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Understanding How Construction and Development Can Impact Aquifer and Groundwater Conditions

A significant amount of water exists below the ground and people across the globe are using it. However, groundwater is only found in some places underground called aquifers. Keep reading to know more about aquifers and déterminer les impacts d’un projet sur l’aquifère.

How Water Moves in Aquifer

Water movement in aquifers depends on the aquifer material’s permeability. Groundwater may move certain meters in a day in some permeable materials. In other places, groundwater may just move a few centimeters in one century. In impermeable materials like clay and shale, groundwater tends to move very slowly.

Once water enters an aquifer, it moves slowly toward lower-lying areas and is discharged from springs. Also, the water may be pulled out from the ground during well consruction or seeps into streams.

Impacts of Construction Projects on Aquifers

Construction activities impact the chemical quantity, distribution, and quantity of water resources. Let us take levee construction as an example. The construction of levees along riverbanks is meant to protect flooding in adjacent lands. Often, levees can effectively contain smaller magnitude floods. But, big floods may breach the levees, leading to widespread flooding. When flooding occurs, there is a continuous recharge to groundwater, leading to the water table rising to the land surface and saturating the shallow aquifer. When this happens, drainage from these aquifers occurs once the floodwater recedes.

Land Development and Groundwater Levels

Population shifts and land use changes can deplete water supplies or lead to flooding. Also, groundwater levels are affected by the amount of precipitation the planet gets.

If you are planning to build a well on development property, you should know that the levels of groundwater available might determine the well you will construct. A well pumps water from an aquifer. If the groundwater level is low, you need to dig a deeper well.

Deeper wells may impact the well’s water quality. With pumping, saltwater can be sucked inland and make the groundwater unsafe for people to consume. Also, without adequate support from water, the land may cave in and sinkholes can develop when the groundwater level is low.

Moreover, high groundwater levels can also result in issues. Water that comes from a shallow well tends to be more acidic than one from a deeper well. Acidic water can dissolve metal pipes and fittings, and lead to leakage.

When developing a piece of land, you must consider proper drainage. New construction can block groundwater from its normal flow course. When this happens, groundwater can accumulate in the ground.

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