Groundwater is water found below the earth’s surface and is usually held in porous soil or rock materials, much the same way water is held in a sponge. Groundwater is withdrawn from wells to provide water for everything from crop irrigation, industrial processing to drinking water for homes and businesses.
Lower Trent Conservation monitors groundwater through the Provincial Ground Water Network at 10 locations across the watershed in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment.
These wells are each sampled annually in September and May. The sampling methodology includes pumping the well for a specified amount of time and collecting a water sample. These samples are analyzed for parameters similar to those in the surface water quality program. Throughout the year a levelogger is suspended in each well and records the water level and temperature every 15 minutes. The network provides an early detection warning for fluctuating water levels and quality, and is integrated into the Low Water Response strategy where data is used to facilitate land use planning decisions.