Multipoint Monitoring

by Rita Robison, Associate Editor; Civil Engineering,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 8, Pg. 67-68

Document Type: Feature article


Monitoring groundwater is necessary to guard against pollution and to provide data for water resource management. The Orange County (Calif.) Water District has embarked on a program of drilling about 10 multipoint wells a year to monitor the 10 zones of the underlying multiaquifer. The multipoint system is modular, with valved couplings (ports) along the length of a single casing that isolate and provide controlled access to individual monitoring zones. Tools and instruments lowered inside the casing locate and operate the ports. Such multipoint wells cost about $110,000 each for a 1,500 foot depth, plus $20,0000 worth of monitoring equipment. Gathering the data is now done by staff members, and an intensive R&D effort is underway to reduce the costs of telemetry that could automate the system. Current estimates are between $10,000 and $15,000 per zone for a ten-zone well; the agency's goal is $7,000-10,000 per well, which would be feasible for transforming the existing database into a comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS).

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Groundwater pollution | Groundwater management | Water pollution | Water resources | Wells (water) | Ports and harbors | Information systems

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