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DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY


UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN
ILORIN, NIGERIA
GROUNDWATER HYDROLOGY
(Well hydraulics solved examples)
By:
Dr Olayinka Okeola
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Preface
This is a comprehensive solution to analytical questions on Groundwater Hydrology. It is useful for
both engineering and geology students desiring a better understanding on analytical solution
procedures on well hydraulics.
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Question No 1.
A tube of 30 cm diameter penetrates fully in an aquifer. The strainer length is 15cm. Calculate the
yield of the well under a drawdown of 3m. The aquifer consists of sand of effective size of 0.2mm
having a coefficient of permeability equal to 50m/ day. Assume a radius of drawdown equal to
150m.
Solution:
Well diameter= 30cm, radius r = 15cm = 0.15m
Strainer length L =15cm = 0.15m
Drawdown s = 3m
Coefficient of Permeability, K = 50m/ day.
=5.787 x10
-4
m/s
Radius of drawdown R= 150m
Yield Q=?
Aquifer Confined Aquifer
Strainers length
15 . 0
150
log
3 10 787 . 5 15 . 0 72 . 2
log
72 . 2
10
4
10

= =

r
R
bks
Q
=0.023l/s
Question No 2.
A tube well penetrates fully an unconfined aquifer. Calculate the discharge from the tube well under
the following conditions.
Diameter of well = 30cm
Drawdown = 2m
Coefficient of permeability=0.05cm/s
Radius of zero drawdown=300m
Length of strainer = 10m
Solution:
Tube well diameter= 30cm r = 0.15m
Drawdown s = 2m
Strainers length L = 10m
Radius of zero drawdown R = 300m
Coefficient of Permeability K = 0.05 cm/s
= 5x 10
-4
m/s
Yield Q=?
Strainers length magnitude Unconfined aquifer
r
R
s
L ks
Q
10
log
2
72 . 2 |
.
|

\
|
+
=
s m
s
d
d
m
K /
3600 24
1 50
=

=
3 1000 log
15 . 0
150
log
10 10
= =
s
l
m
l
s
m
=
3
3
1
1000
s
m
cm
m
s
cm
k = =
100
1
05 . 0
P
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4
( )
s m / 0667 . 9
log
1 1 . 0 2 10 0 . 5 72 . 2
3
15 . 0
300
10
4
=
+
=

s l
m
l
s
m
/ 907 . 0 1000 0667 . 9
3
3
= =
Question No 3.
Design a tube well for the following data:
Yield required = 0.08m
3
/s
Radius of circle of influence= 300m
Drawdown = 5m
Aquifer thickness = 30m
Permeability = 60m/day
Solution:
Yield Q required = 0.08m
3
/s
Radius of circle of influence = 300m
Aquifer thickness = 30m
Drawdown s = 5m
Permeability K = 60m/day
s m
s
d
d
m
/ 10 944 . 6
3600 24
1 60
4
=

=
Unconfined Aquifer

r
R
bks Q
10
log 72 . 2 =
Q
bks
r
R 72 . 2
log
10
=
541 . 3
08 . 0
5 10 944 . 6 30 72 . 2 300
log
4
10
=

=

r
541 . 3 log 300 log
10 10
= r
064 . 1 541 . 3 300 log log
10 10
= = r
064 . 1 log
10
= r
064 . 1
10

= r
cm m 9 086 . 0 ~ =
Question No 4
(a)Derive the expression for the coefficient of permeability of an aquifer of depth H when a well of
radius r is pumping at a steady rate Q
o
, such that the depth of water in two observation wells
located at distances
1
r and
2
r from pumped well are
1
h and
2
h respectively.
(b)A well pumping an unconfined aquifer having an initial saturated thickness of 8.2m is pumped at a
rate of 65 L/s until a steady state cone of depression is established. The drawdowns measured at
m
cm
m
1
100

