Challenge

Artificial recharge basins enhance aquifer productivity and protect the environment. A groundwater production well using Artificial Recharge was developed by EGGI in the Spruce Hole Aquifer to meet peak water supply demands of the UNH/Durham Water System during late summer and fall periods. The client desired to increase the productivity of their production well from 200 gpm (288,000 gpd) to as much as 1,000,000 gpd while at the same time protect existing water resources and natural habitats.


Solution

Two artificial recharge basins were developed proximal to the Production Well and tested to allow the UNH/Durham Water System to increase the total annual withdrawal of groundwater from the aquifer; meet peak water supply demands for longer time periods; and reduce potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals on existing water resources (including nearby domestic wells and wetlands and spring flows).


Benefit

 

The construction of artificial recharge basins within the Spruce Hole Aquifer started to increase the productivity of the UNH/Durham’s new production well by an estimated 525 gpm. Analytical and numerical models of the Spruce Hole Aquifer indicate that 725 gpm (1,044,000 gpd) of groundwater can now be withdrawn from the well/aquifer during peak water use periods. This project led the state of New Hampshire to promulgate new regulations and guidelines regarding Artificial Recharge projects in the State. They used this project as the sole basis for developing an AR regulatory permitting process.

The benefits of using Artificial Recharge has allowed the UNH/Durham water system to maximize its capital investment in the development of the new groundwater source, protect existing water resources, and potentially eliminate the need for further groundwater development in the future.

This project was awarded the 2017 Water Sustainability Award issued by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.