Modeling a Groundwater Circulation Well Alternative


Ground water circulation wells (GCWs) provide an appealing alternative to typical pump-and-treat ground water remediation systems because of the inherent resource-conservative nature of the GCW systems. GCW performance prediction is challenging because the consideration of extraction and recharge in a single well is unusual for most practitioners, the technology is relatively new, and a meaningful body of literature has not been published. A three-part evaluation process using state-of-the-practice numerical ground water flow and mass transport models was developed for application during GCW pilot studies at the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant site. A small-scale ground water flow model was developed during the pilot study planning process to predict the system performance and to locate performance-measuring monitoring wells. Key predictions included the capture zone predicted to develop upgradient of the GCW, the downgradient GCW recharge zone, and the circulation zone centered on the GCW. The flow model was subsequently verified using ground water elevation data and contaminant concentration data collected during pilot study operation. Aquifer parameters were reestimated as a result of the verification process. Those parameter values were used as input to a larger scale model, which was used to develop a remedial alternative consisting of multiple GCW systems.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Groundwater circulation wells (GCW); Contamination; Flow of water; Mathematical models; Remediation; Water well pumps; flow modeling; performance assessment; remediation; groundwater pollution; Groundwater

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2004 National Ground Water Association, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2004