Artificial Recharge of a Buried Glacial Aquifer in South Dakota

by Vernon R. Schaefer,
Delvin E. DeBoer,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


The Huron Project of the High Plains States Groundwater Demonstration Program was designed to artificially recharge a buried glacial aquifer in eastern South Dakota High flows from the James River provide a souxte of water which is treated in the City of Hurons water treatment plant, piped to a site west of Huron, and injected into a buried glacial aquifer through an injection well. Because the recharge well is located in a municipal well field, a two-year data base of pre-recharge water quality and water level data was required by governmental agencies. During that time laboratory and modeling studies were conducted to predict the waxer level effects, water quality changes, and the effects of mixing the recharge water with the natural aquifer water. An aquifer storage and recovery well was designed and constructed in 1993, with recharge operations in 1994 and 1995. Extensive monitoring of the recharge events allows comparison of predictions of water level effects, water quality changes, and interactions occurring in the aquifer with actual events. The water level increases have been somewhat greater than those predicted, with the areal extent of influence of the recharge cone predicted well. Equilibrium modeling and lab-scale column studies predicted that iron and manganese in the native ground water would be oxidized and precipitated by the aerated, higher pH surface water. These studies also predicted negligible interactive impacts on the carbonate chemistry. Water quality results from the field-scale injection events reveal that the iron removal did occur, causing a lowered iron concentration in the recovered water. Calcium and magnesium removal also occurred in the aquifer matrix during the injection cycle, resulting in an improved water quality. Trihalomethanes were found to dissipate during storage in the aquifer. Artificial recharge thus improved the quality of both the aquifer and the injectate.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Hydration | Wells (water) | Water treatment plants | Water level | Municipal water | Laboratory tests | South Dakota | United States

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