Ground Breaking Ground Water Study!

A new way of monitoring ground water is being trialed by Formby Floodwatch.  Group members Bob McCann, Derek Baxter and project leader Dr David Jordan, of John Moores University (JMU) who invented the new sensor, will be the first to test the system before a wider roll out of the scheme this Autumn.

The project uses a simple but innovative robust design for the dip-wells, water level sensors and telemetry, using equipment that can be readily obtain all over the globe. Allowing the system to be replicated easily particularly in parts of the world that have more limited access to technology.  

Today (21st July 2017) saw the installation of the first wells, lined with 11cm diameter plastic pipe, with the water level sensor and data sending unit to be attached in a weeks time.

 Installation Kit
Sefton Council's Andy Martin prepares the hole boring tools

The process involved boring a hole just wider than the plastic pipe to a depth of about 2 metres.  Sefton Flood and Coastal Erosian Officer Andy Martin provided an array of eqipment to burrow into the ground excavaing around 20 litres of soil, sand and silt.

Final wet silt removed
Andy Martin deploys a bailer to remove the saturated sediments.

As the layers of sediment were extracted they were laid out in succession and representative samples were taken from each layer with their depths recorded.  This will be analysed by David's team at JMU and will help give a better understanding of how the ground water behaves and interacts with different sediment types.

sediment recorded
Sediments laid out in two columns.

Once the pipe was sunk it was capped and soil firmed around the top which protrudes about 10cm above the ground. When the small data sending unit is attached on top, level recordings will be automated and the data sent via the householder's WiFi system to be analysed. Eventually its hoped a user friendly output will be developed so Formby Residents will be able to access the information gathered, through this website.

finished product
Bob McCann Chair of Floodwatch
admires the finished product.

Later this year the project will be looking for more dip well sites. Perhaps you, your school or business would like to get involved with this truly world leading research?  As more information about soil, sediment and ground water is gathered this will suggest where more wells can be usefully deployed.