www.co.worcester.md.us

Groundwater Well Monitoring

History and Background

For more than 30 years, Environmental Programs has maintained, monitored, and reported results for a network of groundwater monitoring wells to assist County personnel in soil evaluations during the wet season. The wells are used to determine up to date elevated water level conditions in multiple soil classifications. The water levels in the wells are monitored through the year and are invaluable in determining the initiation and the termination of the “wet season” testing period. The information collected from our series of monitoring wells would be available for and be part of a coordinated effort with the MD Department of the Environment in evaluating elevated water conditions on the lower shore.

In 1978, the first wells were installed, and in 1987 & 1994 more wells were added. Worcester County Environmental Programs researched the locations and attempted to place wells in all areas of the County and in multiple soil drainage classes. Wells were to be kept on County owned land whenever possible for access issues.
 

Wet Season Test Information

The wet season test period usually begins with well network monitoring in late fall to early winter, depending on the precipitation levels. Applications for soil evaluations are due on December 31st.  Application properties are usually visited soon after the application is received and processed. Temporary observation wells are installed for each proposed sewage area and are monitored through the wet season.  These wells are compared to the County network wells to determine which data to use for “average seasonal conditions” based on when the majority of the County wells are within a 0.5 standard deviation plus or minus the mean. Statistically, the data should represent what would be expected in average “wet-season” conditions. This water level determines three things: One, if the property can proceed to testing by meeting the minimum water table requirements for that management area. Two, what type of test should be run – standard percolation test, infiltrometer test, or hydraulic conductivity test.  Three, at what depth should the test be run based on the required treatment zone and soil texture.
 

Additional Information

Locations of the Worcester County Well Monitoring Network 
Latest Weekly Water Level Data Sheet