Tagged water-level measurements provide greater insight into network aquifer characteristics and pumping activity

Wellntel Tags

Wellntel systems collect detailed data on pumping activity, tagging these data to be useful in understanding the groundwater aquifer and the operational characteristics of network wells.

Data Tagging

The data that can be collected, tagged, and displayed in real time are:

  • the water level in the well during each timed measurement – tagged as Timed
  • the water level in the well at the start and stop of each pumping event – tagged as Pump Start or Pump Stop
  • the water level in the well during each pumping event – tagged as Pump Run, and 
  • the recovery of the water level following the end of pumping – tagged as Well Recovery.
Wellntel Tags

Since every measurement taken by Wellntel systems is tagged in this way, data can be filtered and sorted to create data sets most useful for analysis across a network. For instance, analysing specifically the Well Recovery data to quantify aquifer characteristics, or looking at only Timed measurements to understand trends in static water level, or looking only at Pump Run measurements to track changes to the pumping drawdown.

Aquifer characteristics

The dynamic response to a pumping event is a direct reflection of the physical nature of the aquifer and to a varying extent the well. In particular, measurements that record the water-level recovery following a pumping event – tagged by Wellntel as Well Recovery – are an extremely valuable data set for quantifying aquifer characteristics. When combined with an understanding of the rate and cumulative water withdrawal of any pumping event, the aquifer characteristics that can be estimated include specific capacity, hydraulic conductivity, transmissivity, and storage properties.

The six plots of Wellntel data that follow, illustrate a range of examples of Well Recovery curves that provide this critical data for aquifer analysis.

High Capacity Irrigation Well:

High Capacity Irrigation Well

With Wellntel sensors, network sponsors may also have the opportunity to measure the effect in one network well of the pumping in another network well – this is an additional type of analysis that can provide important insight into aquifer characteristics.

Frequency and depth of pumping

Very often, Wellntel systems are installed on wells for which there have been no water level measurements collected other than an occasional tape down – in particular, there have typically been no measurements collected during pumping. So, the data collected by Wellntel provides the first view of how pumping is affecting water levels and the operation of the water-supply systems. As a result, assumptions that network sponsors and well owners may have about the frequency and depth of their pumping will often change when these data become visible. And it is not uncommon that these data will prompt a well owner to make adjustments to the settings/conditions that trigger pump runs or even conduct an integrity evaluation to check for system leaks or other problems.

The plots that follow present hydrographs of pumping activity revealed by Wellntel tagged measurements – some activity was quite unexpected by the network sponsor and well owner.

Residential Wells:

Residential wells
Residential Well 2

Municipal well:

Municipal well

Well operational characteristics

As a history of tagged water-level measurements is collected, the individual characteristic of pumping frequency, drawdown, and recovery for a well become visible. As shown in the preceding and following hydrographs, there is a great variety of well operational characteristics revealed. The individuality is a function of the aquifer, the well, the pump, the well head and surface equipment, and operational practices. These data can inform the wellowner of the aquifer response to pumping operations and suggest whether those operations need to be changed in any way in the present, or in anticipation of seasonal trends or extreme weather. 

Municipal wells

Municipal wells
Municipal well 2

Tagging of water-level data to identify the type of measurement enables sophisticated sorting and filtering of network data to streamline analysis and increases the value of local and regional interpretations. Contact Wellntel to receive more information on this and other features of the Wellntel Groundwater Information platform.

Contact Wellntel’s VP/BD Charles Dunning, PhD, to explore Wellntel for your monitoring network.