Tales from the Trenches
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June 2012                                   Issue 12 

New High-Capacity Water Supplies & MDE Permits for Westminster

In the wake of the Drought of 2002, MDE determined that Westminster needed more water supply capacity to provide for  planned growth. Long one of the first water systems statewide to experience the effects of any drought, the City of Westminster also became one place where new MDE Water Supply Capacity Management Guidelines disallowed (or severely limited) growth until more sustainable water capacity could be developed. located, tested and permitted.

ALWI worked with City Public Works officials to identify, develop and evaluate new, high-capacity surface water and groundwater sources to address this need. After considering various other options and locations, we came to site and develop a new high-capacity well on nearby County-owned land. This work included a stringent, 96-hour aquifer pumping test performed at a sustained withdrawal rate of 250 gallons per minute.  Test data suggest this flow could be safely withdrawn indefinitely. We also identified and evaluated a nearby stream for a new high-capacity surface water intake.

The recently issued MDE water appropriation permits for these new sources, issued for a combined annualized allocation of 330,000 gallons per day, retired the drought-of-record deficit and will allow a measured amount of continued economic growth and development to benefit the City of Westminster and its citizens.
Well Rehabilitation & Testing at The Jefferson School

Jefferson School

ALWI was retained by the engineering firm of Daft, McCune, Walker (DMW) to evaluate, rehabilitate, redevelop and re-equip two existing production wells at the Jefferson School, located in rural Frederick County, Maryland.


Three wells exist, and had been plagued by excessive particulates and turbidity, which decreased efficiency and increased treatment costs. Our hydrogeologists identified the root cause of these conditions to be excessive drawdown during pumping cycles, which caused naturally-present iron and manganese to precipitate and clog fracture zones, pump impellers and treatment equipment.


Initially the raw water possessed abundant black particulates and the apparent yields of the wells had declined, one markedly so. We came to select two wells for rehabilitation, redevelopment, testing and reconnection. We determined that a third well was directly connected to same aquifer (i.e., did not offer supplemental water) and we judged its poor water quality to be an artifact of its initial construction. We recommended that this third well not be relied upon or invested in, and ultimately, that it be abandoned and sealed.


Focusing on the two selected supply wells, we designed and executed a step-wise program to assess the underlying cause of these initial conditions, to rehabilitate and restore initial yields and quality, and to provide a lasting remedy which included longer run-times with lower-capacity pumps set at shallower depths.  


We then verified the success of the rehabilitation and redevelopment work through stringent test pumping and sampling. Subsequent laboratory analyses confirmed potability but also the continued, natural presence of dissolved iron and manganese which are characteristics of the local geology.  


Jointly we and DMW then specified and provided replacement permanent pumps and related treatment infrastructure.

In This Issue
Permits for Westminster
Well Rehab at School
Recent Presentations
Leglislative Updates
Contact Us:
7540 Main Street Ste 7
Sykesville, MD 21784
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Recent Presentations
Mr. Mark Eisner, ALWI President, presented at the May 7, 2012 MD 
Rural Water Association Convention. His two well-received talks were on the relationship between MDE Water Appropriation Permits and growth approvals. 

One presentation focused on the confined aquifers of the Atlantic Coastal Plain east of I-95, and the other focused on fractured bedrock aquifers elsewhere in Maryland.

We would welcome the opportunity to deliver these presentations at your workplace, or to otherwise discuss this important matter and its implications.  Please contact us to schedule a courtesy appointment.
Legislative, Regulatory and Policy Update

The Maryland General Assembly  passed SB-236 on May 2, 2012, which requires Counties to establish four "tiers" of growth and development restriction based on land use and related environmental criteria.  


Read more about SB-236 and its related growth control, Bay Protection and land use statutes, regulations and policy changes, including the potential economic effect on rural property owners and others, on our blog.  


On Twitter, ALWI continues to post commentary and links to many articles, external blogs and informed opinions about this still  evolving highly controversial matter.     

Come Visit us at Exhibit  Booth 401


MML Convention;  June 24-27; Ocean City 

About Us -

Advanced Land and Water, Inc. is a hydrogeological and environmental consulting firm with extensive Mid-Atlantic regional experience in water supply and wastewater disposal. Our water supply experience extends to both groundwater and surface water and includes exploration, development, permitting, management and protection of both new and existing supplies. Our wastewater services include soil classification and suitability evaluations, percolation tests, spray and drip irrigation studies, infiltrometer tests, groundwater mounding calculations and nitrate loading assessments. We also provide a diversity of GIS mapping, environmental and other specialty consulting services.