In order for a water supply to be safe for consumers, water providers using groundwater must ensure that their aquifers are protected from pollution. Across the country, states have developed mandatory and voluntary wellhead protection programs to reduce sources of pollution to the areas surrounding a well or wellfield. A complete and thorough wellhead protection program can help water providers avoid costly treatment or avoid relocating their groundwater supply sources – system changes that are often impractical because of financial and water rights constraints and the need to keep water supplies as close to customers as possible.
The first step for all wellhead protection programs is to identify and formally delineate the areas providing groundwater to water supply wells over various periods of time using a combination of geologic mapping, groundwater data collection, and calculations. We understand that the most defensible area delineations are usually achieved by developing groundwater flow models that integrate all available geologic and hydrologic data and simulate the movement, discharge of, and recharge to the aquifer(s) in a realistic manner. Our modelers are experts at assisting wellhead protection programs through all stages of the complex process, including applying three-dimensional numerical modeling software. GSI has applied these tools for both small groundwater supply systems and large public water providers in an extremely cost-effective and comprehensive manner.