Working With Idle and Inactive Groundwater Wells
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Understand the challenges of idle and inactive wells and know the necessary steps to develop an operations and maintenance plan.
Many wells are idled due to infrastructure issues, changes in need, or are part of a regional conservation effort. Unfortunately, idled wells are often impacted by declining water quality, aesthetic issues, and impacts on well efficiency as a result of being out of use. Simple changes in the operation of new and old wells alike can have large and drastic effects on the downhole environment. Responding to this information is a bigger challenge than just leaving the well running. Cleaning and disinfection of well systems has become a complicated business. Part of this has been an increase in the technology available to understand well problems as well as an increase in the regulatory scrutiny imposed during these operations.
This topic will look at the need to evaluate each well on an individual basis as well as part of a larger water system. As part of this evaluation, there will be a review of the biological influences as well as the water chemistry, well construction, and aquifer characteristics. Discuss the usefulness of operational history as well as treatment in developing a more proactive plan of operation and maintenance.
The information will aid in developing the necessary information for improving the operational lifespan of the system by reducing fouling potential, limiting maintenance requirements, and reducing corrosion potential.
Michael (Mike) Schnieders, PG, PH-GW, Water Systems Engineering, Inc.
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