Testing Well Water
Have you ever heard of a monitoring well? This is a well with one purpose in mind: to allow testing and sampling. Drilling a groundwater monitoring well is an easy way to provide a place where someone can obtain samples of groundwater and the sampling itself isn’t difficult but having the right tools is a critical part of the process.
Tools for Groundwater Sampling
In order to begin testing, you’ll need to first determine the water level and depth of your well. The two most common tools for assessing these depths are a long measuring tape or an electronic water level meter. You’ll also need to purge the well before taking any samples. This can be done by using a bailer, which is typically a 2 to 3-inch PVC pipe with a check valve on the bottom. The other option is a submersible pump. Other tools needed for sampling include the basic containers, buckets, gloves, pen, paper, calculator, a site map and a cooler with ice. On to the sampling we go!
How Does Sampling Happen?
The first thing you’ll want to be sure of is that all of your testing equipment needs to be clean before sampling to prevent contamination. We recommend labeling the sampling containers, including all information required by lab. Next you’ll want to set up all the equipment next to the well on a clean plastic sheet to prevent accidental contamination.
Calculating the Depth and Volume of the Well
Calculate the volume of water in the well. You do this by taking three measurements: the depth to the top of the water, the depth to the bottom of the well, and the diameter of the well. Subtract the depth to water from the depth to bottom. This is the depth of water in the well. By the diameter of the pipe, figure out how many gallons are in a single linear foot. By multiplying the gallons of water in a linear foot, by the number of linear feet, you can determine the volume of water in the well.
Taking the Sample
To take a good sample, you need to purge the well of standing water. The volume to remove is three times the volume of the water in the well. So, if you calculate 20 gallons of water in the well, you will need to purge three times that, or 60 gallons. Use the bailer or the submersible pump to purge.
Purging the Well
Once you finish purging the well, take the sample. Use the bailer or submersible pump to fill the sampling container. Mark the time on the sample. Preserve it according to lab instructions, close up the well and send your samples off the lab while disposing of the purged water.
For more information and access to direct push tooling, contact ECTMFG.com today!