1 in .well . (15 cm) above the concrete slab or wellhouse floor . The top of the well casing must be sealed watertight except for a vent pipe or vent tube having a downward-diverted screened opening. On the other hand. there are no arbitrary limits. There are numerous situations in which both the size of the exclusion zone and the depth of casing are inadequate .

SUPPLY-WELL PROBLEMS-DECLINE IN YIELD Access pipe for water-level measurements \ 6 e0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Q Pump motor z L . which. The yield of a well field is the sum of the yields of the individual wells. or an air line and pressure gage . Static (nonpumping) water level (w . 3 .") The yield of a well depends on the drawdown and on the specific capacity. it is at the top of the uppermost screen . The lowest practical pumping level depends on the type of well .w vo4 V IE X X 3 F o w 70 3 w LL a CC Cr O o 60 w w J F W z (1) U u. (See "Measurements of Water Levels and Pumping Rates . measured at the same time as the maximum pumping water level . to plan the rehabilitation of existing wells or the construction of new wells . therefore. 2 . Inability to identify reasons for a decline in yield frequently results in discontinuing the use of ground water and developing more expensive supplies from surface-water sources . the specific capacity determined during the test can be used to accurately estimate the maximum yield . The maximum yield of a well is controlled by the available drawdown and the specific capacity when the drawdown in the well equals the available drawdown . an electric tape. or combinations of all three .") The available drawdown is determined at the time of construction of a supply well and consists of the difference between the static (nonpumping) water level and the lowest practical pumping level . Successful operation. In screened wells. it varies with the pumping rate . Maximum pumping water level. declines in the static water level or the specific capacity. it is important to note that apparent declines in yield after wells are placed in production reflect. and. I . overestimation of the yields at the time of construction .). 76 The specific capacity and the "yield" of supply wells are determined at the time of well construction . Actual declines in yield after wells are placed in operation result from deterioration of pumps. This identification in many cases can be made only if data are available on the depth to the water level in the well and the pumping rate . Therefore. in many cases. The pumping rate of a supply well can be determined by any one of several different types of metering devices (1) . is near the end of the weekend . The depth to the water level in a well equipped with a pump may be determined by using a steel tape. which. The specific capacity is the yield per unit of drawdown. (See "Well-Acceptance Tests and Well Efficiency . The determination of both requires only the three measurements listed below : 1 . in nearly all pumping wells. and the pump. Measurements of specific capacity and available drawdown are neither difficult nor time consuming . the well. A decline in yield is due to a change in one of these elements. in most water systems. Changes in these values are used to predict the yield of the field at different times in the future and.E 5 X X X X X 7t X X 0 U Q m a. Pumping rate. requires periodic measurements of both the specific capacity and the available drawdown for each well . when they are used in conjunction with predictions of needs. is near the end of the workweek .i CL c E E 3 0 X Value 1980 of specific capacity 2 Value of available drawdown i 1981 1982 50 a z a 40 Q J The yield of any water-supply well depends on three elements : the aquifer. it is at the position of the lowest water-bearing fracture or at the lowest level at which the pump intake can be placed . and correction of the problem depends on identification of the element that is involved . in most systems with large industrial uses. a discussion of decline in yield is meaningful only in terms of the maximum yield . If the pumping level during the well-acceptance test is relatively close (within a few meters) to the lowest practical level. However. In open-hole fractured-rock wells. Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . measured weekly near the end of the longest period of continuous use. measured weekly near the end of the longest nonpumping period.

ground-water level resulting from depletion of storage caused by decline in recharge or excessive withdrawals. due to wear of impellers no change in specific capacity. No change in available drawdown------. Decline in available drawdown---------. Changes in available drawdown and (or) specific capacity and suggested causes and corrective action are listed in the accompanying table.' or gal min -') static w. due to increase in well decline in specific capacity .The aquifer.The well. (m or ft) m3 gal or min m min ft available drawdown (m or ft) = (static water level. due to a decline in no change in specific capacity. (See "Well Records and Files. I. Use acid to dissolve encrustations. No change in available drawdown------. Redevelop the well through the use of a surge block or other means. (m or ft)-pumping w. specific capacity pumping rate (m3 min .The pump. Institute measures for artificial recharge .") They should be analyzed at least quarterly to determine if changes in either are occurring. loss resulting from blockage of screen by rock particles or by deposition of carbonate or iron compounds. in m or ft) maximum yield =(specific capacity) x(available drawdown) ANALYSIS OF DECLINES IN WELL YIELD Identifying criteria Cause Determinations of specific capacity and available drawdown should be carefully preserved as a part of the permanent file on each well . or reduction in length of the open hole by movement of sediment into the well .These three items of data are analyzed as follows to determine the maximum yield of the well . I . Recondition or replace motor. or pull pump and replace worn or damaged parts. Corrective action Increase spacing of new supply wells. Supply-Well Problems-Decline in Yield 77 . and other moving parts or loss of power from the motor. in m or ft) -(lowest practical water level. This analysis can be done most conveniently if the values are plotted on graph paper versus the time of the determination (2) .

