A two-dimensional, steady-state ground-water-flow model of Grindstone Creek, the New Post community, and the surrounding areas was developed using the analytic element computer code GFLOW. The parameter estimation code UCODE was used to obtain a best fit of the model to measured water levels and streamflows. The calibrated model was then used to simulate the effect of ground-water pumping on base flow in Grindstone Creek. Local refinements to the regional model were subsequently added in the New Post area, and local water-level data were used to evaluate the regional model calibration. The locally refined New Post model was also used to simulate the areal extent of capture for two existing water-supply wells and two possible replacement wells.
Calibration of the regional Grindstone Creek simulation resulted in horizontal hydraulic conductivity values of 58.2 feet per day (ft/d) for the regional glacial and sandstone aquifer and 7.9 ft/d for glacial thrust-mass areas. Ground-water recharge in the calibrated regional model was 10.1 inches per year. Simulation of a golf-course irrigation well, located roughly 4,000 feet away from the creek, and pumping at 46 gallons per minute (0.10 cubic feet per second, ft3/s), reduced base flow in Grindstone Creek by 0.05 ft3/s, or 0.6 percent of the median base flow during water year 2003, compared to the calibrated model simulation without pumping. A simulation of peak pumping periods (347 gallons per minute or 0.77 ft3/s) reduced base flow in Grindstone Creek by 0.4 ft3/s (4.9 percent of the median base flow).
Capture zones for existing and possible replacement wells delineated by the local New Post simulation extend from the well locations to an area south of the pumping well locations. Shallow crystalline bedrock, generally located south of the community, limits the extent of the aquifer and thus the southerly extent of the capture zones. Simulated steady-state pumping at a rate of 9,600 gallons per day (gal/d) from a possible replacement well near the Chippewa Flowage induced 70 gal/d of water from the flowage to enter the aquifer. Although no water-quality samples were collected from the Chippewa Flowage or the ground-water system, surface-water leakage into the ground-water system could potentially change the local water quality in the aquifer.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Simulation of the Shallow Ground-Water-Flow System near Grindstone Creek and the Community of New Post, Sawyer County, Wisconsin