Water Level Loggers Assist in Residential Well Monitoring
Dayna Gardecki of Antietam Pump Company manages data collection from private residential wells using Onset’s HOBO Water Level Logger. We recently spoke with Dayna about how the loggers are used to monitor water levels in the residents’ water supply wells.
Onset: How do water level loggers help you with your monitoring project?
Gardecki: In Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requires that residential wells are to be monitored for 10 years after a nearby town municipal well is installed. To adhere to DEP’s requirement, we are using HOBO Water Level loggers to monitor three private water supply wells to ensure that the town’s municipal well is not impacting the aquifer of these wells.
Four times a year, we go to the municipalities to collect the data from the loggers. We are monitoring water levels to see if the water levels are dropping, rising, or remaining constant. That way, regulators can determine if the town municipal well was drilled into a strong “vein” and there is enough water in the residential wells to ensure that the pumps don’t run dry. The loggers also help determine if the water levels are rising, which would indicate that that surface water is infiltrating into the aquifer.
Onset: Do you have any particular challenges with respect to data collection?
Gardecki: I’m not a computer expert, and I haven’t run into any challenges collecting data from the loggers. It takes me approximately 30 seconds to download the information from each logger onto our laptop computer.
Onset: How do you work with the data?
Gardecki: We download three months worth of data into HOBOware Pro software and print out the graphs and provide them to DEP so that they can review the information. The regulators also keep the information on file so that they can review historical data on the wells.
Onset: What are your findings?
Gardecki: The data from the water level loggers indicate whether or not the wells and aquifer are stable. So far, the data indicate that the town municipal well was installed into a strong “vein” in the aquifer, and it is not impacting the overall health of the private wells. The data has provided us with peace-of-mind.
Onset: What are the most important product features you look for in a data logger?
Gardecki: The most important features for me are ease-of-use and low cost. Not only are the devices reliable, they’re simple to use and were easy to deploy. We also looked for loggers that were durable and provided high-accuracy measurements.
Finally, as someone without an engineering degree, the HOBO Water Level Loggers enable me to tackle this project with confidence.