Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 25

This project demonstrates
that the benefits
of ASR can be an
affordable alternative
to aboveground storage
tanks for small as well
as large sized water
supply districts.
equivalent to but isolated from the
surrounding CRBG aquifer. Because of
the slow recharge, the PUD considered
the well an expensive test of an almost
unusable anomaly.

An anomaly provides the solution
Anomalies are to geology what the
Rosetta stone is to archeologists - keys
that open the door to new discoveries and
understanding. Geochemical anomalies
often lead to valuable mineral deposits.
Circular anomalies in Earth's gravity
are indicators of buried salt domes that
are prolific traps for hydrocarbons.
Anomalies also trigger new thinking.
For example, imagine looking down
into a deep excavation in downtown
Portland and seeing a small crystalline
blue cobble mixed in with the dull brown
sand and silt. If you recognize that the
cobble consists of a rare mineral called
kyanite and if you know that the closest
occurrence of kyanite is in British
Columbia hundreds of miles north,
it might inspire your imagination to
consider how it got there. Such a cobble
was discovered in an excavation at the
intersection of SW 10th and Morrison
Streets and helped validate the concept of
the Missoula Floods.
But in the water resources industry,
anomalies are not friendly. People in the
business of supplying water prefer aquifers
that are widespread in their extent,
uniform in composition, and reliable
in the quality and abundance of their
water. In other words, a good aquifer is a
predictable aquifer. So when the notion
of using the Robinette well for aquifer
storage and recovery (ASR) was proposed,
the PUD rightly worried about how much
water could be stored in an anomaly.

On the other hand, the Robinette had a
number of advantages favorable for ASR.
Infrastructure was already in place to
tie it into the rest of their water system.
The well is capable of high production
rates. Other wells in the PUD's system
draw water from the same aquifer so
injection water could be supplied from
them, a situation promising a minimum of
chemical incompatibility.

develop operational guidelines. As much
as possible, scheduled injection and
withdrawal adapted to normal pattern of
seasonal demands and as a result, water
in the ASR aquifer was usually available
for beneficial use from the beginning.
Oregon's second permanent ASR license
was issued to the McNulty PUD in
late 2015.

Single well ASR to the rescue

The project results greatly exceed the
PUD's initial needs.
* Over six million gallons of water are
capable of being stored in the sole
ASR well, far in excess of the one
million gallon storage capacity initially
needed and six times the storage
capacity of the PUD's three existing
aboveground reservoirs.
* The ASR project cost less than a single
aboveground storage tank.
* The extra water reserves stored in
the ASR aquifer have already proved
their worth in routine operations by
satisfying seasonal water demands
during late summer dry months.
Water from the ASR aquifer was able
to completely supply system needs for
a week when a severe winter storm
knocked out power to two of the
system's other wells.
* The single ASR well stores its water
invisibly underground. By comparison,
a surface tank storing six million
gallons has the footprint of a football
field and stands about seventeen feet
high - meaning that residents have the
aesthetic benefit of observing absolutely
no change to the bucolic scenery outside
their windows.
Small and medium water supply
systems that may benefit from
underground storage have avoided
ASR due to cost concerns. This project
demonstrates that the benefits of
ASR can be an affordable alternative
to aboveground storage tanks for
small as well as large sized water
supply districts. ■

The PUD's worries were not restricted
to geology. The use of ASR in the United
States is relatively new and has been
mostly utilized by large municipal water
systems. ASR has a reputation for being
expensive and complex. Underground
injection of fluids is a regulated process.
How rigorous would Oregon's regulatory
requirements be? Would additional
geologic characterization be required?
How far into the project could the PUD
allow itself to venture without full
knowledge of all the downstream project
costs? Having to resolve an unexpected
issue halfway into the project could
easily catapult expenses to unacceptable
levels. The PUD gave the approval for the
project to commence with the implicit
understanding that the unknowns had
to be determined as early as possible. If
at any point the projected costs exceeded
those to construct an above ground
reservoir then the ASR project would
be abandoned.
The first step to a permanent ASR
license is a limited license. As part of the
process a pre-application meeting was
held to discuss the goals of the project
and the regulatory framework. Three
state agencies were represented and the
PUD's project goals and limitations were
thoroughly discussed with the regulatory
personnel assigned. All parties agreed
with a project scope limited to the single
existing well with conservative limits
placed on the target storage volume and
pumping rates.
Conventional ASR cycle testing was
performed during the five-year period of
operations under a limited license. Water
sourced from McNulty's other system
wells was pumped into the Robinette's
aquifer. Cycles of injection, storage and
discharge were designed to assess the
storage capacity of the aquifer and to

ASR project successful

Bob Mansfield is the owner of Buffalo
Geological Consulting. He has 40 years
experience working with earth fluids - oil,
water, and gas - and is a registered geologist
in California, Oregon and Washington.
Contact: buffalo@buffalogeo.com.
Volume 19 * Number 5 www.awra.org * 25


http://www.awra.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017

President’s Message
Growing Up…with Managed Aquifer Recharge
Aquifer Storage and Recovery as Means to
The Regulatory Environment of Managed
The ASCE-EWRI Standard Guidelines
Managed Aquifer Recharge:
Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Global Perspective
What’s Up with Water? Sisyphus, Heraclitus and WOTUS
The New Economics of Water: Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Bay Delta Could Reverse Erosion
Domestic Well Aquifer Storage and Recovery Using Seasonal Springs
Philosophy and Ethics: The Rio Grande and the Ganges Rivers: How Human ‘Success’ is Choking the Life out of Two Great River-Spirits
ASR: Aquifer Storage Rescues a Small Water Supply District
Putting Aquifers to Work: MAR Applications in Nutrient Removal
Summer Conference Recap
Harvesting Glacial Meltwater with Managed Aquifer Recharge
AWRA State Section and Student Chapter News
In Memoriam: Peter E. Black
Herbert Scholarship Award Recipients for 2017-2018 Announced
August JAWRA Highlights
2017-2018 Editorial Calendar
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - intro
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover1
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover2
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 3
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 4
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - President’s Message
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Growing Up…with Managed Aquifer Recharge
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 7
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Aquifer Storage and Recovery as Means to
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 9
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 10
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The Regulatory Environment of Managed
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 12
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 13
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The ASCE-EWRI Standard Guidelines
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 15
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 16
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Managed Aquifer Recharge:
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 18
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 19
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Global Perspective
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 21
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 22
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 23
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 24
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 25
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 26
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 27
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 28
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 29
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - What’s Up with Water? Sisyphus, Heraclitus and WOTUS
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 31
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The New Economics of Water: Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Bay Delta Could Reverse Erosion
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Philosophy and Ethics: The Rio Grande and the Ganges Rivers: How Human ‘Success’ is Choking the Life out of Two Great River-Spirits
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - ASR: Aquifer Storage Rescues a Small Water Supply District
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 35
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Summer Conference Recap
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 37
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - AWRA State Section and Student Chapter News
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - In Memoriam: Peter E. Black
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Herbert Scholarship Award Recipients for 2017-2018 Announced
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 41
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 2017-2018 Editorial Calendar
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover3
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover4
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