many well-construction regulations require that the annular space be completely filled with cement grout from the land surface to a depth of at least 20 ft (6 m) . especially those that supply domestic needs. Drinking-water regulations of the U . These changes may affect the biological quality. a connection between the land surface or a near-surface zone and the open section of the well . Deterioration in biological quality refers to the appearance in the water of bacteria and (or) viruses associated with human or animal wastes . To avoid pollution of wells. Declines in yield are discussed in "Supply-Well Problems-Decline in Yield ." Deterioration in water quality may result either from changes in the quality of water in the aquifer or changes in the well . . Both the biological and the chemical quality of water from new public-supply wells must be analyzed before the wells are placed in use to determine if the water meets water-supply standards and.S . Environmental Protection Agency also require that analyses of biological quality be 78 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology made monthly and that analyses of inorganic quality be made at least every 3 years for all community systems supplied entirely by ground water . The connection most frequently exists in the annular space between the casing and the aquifer.The problems most frequently encountered in the operation of supply wells relate either to declines in yield or to deterioration in the quality of the water . in order to determine if changes in quality are occurring . in nearly all cases. It is good practice to periodically determine the biological and chemical quality of water from all wells. the chemical quality. what treatment is required . if it does not. Such deterioration is referred to under the general term pollution and indicates. whereas changes in physical quality result from changes in the well . Deterioration in biological and chemical quality generally results from conditions in the aquifer. or the physical quality .

Supply-Well Problems-Changes in Water Quality 79 . they are clay size . Other increases are due to pollution by sources at or near the land surface. stance soluble in water. An increase in the chloride content in well water most commonly indicates upward movement of water from an underlying zone of salty water. pesticides and other complex organics. Withdrawals of water from a well cause water to converge on the well from different directions. nitrate concentrations in excess of a few milligrams per liter almost invariably indicate that water is arriving at the well from shallow aquifers that are polluted by septic tanks or animal feedlots or that are contaminated by excess nitrates used in farming operations. If the particles settle exceedingly slowly. If this convergence involves water containing a large concentration of any substance. extend the casing to a deeper level (by telescoping and grouting a smaller diameter casing inside the original casing) . Reduce the pumping rate and (or) seal the lower part of the well . it is important to be aware of the accidental or intentional release of potential pollutants within the area of influence of all supply wells. likely causes of the change. Nitrate is an important constituent in fertilizers and is present in relatively large concentrations in human and animal wastes . If sealing does not eliminate pollution. a change in appearance or color involves either the gradual or the sudden appearance of rock particles in the water. when the concentration of particles is large (very obvious) from the beginning-generally indicates the failure (collapse) of the screen or a rupture of the well casing . the increase may involve almost any substance commonly used by man. If they settle immediately. and temperature . petroleum products. begin to increase . Remove screen. and those substances that contain trace concentrations of metals . Remove pump and redevelop the well Chemical --------- Upward movement of water from zones of salty water. Deterioration in physical quality involves changes in appearance. or not at all. Sodium chloride is the principal constituent of seawater and is also present in significant concentrations in human and animal wastes and in some industrial wastes. Install smaller diameter casing inside the original casing. and install new screen . it is important to consider the slow rate at which most ground water moves. Collapse of the well screen or rupture of the well casing. The size of the particles is indicated by the rate at which the particles settle . which gives the water a turbid or "bluish" appearance. Movement of polluted water into the well from the land surface or from shallow aquifers. Seal the annular space. Although increases in chloride and nitrate content are probably the most common changes in chemical quality that occur in ground water. for these substances or any others. (See "Well-Construction Methods. In planning a sampling program. Therefore. The most commonly observed increases in concentration involve NaCl (sodium chloride or common salt) and NO. (nitrate). such as deicing operations on streets and highways in the northern part of the country. Corrective action Seal annular space with cement grout or other impermeable material and mound dirt around the well to deflect surface runoff . The sudden appearance of particles-that is. after some period of time. to sand . taste. Substances that are of particular concern in this regard include herbicides. These particles can range in size from clay. Most commonly. if the well is near a sanitary landfill or other waste-disposal site. and suggested corrective action are listed in the accompanying table. changes may involve almost any subANALYSIS OF CHANGES IN WATER QUALITY Change in quality Biological --------Cause of the change Movement of polluted water from the surface or near-surface layers through the annular space. The gradual appearance of particles generally indicates that the finer grained material was not adequately removed from the zone adjacent to the well during well development. but. Changes in the quality of water produced by a well. the concentration of that substance will.Deterioration in chemical quality refers to the arrival at a supply well of water containing dissolved chemicals in an undesirably large concentration .") During use of the well. these particles slowly migrate to and into the well . if possible. Physical ---------Migration of rock particles into the well through the screen or from water-bearing fractures penetrated by open-hole wells . they are sand size . Thus.

