Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in southwestern Ohio, has operated three well fields--Area B, Skeel Road, and the East Well Fields--to supply potable water for consumption and use for base activities. To protect these well fields from contamination and to comply with the Ohio Wellhead Protection Plan, the Base is developing a wellhead-protection program for the well fields.
A three-dimensional, steady-state ground-water-flow model was developed in 1993 to simulate heads in (1) the buried-valley aquifer system that is tapped by the two active well fields, and in (2) an upland bedrock aquifer that may supply water to the wells. An advective particle-tracking algorithm that requires estimated porosities and simulated heads was used to estimate ground-water-flow pathlines and traveltimes to the active well fields. Contributing recharge areas (CRA's)--areas on the water table that contribute water to a well or well field--were generated for 1-, 5-, and 10-year traveltimes.
Results from the simulation and subsequent particle tracking indicate that the CRA's for the Skeel Road Well Fields are oval and extend north- ward, toward the Mad River, as pumping at the well field increases. The sizes of the 1-, 5-, and 10-year CRA's of Skeel Road Well Field, under maximum pumping conditions, are approximately 0.5, 1.5 and 3.2 square miles, respectively. The CRA's for the Area B Well Field extend to the north, up the Mad River Valley; as pumping increases at the well field, the CRA's extend up the Mad River Valley under Huffman Dam. The sizes of the 1-, 5-, and 10-year CRA's of Area B Well Field, under maximum pumping conditions, are approximately 0.1, 0.5, and 0.9 square miles, respectively. The CRA's for the East Well Field are affected by nearby streams under average pumping conditions. The sizes of the 1-, 5-, and 10-year CRA's of the East Well Field, under maximum pumping conditions, are approximately 0.2, 1.2, and 2.4 square miles, respectively. However, as pumping increases at the East Well Field, the ground-water-flow model develops numerical instabilities which limit the usefulness of the CRA's.
Sensitivity analyses show that variation of horizontal hydraulic conductivity and porosity in the upland bedrock does not affect the CRA's of the Skeel Road Well Field but does have a slight affect on the CRA's of the Area B Well Field. Uncertainties in horizontal hydraulic conductivity and porosity of the valley-train deposits have the largest affect on the size and shape of the CRA's of the Skeel Road Well Field. The position and size of the CRA's of Area B are probably also controlled by induced infiltration from the nearby Mad River and by pumping at the Rohrer's Island Well Field. However, uncertainty in riverbed conductance, which affects induced infiltration, does not significantly affect the size and shape of these CRA's.
Pumping centers not included in the ground-water-flow model do not appreciably affect the CRA's of the Area B and Skeel Road Well Fields under normal pumping. The pumping centers, located near Huffman Dam, will probably limit the northern extent of teh CRA's of Area B Well Field under greater than normal pumping conditions. The CRA's of the East Well Field will propagate farther to the northeast and southwest as a result of the increased pumping-related stress to the aquifer system.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Contributing recharge areas to water-supply wells at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
USGS Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],