A rise in the shallow unconfined groundwater at a site in Australia is causing water logging of the underground facility in the affected area. Realizing this problem, a study was conducted to identify the source of water that is causing the rise and to develop an implementation and operation plan of the mitigation (dewatering system). Modelling was undertaken using MODFLOW-SURFACT code, within the framework of Visual MODFLOW, to assess the spatial and temporal groundwater level at the site. The study undertaken incorporates compilation and assessment of available data, including a list of factual information reviewed, development of a conceptual groundwater model for the site and modelling of the pre and post development conditions. The outcomes of the assessment indicate water level rises due to the construction of the embankment are likely less than 0.12 m and changes in land, such as affected area burial, may change aquifer characteristics more significantly than the embankment. It is concluded that the elevated groundwater levels in the affected area are most likely a result of above average rainfall since 2007 and long term cumulative land use changes. The embankment construction is just one of many land use changes that have occurred both within and surrounding the affected area and likely only a minor contributor to the elevated water levels. Greater contribution may be attributed to re-direction of the natural flow paths the railway culvert weir reducing the overland flow gradient and ongoing changes (burial) within the affected area and including the embankment. The model findings gives answers on what factors may be/are causing/contributing to, the higher than usual groundwater levels in the study area. A combination of drainage and/or pumping (dewatering system) is suggested as a solution to overcome the problem of rising groundwater levels at the site. Further, the model output can aid in assessing mitigation options, including horizontal drainage networks and pumping to control for the rising water table conditions in the area, depending on the level of treatment and pathogenic criteria.
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