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Water 2013, 5(3), 1419-1439; doi:10.3390/w5031419

Groundwater Risk Assessment Model (GRAM): Groundwater Risk Assessment Model for Wellfield Protection

South Australian Water Corporation, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 July 2013 / Revised: 4 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 18 September 2013
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A groundwater risk assessment was carried out for 30 potable water supply systems under a framework of protecting drinking water quality across South Australia. A semi-quantitative Groundwater Risk Assessment Model (GRAM) was developed based on a “multi-barrier” approach using likelihood of release, contaminant pathway and consequence equation. Groundwater vulnerability and well integrity have been incorporated to the pathway component of the risk equation. The land use of the study basins varies from protected water reserves to heavily stocked grazing lands. Based on the risk assessment, 15 systems were considered as low risk, four as medium and 11 systems as at high risk. The GRAM risk levels were comparable with indicator bacteria—total coliform—detection. Most high risk systems were the result of poor well construction and casing corrosion rather than the land use. We carried out risk management actions, including changes to well designs and well operational practices, design to increase time of residence and setting the production zone below identified low permeable zones to provide additional barriers to contaminants. The highlight of the risk management element is the well integrity testing using down hole geophysical methods and camera views of the casing condition.
Keywords: risk assessment; aquifer vulnerability; risk management; town water supply risk assessment; aquifer vulnerability; risk management; town water supply
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Somaratne, N.; Zulfic, H.; Ashman, G.; Vial, H.; Swaffer, B.; Frizenschaf, J. Groundwater Risk Assessment Model (GRAM): Groundwater Risk Assessment Model for Wellfield Protection. Water 2013, 5, 1419-1439.

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