position of screens or open hole. that the date and the watch time be noted with each measurement of pumping rate and depth to water and on each water sample collected for waterquality analyses. the total depth of the well. including those that were not successful because of small yields . the depth to the pump intake. the slot size and metallic composition of screens. The consequence of this neglect is that it is not possible to identify and to economically correct problems of declining yield or deterioration in water quality. copies of any graphs of the data.") 7 . and a copy of the hydrologist's report on the interpretation of the test results . maintenance. 3 . weekly readings of the flowmeter dial. including the method of construction and the drillers log and a geophysical log of the materials penetrated during construction. Operating record. the depths of casing and screens. It is more important that the records be collected. weekly measurements of the static and pumping water levels. including the dates and the activities instituted to increase the yield or to improve the water quality and data showing the results achieved . a record of the pumping rate or rates. (See "Supply-Well Problems-Decline in Yield" and "Supply-Well Problems-Changes in Water Quality . and periodic analyses of water quality . (See "Water-Well Design . From the initial planning to the final abandonment of the well. (See "Well-Construction Methods" and "Well Logs . operation. including a description of the measuring point . and data on the length of the air line or a description of facilities provided for water-level measurements. during. the diameter of casings and screens. It is important. including data on the type of meter used to measure the flow rate. This responsibility rests largely on the well owner or operator . the horsepower of the motor. including the date that use of the well was discontinued and a description of the methods and materials used to seal or plug the well . Record of well maintenance. (See "Supply-Well Problems-Decline in Yield . 80 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology . and the weight of the casing . a copy of the pump manufacturer's perform ance and efficiency data. A file should be established on each supply well at the time when plans for its construction are initiated .") 4 . the following records should be generated and carefully preserved in this file : 1 . proposed total depth. including a copy of the water-level measurements made before. Initial design. Construction record. Well-acceptance test.WELL RECORDS AND FILES The collection and preservation of records on the construction. and after the drawdown (pumping) test. method of construction. including the type of pump.") Records and logs should also be retained for all test wells. regardless of the type of form that is used . Pump and installation data. Record of well abandonment. (See "Well-Acceptance Tests and Well Efficiency .") 2 . including drawings or written specifications on diameter. (See "Measurements of Water Levels and Pumping Rates . and abandonment of supply wells are an essential but largely neglected activity .") 6 . and the design of new wells cannot incorporate past operational experience . and materials to be used in construction . however. The type of forms used for the records described above is not of critical importance .") 5 .

