ASTM D5092 / D5092M - 16

    Standard Practice for Design and Installation of Groundwater Monitoring Wells

    Active Standard ASTM D5092 / D5092M | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 This practice for the design and installation of groundwater monitoring wells will promote (1) efficient and effective site hydrogeological characterization; (2) durable and reliable well construction; and (3) acquisition of representative groundwater quality samples, groundwater levels, and hydraulic conductivity testing data from monitoring wells. The practices established herein are affected by governmental regulations and by site-specific geological, hydrogeological, climatological, topographical, and subsurface geochemical conditions. To meet these geoenvironmental challenges, this practice promotes the development of a conceptual hydrogeologic model prior to monitoring well design and installation.

    Note 1: This practice presents a design for monitoring wells that will be effective in the majority of formations. This practice is in general accordance with other national and state guidance documents on well construction (ANSI/NGWA-01-14 (1)4 and California EPA (2)) however; national, state, or local design regulations may control design and installation.

    4.2 A properly designed and installed groundwater monitoring well provides essential information on one or more of the following subjects:

    4.2.1 Formation geologic and hydraulic properties;

    4.2.2 Potentiometric surface of a particular hydrologic unit(s);

    4.2.3 Water quality with respect to various indicator parameters; and

    4.2.4 Water chemistry with respect to a contaminant release.

    Note 2: The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    Practice D3740 was developed for agencies engaged in the laboratory testing and/or inspection of soils and rock. As such, it is not totally applicable to agencies performing this practice. However, user of this practice should recognize that the framework of Practice D3740 is appropriate for evaluating the quality of an agency performing this practice. Currently there is no known qualifying national authority that inspects agencies that perform this practice. Use of certified water well drillers are recommended. There are national and state agencies that certify water well drillers.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice describes a methodology for designing and installing conventional (screened and filter-packed) groundwater monitoring wells suitable for formations ranging from unconsolidated aquifers (that is, sands and gravels) to granular materials having grain-size distributions with up to 50 % passing a #200 sieve and as much as 20 % clay-sized material (that is, silty fine sands with some clay). Formations finer than this (that is, silts, clays, silty clays, clayey silts) can be monitored but the well may not yield sufficient water required for sampling, and fine filter pack and screen requirements are difficult and costly to install. Use of coarser filter/screens in fine formations will result in wells with unstable filter packs and associated elevated sample turbidity that may adversely affect sample accuracy and data quality objectives. This practice is not applicable in fractured or karst rock conditions, but may be applicable for other porous rock formations.

    1.2 The recommended monitoring well design and installation procedures presented in this practice are based on the assumption that the objectives of the program are to obtain representative groundwater samples and other representative groundwater data from a targeted zone of interest in the subsurface defined by site characterization.

    1.3 This practice when used on coarse grained sand and gravel aquifers, in combination with proper well development (D5521), proper groundwater sampling procedures (D4448), and proper well maintenance and rehabilitation (D5978), will permit acquisition of groundwater samples free of artifactual turbidity, eliminate siltation of wells between sampling events, and permit acquisition of accurate groundwater levels and hydraulic conductivity test data from the zone screened by the well. For wells installed in fine-grained formation materials, it is generally necessary to use much finer pre-packed well screens (6.3.3.2) and/or employ sampling methods that minimize screen intake flow velocity, and disturbance of the well column including suspension of settled solids in the well. Using low-flow purging and sampling techniques (D6771) or passive sampling devices (D7929) are two means to minimize the potential sample bias associated with turbidity.

    1.4 This practice applies primarily to well design and installation methods used in drilled boreholes. Other standards, including Guide D6724 and Practice D6725, cover installation of monitoring wells using direct-push methods.

    1.5 Units—The values stated in either inch-pound units or SI units [presented in brackets] are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard. Equivalent values given in parentheses are shown for mix designs and sieves sizes.

    1.5.1 Sieve Designations (Specification E11) are identified using the “alternate” system, for example, #40, #200 sieve etc. with nominal opening size in inches and particle sizes in mm. See Specification E11 for standard metric sieve sizes.

    1.5.2 Well screen slots are expressed in inches and the metric equivalent is given in the terminology section and when necessary in the standard (see 3.3.6).

    1.6 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026, unless superseded by this standard.

