Review of a Feasibility Study of Aquifer Storage and Recovery Utilizing the Flint River Discharges
Horvath, Lloyd E.
Mayhut, John A.
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In the Flint River basin, traditional water supply resources are not reliably able to sustain future water demands of the agricultural and environmental interests. Cardno ENTRIX investigated the feasibility of applying aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) to help manage the water resource potential of the Flint River. The objective of the project was to find an alternative method of supplying water to new beneficial users without the need to increase dry-season withdrawals from the river or the Floridan aquifer in order to support new industry and growth in the region. This presentation focuses on three key findings of the recently completed ASR feasibility assessment (for the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center) of the Flint River basin: 1) ASR technology could be used to store large volumes of surface water during the rainy season when surface-water discharge rates are high. An ASR system could provide for seasonal storage of approximately 1.5 billion gallons of water to help mitigate drought impacts. Development of ASR facilities on even a larger scale might ultimately be feasible. 2) The potential sources of water to recharge the ASR system are the Flint River in the area of Lake Chehaw and Kinchafoonee Creek near Lake Worth or other alternative locations. 3) The most cost-effective approach to capturing and storing the river flows is to tap the high-stage river flows by use of shallow wells adjacent to the stream, and to store the water in a deeper, confined aquifer. This method of capturing the water will save considerable pre-treatment costs because any water that would be injected must meet primary drinking-water standards. Using wells to tap the surface flows via “bank filtration” eliminates the need to construct treatment facilities. This approach could potentially reduce source-water treatment costs and Operation & Maintenance requirements. This approach also minimizes the potential for metals leaching to occur during aquifer storage.