Case Study – Groundwater Resources Development

Water Supply – Galena Shore Property, British Columbia, Canada

The Galena Shore property is located just south of Revelstoke in the Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia in Canada. This lakefront property is within driving distance from both Kelowna and Calgary and it offers a spectacular views of Galena Bay’s smooth water and a pristine environment that contains a public park. Additionally, it provides access to year-round outdoor activities in the Mountains and the Arrow Lake. It is an excellent retreat for all and sundry.

This beautifully designed 60-lot property requires a dedicated and adequate supply of clean water (Plate 1).

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Plate 1. A Schematic Drawing of the Lakeshore Waterfront Property

This has been achieved through the development of the area’s groundwater resources. After a thorough evaluation of the groundwater resources of the region, which involved the analyses of topographic and geological maps, aerial photographs and satellite imageries of the area, and an in-depth review of the available hydrogeological literature of the area, a prospective well site was identified for water well drilling. A MEK staff ensured that all health, safety and environmental requirements are met onsite and also provided the required technical back-stopping in the drilling, design and construction; and in the development of this well prior to the installation of a mechanized submersible pump (Plates 2 and 3).


Figures 2 and 3. Drilling of the dedicated water well that is the major source of water supply for the Galena Waterfront Property.

Plates 2 and 3. Drilling of the dedicated water well that is the major source of water supply for the Galena Waterfront Property.

Town Water Supply – Thornhill, British Columbia

The community of Thornhill, with a population of about 4,500 people is located along the eastern bank of the Skeena River and is adjacent to the City of Terrace in British Columbia. However, because of its closeness to Terrace, most people consider it a part of the town. Because of the continuous growth of both communities, the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine approved the construction of a high capacity Water Well to augment the then two potable water wells that provide the water requirements for the two communities.


Plate 1. Drilling of the 20-inch diameter water well in progress in Thornhill, British Columbia.

A MEK consultant was responsible for the overall planning and the successful execution of this 20-inch diameter water well drilling project, which was completed using a percussion drilling rig (Plate 1).

The MEK staff was also responsible for the detailed well logging and the field grain size distribution analysis. These activities were necessary for determining aquifer (groundwater zones), aquifer lithology (material) and thicknesses, and for the selection of the appropriate screen sizes (Plates 2a, b and c). The most important purpose of a screen is to retain native sands and filter packs while stabilizing the groundwater producing zone. As such the selection of the appropriate slot size for the screen is a critical step in guaranteeing maximum well performance. This information was derived from the grain-size distribution curves based on the sieve analysis plots and analyzed onsite (Plate 3).


Plate 2a. Geologic (soil) samples from the water producing zones. Plate 2b. Preparing (heating) aquifer material for sieve analysis. Plate 2c. Retained particles after thorough agitation during the grain-size analysis test and a coble from the water-producing zone.


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Plate 3. The sieve analysis plot used to determine appropriate screen slot opening for the completed 20 inch diameter water well

MEK staff was also responsible for the designing and construction and all related well development activities. Furthermore, the MEK consultant also planned, executed and supervised the 24-hour aquifer test and determined the final well completion well yield of 2,000 gallons per minute (Plate 5).


Plate 4a. A stainless steel casing joined with a stainless screen for installation I into the successfully drilled water well. Plate 4b. A full length stainless steel screen being prepared for well installation.


Plate 5. Water from the newly completed 20-inch diameter well being discharged at the rate of 2,000 gallons per minute at distances away from the water well.