321-386.. Charles E. R. Ground-water hydrology L'vovich. L. The source of water derived from wells. Nace): Washington. C. K. 1245-1271 . American Geophysical Union. and Johnson. 1978. p. L. D. in Ankara Symposium on Arid Zone Hydrology. World water resources and their future (English translation... F. Aquifer tests Stallman. C. Chapter Bl. 1923. 488 p. p. The measurement of ground-water flow. Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations. E. H. 5. and Stallman. Ohio. Hydrologic cycle L'vovich (1979) Porosity Meinzer (1923) Time-drawdown analysis Jacob.. 1972.. and Trainer. Geological Survey Professional Paper 450-C. Analysis of aquifer-test data Jacob. Co . Prentice Hall. 26 p.. 21 p. V. and others. C.C . Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1536-I.. Jr . p. W. W. edited by R. J. References 81 . D. G. Herman. essential factors controlling the response of an aquifer to development: Civil Engineering. Underground water Meinzer. Groundwater hydrology: New York. 519-524. Applied hydrogeology : Columbus. 1963.S ... p. no . W. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1988. R. 1971. Definitions of selected groundwater terms-Revisions and conceptual refinements: U . Vadose flow in layered and nonlayered materials. Freeze. Proceedings : UNESCO.. Groundwater hydrology. The occurrence of ground water in the United States. The following list of principal references consulted is included to identify sources of specific information and for the benefit of those who wish to obtain additional information.. N . S. 1950. Hunter. S. Flow of ground water. ' Walton. 480 p. 146 p. E. Book 3. with a discussion of principles : U. 99-107 . 1935.S . McGraw-Hill. The relation between the lowering of the piezometric surface and the rate and duration of discharge of a well using ground-water storage: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union.. Heath. in Rouse. 604 p. observations. R. E.. L. 10. 1970. Introduction to ground-water hydrology: Worthington.. 321 p. Ground-water hydraulics: U . 415 p. Section References A few publications were consulted in the preparation of two or more sections.. Brown. W. 1962.. Groundwater: Englewood Cliffs. 1981. Determining the permeability of water-table aquifers : U. 535 p. Pierre. in Short papers in geology and hydrology: U. v. Theory of aquifer tests: U ... J. Aquifer boundaries Ferris. 1980.. R. 1979. C.REFERENCES A large number of publications on ground-water hydrology were consulted in the preparation of this report . Theis. R. Geological Survey Professional Paper 708.. E69-El 74 . 16. 1972.S. p. M. Paris 1953. the complete citation to a publication is shown only the first time that it is mentioned . : New York. 285 p. 1962. and data analysis: U . 70 p. Aquifer-test design.S.. Todd. Specific yield and specific retention Meinzer (1923) Distance-drawdown analysis Jacob (1950) Hydraulic conductivity Lohman. John Wiley. 1980. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1536-E. 1979. Lohman. V. Merrill. W. C. John Wiley. v. W. C. Engineering hydraulics : New York..S . McGrawHill. Source of water derived from wells Theis. 1940. O.J . A. 1953. To save space.. Knowles.S . Groundwater resource evaluation : New York. Saturated flow and dispersion Dane[. D. C.. W. 664 p. chapter 5. and Cherry. W. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 489.S . Jr . A citation is shown in the text only where a publication was used as a specific source of tabular data . Water-Well Journal Publishing Stratification and unsaturated flow Palmquist. A. Fetter. General References Bouwer. p. A.. B. 2d ed . N. 277-280.

text . 155 p. Jacob. L. Hantush. S. E.. D. Minn . Ground-water manual : Washington. 11.168. E. no . O. National interim primary drinking water regulations: EPA-570/9-76-003. E. J.. 1973.S . Water well technology: New York. New York : U. J. Tests affected by leaky confining beds Hantush... and Lehr. Bureau of Reclamation. 198-205. and Franke. 65. Non-steady radial flow in an infinite leaky aquifer: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union.C . two sheets. v. 681 p. 1966. 1946. p. 36. D. accompanied by 31-p . in Bentall. 2. U. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1473.S. Ground water and wells.. and Jacob. Government Printing Office. 440 p. Manual of individual water-supply systems: EPA-430/9-74-007.S . 1977.S . p. Environmental Protection Agency. 1963.. 1977...S .S . Radial flow in a leaky artesian aquifer : Transactions of the American Geophysical Union. 1st ed . Environmental Protection Agency. C . 27. 24 p. 363 p. Geological Survey Professional Paper 627-E. 1970. M.000 parts per million dissolved solids: U . C. v. Pollution of ground water U . S. Shortcuts and special problems in aquifer tests: U. no . Quality of ground water Hem.. 95-100 .000. U. Well logs Edward E. Environmental Protection Agency (1977) Saltwater encroachment Feth. J. comp. M.S. C. Geological Survey Hydrologic Investigations Atlas 199. A.S .S. : 82 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology .. Well-construction methods Campbell. 3713-3725. Ray. Water-transmitting properties of aquifers on Long Island. no . 159 p. Study and interpretation of the chemical characteristics of natural water: U . Specific capacity and transmissivity McClymonds. U. v.. M.. Modification of the theory of leaky aquifers : Journal of Geophysical Research. 1972. p. 1. N . 1955.. C710-C115. Johnson. 1974. p. scale 1 :3. Saint Paul. 480 p. Preliminary map of the conterminous United States showing depth to and quality of shallowest ground water containing more than 1. 1965. Inc.. E. Geological Survey WaterSupply Paper 1545-C. H. and others.. H. Locus circles as an aid in the location of a hydrogeologic boundary.Tests affected by lateral boundaries Moulder. McGraw-Hill. Water-well design U . 1960.