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two observation wells situated 15m and 31m from the pumped well are found to be 1.8m and 1.4m
respectively. Determine the transmissivity of the aquifer.
Solution:
(a)
H
The governing Equation is Darcy law given as :
rh
dr
dh
k rH ki kiA VA Q 2 2 = = = =
dr
rk
Q
dh h
o
2
=
t cons Q Q
o
tan = =
Integrating gives
1
2
1
2
2
ln
2 2 r
r
r
k
Q
h
h
h

=
Substituting gives
1
2 2
1
2
2
ln
r
r
k
Q
h h
o

=
Q
o
o
h
1
h
2
h
1
r
2
r
G.L
W. T
Observation wells
r
o
P
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6
( )
1
2
2
1
2
2
ln
r
r
h h
Q
k
o

s m s L Q Now / 065 . 0 / 65
3
= =
m h 8 . 6 4 . 1 2 . 8
2
= =
m h 4 . 6 8 . 1 2 . 8
1
= =
m r m r 31 15
2 1
= =
( )
15
31
ln
4 . 6 8 . 6
065 . 0
2 2

=

k
7259 . 0 003918 . 0 = k
00284 . 0 = k m/s
Transimissivity = 2 . 8 00284 . 0 = kH
Transimissivity = 0.0233 m
3
/s.m
Question No 5.
In order to determine the field permeability of a field permeability of a free aquifer, pumping out
test was performed and the following observations were made.
Diameter of well= 20cm
Discharge from well =240m
3
/hr
Level of water surface before pumping started =240.5m
Level of water at constant pumping =235.6m
Level of impervious layer =210.0 m
Level of water in observation well =239.8m
Radial distance of observation well from tube well =50m
Calculate:
1. K
2. error in K if observation are not taken in observation well and radius of influence
is assumed to be 300m
3. actual radius of influence based on observation from the well.
Given:
Diameter of well = 20cm
Discharge from well =240m
3
/ hr
Level of water surface before pumping started = 240.5m
Level of water at constant pumping = 235.6m
Level of impervious layer =210.0m
Level of water in observation well = 239.8m
Radial distance of observation well from tube well = 50 m
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Solution:
For test Well:
diameter (d) = 20cm = 0.2m
radius (r) = 0.1m
Q = 240 m
3
/ h = 240 0667 . 0
60 60
1
.
3
=
s s
h
h
m
m
3
/s
H
elevation
= 240.5m
H
elevation
= 235.6m
Impervious elevation = 210m
Hence
H = m 5 . 30 210 5 . 240 =
h = m 6 . 25 210 6 . 235 =
s = m h H 8 . 4 =
For observation Well:
Level of water = 239.8m
m r 50
1
=
m h 8 . 29 210 8 . 239 = =
m h H s 6 . 0 8 . 29 5 . 30 = = =
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
NB: Free aquifer = unconfined
(i)
( )
2 2
1
1
10
36 . 1
log
h h
r
r
Q
k

=
H= 30.4m
h
0.1m
Radial distance R
210 m
Q
Impervious
layer
1
h
m r 50
1
=
P
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8
( )
4
2 2
10
10 69 . 5
44 . 316
18 . 0
6 . 25 8 . 29 36 . 1
1 . 0
50
log 0667 . 0

= =

= k m/s
16 . 49 = k m/day
(ii)
R = 300m
( ) ( )
4
2 2
10
2 2
10
10 346 . 6
57 . 365
232 . 0
6 . 25 4 . 30 36 . 1
1 . 0
300
log 0667 . 0
36 . 1
log

= =

=
h H
r
R
Q
k m/s
83 . 54 = k m/day
( )
% 5 . 11 100
16 . 49
16 . 49 83 . 54
=

= Error
(iii)
( )
Q
h H
r
R
2 2
10
36 . 1
log

=
( )
0667 . 0
6 . 25 5 . 30 10 69 . 5 36 . 1
1 . 0
log
2 2 4
10

=

R
189 . 3 log log
10 10
= r R
1 . 0 log 189 . 3 log
10 10
+ = R
189 . 2 1 189 . 3 log
10
= = R
189 . 2
10 = R
R = 154.5m
d m
day
s
s
m
=

