Groundwater and Aquifers - 9 of 20

Groundwater and Aquifers FAQs - 20 Found

Is measuring water in a well like measuring a stream?

No. In groundwater work the USGS puts a lot of effort in measuring the water levels in observation wells. Since water levels in aquifers can change (for a variety of reasons) we need to keep accurate records of these changes, and what factors affect them. Water levels in wells can definitely be affected by water withdrawals nearby -- and sometimes far away.

One way to keep a record of the water levels in a well is to place a float at the end of a wire and lower it into a well. The float will go up and down as the water in the well goes up and down. The other end of the wire is attached to a machine that has a pen-like instrument attached, and the pen point moves up and down according to the action of the float. A roll of paper slowly rolls past the pen, so a record of water level is plotted continuously on the paper. Sometimes we don't use paper -- we just log the changes straight into computer memory.


Tags: Groundwater, Rivers, Water, Wells, Measurement