    1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.8 This practice offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Nat all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project's many unique aspects. The word “Standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C150 Specification for Portland Cement

    C294 Descriptive Nomenclature for Constituents of Concrete Aggregates

    D422 Test Method for Particle-Size Analysis of Soils

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    D1452 Practice for Soil Exploration and Sampling by Auger Borings

    D1586 Test Method for Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Split-Barrel Sampling of Soils

    D1587 Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Fine-Grained Soils for Geotechnical Purposes

    D2113 Practice for Rock Core Drilling and Sampling of Rock for Site Exploration

    D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)

    D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedures)

    D3282 Practice for Classification of Soils and Soil-Aggregate Mixtures for Highway Construction Purposes

    D3550 Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling of Soils

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4448 Guide for Sampling Ground-Water Monitoring Wells

    D5088 Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites

    D5299 Guide for Decommissioning of Groundwater Wells, Vadose Zone Monitoring Devices, Boreholes, and Other Devices for Environmental Activities

    D5434 Guide for Field Logging of Subsurface Explorations of Soil and Rock

    D5518 Guide for Acquisition of File Aerial Photography and Imagery for Establishing Historic Site-Use and Surficial Conditions

    D5521 Guide for Development of Groundwater Monitoring Wells in Granular Aquifers

    D5608 Practices for Decontamination of Sampling and Non Sample Contacting Equipment Used at Low Level Radioactive Waste Sites

    D5753 Guide for Planning and Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging

    D5777 Guide for Using the Seismic Refraction Method for Subsurface Investigation

    D5778 Test Method for Electronic Friction Cone and Piezocone Penetration Testing of Soils

    D5781 Guide for Use of Dual-Wall Reverse-Circulation Drilling for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5782 Guide for Use of Direct Air-Rotary Drilling for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5783 Guide for Use of Direct Rotary Drilling with Water-Based Drilling Fluid for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5784 Guide for Use of Hollow-Stem Augers for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5787 Practice for Monitoring Well Protection

    D5872 Guide for Use of Casing Advancement Drilling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5875 Guide for Use of Cable-Tool Drilling and Sampling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5876 Guide for Use of Direct Rotary Wireline Casing Advancement Drilling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5978 Guide for Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Groundwater Monitoring Wells

    D6001 Guide for Direct-Push Groundwater Sampling for Environmental Site Characterization

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6067 Practice for Using the Electronic Piezocone Penetrometer Tests for Environmental Site Characterization

    D6167 Guide for Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging: Mechanical Caliper

    D6169 Guide for Selection of Soil and Rock Sampling Devices Used With Drill Rigs for Environmental Investigations

    D6274 Guide for Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging - Gamma

    D6282 Guide for Direct Push Soil Sampling for Environmental Site Characterizations

    D6285 Guide for Locating Abandoned Wells

    D6286 Guide for Selection of Drilling Methods for Environmental Site Characterization

    D6429 Guide for Selecting Surface Geophysical Methods

    D6430 Guide for Using the Gravity Method for Subsurface Investigation

    D6431 Guide for Using the Direct Current Resistivity Method for Subsurface Investigation

    D6432 Guide for Using the Surface Ground Penetrating Radar Method for Subsurface Investigation

    D6519 Practice for Sampling of Soil Using the Hydraulically Operated Stationary Piston Sampler

    D6639 Guide for Using the Frequency Domain Electromagnetic Method for Subsurface Investigations

    D6640 Practice for Collection and Handling of Soils Obtained in Core Barrel Samplers for Environmental Investigations

    D6724 Guide for Installation of Direct Push Groundwater Monitoring Wells

    D6725 Practice for Direct Push Installation of Prepacked Screen Monitoring Wells in Unconsolidated Aquifers

    D6771 Practice for Low-Flow Purging and Sampling for Wells and Devices Used for Ground-Water Quality Investigations

    D6914 Practice for Sonic Drilling for Site Characterization and the Installation of Subsurface Monitoring Devices

    D7242 Practice for Field Pneumatic Slug (Instantaneous Change in Head) Tests to Determine Hydraulic Properties of Aquifers with Direct Push Groundwater Samplers

    D7929 Guide for Selection of Passive Techniques for Sampling Groundwater Monitoring Wells

    D8037 Practice for Direct Push Hydraulic Logging Profiling Variations of Permeability Soils

    E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves

    F480 Specification for Thermoplastic Well Casing Pipe and Couplings Made in Standard Dimension Ratios (SDR), SCH 40 and SCH 80


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.060.10 (Water of natural resources)

    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D5092_D5092M-16

    Citation Format

    ASTM D5092 / D5092M-16, Standard Practice for Design and Installation of Groundwater Monitoring Wells, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016, www.astm.org

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