1
3600 24
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Question No 6
A 30cm diameter well penetrates vertically through an aquifer to an impermeable stratum located
18.0 m below the static water table. After a long period of pumping at a rate of 1.2 m
3
/min, the
drawdown in test holes 11m and 35 m from the pumped well is found to be 3.05 and 1.62m
respective. What is the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer? Express in meters per day. What is its
transmissivity? Express in cubic meters per day per meter. What is the drawdown in the pumped
well?
Given
B = 18.0m;
Q = 1.2 m
3
/min = 0.02m
3
/s;
11
1
= r m;
35
2
= r m;
05 . 3
1
= s m;
62 . 1
2
= s ; 3 . 0 = d m
Confined Aquifer

( )
|
|
.
|

\
|

=
1
2
1 2
log 303 . 2
2
r
r
h h kb
Q

B =18m
Pumped well
Observatory well Observatory well
GS
m r 11
1
=
m r 35
2
=
1
s 2
s
P
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e
1
0
But s h H + =
Substitute:
1 1
s H h =
and

2 2
s H h =
in equation (1)
( )
|
|
.
|

\
|

=
1
2
2 1
log 303 . 2
2
r
r
s s kb
Q

( )
|
.
|

\
|

=
11
35
log 303 . 2
62 . 1 05 . 3 18 2
02 . 0
k
4
10 4 . 1
73 . 161
503 . 0 303 . 2 02 . 0

=

= k m/s = 12.1m/day
(ii) 8 . 217 18 1 . 12 = = = kb T m
3
/day/m
(iii) Drawdown in the pumped well
( )
|
|
.
|

\
|

=
2
1
1
log 303 . 2
2
r
r
h h kb
Q

s h H + =
Therefore s H h = and
1 1
s H h =
Hence,
( )
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
r
r
s H s H kb
Q
1
1
log 303 . 2
2
( )
|
.
|

\
|

=
r
r
s s kb
Q
1
1
log 303 . 2
2
( ) 865 . 1 303 . 2 02 . 0 05 . 3 0158 . 0 = s
49 . 8 = s m (drawdown)
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Question No 7
(A.) With the aid of a diagram, derive the unsteady well equation;
t
h
T
S
r
h
r r
h
c
c
=
c
c
+
c
c
.
1
2
2
defining
the terms involved.
Solution
Fig. 1: Showing a fully penetrated well in a confined aquifer
From the principle of continuity of flow, the difference of rate of inflow and the rate of outflow from
the annular cylinder is equal to the rate of change of volume of water within the annular space.
Section
Fig2: Showing annular ring of well
b
r
dr
h
Q
1
Q
2
Q
Instantaneous drawdown
Initialpiezometric surface
dr
r
h
r
h
slope
c
c
+
c
c
=
2
2
r
h
slope
c
c
=
Annular Ring

Q
2
dr
r
r
P
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1
2
Thus;
t
V
Q Q
c
c
=
2 1
(1)
From Darcys law, ( ) area flow i k Q =
line gradient hydraulic of slope i =
For inner surface,
r
h
i
c
c
=
But for outer surface,
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
+ |
.
|

