SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Monitor Well Drilling and Testing in Urban Environments


Experiences at Superfund sites in the metropolitan area of Phoenix, Arizona, have shown that installing and testing monitor wells in urban environments present special problems for the hydrogeologist and the well driller. Access is difficult to obtain, and noise, dust, water, and mud must be carefully controlled. Underground utilities must be accurately located prior to drilling, and overhead power lines are safety hazards to drilling rigs and pump rigs. Disposal of drilling fluids and cuttings, site cleanup, and well termination require special attention. Special permits or agreements may be required for drilling in urban areas; these include a permit to work in the public right-of-way, agreements with private land owners, a permit to discharge water from aquifer testing into the sewer system or surface waters, and a permit to obtain drilling water from fire hydrants. Traffic control barricades, police, and private security guards may be necessary to protect public safety. Some drilling methods are not practical in urban areas, and others may have to be modified. In comparison with rural areas, drilling and testing programs in urban areas require significantly more advance planning and are more costly.

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Smith, SA
Dames & Moore, Phoenix, AZ
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 55–63
DOI: 10.1520/STP23396S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5117-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1275-9