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A water-budget approach to estimating potential groundwater recharge from two domestic sewage disposal fields in eastern Bernalillo County, New Mexico, 2011-12

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5060

Prepared in cooperation with Bernalillo County Public Works Natural Resource Services
By:
and
DOI:10.3133/sir20155060

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Abstract

Eastern Bernalillo County, New Mexico, is a historically rural area that in recent years has experienced an increase in population and in the construction of new housing units, most of which are not connected to a centralized wastewater treatment system. Increasing water use has raised concerns about the effect of development on the available groundwater resources in the area. During 2011–12, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Bernalillo County Public Works Natural Resource Services, used a water-budget approach to quantify the amount of potential groundwater recharge occurring from the domestic sewage (effluent) dosed to the sewage disposal field at two locations—sites A and B—in eastern Bernalillo County, N. Mex. The amount of effluent that is potentially available for groundwater recharge was determined as the mean daily volume of effluent dosed to the disposal field in excess of the mean daily volume of effluent loss from evapotranspiration from the disposal field.

During this study, the disposal fields at sites A and B received a measured volume of effluent from two-person domestic residences equipped with an onsite low-pressure dosing system. A combined evapotranspiration measurement and modeling technique was used to estimate the amount of evapotranspirative loss from the disposal field and from the surrounding terrain. A portable hemispherical flux chamber was used to measure evapotranspiration at fixed locations on the disposal fields and on the surrounding terrain at sites A and B. Data from hemispherical flux chamber measurements were used to calibrate a Penman-Monteith modeled evapotranspiration rate on the disposal field and on the surrounding terrain at site A from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011, and from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012, and at site B from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011. Micrometeorological and soil data from instrumentation on the disposal fields and on the surrounding terrain at sites A and B were used as input data into the Penman-Monteith equation. The mean potential recharge from disposal field effluent during 2011–12 at sites A and B was 63 percent of the volume of effluent dosed to the disposal field.

Suggested Citation

Crilley, D.M., and Collison, J.W., 2015, A water-budget approach to estimating potential groundwater recharge from two domestic sewage disposal fields in eastern Bernalillo County, New Mexico, 2011–12: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5060, 32 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155060.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Study Design and Methods
  • Estimates of Potential Groundwater Recharge from Two Domestic Sewage Disposal Fields
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
A water-budget approach to estimating potential groundwater recharge from two domestic sewage disposal fields in eastern Bernalillo County, New Mexico, 2011-12
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2015-5060
DOI:
10.3133/sir20155060
Year Published:
2015
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
New Mexico Water Science Center
Description:
Report: ix, 32 p.; Appendices
Time Range Start:
2011-01-01
Time Range End:
2012-12-31
Country:
United States
State:
New Mexico
County:
Bernalillo County
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
Y