\
|
c
c
= dr
r
h
r
h
i
2
2
Inflow, ( ) b dr r dr
r
h
r
h
k Q +
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
+
c
c
= 2
2
2
1
(2)
Outflow, ( ) b r
r
h
k Q 2
2
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
= (3)
Also, from the definition of storage coefficient, S which is define as volume of water released per
unit surface area per unit change in head normal to the surface.
Mathematically;
( ) dh dr r
V
S
2
c
=
( ) dh dr r S V 2 = c (4)
Change in volume with time will give
t
h
dr r S
t
V
c
c
=
c
c
) 2 ( (5)
Where t = time since pumping started
Substituting Equations (2), (3) and (5) into Equation (1)
Hence;
( ) ( )( ) ( ) r
r
h
kb b dr r dr
r
h
r
h
k
t
h
dr r S 2 2 2
2
2
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
+
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
+
c
c
=
c
c
(6)
After expansion Equation (6) divide through by ( ) 2 kb
Equation (6) becomes
( ) ( ) r
r
h
dr r dr
r
h
r
h
kb
t
h
dr r S
c
c
+
|
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
+
c
c
=
c
c
2
2
(7)
But T =kb
( ) ( )
2
2
2
2
2
dr
r
h
dr
r
h
r dr
r
h
dr
t
h
r
T
S
c
c
+
c
c
+
c
c
=
c
c
(8)
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3
Dividing Equation (8) through by r dr
r
dr
r
h
r
h
r
h
r t
h
T
S
2
2
2
2
1
c
c
+
c
c
+
c
c
=
c
c
(9)
But
2
2
r
h
c
c
and dr are small ( ) dr
r
h
2
2
c
c
is negligible
Hence Equation (9) becomes
t
h
T
S
r
h
r r
h
c
c
=
c
c
+
c
c 1
2
2
(10)
Equation (10) is the basic unsteady flow Equation towards a well.
S = storage coefficient (dimensionless)
T = transmissivity (m
3
/day/m)
( ) ensionless line gradient hydraulic of slope
r
h
dim =
c
c
( ) ensionless line gradient hydraulic the of derivative ond
r
h
dim sec
2
2
=
c
c
(B) Discuss Theis solution to the equation above?
Theis solution to the Equation (10) can be achieved base on analogy between groundwater flow
towards a well and flow of heat towards a sink. The well coefficients, S and T can be evaluated using
Theis method by conducting pumping tests. The well is pumped at a constant discharge rate, Q and
the change in drawdown with time in one or more observation wells is measured.
The steps involve in the Theis method are:
1. W (u) and (u) are plotted on log-log paper using standard values from table W (u) against (u)
known as type curve.
2. r
2
/t is computed for different values of drawdown
3. drawdown (s) is plotted against r
2
/t on log-log tracing paper using the same scale as W (u)
against (u), this curve is known as data curve.
4. Coordinates of the axes of the two curves are kept parallel
5. The data curve is superimposed on the type curve such that most points on the curves fall
on each other.
6. An arbitrary point, P called the matching point on the overlapped curves is selected.
7. Coordinates of the point P for both curves are selected
8. The values of Storativity (S) and Transmissivity (T) are calculated from the following
equations :
( )
( ) u
t
r
T
S
2
4
=
( ) u W
s
Q
T
4
=
Where ( ) ( ) u and u W
t
r
s , ,
2
are points corresponding to the coordinate P.
P
a
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e
1
4
s = drawdown (m)
r = radial distance between the wells (m)
t = pumping period (day)
(C.) Discuss the concept of safe yield from wells, emphasizing the factors affecting well yield ?
The term safe yield of groundwater basin can be defined as the amount of water which can be
withdrawn from a basin annually without producing an undesirable result. It is also the amount of
water withdrawn continuously without affecting the supply of other landowners. Any draft in excess
of safe yield is overdraft. The determination of safe yield of groundwater basin requires analysis of
undesirable results which may occur if safe yield is exceeded.
There are four factors governing safe yield namely: water supply, economies of pumpage, water
quality and water rights.
1. Water supply is the most important and also the most subjective to qualitative
determination. The water supply to a basin can be limited either by the physical size of
groundwater basin or by the rate at which water moves through the basin from the recharge
area the withdrawal area.
2. Economics factor may govern water supply in basins where the cost of pumping
groundwater becomes excessive. Excessive pumping costs are usually associated with
lowered groundwater levels, which may necessitate deepening of wells, lowering of pump
bowls and installing larger pumps.
3. Water quality:- safe yield may be exceeded if a basin produces a groundwater of inferior
quality. A quality limitation on safe yield depends on the minimum acceptable standard of
water quality, which in turn depends on the made of the pumped water.
4. Water rights:- legal consideration may limit safe yield of a basin if there is interference with
prior water rights within a basin or in adjacent basins. Any legal restriction on pumpage
would have to be established before the safe yield could be determined.
Question No 8
The following observations were recorded during a pumping out test on a tube well penetrating fully
in a free aquifer:
Well diameter = 25cm
Discharge from the well = 300 m
3
/hr
R.L of original water surface before pumping started = 122.0 m
R.L of water in well at constant pumping = 117.1 m
R.L of water in the observation well = 121.3 m
R.L of impervious layer = 92.0 m
Radial distance of observation well from the tube well = 50 m
Determine (a) the field permeability coefficient and
(b) radius of zero draw down.
P
a
g
e
1
5
Solution
For test well m cm d 25 . 0 25 = =
m r 125 . 0
2
25 . 0
= =
s
m
s
h
h
m
h
m
Q
3
3
3
083 . 0
60 60
1
300 300 =

