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Tests for injecting, storing, and recovering freshwater in a saline artesian aquifer, Lee County, Florida

December 12, 2021

An investigation was made of the suitability of a saline, artesian limestone aquifer for the injection, storage, and recovery of freshwater from the Caloosahatchee River. The tests were conducted on a well tapping a leaky artesian system that has a transmissivity of 800 square feet per day, a storage of 1 x 10-4, and a leakance of 0.01 per day. The specific capacity of the injection well was increased through acidizing and was decreased as a result of well clogging during injection.

Three injection tests were made wherein the amounts of freshwater injected, the storage duration, and the quality of water injected varied. Analysis of the test data showed that freshwater recoverability ranged from 9.7 to 38.7 percent of the total injected. Differences were attributed principally to differences in the quality of water injected and storage duration. Repeated injection-recovery cycles probably would result in greater recoverability. Head buildup, nearly 200 feet in one test, was a prime problem related chiefly to clogging from suspended material in the injected water and to bacterial growth at the wellbore-limestone interface. Regular backflushing was required. Total head buildup decreased as a result of acidizing the injection well.

No coliforms or fecal streptococcus were noted in the recovered water. Growth of anaerobic bacteria occurred. Changes in the quality of the recovered water included decreases in concentration of dissolved organic carbon by as much as 15 mg/L (milligrams per liter), organic nitrogen by as much as 0.80 mg/L, and nitrate by as much as 0.50 mg/L. Increases were noted in ammonia by 0.40 mg/L, and iron by as much as 0.60 mg/L. These changes are consistent with the presence of an anaerobic bacterial ecosystem.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1986
Title Tests for injecting, storing, and recovering freshwater in a saline artesian aquifer, Lee County, Florida
DOI 10.3133/wri854249
Authors D. J. Fitzpatrick
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 85-4249
Index ID wri854249
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center