Groundwater Resource Management Planning For North Georgia
Hollingsworth, Lisa J.
Atkins, Robert L.
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In North Georgia, groundwater can be a reliable, cost-effective, and long-term source of public water supply. Wells in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces of Georgia have reported yields of up to 800,000 gallons per day (gpd), and wells in the Valley and Ridge province have reported yields in excess of one million gpd. While impressive, these wells may not sustain these yields without proper management. A Groundwater Resource Management Plan should be developed based on the aquifer test and recovery test for each well, and be subsequently modified based on well characteristics observed during long-term pumping. Well testing is a major component of a Ground-water Resource Management Plan, and there are various types of tests for different applications. Drillers' air lift tests provide a rough estimate of the well's yield. Step drawdown tests are used to determine the size of the pump to be used for the drawdown test, which is a long-term measure of the well's production capability. Recovery testing, conducted at the end of the drawdown test, provides the data necessary to determine the well's safe yield and the production capacity. Groundwater resource management strategies help ensure Groundwater resource management strategies help ensure long-term sustained pumping. These strategies include: • installing the production pump above the uppermost waterproducing zone, to avoid dewatering the water-bearing zone and to prevent the introduction of iron bacteria into the well. • maintaining accurate records of the production pumping rate, drawdown, pumping water levels, and pumping duration, to identify changes in water availability. Pumping rates can be adjusted to reflect the seasonal characteristics of the aquifer. • allowing the well a recovery period, scheduled on a daily or weekly basis. In this way, a well's yield can be optimized while achieving a balance between the water demand schedule and necessary well recovery.