ATLANTA – The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) announced today that the construction of the Claiborne and Clayton aquifer monitoring wells, Floridan aquifer supply well, and related analysis and peer review for the Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Demonstration Project are complete. Activities related to the installation of wells at the Elmodel Wildlife Management Area (WMA) have provided new information on the geological characteristics, water quality, and water-bearing capacity of the Clayton and Claiborne aquifers. In addition to using this information in evaluating the feasibility of ASR at the Elmodel WMA, the information will support the state’s evaluation and management of these aquifers as a potential alternative water source for the region. The analysis of data from the monitoring wells at this location showed:

  • The Claiborne monitoring well 24-hour specific capacity at the Elmodel WMA is approximately 1.16 gallons per minute per foot of drawdown (gpm/ft) at a pumping rate of 104 gpm with 90 feet of water level drawdown.
  • The Clayton monitoring well 24-hour specific capacity at the Elmodel WMA is approximately 1.68 gpm/ft at a pumping rate of 98 gpm with 58.4 feet of water level drawdown.
  • The water in the Claiborne and Clayton aquifers meets drinking water quality standards.
  • No detectable levels of pyrite were found in the Claiborne and Clayton aquifers, which if present could have risked releasing iron, sulfide, or arsenic when the recharge water is added to the aquifers.
  • Based on the performance of the monitoring wells, a dual-aquifer ASR well at the Elmodel WMA is unlikely to produce enough water for stream-flow augmentation in Chickasawhatchee Creek.
  • The yield from the Claiborne and Clayton aquifers appears to be site-specific, which suggests more yield is possible at other locations in the basin. For example, a Claiborne production well drilled this spring to support irrigation-related research at the Stripling Irrigation Research Park, which is roughly 9 miles from the Elmodel WMA, showed significantly more yield.
  • The Claiborne production well 24-hour specific capacity at Stripling is approximately 3.27 gpm/ft at a pumping rate of 500 gpm with 153 feet of water level drawdown.

Instead of moving forward with the dual-aquifer ASR well at the Elmodel WMA, GEFA plans to design and install a Claiborne aquifer production well next to the monitoring wells. A production well will provide additional information on the Claiborne aquifer capacity at this location and allow for tests to determine if connections exist between the aquifers. The production well will not be designed to convert to an ASR well in the future. The close proximity of the wells provides GEFA and EPD a valuable opportunity to gather data on the three aquifers for regional water planning purposes.

The project costs to date include:

  • Construction of the Claiborne and Clayton monitoring wells and the Floridan supply well cost $625,455.26.
  • Data analysis and groundwater modeling related to the Claiborne and Clayton monitoring wells, which included analysis of the geophysical logging, performance of a geochemical assessment, and geologic core sample analysis, cost $133,150.
  • Planning, surveying, designing, permitting and other administrative and legal expenses cost $637,106.90.

The design, construction administration, and analyses were performed by CH2M Hill, and Rowe Drilling Company performed the drilling services. A technical peer review was conducted by Cardno.