, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 505-515
Date: 23 Aug 2007

Applications of particle-tracking techniques to bank infiltration: a case study from El Paso, Texas, USA

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Abstract

This paper presents results of a small scale study that utilized particle-tracking techniques to evaluate transport of river water through an alluvial aquifer in a bank infiltration testing site in El Paso, Texas, USA. The particle-tracking survey was used to better define filtration parameters. Several simulations were generated to allow visualization of the effects of well placement and pumping rate on flow paths, travel time, the size of the pumping influence zone, and proportion of river-derived water and groundwater mixing in the pumping well. Simulations indicate that migration of river water into the aquifer is generally slow. Most water does not arrive at the well by the end of an 18-day pumping period at 0.54 m3/min pumping rate for a well located 18 m from the river. Forty-four percent of the water pumped from the well was river water. The models provided important information needed to design appropriate sampling schedules for bank filtration practices and ensured meeting adequate soil-retention times. The pumping rate has more effect on river water travel time than the location of the pumping well from the river. The examples presented in this paper indicate that operating the pumping well at a doubled distance from the river increased the time required for the water to travel to the well, but did not greatly change the capture zone.