ASTM D5473 / D5473M - 20

    Standard Practice for (Analytical Procedures) Analyzing the Effects of Partial Penetration of Control Well and Determining the Horizontal and Vertical Hydraulic Conductivity in a Nonleaky Confined Aquifer

    Active Standard ASTM D5473 / D5473M | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Assumptions: 

    5.1.1 Control well discharges at a constant rate, Q.

    5.1.2 Control well is of infinitesimal diameter and partially penetrates the aquifer.

    5.1.3 The nonleaky artesian aquifer is homogeneous, and aerially extensive. The aquifer may also be anisotropic and, if so, the directions of maximum and minimum hydraulic conductivity are horizontal and vertical, respectively. The methods may be used to analyze tests on unconfined aquifers under conditions described in a following section.

    Note 1: Slug and pumping tests implicitly assume a porous medium. Fractured rock and carbonate settings may not provide meaningful data and information.

    5.1.4 Discharge from the well is derived exclusively from storage in the aquifer.

    5.1.5 The geometry of the assumed aquifer and well conditions are shown in Fig. 2.

    5.2 Implications of Assumptions—The vertical flow components in the aquifer are induced by a control well that partially penetrates the aquifer, that is, a well that is not open to the aquifer through its full thickness. The effects of vertical flow components are measured in piezometers near the control well, that is, within a distance, r, in which vertical flow components are significant, that is:

    Equation D5473_D5473M-20_8

    5.3 Application of Method to Unconfined Aquifers: 

    5.3.1 Although the assumptions are applicable to artesian or confined conditions, Weeks (1) has pointed out that the solution may be applied to unconfined aquifers if drawdown is small compared with the saturated thickness of the aquifer or if the drawdown is corrected for reduction in thickness of the aquifer, and the effects of delayed gravity response are small. The effects of gravity response become negligible after a time as given, for piezometers near the water table, by the equation:

    Equation D5473_D5473M-20_9

    for values of ar/b < 0.4 and by the equation:

    Equation D5473_D5473M-20_10

    for greater values of ar/b.

    5.3.2 Drawdown in an unconfined aquifer is also affected by curvature of the water table or free surface near the control well, and by the decrease in saturated thickness, that causes the transmissivity to decline toward the control well. This method should be applicable to analysis of tests on water-table aquifers for which the control well is cased to a depth below the pumping level and the drawdown in the control well is less than 0.2b. Moreover, little error would be introduced by effects of water-table curvature, even for a greater drawdown in the control well, if the term (s2/2 b) for a given piezometer is small compared to the δ s term.

    5.3.3 The transmissivity decreases as a result of decreasing thickness of the unconfined aquifer near the control well. Jacob (4) has shown that the effect of decreasing transmissivity on the drawdown may be corrected by the equation:

    Equation D5473_D5473M-20_11

    where s is the observed drawdown and s′ is the drawdown in an equivalent confined aquifer.

    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.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers an analytical solution for determining the horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivity of an aquifer by analysis of the response of water levels in the aquifer to the discharge from a well that partially penetrates the aquifer. This standard uses data derived from Test Method D4050.

    1.2 Limitations—The limitations of the technique for determination of the horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivity of aquifers are primarily related to the correspondence between the field situation and the simplifying assumption of this practice.

    1.3 Units—The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units 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 nonconformance with the standard. Reporting of test results in units other than SI shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

    1.4 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.4.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded or calculated, in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user’s objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this standard to consider significant digits used in analytical methods for engineering design

    1.5 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. Not all aspects of the 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 the 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 he ASTM consensus process.

    1.6 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    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

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

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

    D4050 Test Method for (Field Procedure) for Withdrawal and Injection Well Testing for Determining Hydraulic Properties of Aquifer Systems

    D4105/D4105M Practice for (Analytical Procedure) for Determining Transmissivity and Storage Coefficient of Nonleaky Confined Aquifers by the Modified Theis Nonequilibrium Method

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.060.10 (Water of natural resources)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D5473_D5473M-20

    Citation Format

    ASTM D5473 / D5473M-20, Standard Practice for (Analytical Procedures) Analyzing the Effects of Partial Penetration of Control Well and Determining the Horizontal and Vertical Hydraulic Conductivity in a Nonleaky Confined Aquifer, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2020, www.astm.org

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