' meters day Similarly. A is in square feet. we obtain Q= meters meters xmeters' x = day meters meters4 =m 4. one of the equations used in basic ground-water hydrology. we obtain Q_ _feet feet = feet4 =ft4_i xfeet2x d -1 =ft 3 d -1 day feet feet day The characteristics of exponents are the same. whether they are used with numbers or with units of measurement . is In metric units. K is in feet per day. and Conversions .000001 = Exponents in the denominator acquire a negative sign when they are moved to the numerator. such as meters and feet. For example. Simplifying Equations Symbols in equations have numerical values and. of course. Expressing Large Numbers 1.' d .000. units of measurement. Substituting these units in Darcy's law.'=m 3 d .000 1 x 10 6 0. and conversion of units from one system of measurement to another is included for the benefit of those readers and for others who need to refresh their memories .000=1Ox10x10x10x10x10=1x10 6 The numbers 3 and 6 are called exponents and indicate the number of times that 10 must be multiplied by itself to obtain the initial number .001= 1 = 1 =1x10 -3 1. EQUATIONS. hydraulic conductivity (K) is in meters per day. Expressing Small Numbers 0. Darcy's law. equations. Equations. AND CONVERSIONS The preceding discussions of basic ground-water hydrology involve the use of equations and physical units with which some readers may not be familiar . This discussion of numbers.000 1 X10 1 1 = 1 =1 x 10 -6 1.000=10x10x10=1x103 1. Numbers. area (A) is in square meters. Exponents assigned to units of measurement are understood to apply. in which the values are expressed . and hydraulic gradient (dhldl) is in meters per meter . Substituting these units in Darcy's law. in inch-pound units. in most cases.000.NUMBERS. to the value that the unit of measurement has in a specific problem . and dhldl is in feet per feet .

S . canceling gallons and minutes in the numerators and denominators. the result will be in different units.48 gal and. there are 7.40097 . Therefore.29X 10 -2 m 2 d .440 min cubic feet x minute minute d x 7 . Thus.440 minutes in a day . Therefore.5 ft3 d .76 ft 2 m2 = m2 10. therefore. we obtain gallons . such as cubic feet per day. Relative to time. but its numerical value will be unchanged .' 4Z84 424 x ==or x = x1 = 4 84 Basic Ground-Water Hydrology *U . feet.' minute 7 . if both the numerator and the denominator of the fraction 1/4 are multiplied by 2. to convert gallons per minute to cubic feet per day.48 gallons in a cubic foot . G . to convert gallons per minute to cubic feet per day.76 d = 0 . to convert square feet per day to square meters per day. cancel the units of measurement that appear in both the numerator and the denominator.P .O . For example.440 min/d.Conversion of Units Units of measurements used in ground-water literature are gradually changing from the inch-pound units of gallons. if any number is multiplied by 1.' . It is. 1987-181-407.5 ft3 d . and pounds to the international System of units of meters and kilograms (metric units) . We follow the same procedure in converting from inch-pound units to metric units . we multiply by these "unit" fractions.' equals 192 . For example. the value of the fraction is not changed . and gather together the units that remain . increasingly important that those who use this literature become proficient in converting units of measurement from one system to another . do not change the numerical value .440 ft' =192 . we must first identify fractions that contain both the units of time (minutes and days) and the units of volume (gallons and cubic feet) and that. there are 1. we proceed as follows : ftz = d ftz d x 10 .1.0929 m2 d .' =9 . when they are used as multipliers. multiplying the fraction by 1) without changing the value of the fraction . we have gallons _ gallons 1. In other words. to convert gallons per minute to other units of measurement. Most conversions involve the fundamental principle that the numerator and denominator of a fraction can be multiplied by the same number (in essence. Relative to volume. Similarly.48 d which tells us that 1 gal min .