Challenge. Use Sparta Aquifer as source for up to 60 million gallons of water per day (MGD) to support mill operations while inducing recharge from the Arkansas River to minimize aquifer drawdown
Solution. Since the Sparta Aquifer is already in significant over-draft condition, obtaining the necessary authorization to withdraw an additional 60 MGD from the aquifer required a creative solution. INTERA personnel evaluated the hydraulics of an alluvial aquifer along the Arkansas River to determine the feasibility of a 60 MGD withdrawal from collector wells installed adjacent to the river. A series of exploratory wells were drilled to guide the installation of a network of piezometers to evaluate the feasibility of pumping from the deeper and less sustainable supply in the Sparta Aquifer while inducing recharge from the alluvial aquifer along the river. The mill owned property along the river that was controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project was funded in part by a special authorization of the state legislature and was an integral part of initiating management and control of the use of groundwater in the Sparta Aquifer. In addition to modeling yield and design of the radial collector well system, INTERA personnel conducted temperature and geochemical modeling to anticipate thermal and chemical changes to support process water engineering and system design.