= =
m H
elevation
0 . 122 =
m h
elevation
1 . 117 =
m elevation pervious 0 . 92 Im =
m H 30 0 . 92 0 . 122 = = ; m h 1 . 25 0 . 92 1 . 117 = =
For observation well
Level of water = 121.3 m
m h 3 . 29 0 . 92 3 . 121
1
= =
m r 50
1
=
S = H h = 30.0 29.3 = 0.7m
Free aquifer = unconfined aquifer
(a) Field permeability coefficient (k) is given as:
( ) ( )
s
m
h h
r
r
Q
k
4
2 2 2 2
1
1
10 95 . 6
1 . 25 3 . 29 36 . 1
125 . 0
50
log 083 . 0
36 . 1
log

|
.
|

\
|
=

|
.
|

\
|
=
H=30m
h
1
=29.3m
h=25.1m
92.0m
r
1
=50m
Radial distance, R
Impervious layer
Q = 0.083 m
3
/s
r = 0.125m
P
a
g
e
1
6
day
m
day
s
s
m
k 05 . 60
1
24 60 60
10 95 . 6
4
=

=

(b) Radius of zero drawdown = Radius of influence (R)
( )
|
.
|

\
|

=
r
R
h H k
Q
log
36 . 1
2 2
( )
|
.
|

\
|

=

125 . 0
log
1 . 25 30 10 95 . 6 36 . 1
083 . 0
2 2 4
R
( )
083 . 0
1 . 25 30 10 95 . 6 36 . 1
125 . 0
log
2 2 4

= |
.
|

\
|

R
075 . 3
125 . 0
log = |
.
|

\
| R
075 . 3 125 . 0 log log = R
125 . 0 log 075 . 3 log + = R
9031 . 0 066 . 3 log = R
172 . 2 log = R
m R 6 . 148 10
172 . 2
= =
Hence the radius of zero drawdown, R = 148.6 m
Question No 9
An extensive horizontal confined aquifer having a constant thickness of 40m is pumped steadily by a
series of identical wells located at 300m intervals in a N-S line. Each well completely penetrates the
aquifer and delivers 20 Ls
-1
. Field measurements a long way to the east of the well line shows a
hydraulic gradient of 1 in 175 and similarly to the west of the wells a hydraulic gradient of 1 in 500.
Both piezometric surfaces slope in westerly direction. Estimate the Darcy hydraulic conductivity of
the aquifer.
Solution
B = 40m
Q = 20 Ls
-1
=
s
m
3
02 . 0
1000
20
=
Distance between wells = r =300m
i = hydraulic gradient =
dr
dh
m R
R
R
6 . 148
10
125 . 0
075 . 3
125 . 0
log
075 . 3
10
=
=
= |
.
|

\
|
P
a
g
e
1
7
i
1
= 1 in175 = 0057 . 0
175
1
= in eastern direction
i
2
= 1 in 500 = 02 . 0
500
1
= in western direction
The basic equation for confined aquifer is given as:
dr
dh
r b k Q 2 =
Where line gradient hydraulic
dr
dh
i = =
0057 . 0 300 40 2 02 . 0 = k
Note that
1
i is used because the Darcy hydraulic conductivity is required for western direction and
2
i is already in western direction.
0057 . 0 300 40 2
02 . 0

