Environmental Laboratory

  • Can Water Pumps' "Good Vibrations" Help Determine Groundwater Levels?

Can Water Pumps' "Good Vibrations" Help Determine Groundwater Levels?

Mar 14 2017 Read 789 Times

When installing and repairing water pumps, it’s necessary for researchers to determine the extent of the groundwater below. It means they can better determine the longevity of the water source and consequently make necessary repairs to wells. But so far, researchers have struggled to obtain a high level of accuracy. Read on to see how the vibrations of water pumps could change that.

Water is life

While humans can survive approximately three weeks without food, they need water to keep going for anything over seven days. In boiling heat, this timespan becomes even shorter. And if the all-important water source is contaminated, it can easily cause a range of deadly diseases.

Across Africa, rivers and lakes provide a hugely important source of fresh water. But it’s actually just one percent of the amount of water beneath the ground. This huge resource requires wells and pumps for access, and can give communities an abundance of hydration.

Monitoring the water as it's pumped

In most cases the water is brought up using a simple up-and-down hand pump. In a 2012 study by Oxford scientists, data transmitters were fitted to 60 villages’ pumps in Kenya to track their efficiency. Water pumps that were not extracting enough water would send an alert, allowing them to be repaired quicker.

However, more recently, scientists have found a new purpose for the transmitters. Studying the data, they found that different vibrations are produced depending on the depth of water in the aquifer – the body of rock containing the water underground. Using this information, they will hopefully be able to predict problems with wells much earlier on and plan ahead.

“In East Africa at the moment there's quite a severe drought, in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and a lot of this might be dealt with earlier with these sorts of systems,” says Dr Rob Hope of Oxford University. “If you can predict that groundwater levels are going down rapidly, rather than getting to problem and dealing, with it you can predict it much earlier on.”

Groundwater sampling

As well as advances in groundwater detection, the field of groundwater sampling has progressed massively over the years. Old wells were traditionally made from PVC, with potential contamination from glue and soil, as well as the possibility of PVC collapsing in petrol polluted soil. These issues can, however, be eliminated by using new materials and methods, as discussed in the article ‘Groundwater Samples and monitoring wells’.

Reader comments

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Post a Comment




Digital Edition

Asian Environmental Technology May 2019

May 2019

In This Editon Business News - Measuring the methane component of GHG emissions - Blackline Safety reports strongest quarter ever with revenue up 64% - Restek and LECO collaborate in worldw...

View all digital editions

Events

PEFTEC 2019

May 22 2019 Rotterdam, Netherlands

SETAC Europe

May 26 2019 Helsinki, Finland

Caspian Power

May 29 2019 Baku, Azerbaijan

ASMS Conference

Jun 02 2019 Atlanta, GA, USA

Aquatech China 2019

Jun 03 2019 Shanghai, China

View all events