Study to Test a Novel Shallow Well Design that May Provide Contaminant-Free Water Supply to Domestic Well Users in Arsenic-Prone Parts of the United States

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The USGS, the University of New Hampshire, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and the Maine Geological Survey are collaborating on a study of a novel shallow well design that might be able to provide safe drinking water to domestic well users in arsenic-prone parts of the Nation.

Slotted collector pipe for shallow dug well

A horizontal collector. (Credit: Joe Ayotte, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain.)

Together, they have installed two new wells and are characterizing arsenic and other drinking water contaminants to better understand the utility of the new design. Real-time water level monitoring is helping to understand the yield characteristics of the wells.

Specifically, this study’s objectives are to:

  • Determine whether suitable yields can be obtained from the new design, and  
  • Characterize the water quality to see if arsenic is reduced or eliminated while providing drinking water without other contaminants

 

Real-time water level data at well LSW-331: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv/?site_no=431618071293801 

Real-time water level data at well CVW-315: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=431527071312401

 

Well design: https://patents.google.com/patent/US9689235B1/en

Proof of concept study: https://doi.org/10.1111/gwat.12603

USDA Climate Hub: New USGS Shallow Well Design Resists Drought

 

Schematic of a novel dug well

Schematic of a novel dug well. (Credit: Joe Ayotte, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain.)

Novel dug well installation

Casing and collector being lowered into well excavation. (Credit: Joe Ayotte, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain.)

 

 

Installed dug well at Maple Syrup farm

Dug well with instrumentation. (Credit: Joe Ayotte, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain.)