=

k
1 5
10 65 . 4

= ms k
24 60 60 10 65 . 4
5
=

k
day
m
k 02 . 4 =
Hence, Darcy hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer is
1
02 . 4

= md k
r
1
=300m
Impervious stratum
Q =0.02 m
3
/s
b = 40m
i
2
= 0.02
i
1
=0.057
N
S
W
E
P
a
g
e
1
8
Question No 10
(A)
A well penetrates fully a 10m thick water bearing stratum of medium sand having a coefficient of
permeability of 0.005m/s. The well radius is 10cm and is to be worked under a drawdown of 4m at
the well face. Calculate the discharge from the well. What will be the % increase in discharge if the
radius of the well is doubled? Take R = 300 m in each case.
(B)
An artesian tube well has a diameter of 20cm. The thickness of aquifer is 30m and its permeability is
36 m/day. Find its yield under a drawdown of 4 m at the well face. Use:
(i) Radius of influence as recommended by Sichardt
(ii) Assume a radius of influence of 300m
(iii) Comment on the difference between the values of R estimated in (i) and (ii)
(C)
A tube well penetrates fully a 8m thick water bearing stratum (confined) of medium sand having a
coefficient of permeability of 0.004m/s. The well radius is 15cm and is to be worked under a
drawdown of 3m at the well face. Calculate the discharge from the well. What will be the % increase
in the discharge if the radius of the well is doubled? Take radius of zero drawdown to be 400m in
each case.
Solution 10A
The aquifer is confined
r
R
s k b
Q
10
log
72 . 2
=
b = 10 m; k = 5 x 10
-3
m
3
/s; R = 300 m; r = 10 cm = 0.1m; s = 4 m
1 . 0
300
log
4 10 5 10 72 . 2
10
3

=

Q ; Q = 0.156 m
3
/s
When the radius is doubled, r = 20cm = 0.2m
2 . 0
300
log
4 10 5 10 72 . 2
10
3

=

Q ; Q = 0.173 m
3
/s
% increase =
156 . 0
156 . 0 173 . 0
= 11 %
Comment:
The size of the well has very little influence on the discharge. It can be seen that discharge only
increased by a mere 11 % despite doubling of radius.
P
a
g
e
1
9
Solution 10B
r
R
s k b
Q
10
log
72 . 2
=
Radius of well as recommended by Sichardt, R is given as
k r R 3000 = ; s = 4 m; k = 36 m/day; b = 30 m
R = m cm
d
1 . 0 10
2
= =
m R 245
3600 24
36
4 3000 =

=
(i)
1 . 0
245
log
3600 24
4 36
30 72 . 2
10



= Q ; Q = 0.040 m
3
/s = 40 L/s
(ii) Using R = 300 m
1 . 0
300
log
3600 24
4 36
30 72 . 2
10



= Q ; Q = 0.039 m
3
/s = 39 L/s
Comment:
No significant difference between the values of discharge using Sichardt formula with the
assumption R = 300 m.
Solution 10C
The aquifer is confined
r
R
s k b
Q
log
72 . 2
= ;b = 8m; k = 0.004 m/s; r = 15 cm = 0.15 m; R = 400m; s = 3 m; Q = ?
15 . 0
400
log
3 004 . 0 8 72 . 2
10
1

= Q
Q
1
= 0.0762 m
3
/s = 274 m
3
/hr
If radius of well is doubled, r = 30 cm = 0.3 m
3 . 0
400
log
3 004 . 0 8 72 . 2
10
2

= Q
Q
2
= 0.0836 m
3
/s = 301 m
3
/hr; Increase in discharge = 301 274 = 27 m
3
/hr
% increase = 8 . 9 100
274
27
= %
P
a
g
e
2
0
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Dr Olayinka Okeola (email: ogolayinka@unilorin.edu.ng; okeolaolayinka@gmail.com; mobile no: +234 (0) 703 230 7770