Evacuation and Purging of the Well

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This important step should be a key aspect of any treatment operation.

By Michael J. Schnieders, PG, PH-GW

Flushing the well. The basic concept of pumping the well to waste seemingly smacks our conservation and stewardship efforts right in the face.

And, in a basic sense, it does. Leaving the well idle or just evacuating the bare minimum does aid in preserving water quantity within the source aquifer, but at what cost?

In the most basic aspect of its design, a well serves as a transfer pipe. This pipe allows flow of groundwater to the surface for a variety of uses. When a well sits idle, flow into and out of the borehole ceases. In halting this operation, the water quality begins to change. We call this the “concentrating effect”—the water begins to see increases in the amount of dissolved solids, the microbial populations, and the sediment load.

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