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Impacts of Event-Based Recharge on the Vulnerability of Public Supply Wells

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Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
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Les Services EXP Inc., Montréal, QC H1Z 4J2, Canada
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Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Kitchener, ON N2G 4Y9, Canada
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Hamilton Water, Hamilton, ON L8R 2K3, Canada
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Golder Associates Ltd., Cambridge, ON N1T 1A8, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jana Levison and Andrew Binns
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7695; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147695
Received: 16 May 2021 / Revised: 3 July 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 9 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Source Water Protection and Sustainability)
Dynamic recharge events related to extreme rainfall or snowmelt are becoming more common due to climate change. The vulnerability of public supply wells to water quality degradation may temporarily increase during these types of events. The Walkerton, ON, Canada, tragedy (2000) highlighted the threat to human health associated with the rapid transport of microbial pathogens to public supply wells during dynamic recharge events. Field research at the Thornton (Woodstock, ON, Canada) and Mannheim West (Kitchener, ON, Canada) well fields, situated in glacial overburden aquifers, identified a potential increase in vulnerability due to event-based recharge phenomena. Ephemeral surface water flow and local ponding containing microbial pathogen indicator species were observed and monitored within the capture zones of public supply wells following heavy rain and/or snowmelt. Elevated recharge rates beneath these temporary surface water features were estimated to range between 40 and 710 mm over two-week periods using analytical and numerical modelling based on the water level, soil moisture, and temperature data. Modelling also suggested that such events could reduce contaminant travel times to a supply well, increasing vulnerability to water quality degradation. These studies suggest that event-based recharge processes occurring close to public supply wells may enhance the vulnerability of the wells to surface-sourced contaminants. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater recharge; depression focused recharge; localized recharge; public supply well; microbial contamination; hydrological event; disease outbreak; well vulnerability; overburden aquifer groundwater recharge; depression focused recharge; localized recharge; public supply well; microbial contamination; hydrological event; disease outbreak; well vulnerability; overburden aquifer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wiebe, A.J.; Rudolph, D.L.; Pasha, E.; Brook, J.M.; Christie, M.; Menkveld, P.G. Impacts of Event-Based Recharge on the Vulnerability of Public Supply Wells. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7695. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147695

AMA Style

Wiebe AJ, Rudolph DL, Pasha E, Brook JM, Christie M, Menkveld PG. Impacts of Event-Based Recharge on the Vulnerability of Public Supply Wells. Sustainability. 2021; 13(14):7695. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147695

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wiebe, Andrew J., David L. Rudolph, Ehsan Pasha, Jacqueline M. Brook, Mike Christie, and Paul G. Menkveld 2021. "Impacts of Event-Based Recharge on the Vulnerability of Public Supply Wells" Sustainability 13, no. 14: 7695. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147695

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