Evaluation of the potential for artificial ground-water recharge in eastern San Joaquin County, California; Phase 3

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4164




Infiltration tests were used to evaluate the potential of basin spreading surface water as a means of artificially recharging the aquifer system in eastern San Joaquin County, California. Two infiltration sites near Lockeford and Linden were selected on the basis of information collected during the first two phases of the study. Data from the infiltration tests indicate that the two sites are acceptable for recharge by the basin-spreading method. Infiltration rates ranged between 6.7 and 10.5 ft/day near Lockeford and between 2.6 and 11.2 ft/day near Linden. Interpretation of these data is limited by lack of information on the response of the saturated zone during testing and by the inherent difficulty in extrapolating the results of small-scale tests to larger long-term operations. Lithology is a major factor that controls infiltration rates at the test sites. The unsaturated zone is characterized by heterogeneous layers of coarse- and fine- grained materials. Clay layers of low hydraulic conductivity commonly form discontinuous lenses that may cause a transient perched water table to develop during recharge. Water level measurements from wells screened in the unsaturated zone indicate that the perched water table could reach the land surface after 2 and 5 months of recharge near Lockeford and Linden, respectively. These figures probably represent the minimum time necessary for saturation of the land. Another major factor that affects infiltration rates is the quality of the recharge water, particularly the suspended sediment content. The clogging action of suspended sediment may be minimized by: (1) pretreatment of recharge water in a settling pond, (2) adherence to a routine program of monitoring and maintenance, and (3) proper design of the recharge facility. Other factors that affect infiltration rates include basin excavation technique, basin shape, and maintenance procedures. Efficient operation of the recharge facility requires careful attention to the relation between subsurface water levels and infiltration rates. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Evaluation of the potential for artificial ground-water recharge in eastern San Joaquin County, California; Phase 3
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey,
iv, 17 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.