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New well field drilled for hydrology education

Published on August 01, 2023

New well field drilled for hydrology education

well drillers
Three new water wells drilled by the Department of Energy and Enivronmental Protection (DEEP) will be used for hydrology research 

Three new water wells on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus will be used by environmental earth science (EES) students to learn about techniques used in environmental consulting.

The wells range from 14.5 to 20 feet deep. Two are located behind the Cervantes Parking Garage and a third is across the street, behind the Arboretum sign. They will be use by students in a hydrology course taught by EES Professor Meredith Metcalf.

Professor Meredith Metcalf and student Hans Veltheim at the job site

Drilling the new wells

Professor Metcalf, student Hans Veltheim and DEEP workers at the well drilling

“The wells will be used for courses where groundwater is examined,” said Professor Metcalf, though they may also be used by other faculty for teaching purposes.

Metcalf had previously used a well field at the University of Connecticut developed by her Ph.D. advisor, Professor Gary Robbins, a hydrogeologist. When he retired, he put her in touch with a team at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to create a well field at Eastern.

The installation was headed by Drew Kukucka of the DEEP's Site Assessment and Technical Services Unit, Emergency Response and Spill Prevention Division. "Drew is supportive of enhancing the educational experiences at Eastern," said Metcalf, "thus he and his team were willing to install wells on campus.

“The wells will be an opportunity to partner with DEEP and other organizations to demonstrate drilling techniques, characterize and classify soils, create boring logs, determine flow direction, and conduct tests to determine hydraulic conductivity,” said Metcalf.

She hopes to have the DEEP visit Eastern to educate students about evaluating the contamination of spills, and has also purchased a geoprobe, which is used to conduct tests when spills occur.

Written by Lucinda Weiss