ISWS Staff Will Measure Private Wells in McHenry County, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release May 17, 2011
ISWS Staff Will Measure Private Wells in McHenry County
Contact:   Scott Meyer - (217) 333-5382, smeyer@illinois.edu

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) will contact well owners in McHenry County in May and throughout the summer for permission to measure water levels in wells as part of a multi-year investigation to support future policies for managing water resources in the county.

ISWS will first try to contact owners of wells that were measured for studies in 1994 and 2003. The McHenry County Defenders will assist Water Survey staff in contacting well owners.

“Given that properties are sold and wells change owners, it is likely that we will need additional wells to fill gaps,” said Scott Meyer, hydrologist of the ISWS, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Repeating a measurement in a well we have used in a previous study saves us considerable time, effort, and money, and provides some historical background for the measurements we collect.”

Water Survey staff will measure water levels in the wells during the summer and fall of 2011. The procedure requires about 15 minutes, during which the staff member removes the cap from the well and measures the water level with a disinfected steel measuring tape. Water quality will not be measured as part of the study.

According to Meyer, "the measurements will provide invaluable baseline data that will allow us to identify changes in groundwater levels from increasing withdrawals, land-use changes, or climate change. This mapping also will provide data for modeling groundwater flow in McHenry County's shallow aquifers."

The Illinois State Water Survey has conducted similar studies elsewhere in Illinois. For further information about the current study, contact Meyer at (217) 333-5382 or Cassandra McKinney, McHenry County Water Resource Manager, at (815) 334-4213, or visit the following web page: http://www.co.mchenry.il.us/departments/waterresources/Pages/index.aspx.

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