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TitleComparative Study of Methods for WHPA Delineation
AuthorParadis, DORCID logo; Martel, R; Karanta, G; Lefebvre, R; Michaud, Y; Therrien, R; Nastev, MORCID logo
SourceGround Water vol. 45, no. 2, 2007 p. 158-167,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20060200
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS21L/12; 31G/09
AreaSt. Lawrence Lowlands; Portneuf; Pont-Rouge; St. Alban; Mirabel; St. Janvier
Lat/Long WENS-74.5000 -74.0000 45.7500 45.5000
Lat/Long WENS-71.5000 -71.5000 46.7500 46.5000
Subjectshydrogeology; groundwater; groundwater pollution; groundwater resources; groundwater regimes; water quality; groundwater flow; aquifers; bedrock aquifers; water wells; wells; hydrostratigraphic units; conductivity
Illustrationssketch maps; graphs; tables; plots; cross-sections
Released2007 03 01
AbstractHuman activities, whether agricultural, industrial, commercial, or domestic, can contribute to ground water quality deterioration. In order to protect the ground water exploited by a production well, it is essential to develop a good knowledge of the flow system and to adequately delineate the area surrounding the well within which potential contamination sources should be managed. Many methods have been developed to delineate such a wellhead protection area (WHPA). The integration of more information on the geologic and hydrogeologic characteristics of the study area increases the precision of any given WHPA delineation method. From a practical point of view, the WHPA delineation methods allowing the simplest and least expensive integration of the available information should be favored. This paper presents a comparative study in which nine different WHPA delineation methods were applied to a well and a spring in an unconfined granular aquifer and to a well in a confined highly fractured rock aquifer. These methods range from simple approaches to complex computer models. Hydrogeological mapping and numerical modeling with MODFLOW-MODPATH were used as reference methods to respectively compare the delineation of the zone of contribution and the zone of travel obtained from the various WHPA methods. Although applied to simple ground water flow systems, these methods provided a relatively wide range of results. To allow a realistic delineation of the WHPA in aquifers of variable geometry, a WHPA delineation method should ensure a water balance and include observed or calculated regional flow characteristics.

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