Muskegon County, Michigan, disposes of waste water by spray irrigating farmland on its waste-disposal site. Buried drains in the highly permeable unconfined aquifer at the site control the level of the water table. Hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer and drain-leakance, the reciprocal of resistance to flow into the drains, was determined at a representative irrigation circle while calibrating a model of the ground-water flow system. Hydraulic conductivity is 0.00055 meter per second in the north zone of the circle and 0.00039 meter per second in the south zone. Drain leakance is low in both zones: 2.9 x 10-6 meters per second in the north and 9.5 x 10-6 meters per second in the south. Low drain leakance is responsible for waterlogging when irrigation rates are maintained at design levels. The capacity of the study circle to accept waste water is 35 percent less than design capacity.
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Hydraulic characteristics of an underdrained irrigation circle, Muskegon County, wastewater disposal system, Michigan