Standard Withdrawn, No replacement   Last Updated: Jan 10, 2019
ASTM D5409/D5409M-93(2010)e1

Standard Guide for Set of Data Elements to Describe a Groundwater Site; Part TwoPhysical Descriptors (Withdrawn 2019)

Significance and Use

Data at groundwater sites are gathered for many purposes. Each of these purposes generally requires a specific set of data elements. For example, when the groundwater quality is of concern not only are the minimum set of data elements required for the site, but information concerning the sample collection depth interval, method of collection, and date and time of collection are needed to fully qualify the data. Another group of elements are recommended for each use of the data, such as aquifer characteristics or water-level records. Normally the more information that is gathered about a site by field personnel, the easier it is to understand the groundwater conditions and to reach valid conclusions and interpretations regarding the site.

The data elements listed in this guide and Guides D5408 and D5410 should assist in planning what information can be gathered for a groundwater site and how to document these data.

Note 6—Some important data elements may change during the existence of a site. For example, the elevation of the measuring point used for the measurement of water levels may be modified because of repair or replacement of equipment. This frequently occurs when the measuring point is an opening in the pump and the pump is modified or replaced. Because changes cannot always be anticipated, it is preferable to reference the height of the measuring point to a permanent nearby altitude datum. The measuring point is referenced by being the same altitude (zero correction) or above (negative correction) or below (plus correction) the altitude datum. All appropriate measurements should be corrected in reference to the altitude datum before entry into the permanent record. Care must be exercised to keep the relationship of these data elements consistent throughout the duration of the site.

Some data elements have an extensive list of components or possible entries. For example, the aquifer identification list described in 6.1.8 has over 5000 entries. Lengthy lists of possible entries are not included in this guide, however, information on where to obtain these components is included with the specific data element.

Note 7—This guide identifies other sources, lists, etc., of information required to completely document information about any groundwater site.


1.1 This guide covers Part Two of three guides to be used in conjunction with Practice D5254 that delineates the data desirable to describe a groundwater data collection or sampling site. This guide identifies physical descriptors, such as construction and geologic elements, for a site. Part One (Guide D5408) describes additional information beyond the minimum set of data elements that may be specified to identify any individual groundwater site, while Part Three identifies usage descriptors, such as monitoring, for an individual groundwater site.

Note 1—A groundwater site is defined as any source, location, or sampling station capable of producing water or hydrologic data from a natural stratum from below the surface of the earth. A source or facility can include a well, spring or seep, and drain or tunnel (nearly horizontal in orientation). Other sources, such as excavations, driven devices, bore holes, ponds, lakes, and sinkholes, that can be shown to be hydraulically connected to the groundwater are appropriate for the use intended.

Note 2—Part One (Guide D5408) includes data confidence classification descriptor (one element), geographic location descriptors (four elements), political regime descriptor (one element), source identifier descriptors (four elements), legal descriptors (nine elements), owner descriptors (two elements), site visit descriptors (three elements), other identification descriptors (two elements), other data descriptors (three elements), and remarks descriptors (three elements). Part Three (Guide D5410) includes monitoring descriptors (77 data elements), irrigation descriptors (four data elements), waste site descriptors (nine data elements), and decommissioning descriptors (eight data elements). For a list of descriptors in this guide, see Section 3.

1.2 These data elements are described in terms used by groundwater hydrologists. Standard references, such as the Glossary of Geology (1) and various hydrogeologic professional publications, are used to determine these definitions. Many of the suggested elements and their representative codes are those established by the Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey and used in the National Water Information Systems computerized data base (1-19).

Note 3—The purpose of this guide is to suggest data elements that can be collected for groundwater sites. This does not uniquely imply a computer data base, but rather data elements for entry into any type of permanent file.

Note 4—Component and code lists given with some of the data elements, for example Type of Spring, are only suggestions. These lists can be modified, expanded, or reduced for the purpose intended by the company or agency maintaining the groundwater data file.

Note 5—Use of trade names in this guide is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by ASTM.

1.3 This guide includes the data elements desirable to document a groundwater site beyond those given in the Minimum Set of Data Elements. Some examples of the data elements are well depth, contributing aquifer, and permanence of spring. No single site will need every data element, for example, springs do not need well depth and well casing data. Each record (group of related data elements) for a site has mandatory data elements, such as the type of lift for the lift record. However, these elements are considered necessary only when that specific record is gathered for the site.

1.4 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound 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.

1.4.1 The gravitational system of inch-pound units is used when dealing with inch-pound units. In this system, the pound (lbf) represents a unit of force (weight), while the unit for mass is slugs. The rationalized slug unit is not given, unless dynamic (F = ma) calculations are involved.

1.5 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.

1.6 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide 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.

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